The Door-Step Evangel

To Adapt or Not to Adapt
Dr. Ronald L. Tottingham

Upon this "modern" society's churches is a pressure to adapt, change, become attractive, and whatever else goes along with that vein of thought that it is becoming a serious pressure against Historic, unaffiliated Baptist churches also. Should our churches adapt? Should we sense the trends and meet them? If so, how? Should we listen to the polls, Gallup, Harris, etc. telling us about the baby boomers and other cultural issues in our unique multi-cultural, multi-racial social structure? If so, how, what balance should we observe?

Should our churches "relate," should we compromise in some areas of "old fashionedness" and begin allowing a more "contemporary" flavor into our church so we may draw the proverbial "Harry and Mary" of our modern society? After reading and rereading my old KJV I'm strongly inclined to "hold the fort." Hold fast to the tradition gone on before. I even suggest Christian schooling which holds to a separated, old-fashioned structure to isolate our children from the modern society of permissiveness in all areas of life. I suggest old-fashioned Gospel music, non-contemporary in style and flavor, and old-fashioned preaching centered services rather than the more modern video, overhead projected, Awana centered ministries.

I further suggest that this "modernization" was the downfall of Ancient Israel. Read Psalm 106:34-36, They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the Lord commanded them: But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works. And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them.
Yes, Virginia the Historic unaffiliated faith once delivered to the Saints may be unpopular, increasingly unique in the way of I Corinthians 4:13, Being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day. However this is as it is suppose to be. Our Lord told us in John 17:14-15 to expect such "un"-acceptance.

How do we then reach the multitudes when the social acceptance of our faith is increasingly rejected and we are seen as the "filth of the world?" We just send our MATURE saints out into the world as sheep among wolves carrying the good news of Jesus Christ. We are not to send the immature and unlearned. Our own children are not to be evangelists in those ungodly government schools. I suggest mature members go out into the highways and byways of our communities and enter service organizations (Kiwanis, Seratoma, etc.), military organizations (V.F.W., D.A.V., Marine Corps League Detachments, Air Force Assn., etc.), County Jail chaplaincies, rest homes, retirement centers, youth organizations (Sodomites do), juvenile facilities, wherever our Lord will open doors for the Gospel. We would likely need to serve as officers with some of the places and gain audience and opportunity. This world does not see us to know we are genuine because we are so socially "monasteryized" within our own Baptist cultures. We might go "door-knocking" but how much witness are we truly doing? We seldom put our life on true display before this world outside of our jobs, which are generally a limited witness where folks do not "get to know us." Are we real? Is our faith workable? In true trials, do the lost get to observe our joy and strength in Christ or is that seen generally only by our church and /or family folks? This world seldom gets the unique privilege today to observe such in a true saint's life. No wonder they think we are phony. All they see and hear is television's prescriptions of Christianity.

Should we change our church services to adapt to and for this multi-religious view society and compromise to some contemporary views and practices --I say no, a thousand times NO! We should go out (our mature saints) where they are but not bring their unbelieving cultures into our churches. I suggest we hold even tighter to our old-fashioned Biblical heritage and teach them to adapt to God's will for their lives and not us adapt to their will for God and us.
The Door-Step Evangel is published in the interests of Evangelism and information as a Church paper, sincerely devoted to the cause of Jesus Christ. We are in favor of everything that is right and opposed to everything that is wrong.

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