Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington
Is Christianity Irrelevant?

Is Christianity Irrelevant?

 

Is Christianity irrelevant?

If you’re a Bible-believing follower of Christ, you’ve already answered this question with an emphatic “No!” If you’re not a Christian, or if you identify as a Christian because you attend church on Christmas and Easter, you might have answered “Yes, Christianity is irrelevant or at least on the way to becoming irrelevant.”

I recently read a powerful book titled Good Faith. The subtitle says it all: Being a Christian When Society Thinks You’re Irrelevant and Extreme.

Oh. My. Goodness.

The authors, David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons, hooked me early in their book when they wrote, “Irrelevance happens when your interests and someone else’s don’t overlap . . .The other person may admire your passion but cannot relate to it.”[1]

Regardless of your personal convictions, it’s probably safe to say our overall culture has indeed declared Christianity to be irrelevant. Now before we point accusatory fingers at who we think is to blame, perhaps we should take a brief glance in the mirror.

If those around me admire my passion but cannot relate to it, how may I have contributed to this situation?

Compounding this problem is the view by a significant and growing segment of the US population that Christianity falls into the category of extremist beliefs.

To begin to change this perception, Kinnaman and Lyons observed, “We must be the people of God who, rather than being defined only by what we are against, are also defined by what we are for.”[2]

Of course, this doesn’t mean we don’t take a stand against sin, but that’s only half the story. God is holy, but He is also compassionate. He is just, but He is also merciful. When we limit our communication to half of God’s attributes, we create an idol—a false god—instead of describing God as He chose to fully reveal Himself.

So the next time we’re tempted to complain about how the culture sees us as irrelevant, let’s examine ourselves to see how we might be contributing to the situation!

What do you think?

[1] Page 26
[2] Page 67

 

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8 Comments

  1. Sharon

    Oh, excellent, Ava! Thank you. We can’t be salt and light unless we are willing to go into the darkness and decay. Standing on the outside complaining about it does nothing but harm. So how do we become involved without becoming part of the that darkness and decay?

  2. Sharon

    I’ve been studying I Peter and looked at the first fourteen verses. Peter is dealing with Christians who were suffering for being Christians in this world. His answer is fascinating. In chapter 2, He tells us we are the building blocks added to Christ as chief cornerstone. Christ’s body, the Last Temple, the Kingdom of God, the Body of Christ, is mankind renewed. And what is our place in this kingdom? Priests, those who stand before God on behalf of men. We are called to take up Christ’s work of being Light and Salt in a dark, decaying world. We enter into a hostile, irrelevant world just as He did. We are here to teach the Truth, to love the outcaste, to feed, heal, even cast out demons. Hm. Not sure what that looks like, but we have a lot. And finally, we offer sacrifices. Just as through Christ’s sacrifice, we were saved, we are called to offer ourselves as living sacrifices. God is using that as He continues to build His Kingdom and save the world. Anyway. I’m just processing this. I always knew we were a kingdom of holy priests, I just never thought about the ramifications before. We weren’t called to be prophets . . .(although we do preach the Word to the world.) but priests. Now how does that look in my life in my little corner of Florida. Sorry, Ava! See what happens when you get me thinking and it goes along with my studies?

  3. Nancy E. Head

    Ava, your conclusion is profound. May we examine ourselves and ask God to inhabit our every thought, word, and deed. Thanks for this perfectly relevant message. God bless!

  4. Melissa Henderson

    Very interesting Ava. I pray we all know the importance of His Word and the importance of sharing His Word.

  5. Linda

    Excellent points! I will be looking in the mirror.

  6. Jessica Brodie

    Great point. We as Christians need to look within and check ourselves!

  7. Melinda Viergever Inman

    If politics or policies are more important to us than Jesus, we may argue and engender conflict, rather than welcoming others into God’s family.. And so, we must love one another, seek to help others, share God’s love, come alongside, and pray with others.. Otherwise, we will not be a representative of Christ. No one wants a Savior who requires conflict and bickering. We need a Savior, who rescues, loves, forgives, and Who changes lives. Are we walking our faith in a way that reveals Christ or in a way that misrepresents Him?

  8. Yvonne Morgan

    Great article Ava and so much truth. We are all to blame for how the world views our faith. And we are the ones who must change so others want to join the faith.

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