Monday, November 21, 2005

What is the business of God's church?

Some great quotes from the latest issue of Modern Reformation:
The world will never consider Christ crucified relevant. The unchurched will never tell us that they want to hear the message of the cross. This is why the church doesn't ask people what they want to hear. The church preaches what people need to hear.

The unchurch offers the unchurched lots of things to do. The typical unchurch is a very busy place. Why? This is what the unchurched expect. The unchurched always expect less than God gives. The unchurched expect the church to be like any other volunteer organization. The church has something better.

The church isn't interested in giving sinners something to do. The church is interested in giving sinners the things God has done for them. The church isn't interested in keeping Christians busy. God has given our families, neighbors, and work to do that. The church is where God does his work.

~Todd Wilken "The Promise-Driven Church"

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God" 1 Cor 1:18

Another quote(saying the same thing):

"We know what sinners want to hear. We want to hear about ourselves. We want to hear that God loves us just as we are. We want to hear how we can improve our lives and ourselves. We want to hear that we can do it--with a little help from Jesus. This is why the unchurch preaches so much about the Christian and so little about the Christ."~ Wilken

As for a definition of terms, the "unchurch" is the church that is built on what the people want out of a church rather than God's design.

Sorry for the length of the quote. I seriously didn't post the entire article.


Anonymous said...

hmmm, just to ponder...Christ crucified seems to be a naturally irrelevant for the unchurched. For untld numbers suffered the same fate in Roman law However, Christ there's something that never happened before or since.

rich said...

Paul said that he resolved to know nothing but Christ crucified. This is the stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles. However, it is the crux of our faith. It is the great paradox, the God-man, the immortal dies--God stoops low to save his people. After that comes glory, and only after that.

You are right that Christ crucified seems naturally irrelevant. We esteemed him stricken by God and afflicted. But he was wounded for our sins, and by his stripes we are healed. In his death, Christ accomplished our redemption. Natural people want the glorious stuff, and they want the stuff they can do. Spiritual people know that their life is dependent on the foolishness and humility of the cross. This is the message of the Bible, and believing comes by hearing. Let us make sure that the message being preached is the true message, and God's message, no matter how unglorious it may seem to those who are not born of the Spirit.

P.S.- Thanks for posting, whoever you are. Sorry I didn't get to your comment before now.

rich said...

I don't want to overstate anything--the resurrection was very important--Paul says that our justification was dependent upon it. Our glorification and sanctification also clearly are. Also, in it, God manifested to the world what he had proclaimed at his baptism, "This is my Son, with whom I am well-pleased." Why was he well-pleased, though? It is because of the turning point of all of history: Christ's death.

rich said...

So anyway, you are right that we should emphasize the resurrection, where he was declared to be the Son of God with power. However, an even bigger scriptural emphasis (even in and especially in evangelistic endeavors) is that of the cross.