That's not relevant...

Not too long ago I got the opportunity to visit the church where one of my friends is a member. It's always interesting to go to a new church and remember what it's like to be a guest.

As I got out of my car, he met me in the parking lot. I had my ultra-thin NIV in hand (I try not to bring out my fat NASB around people who don't know me very well... it freaks them out), and he told me, "Oh, you won't need that."

Uh oh.

"If (emphasis mine) we talk about the Bible they'll put it on the screen."

This particular Sunday, the subject of the pastor's sermon was "Would Jesus Use MySpace?"

I should have guessed from our encounter in the parking lot.

Now, there's not a very good way to bring this kind of thing up with your friend - particularly when your friend is a newer believer who lives in a different city, and who is really excited about the new church he's going to because it "meets my needs."

So at lunch, I casually mentioned something about how different his church was from mine, and how fun it was for me to get to see where he was attending. "Different?" he said, "How?"


"Well, the church I go to talks about the Bible a lot. In fact, we believe that if this God is as great as we say He is, we probably ought to tell people what He says."

"Oh yeah," he replied. "Well, our church just really focuses on being culturally relevant."

That just kills me. "Would Jesus Use Myspace" is not cultural relevance. In fact, it's about as far away from being truly relevant as possible.

Somewhere along the way we've decided that "cultural relevance" means talking about "cultural things." It doesn't. Cultural relevance means taking the things that are timeless, and talking about them in a way that today's culture can understand, relate to, and apply.

The church needs to take a message that is relevant, and show a fallen culture how it applies to them. Instead, a lot of churches are using the platform of the church as a rant on cultural issues in the name of cultural relevance. As a result, they're prostituting the platform and using it to say things that aren't timeless, don't meet the real needs of the culture, and thus aren't important or relevant at all.