5/13/18 Part 2 of the “God Is” series. Lamentations 3:21-25
In an ever-changing American society, we as a church find ourselves at a very different place than we did just a generation or two ago. I’m trying not to lament it, but observe and acknowledge it, while seeking how to adjust and adapt to the cultural shift.
The church once held a respected, even central place in our local communities. I remember it being that way (before I cared). Activities planned for Sundays were at a bare minimum. Most businesses were closed Sundays, not just Chick-Fil-A. The Church calendar was considered when schools laid plans for the year. Organizers of community sports recognized the influence of the Church as they made their schedules and demands on parents. The Church was central both geographically and socially. Communities revolved around the church.
In addition, our mobility was much more limited than today and the range of options to capture our attention were far fewer, so our attention was naturally more focused and we were more easily contented. We needed to physically gather somewhere in town or at others’ homes in order to sense community.
Not so any more.
This is not a cry to get back to the “good old days”. The church however certainly did enjoy a long season of favor, freedom and respect. But ironically, there is not even a call for this kind of respect or treatment of the Church in the Scripture and yet it’s been pervasive in much of America.
Also unique in history, in the years closer to our roots, our Judeo-Christian foundations fostered this unique level of honor and respect for the church, while our Constitution still ensured that Christianity could not be forced upon anyone. This is in healthy contrast to times passed, when Christian thought and practices were declared law, creating forced compliance from the masses as in Constantinian Rome. And that kind of behavior by or treatment of the church was not taught in Scriptures either.
Is it possible, that during this long period of time when the Church has enjoyed such societal acceptance and respect by the masses, that we’ve become somewhat complacent?
What is the Church’s response to be to the change in society? How is the Church to fit into society and culture?
The winds of change they are a blowing.
So rather than being frustrated by all of the changes around us and wishing attitudes in the community & world would change, what should our response be?
How does our mindset need to change to adapt to the changing cultural norms and expectations?
How we answer this may well largely determine our own level of peace and contentment.