A Conversation on Relevance
As I continue to study this conflict over the contemporary or emerging church, I am astounded at some of the arguments. I ran across this statement today attempting to explain many evangelicals’ problem with the emerging church. “The gospel message should not be made relevant.” I’m not sure how many evangelicals would agree with that statement, but I have to ask, what do we do with the gospel or the whole Bible if we don’t make it relevant to our lives?
The definition of relevant is, “having a bearing on or connection with the matter at hand.” The gospel must be relevant to make any difference in us or the world. Now if the complaint is about making the gospel relevant by changing it to make it more “acceptable,” I would agree with the argument. But let’s be careful where we point fingers on that issue.
First of all, we should not label everyone who talks about making the Bible relevant to today’s culture as heretics who want to re-write the Bible. Secondly, a long, hard look into the traditional churches of America will reveal much compromise of the Word to make it “relevant” to their congregants. The Word will never change, but the words and methods we use to relate it to others will always change. We must accept that for the church to be the light in a dark world.