Being relevant has become a sacred cow for many Christians. While Christ has given us freedom, this doesn't give us permission to rewrite the Bible.
Faith,  Practicing Radical Faith

When Christians Choose Being Relevant Over Being Holy

When I first started RadicalChristianWoman.com (back when it was SuperRadChristianWriterChick), I wanted to create an online space for people who needed to go deeper.

Personally, I needed to challenge all the woes I saw occurring in the church.

I saw a lot of fakeness in the church and the people of God.

I tried to find something online that addressed the things I was seeing, but I couldn’t.

Every other Christian blog seemed too surface-y for me. And those that weren’t, were those weird blogs with Myspace music playing and red font.

I needed someone who wasn’t afraid to be relevant AND tackle the hard issues.

Today, RadicalChristianWoman.com strives to be that blog I was looking for. I want to be somewhat on-trend while maintaining a standard of holiness our faith deserves.

This means I follow the scriptures first and culture second.

Sadly, this is a mindset that quickly fading in our current church climate.

Many times we find that Christians are choosing to be relevant over being holy. In modern times, being relevant means that you know what’s trending and aligning yourself with the culture…but let’s look at the true meaning.

Relevant Doesn’t Mean Complacent to Sin

Being relevant has become a sacred cow for many Christians.

We don’t want to exclude anyone, right?

For years we’ve been told we shouldn’t try to “clean the fish” before we’ve hooked them.

I get that.

Let sinners come unhindered to the church.

But while we should always welcome a sinful person into our midst, we don’t have to welcome the sin.

Allowing people to “come as they are” needs to have its limits or else the church ceases to function as a soul-hospital for the soul-sick.

You can walk into a hospital bleeding all over the place, but you better believe the nurses and doctors are going to start staunching the flow of blood real quick.

As the Body of Christ, we have to stop being scared to call sin for what it is. Even if that means hurting someone’s feelings.

Being relevant doesn’t mean sin has become acceptable.

Relevant Doesn’t Mean Redefining Rules

While Christ has given us freedom, this doesn’t give us permission to rewrite the Bible.

While everything is permissible, not everything is beneficial.

Bending the rules shouldn’t be the norm.

But it is.

The culture says women and men are the same and equal. The Bible says women and men are different but equal. The church has to uphold what scriptures say about what a woman’s role is…despite any backlash from our overly feminized Christian culture.

The culture says homosexuality isn’t a choice and is an acceptable expression of love. The Bible disagrees. Christians need to cease twisting scriptures to fit their ‘relevant’ agendas in order to “win people to Christ.”

Divorce is acceptable in and out of the church. But God says he hates divorce. Within reason, the people of God need to stop making amends for other Christians seeking the easy path out of a marriage gone sour.

We don’t get to pick and choose which scriptures we obey.

The world around us changes constantly, but our God (and his opinions) do not.

Relevant Doesn’t Mean Trendy

Bright lights and the best-of-the-best singers front and center. That’s the mantra of most contemporary churches.

Beautiful lyrics. Catchy tunes. Devoid of any spiritual substance. Man-centered gospels. The list goes on and on.

We are the epitome of the lukewarm church of Revelations, thinking we are beautifully clothed with righteousness but really we are naked and covered with shame.

It all looks good on the surface, but don’t dig too deep because it’s like a chocolate Easter bunny…empty of any good and lasting fruit.

The intentions are there. But all too often good intentions get in the way of God’s intentions.

We ask God to bless our efforts instead of asking the Holy Spirit to show us where our efforts should go.

Churches, Christian bloggers (even me), Christian music artists and laymen can get so caught up in making sure our lives look spotless that we forget about the one that MADE us spotless.

We forget that Jesus didn’t need a DSLR camera, a fully-outfitted youth ministry room, a 5-point sermon with tweetable quotes or a “Jesus > Coffee” T-shirt (okay…I totally need one of those!).

He just needed time away from everyone to commune with the Father.

Then, maybe a boat or a good hill.

We don’t need all the fancy stuff. And when we focus on it, we weigh down the gospel with armor it doesn’t need. Think about David when Saul tried to put all the stuff on him before going out before Goliath. Sometimes that “relevant” stuff just keeps us from doing the will of God.

Let’s Redefine Relevancy

Being culturally relevant DOES have a place in our lives.

But being holy needs to be the cornerstone of where we achieve our relevancy.

We need to revisit what it means to be culturally relevant.

Relevant is defined as appropriate to the current time. In a world that gets crazier by the minute, what could possibly be MORE relevant than Jesus?

Does it really mean to have the best sound-system? A $500 VBS curriculum? Know all the lingo that impresses the youth group? Or does it mean doing the will of the Father? Does it mean being holy when everyone else is not. In the most simple terms, holiness is being set apart for God’s will. The Lord’s purpose for us is telling others how to satisfy their most basic need which is being reconciled with the Maker of the Universe.

By sharing the simple message of the gospel we can change lives. Sharing Jesus and living holy lives makes us relevant to a lost and dying world.

Make Holiness Your Favorite

Remember in the movie “Elf” when Will Ferrel says, “I just like to smile. Smiling’s my favorite.”

I want to replace “smiling” with “holiness.”

Make holiness your favorite.

Even if you think you’ve gotten a grasp on holiness over cultural relevancy, revisit it.

Often times we don’t realize that “culture” has snuck in the back door and it’s been called by another name.

Like when you start replacing “hip and trendy” things with “holy-looking things” like head covering (which I fully support doing, BTW). In certain circles, “hip and trendy” might mean you wear a head cover, never wear makeup and do a family Bible time each morning.

We are never too mature in Jesus to have achieved holiness completely.

Paul said it perfectly in his letter to the Philippians:

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Being relevant has become a sacred cow for many Christians. While Christ has given us freedom, this doesn't give us permission to rewrite the Bible.

One Comment

  • Cassandra

    Oh my I thank you for your straight forward tell it like it is Observation. I’ve been struggling with this very thing and I’m quite fed up. I’ve been watching over the years and a lot of the ministers and preachers bishops and so on so forth have created a mockery out of the whole Christian religion. This whole thing about come as you are were people come and be disrespectful in how they dress never covering anything let alone their head. Lines circulating down the middle of the aisles and the baskets Circling around to the people that didn’t stand up to give. Preachers and ministers asking for donations to build them a house or buy them a new car in God’s name and threatening them if they didn’t that they could not be a member or they couldn’t be a part of the church. I could go on and on my heart hurts for the people that are being miss lead

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