James Nored wrote the following series a while back in which he raises some salient questions and provides his answers to them. In my opinion he does not provide answers to his questions that match the simplicity of the Bible.
“I recently toured a church in our fellowship that just redid their auditorium. They had an incredible set up. Three huge screens, incredible lighting, stadium seating. I immediately thought two things: 1) this must have cost a lot of money–we could never afford this; and 2) I would love to preach in this atmosphere, because it would be incredible. It would be experiential” James Nored
Wes McAdams does a fine job responding to the core of what was missing in his article Experience Driven Church.
- Why are Churches of Christ Shrinking? – Part 1: A Left-Brained Fellowship in a Right-Brained World
- Why are Churches of Christ Shrinking? – Part 2: Failure to Understand that it is an Increasingly Unchurched, Post-Christian World
- Why Churches of Christ Are Shrinking – Part 3: A Misplaced Identity and a Failure to Truly Believe in Grace
- Why Do Churches of Christ Have Hope and a Future? – Part 1: A Reawakening to Ancient Faith & Practices Such as Baptism & the Lord’s Supper
If I were to suggest some solutions to the growing challenge of reaching the lost in our present culture, it would include:
- When asked about the Christ, discuss “righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come”.
- In the manner of your life, let people see that you love your brethren.
- Do not be ashamed of your King.
- Be empowered by holy living.
- Get the seed out of the bag and start sowing!
Saying you want to be more like Christ is one thing, but it is a far more challenging course to actively strive to make your profession match your confession.
Two correlated subjects ran the social media gauntlet recently: Modesty1,2 & What is appropriate dating behavior3. Of interest to me is how certain responses seem to pit two sides of an issue as some sort of neverending conflict.
“Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman. But because of immoralities, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again lest Satan tempt you because of your lack of self-control. But this I say by way of concession, not of command.” 1 Corinthians 7:1-6 (NASB)
Paul’s exhortation and instructions are sound, and while it won’t make your worldly friends happy, they might think you a prude, antiquated or odd. Should that be any kind of surprise? Now clearly there is some context to what Paul is implying by the term “touch” but it is really that hard to realize that Holiness is worth the effort.