Over the last week I have learned of three disturbing trends, well, disturbing to me anyway. The first was a report which stated that 70% of young people are leaving the Church once they are through high school. It was then stated that only 50% of them return some years later. I’m not sure where they get these figures, but if true, it is a cause for concern.
What is even more disturbing is the cause given for their departure. It is said that leaders and people within the Church have tried to make it more “relevant” which is their attempt at making the Church “cool” and acceptable.
Sadly what this means is that the truth is minimized, the Gospel is watered down and the true message of the Church is compromised. In an attempt to make it more palatable, it has become inedible – and no good to anyone!
The second disturbing item was that I learned there is an element within the Church that considers swearing and cursing to be quite acceptable. Maybe this also is an effort to be “relevant’ and accepted. What it does in reality is just blur the lines even more between those who profess to be Christian and those who do not.
I am not sure how one can choose to ignore Jesus words, “…but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him unclean.” and Paul when he says, “…rid yourself…(of) filthy language from your lips.” James also observed, “Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.”
Even if there is an argument about it not being a sin, it certainly does nothing for your Christian credibility or your testimony as a Christ-follower. Strangely enough even non-Christians are shocked and surprised at such behavior.
Also in the news last week was that the Presbyterian Church in America has chosen not to include the song “In Christ alone” in their new hymnal. The reason given is that the words ‘wrath of God” go against their concept of a God of love. It seems that they did not consider the complete line which indicates that because God is a God of love he sacrificed his son to that “the wrath of God was satisfied.” If we want a God who is just then there has to be justice.
None of us is without sin so this is not a “finger pointing” exercise but we must ask, whether we are compromising the message of the Church. Are we living a life which has fewer and fewer distinguishing Christian marks? If we choose to ignore Scripture and doctrine because it is not acceptable and not politically correct, then how can we expect anything other than a weak, insipid and powerless Church?