The Church and Christians in America constantly talk about being relevant to unbelievers. There is even a Christian magazine with this title. I have read what Paul says about being ‘all things to all men’ in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. This is one of the theme verses used when Christians are challenged to be relevant.
My question is what does it mean to be relevant? Does it mean changing the gospel to what the people want to hear in order to be accepted? My heart breaks as I recently read about a prominent pastor who was the leader of a very large church in American saying we need to endorse same-sex marriage because if we don’t it gives the wrong message of the love of God. Really? Unfortunately, this view is growing.
Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. Daniel 12:3
Do we change the gospel to make people accept it or do people need to change to accept the gospel? I think what Paul is saying about being ‘all things to all men’ is to clearly speak in the language of your audience who Jesus is and what He stands for. I am afraid we have traded the standard of righteousness for the desire to be relevant.
…There is no one righteous, not even one;… Romans 3:10
This verse is simply not popular and never will be. It is not designed to make to the New York Times Bestseller List. It is designed to convict us of our sin and to turn our hearts to God.
We can say it nicely, gently, compassionately, and in a voice that shows concern. But it needs to be said, “God’s standards are simply different than ours and in the end it is His standards that we will be measured by. It is not the Supreme Court or popular opinion or prevailing wisdom you will be judged by.”
Is this too harsh? Is this too narrow minded? It this old-fashioned? Maybe. Someone taking a stand and staying there are absolutes that are bigger than us is considered dumb and slow. But we need to be very careful in our country we don’t trade the standards of God for the need to be approved. If we do, it will doom us and everyone that believes it.
What do you think? How do we be righteous and relevant?
You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16