As I journeyed deeper into trying to be a leader in the Kingdom of God, I soon discovered that there were so many ways of "doing" and "being" the church. Most of my earlier years as a true follower of Jesus were spent critiquing the type of church I grew up in. Most of my reasoning for this was that its methods for sharing the message of Jesus were outdated and irrelevant. Though I still hold to this idea, I'm becoming more aware of a trend: sound doctrine and orthodoxy are a dying breed in the American church, especially the "contemporary" church.
Now, before I explain myself, know that I'm not one of those guys who is cynical and angry at everybody and looking for something to complain about. Also know that I'm on the front-lines of trying to help initiate change both in my church and in the Kingdom at large. That said, I seeing a growing trend of churches becoming schools of morality and self-help instead of gospel centers where Jesus is preached, the Bible guides us, and people are challenged to align their lives to both. In the quest for relevance, and often times as a reaction to EVERYTHING associated with a "traditional" church, the solid, foundational message has been tossed along with the outdated methods. We must never mistake the message from the methods. The methods should always change. The message is unchanging. The gospel of Jesus Christ is not a message that is changing or should change, for it contains the power to change and transform lives.
In our quest to be relevant, we must never sacrifice sound doctrine. We are warned repeatedly by the apostle Paul throughout his writings that the day is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine and teaching and will instead find teachers to give them what their itching ears long to ear (2 Timothy 4). I'm afraid to say that I feel I'm living in those times. I also feel an amazing burden to see that challenged and changed. Living here in the buckle of the Bible-belt, it is even more needed. Most who call themselves Christians cannot articulate the gospel, more less live it. I want to work relentlessly to see that changed.
Do you find yourself rejecting orthodoxy for the sake of relevance or even relativism? Why do you think churches are changing the message as they change the methods?