Thursday, February 03, 2011

The problem with culture

So Saturday seemed to be spent grappling with the problems of culture. More specifically where the church sits within modern culture and how the church speaks into modern culture. Acknowledging that we now live within post-Christendom the latter is increasingly hard to do. The church is no longer an influence on many peoples life. As a minister I suppose that I should grieve for that day but to be honest I don't. In fact waking up to that fact I believe can liberate the church or more importantly set faith free.

This is not an issue of theology of ecclesiology but one of faith. We as Christians I believe are charged with making disciples. Encouraging others to share a journey that is walked with Jesus. Studying his life trying to understand how God wants us to live alongside one another. Understanding that God wants to have a relationship with us.

So much of what we do in the church has nothing to do with this, yes some of the other stuff we do is important and I guess the statement I have made above is not all encompassing but it is a starting point it gets us to the heart of what matters.

Sadly, the church seems to have exalted itself above Christ, it has fallen into the trap of thinking that it is the church that is important, not the faith it gathers to proclaim. If we can get back to sharing faith and not maintaining institution, if church can once again be the place where we give praise and thanks to God, feel encouraged and equipped and challenged as to how we should serve and share our faith, then surely we will then be more authentic towards our own faith and be better placed to share it in the culture that we all are, after all, part of. Or as Paul puts it:

It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

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