In an effort to attract more of the “Unchurched”, contemporary church leaders have been working to make Christianity more appealing to secular society. Praise & Worship has been replaced with “Top 40 tunes”. Our “Sunday Best” would not be out of place at the local nightclubs and our speech, behavior and recreations would not offend the most liberal of unbelievers. Gone are the days of “Hellfire and Brimstone” preaching, giving way to “Socially Relevant Teaching” and exhortations to Live Free in Christ! Is this, truly, the Mission of The Church?
In 1 Peter 2:9, Christians are reminded, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” And again in verse 11, “Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Then in James 4:4, we are taught; “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” Somehow, I can’t reconcile “Making Christianity appealing to [a pagan] society” with “friendship with the world means enmity against God”.
Yes, in Galatians 5:1, we are reminded that “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” but what is often overlooked is that it is freedom from slavery to sin, not freedom to practice, encourage or take lightly the wrongness of sin. What is often left out of most teachings today is the continuation of Galatians 5:13. “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” Christians have a responsibility to live lives that are an example of righteousness before unbelievers; to be a “royal priesthood, a peculiar people”.
How will the lost know that there is a difference between Christ Followers and World Followers if they see no difference in values, lifestyles, speech, dress, and love for people, but not for sin?