It’s actually old news that people in our now-Globalised world will have their faith sprinkled with salt and seasoned to taste—that occurred sometime about twenty or thirty years ago now. Forget sin and Christ crucified for our saving, faith suddenly needed to be “good to go,” something that applied and fitted appropriately to one’s exact self-moulded needs.
And, from a completely different plane, I recall now many a management and leadership forum, conference and seminar, during this same time and since, lauding the Christianised qualities of “best practice” to the exclusion of Christ.
It’s as if the spiritually-founded moral principles of the ancients are being claimed by these secularists as new—and, of course, we know better about this “re-badging” process. As A.W. Tozer would say, ‘There’s been nothing new since Adam!’ Well, at least the business world is awakening more and more to spiritually-moral principles, and, of course, they apply everywhere!
So, we see a world before us that needs a particular set of highly personalised reasons to believe in God—to see that he is “relevant.” For us, saying that Jesus came to live here—God becoming human—to reach back and redeem a fallen humanity, a divinely-initiated and predicted response to a predictable calamity—the fall—is pure bumpkin unless we can demonstrate his “applicability” to their lives.
This approach plainly forgets grace—that massively overwhelming capability and response of only a universally powerful, all-knowing, all-present God—a God of love.
Yet, we underplay the issue of “relevancy”—the threat to a lack of respect of God—to our detriment. Perhaps the value of the individual, the person, has come to the forefront of society for a reason. Perhaps we’re premature to deride this move of ‘societal selfishness’ and see it merely as the beginning of the end. Perhaps this phase of the focus on the individual—a phase that appears to have stuck—is a good thing; even a necessary thing.
Perhaps we’re enlightened enough now to want Christ to mould our lives into moral meaningfulness. Perhaps we’ve lived enough of the empty, mundane, morally-relative life where denial has had free reign and we yearn for something more real. They don’t say, Jesus all about life for nothing.
© S. J. Wickham, 2009.