Wow so after the local news, Nightline comes on with that creepy Martin Bashir guy; but instead of shadowing Michael Jackson he’s interviewing Rick Warren and discussing the “Purpose Driven Outbreak.” It seems Nightline is a bit behind the times on this I suppose but interestingly enough, I was surprised at how candid they allowed Warren to discuss faith and doctrine on national television.
The controversy stemmed from the case that in spite of it’s widely translated message and philosophy that many churches seem to be adopting, there are some congregants that are resisting this form of ‘doctrine’ and passing it off as merely Church Pop-psychology. Now, I didn’t get the chance to TiVo this and go back and confirm my memory, but I recall them doing a great deal of justice and giving Warren the chance of setting up the background of the Purpose Driven philosophy and how he didn’t really ‘come up with it’ but certainly did make it famous. He even touched on the 5 ingredients of the Purpose Driven dealio.
Then they showcased a church that apparently is losing ‘older’ members because ‘they aren’t even blending hymns into their modern songs, in fact they don’t even regularly do hymns much anymore.’ Interviews were held by the disgruntled gentlemen who left because of the change in preaching and singing style as well as the pastor. They even interviewed Rick Warren on it and I found it poignant.
Warren made comments along the lines that, you can certainly be Biblical and not relevant in today’s culture. You can even be relevant and not at all Biblical. It is his desire to do both. When questioned over whether churches split over his book and ideas and what that meant: Of course it saddens me to know that people have left or experienced pain over this teaching, but the Church is going to have to decide whether they will make a name for them or a name for Jesus Christ.
Great stuff! What a fine line that is. Being relevant AND Biblical at the same time. We walk that line every week at our church. Trying to keep in mind what it’s like for a first time visitor to River and what they’re thinking/feeling/seeing and also not setting aside who we are and what we’re all about: which is celebrating Jesus, growing closer to likeness of God, and fellowshipping with others who desire the same thing. Let’s face it, that’s sometimes unsettling to an unbeliever or a visitor. So it is a delicate balance. I suppose I think the Church has some ground to catch up on in regards to being relevant. I think all too often we rely on the Biblical aspect of things which people already come to expect when they come to church.
But our culture isn’t what it was when my Gramps was going to church in his 20s. You have students who educate themselves with degrees from colleges in Philosophy, Religious Studies, Psychology and such that aren’t dumb and may not even believe in a god much less God. They’ve been hammered by religion from parents who say one thing and live out drastically different lives than what they speak. You have, especially in the South, this prevalent passing on of Church Tradition even it’s an Easter/Christmas deal and is nothing other than a duty or obligation to fulfill. I don’t think that the Billy Graham style of preaching cuts it anymore. I think there’s a shift that we as a church must make to stay current with the ebb and tide of culture. I believe we need to be out in front of culture. Out in front of the changes leading culture to the next stages and discussions. The teachings of Christ aren’t confined to one style of preaching or worship. It transcends culture and classes. Its not confined to particular language or ethnic group. I think its important not to forget those things when all of a sudden ‘style’ doesn’t match up with tradition. It’s our call to GO and that’s a movement not a station. I think relevance plays a big part in our authenticity of what we say we believe.
I just pray I’m this ballsy when I’m 80 years old and not complaining because the Pipe Organ is back ‘in’ and they’ve gotten rid of the drums and electric guitars!
His lil eyeballs and furrowed brow just creeps me out!