Slowly Changing The Church
We take caution not to change things in church or its worship service. We know that God does not change (Malachi 3:6). We know that the word of the Lord will abide forever (Isaiah 40:8). There are some things that should never change, yet they do all the time.
Everything we do in life transforms and changes the way we do things. I remember that once, I had to sit in the hallway to talk on the telephone, because that is where the telephone was plugged into the wall. Now we carry our phones around with us and use wireless handsets and talk on the phone while doing our chores around the house.
I am sure that many of us remember when there were only three or four channels that we could get on our TV sets. Remember when most TV's were black and white? Now we have TV's, movies, and concerts streamed onto any electronic device, and we can watch them whenever we want and not be at the mercy of the broadcast station.
There is so much of our world that has changed that only a few of the younger folk have no idea what it means to see change. My young grand-kids can operate any electronic device in their home, and I am still trying to figure out how to use my cellphone. I am sure many of us feel this way.
Now, as much as we want to keep change out of the church, we have to face the reality that things have changed a great deal. Our challenge is to not let these changes hurt our souls. In many congregations it is actually doing that because of the changes that have already taken place, and the changes that certain "change-agents" want to take place are being forced upon the rest of the groups.
Some Christians who are trying to remain faithful are seeing some of the changes that have hurt the church in recent years. I remember the days when members of the church of Christ had a reputation for knowing their bibles better than anyone else from any other religious group. We cannot say that anymore. Bible illiteracy is so common that people are not even embarrassed that they do not know their bibles anymore.
We know that our culture and society has a definite impact upon the church. Our world is entertainment driven and motivated by greed. It is not unusual anymore that this does not cause church leadership to seek ways to please or entertain the crowds. They are almost forced to do this entertainment because they feel they will lose members or young people if they do not change.
Remember that the preaching of the gospel was all we needed to bring people to the Lord? Now, most of our members believe that we cannot attract anyone by pure gospel preaching. We must offer incentives of food, frolic, and fun to bring people in.
The changes that have taken place have been so subtle that we have not seen it happen. About the only people who recognize the changes are those who left the church and returned some time later. What they find is much different from what they left.
We must find the one way once again. We must look to ourselves and our brethren and see if we have not changed. It is time for self-evaluation (2 Corinthians 13:5). We must get back to the Bible ways.
By Carey Scott
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