Please, Prove Me Wrong…

Culturally inappropriate…
In the culture and context in which I live, it is not uncommon for people to say that they would do whatever Jesus asks of them.In fact, I recently heard a pastor who defined what it means to be a disciple of Jesus in similar terms.
And while that definition is lacking in certain aspects of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus; it is a good place to start.
Because, as simplistic as that definition is, it highlights a huge problem with discipleship within our immediate culture and context.
While the area is full of churches, and those churches might even be full of people (although not nearly as full as they used to be), you would be hard pressed to find enough people to fill up even one of those churches, who would actually do whatever Jesus asked of them.
Of course that sounds incredulous, but I can back up that claim easily. Because the reality is that the vast majority of them will not do one very specific thing for Jesus…
…they will not do that which is culturally inappropriate.
But here’s where this gets tricky…
Of course they would probably say that they would most certainly do that which is culturally inappropriate if Jesus asked them to. But, by “culturally inappropriate” they mean that which is culturally inappropriate by the world’s standards.
In contrast, what I mean by “culturally inappropriate” is that which is culturally inappropriate by the standards of their church culture.
In other words, the members of theologically conservative, Evangelical churches will gladly stand against what they see as the cultural standards of the fallen world; but they won’t stand against the cultural standards of their church, even if those standards are just as fallen and broken.
Even if Jesus Himself personally asked them to do something different than what their church culture is doing right now, they wouldn’t do it.
More precisely, they would refuse to believe that Jesus would even dare ask them to do something different from what they are already doing.
Because, in their minds they believe that if Jesus wanted their church to reach more people, He would magically bless whatever they are already doing and make it work to reach more people.
This is why they tend to pray, “Lord bless what we are doing and make it work,” rather than praying, “Lord, what we are doing isn’t working; please show us what we need to be doing differently in order to reach more people.”
Personally, I have never heard that second prayer prayed in a church in my entire 45 years of going to church.
And I believe this is because in order to pray that second prayer, they would have to actually be willing to do whatever Jesus asks of them, EVEN IF IT GOES AGAINST THE CURRENT CULTURE OF THEIR CHURCH.
Our churches have gotten into a bad habit of thinking that whatever we are doing is good enough; even if it doesn’t meet the Scriptural standard for what churches are supposed to be doing. Just like we say that we would be willing to do whatever Jesus says, we also claim to be willing to do as churches whatever Scripture demands.
But while out of one side of our faces we are claiming to be willing to do whatever Scripture demands; out of the other side of our faces we are making excuses about how it would be too difficult, how it would upset too many people, and how what we are doing is good enough and that Jesus will bless it and make it work. And this is all because we realize that doing what Jesus commands, and what Scripture demands, is inappropriate in our current church culture.
And here’s how I’ll back this claim up; I’ll ask somebody, anybody, to prove me wrong.
Anybody who has enough influence in their church to affect change, please admit in the comments section (I’ll post this on Facebook) that what you are currently doing as a church is not producing disciples of Jesus who imitate Him by knowing and obeying all of His words, teachings, commands, and examples, and can then make more disciples who do the same; and I’ll have a conversation with you (online or in person, however you want to do it) about what Scripture clearly teaches that you can do differently as a church (that is probably contrary to your church’s current culture), in order to make those kind of disciples of Jesus…
..and then, you can prove me wrong by actually doing it (or, you can prove me right by not doing it).
Jesus said, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete” (Luke 6:16-49).
If you are wondering what I would say, but don’t want to ask, please follow the link below and then follow the links at the end of each article to the next one…
Photo by Randy Fath on Unsplash