There are many new and newer Christians attending Northstar and that number increases weekly. But even people who have been Christians for some time or even all their lives have questions on Christianity in contemporary culture. There is a pretty wide array of common misperceptions, characterizations, stereotypes, caricatures and outright myths about Christianity that circulate heavily within today’s society. I would like to address some of those myths and urban legends about Christianity continuing with the general perception that Christianity is not really relevant in the 21st century.
Christianity speaks to real life — work, finances, relationships, health, success, and every other part of life. True Christianity is never irrelevant and shouldn’t be considered as such. It will always have a place in society because it is the only source of salvation.
But the world does not share that viewpoint. The world’s perspective is that Christianity has become irrelevant. It no longer has the influence in the world that it once had because it does not have the respect of the world as it once had. Just think, for instance, of how “Christians” are portrayed in television. If you want someone that the other cast members can easily mock you throw in a “Christian” and do everything you can to make them look as stupid, bigoted, and out of touch as you possibly can.
Now, yes, I understand that this is the minority view expressing its viewpoint into a nation that still mostly rejects it. But at the same time, we cannot discount the impact it and other efforts like it are having on the overall impression of society.
But it’s really not just the world that’s doing what it can to make Christianity irrelevant. Some “Christians” are certainly not helping. Hypocritical “Christians” take us ten steps back for every step we take forward. Uninformed “Christians” make the world assume that the rest of us are backwoods people who refuse to accept the “facts” of the world. Scandal-ridden “Christians” give skeptics legitimate reason to publicly attack the validity of our values. All of these things and more are making Christianity more and more irrelevant to modern society with each passing day.
So how do we make Christianity even more relevant today?
Not to over simplify a pretty complicated subject, but there is a one-word answer to that question: love.
In all things, love. We often claim that our words and actions are always in love, but that is not always the case. We have somehow come to assume that anytime we stand up for what is right, that regardless of how we act, that as long as we have the right intention then people should just understand our motive. But that simply is not how it works. Here is the bottom line: If I am going to represent God and influence others, I had better do it in a godly way.
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:29-30.