The Relevance of Christianity

There are some who claim that “Christianity needs to change” and that biblical teachings are “outdated and irrelevant.” However, neither of these claims are correct. It is not Christianity that needs to change; rather, sinful, unbelieving hearts are what need to change by the regenerating and transforming power of the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, if people actually believed the dire predicament of the human condition and the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, and truly put into practice the teachings of Jesus (without “tweaking” them according to their own preferences), there is nothing more practical and relevant than Christianity.

Our world is ravaged by selfishness, pride, disrespect, xenophobia, greed, deception, slander, hatred, violence, immorality, and the like. All of this is a result of original sin.

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned. ~ Romans 5:12

This corrupting and destructive power of sin can be likened to Gollum and the ring in, The Lord of the Rings. The ring, like sin, distorted his original nature and being, poisoned his mind and perception, and created a love and addiction to the very thing—his precious—that was destroying him.

The term “progressive Christianity” is both erroneous and deceptive, as well as stating, “making the church relevant.” So-called progressive Christianity ignores the reality of what the Bible calls sin—in all of its forms. The same for those who claim to promote relevance. The tendency, really, is to try to “have one’s cake and eat it too.” Often, these are mere attempts to gain God’s heaven apart from renouncing sin and yielding to Christ’s lordship. These remind me of the words in U2’s, “The Wanderer”:

“I stopped outside a church house
Where the citizens like to sit,
They say they want the kingdom.
But they don’t want God in it.”

This is why we are seeing so many churches and movements, feigning the name of Christ, all the while endorsing goddess worship, homosexuality, abortion, rebellion against any authority, rejection of the trustworthiness of the Scriptures, dismissal of holiness, etc. Many profess to condone these in a spirit of love; however, they misunderstand the true concept of what it means to love. Genuine love does not dismiss the seriousness of sin and its consequences, truth, or justice.

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? ~ Micah 6:8 (ESV)

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son[d] from the Father, full of grace and truth. ~ John 1:14

[Love] does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:6

Furthermore, we are told:

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy,drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. ~ Galatians 5:16-24

The truth of the matter is this: if people truly believed on Christ, renouncing sin and selfishness, and surrendered to the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures, we would see a cleaning up in politics, wholesomeness, in Hollywood, homes being restored, and peace in our streets and communities. Again, Christianity does not need to change, people do. If people were to accept Christianity’s effect throughout the ages, they would see that it is far more relevant and productive than what it is given credit for.

Spiritual Humility or Veiled Unbelief?

There is a movement within Christendom which often prides itself in its humble confession of not knowing things with certainty. Its leaders essentially agree with pagan philosophers who pondered as to whether we can really know anything at  all, and team up with unbelievers who argue that Christians are arrogant when they feel certain about biblical teachings. Yet, the Bible states repeatedly there are things we can know with certainty.

  • Be still, and know that I am God. ~ Psalm 46:10 (ESV)
  • To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight. ~ Proverbs 1:2
  • So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” ~ John 8:31-32
  • And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. ~ 1 John 2:3

Make no mistake, a person can be wrong about something although he is convinced he is correct; however, is God pleased with church leaders who feign humility when they claim to not be certain about essential Christian doctrines? Is He impressed by persons impersonating shepherds of His flock, all the while causing the sheep to turn up their noses to the very Words that would nourish their souls? The Bible tells us,

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. ~ Hebrews 11:6

Biblical faith is not a hopeful shot in the dark. Rather, it is trusting the very words of God—even when we do not fully comprehend. For example, Abraham was declared “righteous” when he believed God’s words that he and Sarah would have a son in their old age. This did not make complete sense to Abraham; in fact, he laughed at the thought. However, he was certain this child would be born because God said so (see Gen. 15:1-6; 17:15-17).

This is the real issue of these leaders within this movement—unbelief in the trustworthiness of the Bible. Many things these men publish either oppose clear biblical teachings or call the Bible into question. They profess to believe in Jesus, yet question, reject, and deny the very words Jesus testified as being the very truth (see Luke 24:44-45; John 17:17). These men promote various practices—in some cases, even New Age occultism—claiming the Bible is “outdated” and needs to “get with the times.”

They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work. ~ Titus 1:16

For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. ~ Jude 4

Friend, let me ask you: when it comes to the Word of God, if you declare not really knowing and understanding it, is this genuine humility or merely a disguise to unbelief? Do you believe the Bible is truth or not? Do you believe the God who created the universe and overcame death is capable of preserving His Word for us? Beware of false shepherds who actually scatter the sheep, thus, sending them into grave danger.