Why the Gospel Will Forever Stay Relevant
Whenever a Christian fundamentalist does something dumb and lands on television, I always have this weird feeling that Christianity is going down the tubes. As I read the uproar incited by this outrageous activity, I think Christianity will not stay the same. I think our religion is on the way out, all because people mess up. Those darn fundamentalists ruin religion for the rest of us.
I know I’m not the only one who worries about Christianity. Last election, I remember people voting for Romney because they thought Obama was going to run Christianity to the ground.
“I’m voting for Christianity,” a person once said.
“Really? Is Mormonism Christianity?” I responded.
Face it, I’m not the only one who thinks Christianity is on the decline.
I’m not the only one who feels like I have to fight for belief, because if I don’t, that’s one more reason for our religion to fade in the background.
Many of us want the Gospel to stay relevant, to keep up with a changing culture. We want to discover new truths about the faith and not get so stuck in the past way of doing things. We want these things because we want Christianity to stick around tomorrow.
But, I’m learning something new about Christianity, and it’s changing the way I defend it.
The other day, I lied in my bed thinking about the latest Christian controversy. It was something silly and not thought out, and as a result, thousands were bashing my worldview. I wish the controversy didn’t strike but it did.
So as usual, I began wondering if Christianity was going to be around tomorrow. From my perspective, it didn’t seem like it was going to last. After all, people were smashing my beliefs to the pavement. Christianity can’t go on like this. It will not be relevant forever.
Yet, while I thought about this, I remembered a man I had met so long ago. His name was Steve, and Steve was a product of the American culture. He was a middle-class American who had been so drained giving his work his all. He worked his nine to five everyday, and walked with a limp in his step and a burden in his heart.
He was a man without meaning in his life.
Steve is a lot like many of us, isn’t he? Many of us can sort of drift through life with no greater narrative tying up our existence. We live for our jobs. We live for our families. We live for our routines. But if someone were to zoom out on our lives, they would see no theme, no great story arch. Instead, they would see a collection of random events. That is a life without meaning.
You see, Steve was missing something that’s so crucial to Christianity: hope.
Hope is a powerful force that draws us forward in life. As long as we have hope for a brighter future, our life will continue to mean something.
I say all this because I believe Christianity is here to stay for this very reason: it gives us hope, and people will always need hope.
People will always need something to solve that incessant and nagging feeling consuming their spirit. People will always need to latch onto some greater story.
The Gospel feeds our starving souls with a lasting hope, no matter the time and culture, no matter the faults of its adherents.
So now, I no longer defend Christianity worried whether it will be here tomorrow or not.
I rest in the fact that my belief is secure because hope is present. And surprisingly, that frees me up to actually change the world with my hope.
I hope it happens the same way for you as well.