I must admit, as much as I love music, there are few songs that make me really stop and ponder what the artist is actually saying. Well, last week, right before Christmas I was driving from Cleveland Ohio back to Wisconsin. As I was driving down the highway I put Casting Crowns new Christmas C.D. into the player. I came across the song: While you Where Sleeping. About halfway through the song I was hit over the head with a 2×4 so to speak. Casting Crowns had some pretty strong words to say. You have to listen to it. Agree or disagree, you won’t miss the line I’m talking about. So after you listen, post your thoughts. Is he right? Is he wrong? What lines stood out to you?
What do you think?
The first modern confession that we run into in our churches today is this:
“Eternal life is within my grasp”.
This particular confession is hard to spot because it is a confession based on works. The individuals who believe this are often some of the best “workers” in the church. They are always ready to pitch in and help wherever needed. The only problem is the reason they are so reliable is because they believe that these acts of goodness are steps in their staircase to heaven. Perhaps you know someone like this, someone who believes themselves to be “not that bad” or “better than most”.
The problem with this individual, as nice as they are, is that they believe the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross was not necessary for them. It might be necessary for some, but not for their own benefit. While this might sound harmless what it reveals is that they do not believe the words of Christ when He said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except by Me”. This is dangerous. While these individuals believe they are good, they are revealing that they are against what Christ said. This makes them more anti-Christ than anything else. This modern confession really is in line with an ancient problem…not letting Christ be Christ.
How can we help those who confess: “Eternity is within my grasp” see what they reveal about themselves?
Have you ever struggled with this modern day confession?
What’s with the strong dose of recent nostalgia? Don’t get me wrong, I love all the remakes. But could it be that many of us who grew up with these classics never really stopped liking them? I remember each of these hits (calling them classics makes me feel a bit old). Of course I would probably throw Thunder Cats and Fraggle Rock into the mix as well but whatever the final list of remakes ends up being our culture is figuring something out: If you remake an original it becomes something new.
Can this idea be translated into the church?
Each generation has several things that make it distinct from others. There are the builders who love tradition and the boomers who love everything big. Then there is the Gen-X crowd who likes it loose and the millennials who are still making their own distinct mark. Lots of varieties, lots of potential, lots of “new” but in the midst of all this necessary change don’t forget the immense possibilities that a remake offers.
Consider just a few of the benefits:
- A Good remake already has a following of devoted fans.
- A Good remake is already a success; it just needs to be freshened up.
- A Good remake can easily bridge the generational gap.
Remember if you remake and original it becomes something new. What does the church need to make new? Do we really need to just throw away the hymnals? (I’m just asking…you need to answer that question!). Should we look back at the art and icons of the ancient church and allow them to make a comeback? I think what we will find is that some of the best practices of the past are still loved by many, so how can we freshen up the classics? This doesn’t mean we don’t need the new, innovative, and bold as well, I just think a balance should be struck. This needs to be a conversation, not a diatribe. What do you think?
- What old show or movie would you love to see remade into a blockbuster?
- Is there any practice or tradition in the church that you would like to see make a comeback?
- How would you freshen up that practice or tradition in order to attract a younger generation?