“He who marries the spirit of the age will soon find himself a widower.”

Terry Johnson, the pastor of the Independent Presbyterian Church (Yeah, I know, it is somewhat of an oxymoron) of Savannah, Georgia, has written an interesting article on the make-up of the 21st century church over at New Horizons entitled, “Our Collapsing Ecclesiology.” An example of the content provides us with food for thought early on this Friday morning:

Churches ought not to adopt the cultural preferences of any single demographic in the church. To do so is to give an unwarranted preference to one group and unnecessarily alienate everyone else. What should the church do? What did Protestant churches do for the last four hundred years? Or two hundred years? Or one hundred years prior to 1980? Their public ministry was catholic. They ministered and worshiped in the forms of their own ecclesiastical culture, founded on Scripture and tested by time. Their public ministry was historic—what the church, more or less, had always practiced. The word was read, preached, sung, and prayed, and the visible words, the sacraments, were administered. Even their music was that which had slowly evolved and gained universal acceptance. Their services were simple and plain. Their format, music, language, and furnishings and decorations belonged to no single group, and so their public worship and ministry belonged to every group.

A church that targets a specific demographic, be it the young or the old, cowboys or surfers, rockers or hip-hoppers, forfeits apostolicity. Why? Because the apostles did not target specific kinds of people. They cast their gospel nets widely, and their churches, as a consequence, were heterogeneous.

The church needs to heed the warning that is found at the end of the article, “He who marries the spirit of the age will soon find himself a widower.”

Read the rest of this thought provoking article here.

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1 Comment

  1. Sandra A. said,

    March 19, 2011 at 12:27 PM

    Very interesting! Gives one much food for thought, your comments and the article you referenced.


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