Perhaps on of the greatest tools used to silence of Gospel in our day is the never ending quest to be relevant. I have grown sick and tired of people telling me how they go to this church or that church because it is “relevant” to real life, or “relevant” to their kids, or “relevant” to whatever particular small niche they found themselves in at any given moment.
Now what the hell does that even mean?
I suppose that for most it means that the message flowing through a particular church is one that meets their particular needs at this moment in their life. Or more likely it is a place that has programs and groups that fit their life situation; have a high school student? We’ve got a group for that. A new mom? We’ve got a group for that. Dealing with addiction? We’ve got you covered there as well. Now of course there is nothing wrong with these support type of groups but when these particular needs drive the proclamation something seems to go awry and it is usually the Gospel that gets thrust out. After all doesn’t this in some way mean that such a place finds its drive, its beginning not in the Word of God but in the humans situation?
The Word of God is not “relevant” to the humans situation (at least not like this). It is not there to guide and convince and encourage along the way – to provide support for lives we more or less already have figured out. Rather the Word comes to smash and destroy the idols we set up for ourselves. To be sure the Word provides what we need but what we need is to die. And it is only when the Word has killed us that the Gospel then becomes relevant, and here it is always relevant. For it is the only true Word of life to those who are dead!