Sunday, July 14, 2013

Clash of cultures

“In this world …… trouble”…. that was the promise of Jesus to the disciples gathered together on the night before His crucifixion. (John 16:33)

With the mention of trouble and turmoil, the realization comes to us that we should never be surprised when opposition comes our way. Someone has said, “The world will tolerate the Church only when it is the type of Church it finds tolerable.” The Church the world likes is the ‘qualifying Church’, the Church that says ‘perhaps’, or maybe; the Church that constantly asserts “We are not being dogmatic.” When the world says “We love your type of Christianity”, then the alarm bells ought to be ringing.

The challenge in our time, as it is in every generation, is to proclaim that “Jesus is Lord” over the Church, the world and the universe. We are to be dogmatic in our proclamation, while winsome in our relationships with others, expecting that sooner or later, there will be a clash of cultures, as we seek to explain Who Jesus is. Of course, this is not easy because as human beings, we often react to those who disagree with us, either passively or quite actively.

We need to see those around us as sheep without a shepherd; we need to make sure that the reactions of those we are seeking to ‘influence’ with the Gospel are from the message (the offence) of the Cross and not our personal demeanor or style.

In these days we need to pray for wisdom, courage and boldness, sharing our vital message, enduring any hostile reaction to it, whilst continuing to engage and love those in our ‘mission field’.

May Gold bless you as we walk together.

Roger Matthews

Bulletin 14 July 2013 here