Losing Our Way
 
Losing Our Way
Written By Rev. Thorin Anderson   |   08.10.09
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Someone has defined insanity as continuing to use the same methods yet expecting different results. Whether this qualifies as a good definition of insanity or not, someone else will have to determine, but it is a good definition of foolishness. We are witnessing the wholesale collapse of corporations, financial institutions, and many foundational elements of our culture, and that collapse did not occur in a vacuum. It is the natural consequence of the decline in the acceptance of Christian principles and mores in America. After attacking the family, morality, Truth, integrity and character for 50 years, it is no surprise that liberalism has produced failing families, schools, businesses, and communities.

What is especially disconcerting, however, is that multitudes of churches have determined that success in ministry will only come by following the culture! If anyone should be able to see through the flim-flam of contemporary culture, it ought to be the churches of Jesus Christ! Yet, rather than maintaining a healthy distance from the hedonism and the glitz of our culture, many churches have embraced it. From the “Madison Avenue” advertising techniques to the music of rebellion, church methodology is often virtually indistinguishable from the world. Why would we want to use methods that are so clearly leading to the disintegration and collapse of culture in order to reach the world for Christ? Do we not understand that in our essence as the church we are different? Do we not see that it is our task to RESCUE the world from itself, not aid and abet its descent into self-destruction? Why should we think we will do any good service to the world if we, so-to-speak, give more drink to the drunkard? Is it not true that Christ is at war with the world? James, in his epistle, states in no uncertain terms that “friendship with the world is enmity with God. He who would be the friend of the world is the enemy of God.” Is it not essential that the church be different if it would have an impact on the world? It seems more than apparent to me that when an individual sincerely desires to be released from the destructive power of the world and sin that he will seek out a church that is itself different from the world. Those who are looking for a church that merely makes them comfortable are not at that moment likely candidates for the life-changing power of the true Gospel.

I see no other course for any church that would follow in the steps of Jesus Christ but to maintain a distinction from the world. Christ warned that conformity to Him would produce animosity with the world. How can we entertain for a moment the idea that things have somehow changed and that the world is now Christ’s friend, or that their methods are His? If the world really loved Christ, it would certainly not need us to evangelize it and the Gospel would be popular.

The churches who claim the challenge of evangelism as their own are long overdue to quit the self-deception and accept the mantle of outcast and opposition. No other course of action will bring the approval of our Lord and Master or produce the transformation of lives witnessed in the New Testament as men encountered Jesus Christ personally.

As we ponder whether we can make the Gospel palatable to the world, let us understand one thing. Do we really think we can do better than Christ Himself and His Apostles? Are we to believe that they were persecuted and killed because they proclaimed a “seeker friendly” message? We can either please Christ or we can please the world, but not both. I am afraid that much of the methodology of contemporary churches indicates what their choice has been.

It is not a good sign.

Rev. Thorin Anderson
Rev. Thorin Anderson is a member of the Advisory Council to Illinois Family Institute and the former pastor of Parkwood Baptist Church on the south side of Chicago. Pastor Anderson...
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