The Struggle for Cultural Relevance

For those that have been reading this blog for a while know how I feel about Cultural Relevance.

Heck…it is the reason we started this blog! (see our tag line)
I believe that in order for us to be effective we have to be relevant to the culture in which we live.

What we must understand is that being culturally relevant must not mean the watering down of the gospel. The word of God is relevant to every culture. It is not in need of change or revision.

According to an article by Ed Stetzer at Resurgence, “…what needs revisioning is our understanding and obedience to God’s word as we live out His mission in context.” He continues, “our churches need to be biblically faithful, culturally relevant, counter culture communities.”

Here are some exerpts of his thoughts from;

Biblically Faithful
Before anything else, the church and its ministry must be biblically faithful.
They should be known as people who love God’s Word and seek to live differently because of it.

Culturally Relevant
Churches that are biblically faithful to God’s mission will work to relate to people in culture.
That means that Christians should use language, dress, and live life in the “house” of culture, while living differently because they are in the family of God.

Counter Culture
Jesus said that we should be “in” the world but not “of” the world.
We must teach people to look similar to the world, but live differently.
Christians should be counter culture—in family life, values, finances, and every other aspect of their lives. They should reflect their culture while living in contrast to that culture.

I realize that there is, it seems, a never ending battle over whether relevance is…well…relevant. It seems some believe that if you are relevant to culture, you are biblically “soft”. I believe however, that church can be relevant to culture without the sacrificing of truth, or the dumbing down of scripture.

What we have to realize is that the most important thing is reaching people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. No matter the cost.

I think the Apostle Paul put it best, “To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” (1 Cor 9:22-23)


About Jimmy Eldridge

I am a husband, a father, a son, a brother and most of all, a follower of our most gracious savior Christ Jesus. Who are you following?

One thought on “The Struggle for Cultural Relevance

  1. Wow, Jimmy. Generally, hearing the word “relevance” sets off all kinds of alarms for me, but I have not one single problem with anything you’ve said here. This is a fine post, amen.

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