As I write this, I am 5 days away from our SS class on the church in the culture vs. the culture in the church discussion after watching the debate in The Elephant Room last Sunday. I have watched the debate 5 times now and each time I am pushed in a new way.
One of the key distinctions left out of the ER debate is the difference between how we, as individual Christians, are led and/or choose to engage the cultural divide and what is and is not appropriate to bring into a Sunday morning worship service.
To me, the difference is huge. There are a lot of topics and tools that I might bring into a conversation with an individual or group that I would not bring into a worship service. Does that make me inconsistent? I don't believe so. I think it makes me like Jesus. Over and over again in the Gospels we see Jesus engaging people in a variety of setting and ways and yet Jesus "went to the synagogue as was his custom." The great silence we have from Scripture is not how Jesus engaged people but what Jesus views as appropriate within a worship service context.
We know that Jesus read and taught from the scroll of Isaiah one of the times he went to worship/ We know that Jesus and the apostles sang hymns (granted not in a "worship service"). We know Paul has some guiding principles in Corinthians about certain aspects of a service. But overall what we really have is Jesus interacting with individuals and groups outside of a set worship service.
We need to take that into account when having a discussion about what is and is not appropriate to use from our culture. Right?
Because of His goodness,