People often call for the church to "get with the times". How else can it perpetuate the faith? Hardly anyone buys the old stuff anymore. But when we attempt to repackage the "old stuff" by mass producing some generic equivalent of what we do & believe, is it faith we're actually perpetuating? Folks say the language is archaic, so we need a new translation of the Bible or some new media tactic- maybe music or video- to get the Word out, to make it appealing to our culture today. Some say the music is lame. How about some Latin Rap or the Gloria mixed up "House" style? That would really pack 'em in & Mass might actually be fun! Take out the pews & let the people dance to show their thanks to the Lord! I don't know of anyone who has done that, but what if someone did? Wouldn't that be the same as conforming to the world? I've often heard the argument that God gives some of us gifts for music & media, so we ought to use them for the glory of God by meeting the culture where it's at. We have to be relevant or no one will take us seriously. Its as if we think we're in competition with the forces of evil & we have to try & stay ahead of the game. Or do we? Who is our God, anyway? Again, I ask, what is it we're perpetuating through modern media tactics? Is it truth? Or are we actually allowing the world to dictate our next move? If, for some reason, our efforts actually accomplish something, can we be sure the recipients connected for the reasons we intended? Will they grow up strong & sure in their faith? Or will they only crave the generic junk food we've offered?
There is a reason why the church tends to stand in opposition to modern culture. I'm not a prude, but I believe there is wisdom in maintaining the integrity of tradition & scripture... Its kind of like responsible forestry. The forest will always be there because for every tree taken, another is planted in it's place. If we gave in to modern culture, we might cut a stand of trees to build a bar, a strip mall or a gym to accommodate people. If that went well, we might take some more trees, lay roads & build houses. Eventually, only a tiny grove of trees would remain, set aside as a park for all. This would be what's left for us & those we accommodated... Eventually, we might even forget where we come from altogether & unceremoniously settle in among the people. The church needs to be responsible with the gifts it has been given, but not at the risk of giving up it's heritage from the Lord. We are called to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. May we strive to be conformed to God rather than the Godless culture around us.