It has been my growing concern that many of our churches have created a sub-culture that is not built on the Word but on a comfortable lifestyle of yesteryear. Often it is simply a conservative pragmatism that gives a false sense of separation and safety from “the world”. In reality it is nothing more than a pop culture taken from a different decade. The past culture is no more spiritual than today’s culture—only irrelevant. Orthodox churches are losing relevance and don’t even realize it. They are also losing the ability to be salt and light. And what troubles me most is that we are losing the next generation and then turning around and blaming the young people for abandoning their parent’s faith. It is not the faith they are abandoning. Forms, traditions, and methods maybe, but not the faith—in fact I think they are more in tune with theology and what the Bible says.
Walking into many church buildings is like stepping back in time – it is an entry to another world. When children grow up in this environment they really struggle with communicating the gospel with the 21st century life. The separation they are taught is not biblical or theological separation, it is sectarian isolationism and it is crippling great commission work. My prayer is that we return to a biblical example of reaching this world the way Christ and the early church did – in the world but not of the world, current with our culture but not contaminated by it. Fruit is what God wants, it is what glorifies Him, it is what proves us to be disciples, and it is what brings joy into the church. It is possible to be both biblical and relevant. Let’s be salt and light in 2012!