It’s really no secret….I’m a “old-fashioned” girl. I love “Little House on the Prairie”, the thought of quiet, country living, and as long as I could take penicillin and air conditioning, I would probably be willing to live back in time as Laura Ingalls Wilder did. I also like my share of city lights, chain restaurants, malls, and latte’s, but when it really comes down to it, I much prefer the simpler life. Thanks to my Dad, I learned to appreciate the great outdoors, old times, and the loooonnnnngggg Texas drawl he exhibited so well.
I guess because of my roots, I have come to appreciate the old-fashioned way, but to many in today’s world, being old-fashioned is a bad thing.
Even in our churches, we are seeing movements where it seems that every traditional aspect of our church heritage is being questioned, and in many cases condemned. We sit too much, we are too complacent, we are too organized in our services, we dress too formally, we have too many services, we use music in place of the message, we “perform” instead of practice our faith, etc., etc., etc. It seems to me that “modern” movements within the Christian realm are forgetting about the foundations that our church forefathers worked so diligently to put in place.
I agree that in many, many cases the church “sits, soaks, and sours”, and is out of the will of God because there is no evidence of real commitment to our Christian faith and duties. Yet, it still seems beyond me to visualize all of our traditions and old-fashioned ways gone.
Christian “buzz” words like “modern”, “contemporary”, “emergent”, and “missional” are not new to the Christian faith. If you really look at it, they are just a new expression of what we all should be doing anyway. Why is it that we have to re-label the values that are traditional, and then call the old-fashioned ways bad?
Isn’t it good to meet together, pray for one another, encourage one another, respect one another, reverence God in our clothing, sing and worship to our Lord, and exhibit an organized environment focused on reaching others for Christ? These traditions in our churches are what is being called “out-dated”, “unfruitful”, “boring”, and “outside of God’s will”. It’s like there’s an attack, a revolution among our Christian brothers and sisters who, I believe, have good intentions, but instead are helping to create an atmosphere of controversy and condemnation with our church family.
It is sad to me to see our churches being portrayed as buildings where worldly people just attend a good “show”. It’s no wonder why the unsaved people don’t want to hear the message! We can’t even agree among ourselves.
New ideas, and new movements toward furthering the gospel of Christ can be good, but only when the focus is on Christ, and not in the condemnation of others who are responding to God in another way. God gave each of us a particular gift and purpose. We are all different, yet part of one body. When one part starts tearing down the other part, it only causes harm.
I am noticing brother against brother, sister against sister, and even minister against minister and, honestly, I am embarrassed and ashamed. Our focus needs to return to Christ, who administered the ways of “old”, and who is never changing, and who we should all be “fashioned” like.
Is there a way that we can all work together toward this effort? I believe so. I ask you to examine your heart and mind before you respond,
“…laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking…” 1 Peter 2:1
“…He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct..” 1 Peter 1:15
“For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully…when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps, “Who commited no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”” 1 Peter 2:19-22
“Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability, which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified… 1 Peter 4:9-11
As we look for new ways, new ideas, new directions, let us not forget the benefits of “old”. There is wisdom we can gain from respecting our early churches and the traditions that come over time.
Let’s encourage each other to respond to God’s direction, in ALL His different ways.
The problem is NOT the traditions OR the new ideas, it’s the ATTITUDE of the people who don’t practice the Christian faith as they should. From generation to generation I expect this will always be a problem. Until we learn to be “…doers of the word, and not hearers only..” James 1:22, the church will experience seasons of drought.
Let us respect the ways of old, acknowledge the fruit they have brought over time, and the wisdom we, today, can benefit from them. On the same token, let us praise those who aren’t afraid to initiate new ideas, those who respond to the modern world and all its’ benefits in order to bring more people to Christ. Both ways can be useful. Both ways can be effective. Both ways can be honorable.
My clothes dryer is a new, advanced, modern way of doing laundry. It can dry clothes at an unbelievable rate. It takes static out, and leaves my clothes wrinkle free. Yet I have to respect the aged clothesline. Clothes that are dried outside smell so good! You can literally smell the warmth of the sun and the natural, God-breathed air.
Both ways achieve the same result….dry clothes. Right now, I exclusively use the clothes dryer. However, I think I will ask my husband to set up an outdoor line as well.
Why? Because I have found that it is when we take the time to reverence the things of “old” that we learn to appreciate the advancement of time and all its’ improvements.
So…if, in this new age of technology, where dryers are ultra-sized, energy efficient, time saving mechanisms, you drive past my house and see “bloomers” on a line, I hope you will laugh with me, not at me.
The Lord calls each one of us in a different way, and when we respect our differences, the whole body is complete. Let us, as believers, remember to “…speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among (us), but that (we) be perfectly joined together in the same mind…”1 Corinthians 1:10