Barnabas Network International | Online Resources for Churches


Is The Church Out Of Step?    


In a recent TV interview that I saw, the interviewer asked the question, "Is the church out of step with the world?"   My answer to that question is a strong "I hope so! And God help us if it's not out of step!" The Church should be out of step with the world. It marches to the beat of a different drummer.  


The very essence of what the Church is meant to be means that its value lies in it being very different from the world in which it is located. It is that fundamental difference which means that the Church can offer a viable alternative to what is offered by the world.  


Now please don't miss my point here. I don't mean that the Church should be different by being irrelevant to the needs of society. Nor do I mean different by being archaic and living in some kind of pre 1950's time warp in its dress, music and language. The Church should be relevant, contemporary but unmistakably different.  


The Church is meant to be different in the same way that salt is different from the food which it flavours. It's that very difference which gives salt its value. The Church is meant to be different in the same way that light is different from darkness......that truth is different from falsehood....that life is different from death.   For the Church to try and make itself like the world and to "get in step" with the world is to surrender its unique and irreplaceable reason for existing. Once the salt has lost its difference or its flavour, it is useless.  


In a world that is like the "Titanic" - mortally wounded and sinking - the Church is meant to provide a positive, viable and life-saving alternative to a world that has run out of answers to the desperate brokenness of the human condition. The Christian Church is meant to be an alternative community that embraces the radical values of a different King and kingdom - the Kingdom of the living God.  


Is the Church out of step with the world? Oh, I hope so!    

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