In the pursuit of being up to date and current, many have overlooked the fact that some things really never change. As Christians, we have an insatiable desire to be relevant in the community and appear as "normal" to our neighbours.
This attempt at fitting in causes some to compromise their values, principles, and conscience, trying to garner the favour of a lost and dying world. Somehow we think the gospel will be more readily accepted if we present it cloaked in the modern influence of culture and fashion. Perhaps we even go so far as to change the terminology and phrasing we use to sound more cool or in touch with our society.
While being unnecessarily dated is not an advantage either, and can be a hindrance, our hope for souls to be won should not rest in our wisdom, looks, talents, or abilities; but simply in the gospel of Jesus Christ. For as the scriptures say; "God has chosen the foolishness of preaching the gospel to save..."
Now many today have boiled to gospel down to a simple "God loves you" message that is not the least bit offensive. The problem is that it is also very ineffective. You see, while it is true that God loves us, His love is tempered by His justice and righteousness. He cannot just overlook sin and rebellion, His just nature demands a penalty for sin.
In order for the good news to really become good news, the whole truth must be given; the fact that we have broken the eternal laws of God, and stand in the path of His impending wrath and judgement. Only after we see our sinful condition and our lost state, will the fact that Jesus paid the price sound good to us. As the song says;
How sweet the name of Jesus sounds
To a believers ear;
It soothes his sorrow, heals his wounds,
And drives away his fears.
Now, another aspect of being relevant is the thought that we must be current on the popular culture and the pulse of society.
However, the more I look at the world situation and see history unfolding around us, the more I realize that God's word is the central theme guiding the course of this world. If we want to be truly relevant, we will immerse ourselves in the written word of God, and allow His divine nature to saturate our entire being, making us vessels capable of participating in the greatest adventure of history, the revealing of our Saviour and Lord to a lost and dying world.
Now, go and be relevant!