i was thinking this afternoon about my question last night –
has the church gone too far in trying to reach out to the culture around it?
there seems to be an abundance of conferences and events on making the church more relevant to the culture and many experts giving lectures on how we can impact our community better. i’ve yet to see leaders in the muslim, hindu and buddhist faiths spending money and time on being more relevant – and yet those are the three growing religions in the world.
of those people i know who follow one of those faiths, they say that they continue to follow the rules and traditions since their beginnings. i had a long conversation with someone who had converted to buddhism later in life and he said how much he appreciated the ancient traditions of praying throughout the day and actually felt like he was more connect with God than when he followed the christian traditions that he was raised in.
is there something that is appealing about the traditional ancient ways of expressing our faith in Jesus? in some places across north america, there is a emergence of a “new monasticism” – a form of living in community and following some of the ancient forms of worship.
it seems that in our current christian climate, our focus is on meeting our needs – “what time of church will serve me?”, “what can this place offer me?”. additionally, a growing number of people are part of church communities simply because they have a connection with the pastor or those in leadership, almost creating a christian celebrity mentality. i heard once from a friend who was organizing an event, that because of one of the local pastors would be participating, they’d be guaranteed to have a large response to this event.
its interesting how it seems that it is only within the christian faith, that our leaders are celebrities and we pay large amount of money to read something that they’ve written or watch a tv show because they’ve mentioned it in a sunday message.
have we gone too far?