Friday, January 04, 2008

Change! but what kind of change?

As the political year heats up, it is clear the word "change" is becoming ever more popular. "We need change!" is said in the same breath as "we need unity." The suggestion is that the current trend of the day is one of division.

The more selfish people become, the more they will be divided. The more they rely on human authority, the more they will vie for power. The more they emphasize diversity the more they will leave out some and alienate others. So much of what lies at the base of political correctness is the desire for power. The desire is to overthrow the established and create a new order.

We are seeing that in families. Some seek to overthrow the traditional family of marriage and replace it with other types of unions: same-sex and even polyamory unions (more than three of both sexes).

We are seeing it in religion. Some have done everything they can to dismiss and forsake anything Christian and yet in the same breath allow eastern religions. Some fearing Islam's violent reactions seem to leave it alone while they trash the Judeo-Christian values.

The loss of absolutes in our society has set it in a spin; many things are upside down. Those who thirst for power are no doubt doing all they can to take advantage of this confusion. Using words like "change" is not helpful. Such glittering generalities do not reveal their real agenda. We then ask, "what kind of change?"

Hopefully, this will become more evident as the presidential race develops. I, for one, am planning to keep my eyes and ears open. I frankly do not trust those who holler for change but say little about what changes they want.

Watching and talking with progressive inclusivists over the last couple of decades, I hear the word "change" often. What I would also like to hear is an honest statement about where they really want to go, rather than veiled threats about church growth (if we don't "change.") When the Bible is set aside for popular religion for the sake of "church growth," I don't buy the need for change. I frankly wish those who clamor for change could present a cogent Biblical reason for it larger than "we'll lose our young people, " and "the grace of God will cover it."

What does God desire? That question is very different from "what do I think God will allow?"

May we keep to the first and throw out the second.



Matthew said...

It is sad that some are willing to change to "keep young people" keep them from what? Being selfish and teaching them the church is there to serve them? Teach them that everyone must change so they will be happy? Teach them that the most important thing in Christianity is to do what pleases us most? The only change I want to see is people to be more like Christ in all aspects. Great post.

Wesley said...

Enjoyed the post Phil. I think though you are hoping in a pipedream if you want politicians who clamor for change and religionists who do the same to clearly define why, beyond scare tactics (we will lose all the church) and caricatures (look how bad those guys are). And sadly the reason they are able to get away with these messages that lack any depth is that this is what society wants to hear. Just say the right catchphrases and words and make me laugh at how odd the other guy is and I'm on your side.

T said...

What larger concern could we have than the heartfelt cry "we'll lose our young people"? To me, as a parent of three kids who's souls I care so deeply about, that IS PLENTY large. Look at the stats brother...we are loosing this battle fiercely...we just are. The complacent and sometimes stubborn mindset of doing what we have always done IS causing our kids to turn away from God and for me, that price is just too high. I will continue to push for change when it does not contradict the simple message of the gospel, not for the sake of change, but for the precious souls of my and other kids. They are more important than the comfort zones of us old hats.

Phil Sanders said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phil Sanders said...

Dear T,
As the parent of four and grandparent of three and one on the way, I share you concern for our children.

But what I am finding is that the statement, "if we don't change, we'll lose our young people," is more an excuse for self-made religion and accommodation to worldliness than it is anything.

I love my children and want more than anything for them to be saved. If I were to give in to the progressive call, I would insure that they fall away from the truth not draw closer to it.

I am well aware of the stats, brother. It is not a mindset of faithfulness that has opened the door to apostasy; it is the mindset of compromise with God's word. The change I am hearing is presumptuous. It is a call for a watered-down truth and a poor imitation of the denominations. That is not the answer; it is the open drain.

It seems to me that you have a comfort zone of your own. Give in to whatever society wants. In the end what you have is not the Lord's faith but accommodated religion.



Matthew said...

I agree with the person who wants to do whatever is within the Biblical text to keep our children. But I want to make sure that we are keeping our children in the truth. Not keeping them in social ski trip clubs or white water rafting clubs. These are fine events, but keeping the kids in church for events or the truth are two different reasons to be in church. I have two kids too, and I will push for change in how we teach our children, that the most important thing in life is being in the truth.

Kent said...


I agree with you in that we shouldn't change just for the sake of change as some do. I do believe that there is a time and a place for healthy change and there is a proper way to go about it. Change seems to be a four-letter-word with some people but it shouldn't be. Really, isn't change what we are all called to as disciples of Jesus? We are called to be transformed into his image. We are called to Christlikeness which is a process that starts with baptism. So, isn't change something that all of us are to be a part of? And, in this way of thinking, aren't we as ministers and aren't the shepherds of our churches called to be change-agents?

Phil Sanders said...

I have made many changes over the years as new opportunities have presented themselves. I preach, for instance, with a media projector rather than a blackboard. No big deal in such matters.

I do not wish to suggest that I believe we must go through the windows because others go through the doors.

As far as leaving the world and coming to Christ, anyone who preaches repentance hopes for that change. We want all of that change we can get. Amen!

The change I dislike is when people demand leaving the truth and what is right in order to keep up with the worldly religions. Some have so accommodated others that they have lost their distinctiveness as citizens of the Lord's kingdom. They have imported foreign practices common among worldly churches. That is wrong. That I oppose.