"Relevance" is relative to a fixed Point, not our aesthetics
Reverend Donovan A. Coley, Sr. for ReSermon.com | Donovan@TheRescueMission.net
The following is excerpted and edited from a sermon series, “Living Right In a World Gone Wrong: Relevance” by Rev. Donovan Coley, CEO of the Fort Wayne Rescue Mission in Fort Wayne, Indiana. (www.TheRescueMission.net). Rev. Coley delivered this sermon on January 17, 2016 at Pathway Community Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana. To see or hear Rev. Coley’s sermon in its entirety, click here. For more information about Clinton, visit http://www.therescuemission.net/about-us/staff/donovan-coley.
If you search online for “church and relevance and Bible” you will find a number of voices contending that the church has lost its relevance to the culture. In one sense, I agree with this diagnosis. Much of the contemporary corporate church of Jesus Christ in the United States is irrelevant and for reasons that I’ll get into shortly.
Sadly, however, their prescription to fix this problem is to tweak God’s revelation to fit the whims of the culture. This interpretation of Christianity argues that when the Bible begins to comport with modern notions of sexuality, marriage, abortion on demand, and a host of other fashionable perspectives, the church will supposedly enjoy a renewed position of cultural “relevance.”
Their prescription for “relevance” is to bend God’s glory to man’s whim when, in fact, God has always and will remain always relevant to man, and on God’s terms, not man’s.
In Matthew 5 Jesus gives the blueprint for what it means to be authentically “relevant” to our culture.
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled by men.”
Living right in a world gone wrong assumes a devaluation of the principles and practices that we once held as fundamental." -- Jesus Christ, recorded in the gospel of Matthew.
The historicity of the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is fundamental and foundational to what it means to be a Christian. These truths are the basis of salvation and that is fundamental to what it means to be a Christian, and if you add or remove from that logic flow, you injure the relevance of Christ to the pagan, and you do not help the pagan’s relevance to Christ. Tweaking these doctrines only results in irrelevance, not more relevance.
By English: Cpl Erik Villagran [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons