Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Paul chose to avoid eloquence in Corinth, but that does not mean Christians should never use persuasive arguments in presenting and defending the Gospel. Different contexts call for different strategies. The example of Paul warns us against assuming that it is always best to communicate in the mode of any and every culture, because the very forms of communication might themselves be inconsistent with the message. Preachers and teachers need to exercise mature discernment when choosing how best to communicate in any given setting.How many forms of communication do we exercise in that might be inconsistent with our message?
Of course, there is big discussion now about social media - but who is that discussion among? - Those of us that spend a lot of time on the Internet. Meanwhile - it's just happening in a lot of other settings.
Is the discussion happening among those where it really matters, or will it simply happen? My guess is the later. If using social media in church "succeeds," then soon churches everywhere will join the trend without ever critically analyzing it - even if the medium is contradictory to the message.
Sometimes, I think that is what has happened with the worship revolutions of the last decades or two. I am sure in the beginning there was discussion, but now churches simply adopt it becasue they feel they have to to survive. Critical analysis is simply avoided.
The problem is the kind of success they chase may or may not have anything to do with the message they seek to proclaim. Does number of people hearing a message really equate to the success of the message?
In the business world where I work there are so many "innovative" business that run hard, appear to succeed, and then crash and burn. Then there are those that work,a nd work, and work, often unglamorously, often with limited success. They never pull off the big deal, but they never crash and burn either. There are lean times, even hard time. But those businesses usually, in the end, succeed. The owners and employees make money, maybe not a lot, but they don't lose a lot either. - and they have some to keep at the end of the day.
When we consider all the new "ways" to communicate the gospel. We might want to think about that. It's plain, but....