The old saying goes that the church is only 10 years behind the world morally/culturally. That was part of last night’s message looking into “respectable sins”—those sins that Christians commit that are ranked as “not bad” because “everyone does them.”
This is a charge that I’ve heard before, and I have to say that I agree with it. If you look back through the church’s history you’ll find that the church has changed in its behavior and its standards over many years.
This is one of the things that was mentioned last night that I think hits the nail on the head. AT one point in time the church was a place that was respected. The physical building is not the only place where God meets with His people, but it is a place that’s His specifically. It’s built to worship Him. It’s a place where His people gather. Today, it’s just as likely to be a hangout or to be treated as a gym rather than some place that’s set apart for worshipping the King of the Universe.
And that goes for clothing as well. If you went back far enough you’d see men wearing coats and ties and ladies in dresses. Today it’s jeans, if you have a laid back enough service. Go back far enough and you actually see ladies in hats. Today you’ll see mostly ladies in pants.
My hypothesis? Christians don’t like to be disliked. They were in the majority in America, and as such they wanted to be liked. So they tried being inclusive. They tried getting along. It hits them hard when they are called oppressive because of their roots and the oppression that they have faced since their founding.
So first it was acquiescing on witnessing—if it’s going to make you feel uncomfortable, it’ll make me uncomfortable, so I just won’t do it. And they wanted you to feel comfortable coming to their services, so we get inventive lines of thought like:
- Well, God looks on the heart, not on the outside appearance. We’d rather you come as you are than to make you feel like you should dress up.
- Music? It’s just a tool. It’s a-moral so we can put good words to bad music and you can come to hear the beat.
- What? You don’t like hearing about the things you’re doing wrong to make you better? You’d rather hear how great a person you are? We can do that!
- Have more games, field trips, and outings and less lesson and teaching? Works for me!
We’ve created weak Christians—who have no passion for God but a desire to be entertained, and a group of leaders that wonders where their churches are disappearing to.
We have a shadow of Christianity—the form without the power. And we wonder why no one wants to join us in our Pursuit of God. What do we have to offer that they don’t already have or can’t find elsewhere?