It grieves me to have to pass this news along to you, folks. But Christianity is in deep trouble. The Christian church is only moments away from being completely and utterly irrelevant. And that is because our best understanding of what is right and true and pure comes from documents that are two thousand years old. Our best understanding of what constitutes Christianity comes from antiquated writings that were penned, not in this millennium, nor even in the last millennium, but nearly two millennia ago! Mark my words—the church has never been in a deeper crisis.
But thankfully, prophets have risen up to call our attention to this crisis. And one of these prophets, with a word from a different god than the one Christians have traditionally worshiped, has declared that for Christianity to be relevant to the times in which we live, it must surrender its slavish adherence to the God revealed in its two-thousand-year-old literature.
This past Sunday night, in the midst of one of the holiest of all weekends in the Christian calendar, Valentine’s weekend, this prophet took to the airwaves to address the question of spirituality and sexuality. He declared, with uncanny prophetic insight, that the church is only moments away from embracing gay marriage, and that, indeed, the church must embrace gay marriage, because it is perfectly normal. When asked by the host of the show on which this prophet appeared, “When is the church going to get that?” he replied with the following words:
I think culture is already there and the church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense, when you have in front of you flesh-and-blood people who are your brothers and sisters, and aunts and uncles, and co-workers and neighbors, and they love each other and just want to go through life.
Indeed, my brothers and sisters, truer words have never been spoken. When the best teaching, the best understandings, the best advice, the best arguments, the best message that the church has for the world comes from documents that are two thousand years old, the church cannot help but be hopelessly irrelevant for the times in which we live.
Thank goodness we have prophets like Rob Bell, who are courageously willing to sound the alarm and give the church a wake-up call. But not only prophets, but also the wives of the prophets. Bell’s own wife, the prophetess Kristen, appeared on this show with her prophet-husband, and read from a book which they had co-written:
Marriage, gay and straight, is a gift to the world because the world needs more not less love, fidelity, commitment, devotion and sacrifice.
And then, in further support for what her prophet-husband had declared, said this:
There are churches who are moving forward and there are churches who are almost regressing and making it more of a battle.
So there you have it, brothers and sisters. Our Christianity is in trouble precisely because our Christianity comes from two-thousand-year-old documents:
Two-thousand-year-old letters of Paul
Two-thousand-year-old lives of Christ
A two-thousand-year-old New Testament
And an even older Old Testament
We must forget that the God, and the Christ, and the prophets, and the apostles in these two-thousand-year-old documents never gave even the slightest nod to the idea that gay marriage is a gift to the world.
We must put forever behind us the Christ of the New Testament who declared, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.” For, you see, this new prophet has told us that the teachings of this Christ and of these two-thousand-year-old documents are now trumped by “flesh-and-blood people who are your brothers and sisters, and aunts and uncles, and co-workers and neighbors.”
We must completely get rid of the completely outmoded and outdated idea that we are in a warfare with this present evil age. We must move forward and jettison this battle-oriented mentality. We must put out of our mind that we are engaged in holy war with the world, the flesh, and the devil. Because, you know, these ideas are all contained in two-thousand-year-old documents.
If the Christian church is going to be relevant in this day and age, it must surrender its two-thousand-year-old concepts and allegiances:
Christ is God
Christ is King
Christ is Lord
Instead, to be relevant, to progress forward, to keep in step with the spirit of the age, we have to have new concepts and we must pledge new allegiances:
Culture is God
Culture is King
Culture is Lord
Long live the new King!
Wake up, O sleeping church, rise from your dogmatic slumbers, and Culture will shine on you!
However, Christ, I am sure, no longer will.
The night before Ash Wednesday
February 17, 2015