Let’s get it right

man, i found a quote today that blew me away.  i found it on this site.  vince antonucci, the author, is a pastor at a pretty off the hook church that doesn’t just talk about reaching people that are far from god…they actually do it.  he wrote about being invited to speak at a conference on the topic of “contemporary without compromising”.  here’s what he said about it:

“I’ve been pondering this (just a little) and I think I’ve decided I have an issue with the assumption underlying this seminar. Like, why isn’t there a workshop on, “Traditional Without Compromising”? Sounds funny, doesn’t it? But maybe that’s just because we’ve been conditioned to think that way by those who are “in charge” and come up with these topics…

Think about it this way: In the Gospels, who were the people who compromised the truth of God’s Word? It was the Pharisees. And were they “Contemporary” or “Traditional”? They were traditional.

And in the epistles, who do we see compromising the truth of God’s Word? It was the Judaizers. Were they “Contemporary” or “Traditional”? They were traditional.

We assume that if you’re not doing things the way they’ve always been done, that must mean you’re changing God’s truth. But maybe the reality is when you keep doing things the way they’ve always been done, you’re in greater danger – that you are holding on to human tradition and elevating it above God’s truth.”

What do you think?  Agree or disagree?

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8 thoughts on “Let’s get it right

  1. Good stuff. I agree for the most part. I think all Christians (especially those who went to Bible College) should read through the gospels and substitute their name in every time Jesus says “Pharisees” “Teachers of the Law” and “Scribes.”

  2. I think sometimes you have to rock the boat to make progress. Otherwise you are just floating stagnant in the middle of your faith. Christ was far from conservative or traditional. He challenged the experts and the ones who “knew what was best”.

  3. But you still have to hold on to certain things…

    God gave the Israelites lots of laws and rules, for lots of reasons, but I think some of it was so they could have those tradiditons to help them remember things about God, who He is, and what He’s done, and who they were to Him and in Him. I think it’s the same for us.

    I can be as big of a boat rocker as anyone, and advocate it, but I also find strength and comfort in holding on to certain traditions.

    I just think its a fine line that has to be walked.

  4. when traditions earn the title of an “ism”, you begin to wonder why they compell you. some traditions are worth while, and some are not, but your faith should not be a quest to fulfill traditions. that being said, being contemporary only for the sake of being contemporary, is just as far from scripture.

  5. Mike, is the author attempting to link “contemporary” with the “emergent church”? I guess I don’t know exactly what contemporary means, it seems kind of vague here…

  6. scott, that’s a good question. the emergent church is incredibly difficult to define. it’s opponents are loud and vocal in their attacks. it’s apologists get overly defensive and wordy. the internet is flooded with opinions on the subject. theologians and church leaders that i deeply admire fall on both sides of the dialogue. i’ll probably begin giving my insights on the emergent dialogue on this blog one of these days. i think it will be fun.

    from what i can tell, the author is not part of the emergent movement, although the people who question his approach to ministry probably lump him in. from what i have read, he is the pastor of a church that is aggressively evangelistic and fully surrendered to the authority of the word. those would not be labels that opponents of the emerging church would use to describe the movement.

    i think he uses the word “contemporary” the way that most mainstream fundamentalist, evangelistic, or even mainline churches would use the word. in those circles (and i would include north point here, also), the word “contemporary” usually means making church look more modern…mostly in music (guitars and drums), style of worship gatherings and preaching (less formal), dress (casual), architecture (more trendy and functional vs. european or gothic), and programming (more than just sunday school, a wednesday night bible study, and a week of summer camp!)

    that’s my take.

  7. The emergent group is full of “rebelutionists” who are trying to have some sort of deeper faith at a time when life and the people therein seem to dote on the shallow.

    Emergent is bringing people to the edge of where the church collectively has let itself go – hidden and silent – and challenging them to be the road-pavers and lead the way back to core values that we will be glad our children and grandchildren grow up in.

    I don’t see Antonucci linking his wordage of contemporary to emergent churches. Instead, I see the same-old challenge of making the christian life about doing things God’s ways…not man’s.

    GOD never changes – but the way we perceive Him in our lives – that does change…from age to age…stage to stage. The same love of God that I knew as a little girl is expanded into more now that I’m older. But God didn’t change…I did.

    Comtemporary reaches a different age/stage/style than Traditionalism…but God doesn’t change. The relevance of the faith to the person at either place should be equal in all but style application.

    Antonucci just shows us that in the NT true believers didn’t compromise the message; just changed the style of delivery to reach others.

  8. The Key Phrase There is “God’s Truth”. I fyou mess with God’s truth or apply that one group of -isms can follow God’s truth, you are messing with a higher power….

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