When Being Relevant Becomes Irreverent

Posted: January 27, 2009 in Christianity
Tags: , ,

How far do we go as a church to be relevant? Do we go as far as Westwoods Community Church in Jackson, Michigan? This church uses Twitter during its Sunday service. During the sermon you will see people texting on their phones using Twitter, and the messages appearing on the big screen. So instead of listening to the Word of God, attenders are busy reading and posting messages to the screen. This was the idea of teaching pastor John Voelz, who is a self-proclaimed early adopter of technology. He even spent weeks teaching the members how to use Twitter. Is this truly considered building up of the body?

When a church is using time that is to be devoted to God’s Word, and uses it for meaningless comment time that is irreverent. It is crossing the line when you lessen the Gospel in order to be relevant. Voelz says it has helped to build community among the members, and people have become more involved. Great, I am all for community building and getting people involved. But if these people are as creative and innovative as they claim, come up with a different way to implement it. The sermon needs to be reserved for proclaiming the truth of God’s Word, not for social networking. As I read through the statement of beliefs of the church, I found what I was looking for quickly. 1 Corinthians 9:21-23  is often quoted be churches wanting to be relevant. It is easy to turn Paul being all things to all people into free reign to do anything. While Paul was all things to all people, he never compromised on the message of Christ.

Sunday service across this country has become a show to entertain the crowd. I also looked at the song list being used for worship at Westwoods. It includes The Who, Radiohead, Pat Benatar, Don Healy, George Harrison and more. This is not music for worship of God. It is music meant to entertain, and as they put it on their website, music to rock the house. It is not just Westwoods, it is happening across the country and I know of a church where it is happening in my town. Let’s get rid of all the junk from our services that are not honoring to God. I am all for being cutting edge and think we should always be looking for new ways to spread the Gospel. But we should never  do so by compromising the message. Change the method, but never change the Gospel.

  1. You’re right on, Jason. God’s Word is relevant in any age and sharper than any two-edged sword to anyone who will use it. As a preacher I have proclaimed it and trusted it to do what I could never do for 53 years. At 76, I am still a full time pastor and God is still changing lives by the power of His Word.
    A brother in Christ,

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