I hear and read a lot these days about the need for the church (and Christians) to be “culturally relevant.” The dictionary defines the word “relevant” as “having a bearing on or connection with the matter at hand.” In effect, to be culturally relevant is to have a bearing on or a connection with our culture. This means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Many, I am afraid, in the pursuit of cultural relevancy have emphasized the wrong things and lost sight of the main thing. (Are you with me?)
My approach to the Christian life is the K.I.S.S. approach (Keep It Simple Smitty). So as I consider the need to be culturally relevant (and it is a need – no one will give us a hearing if we walk around acting and looking like Yoda from Star Wars!), I believe it boils down to the main thing. If we pursue this main thing – we will ALWAYS be “culturally relevant.” So just what is this “Main Thing?” We find it in Matthew 22. Jesus was asked to identify the greatest commandment in God’s Law (The Jews believed there were 613 of them!). In Jesus’ response we find what I believe is the main thing. If we practice this main thing – we WILL be relevant. Listen to what Jesus said about the greatest commandment: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" (Matthew 22:37-39)
So there you have it. Do you want to be “culturally relevant?” Do you want to have a bearing on and a connection with the people around you? Learn to love God with all you are and have – AND love the people in your life as you love yourself. As you do this – God will work through you to impact your world.
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