Christianity was supposed to be about becoming like Jesus. We went in the wrong direction.
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Church - Traditional or Contemporary


Many churches today offer both a contemporary service as well as a traditional one. This may be an attempt to satisfy the older parishioners who find the contemporary service to be too wild and the younger parishioners who find the traditional service too stodgy.

Trying to find a marketing solution to an apparent problem in Christianity may not be a complete answer. If young people find little of value in a traditional service, recasting Christianity in an entertainment mold may not be the best answer.

Both groups may be holding on to an environment that makes them feel good. One might ask, “What is wrong with feeling good?”. However, one should ask what Christianity was supposed to be about. The Christian is supposed to have his character improved by walking by the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23), reject worldly conformance (Rom 12:2), give up selfishness (2 Cor 5:15), and show love to other Christians (Eph 4:2).

The purpose of Christianity is to become more like Christ. Pastors are supposed to help (Eph 4:11-13). Facing how far short we all fall from the measurement standard of Jesus is not pleasurable. However, if we are to walk in truth, we should consider that “feeling good” may not be a first priority for us.

If we have come to select a church environment that makes us feel comfortable, we should ask ourselves if it is at the expense of growing in Christ-likeness. If we are not being challenged to grow in Christ, we can ask ourselves if we have been seduced to accept a consumer appeal to a comfortable Christian inertness.

I taught a bible study for juvenile delinquents for several years. I was often asked what church they should go to. I wanted to weep because I said that almost any church you go to will warehouse you in a youth group where you will go bowling and have pizza. You might ask what that has to do with Jesus or the bible and that would be a good question. I told them that they would need someone who could take a long term personal interest in them and help them inventory themselves to see what they were lacking and be able to help them learn how to grow in Christ. Originally Christianity was about Christians providing this sort of encouragement and exhortation to each other.

My advice to Christians today who seek to live a Christian life growing in the Lord is the same that I gave those kids years ago, you have to take the initiative yourself. We know in the future that Jews will be sought after because it will be known that Jesus (then reigning on earth in his kingdom) will be known of through the Jews (Zec 8:23). Today a similar opportunity exists if a person can observe someone who clearly shows the light and love of Jesus in his life, to be asked if they can help one to learn and grow.

In our consumer society few (even Christians) seek that which might be uncomfortable. To question a tradition one has relied on for years can be unsettling. To forgo the excitement of a stimulating church service can be difficult. One can have been assured that what they are doing is “right”, complete, or sufficient. However, if one asks oneself if they have obtained Christ-likeness, how many of us could answer, Yes.

The Christian should know that he will one day stand before Jesus (Rom 14:12). At that time we may come to wish that we undertook some degree of discomfort so that we would have grown more in Christ.



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