We are exposed on every side to cultural pressures. Between the two temptations of escapism and conformism, the latter is more common—that is, accommodation to the prevailing culture. We are exposed to cultural pressures incompatible with the Lordship of Jesus Christ, which, nevertheless, are demanding from us a capitulation that we are not prepared to give.
And if we do capitulate to the pressures of society around us, then we compromise our integrity, we blunt our testimony, and we suffocate our spiritual life.
What are the pressures of our culture to which we are forbidden to conform? What are the contemporary trends which threaten to envelop and engulf the church and against which we need to be on guard? I have selected three. I’m sure there are many more we could discuss, but these three are very important.
First there is the challenge of pluralism: the church is called to be a community of truth.
Second there is the challenge of materialism: the church is called to be a community of pilgrimage.
Third there is the challenge of moral relativism: the church is called to be a community of righteousness.
Excerpt from the sermon notes of John Stott. The Three Challenges to the Contemporary Church, Page 11-15
Let me add just a few more lines from Ephesians chapter 6:
Stand your Ground
Stand and be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might
Stand suited in the whole armor of God
Stand, having fastened on the belt of truth
Stand, having put on the breastplate of righteousness
Stand, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace, as shoes for your feet,
Stand, in all circumstances take up the shield of faith
Stand, wearing the helmet of salvation
Stand, holding the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God
Stand, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication
Stand, keeping alert with all perseverance
I just read a Focus on the Family article about why many kids raised Christian leave the church when they reach adulthood. One of the main reasons was that the church was “too relevant.” Meaning, from their perspective, it didn’t look any different from the world. I found that very interesting as a contrast to the attempt of many churches to be more “seeker friendly” in order to win outsiders. I’ve always been of the mind that Jesus meets people where they are, but He doesn’t change who He is in order to do so. That’s something to consider as we seek to follow His leading. Good post!
Great analysis, “Jesus meets us right where they are…” I agree with your thoughts… sometimes in an effort to reach some, we kinda water it down to reach them, but as you pointed out, “Jesus doesn’t change who he is”… so we shouldn’t either.
thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts, appreciated much!
Reblogged this on Out of a Pure Heart Ministries.
I am honored… thank you my sister… many blessings on you!