A Question I Was Asked:

Should the Church Move With the Times?

The Question:

I read this comment. What do you think of it? Here it is:

"The church has to move with the times, or die painfully over a long period."

What do you think? The Church represents great religious truths about Jesus and the Gospel, but should it change to be more fashionable or more 21st century-relevant?

UK Apologetics Reply:

This is a typical comment coming from those modern liberals who have no understanding of what the Church is, or what it represents. People who would say things like this don't even understand what they mean by "church," indeed, frequently I find that they don't know what 'religion' is and could not properly define it. If they could properly define religion, they would know that religion must include things like Marxism and Darwinism; possibly the newest religion on the block is 'global warming theory.' Frankly all of these things are worshipped by people. Regarding the Church, modern liberal society's vague idea is that 'Church' represents some outmoded and pathetically antiquarian religious institution which represents a view which rejects all science, reason and common sense. They believe (completely falsely) that it is seriously ignorant and anti-intellectualist. In short, they believe that it is an anachronism in this 21st century and is only worthy of scorn. However, since such people also know that Christianity continues to have many thousands of adherents, they are often careful with their words but - without doubt - they believe that this strange religious body should start to reflect modern, liberal values. But these people can only conceive of the Church as a humanly-organised institution. In fact, here in the UK, when secular commentators consider "the church," they usually only consider the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church and do not go beyond that.

Biblical Christians, however, know that the Church is not an institution at all, it is a spiritual body, indeed it is the body of Christ. it is those people who have been called out of this, and out of every other society of the last two thousand years, in order to teach the message and uphold the standards of the Church's founder, Jesus Christ. It is that message and those standards which mean everything, therefore the idea of changing the message or altering the moral standards in order to be more "socially-relevant in the 21st century" is an absolute nonsense. To do so would mean ceasing to be 'Church.' Most modern secularists, however, genuinely don't seem to understand this point.

Only liberal Christians (who, frankly, are often not Christians at all) would think such a thing to be a good idea. So if somebody should say to me, "The church has to move with the times, or die painfully over a long period," I would immediately inform them that that statement only serves to confirm that they do not even understand what the Church is. Actually it is not necessary for the Church to "move with the times" at all since it carries a message which is not only timeless but relevant for all societies and cultures. If it should not move with the times, does that mean that it will "die painfully over a long period"? Absolutely not. Again, the problem here is that such trivial and flimsy secularist commentators don't even know what the Church is!

The Church cannot die until the divinely-appointed time which is known in Heaven but not known on earth! Your average secular, permissive and amoral liberal-thinker (the media is full of them, to say nothing of the army of modern leftist politicians) cannot understand these things because - these days - atheism is assumed everywhere. These people will look at dwindling church congregations and say, 'Ah ah - The church is dying!' - because being spiritually-blind, they can only understand the church on a physical/institutional level.

So I would say that the comment which you read, which is typically amoral leftist secular stuff, should be rejected because it is based on abject ignorance of what the Church is.
Robin A. Brace, February 20th, 2011.