CHANGE (repost from Charles Wood)

   Oops, just touched a “sacred cow.” How clumsy of me! It is, however, a big issue in many churches. Believe it or not, in my eightieth year and fifty-seventh year of ministry I am – for the very first time – working with Senior Citizens. It’s a learning experience for me, but far from being on a bumpy ride, I’m having a ball (probably due to the great group with which I am really privileged to work). With any group of our age, change is usually a big issue. I am a pre-millennialist to the core of my being, but there is one thing that could make me either a-mil or even post-mil. That would be if in any church everyone agreed on the temperature of the auditorium being “just right,” and if everyone also agreed on the style and volume of the music. But, again, we have created our own monster.
gold cow We (that’s you and me, friend) taught in the past that change was wrong. Yes, we taught that it was wrong to change doctrine, but we included in our “doctrine” a lot of stuff that the Bible doesn’t even comment on and deleted quite a few things that the Bible is very clear about. You might be tempted to say, “No we didn’t,” but I doubt if your disclaimer would hold water under close scrutiny. So now we have, in many places, an older generation that is convinced that any change whatever is wrong. Warren Wiersbe used to say, “How many fundamentalists does it take to change a light bulb? Change?????” I used to believe and teach that way, but the Lord forced me to re-examine my Biblical basis for what I believed and taught. In the process, I couldn’t find any support for quite a few things, and I also discovered that there were many genuine Biblical concepts absent from my “whole counsel of God.” So, I did the unthinkable (and unpardonable in some circles): I changed. Heretic, apostate, traitor, sold out to the world and a lot of other words became very familiar to me (I was making the changes about twenty years ago – I think one can make changes now without quite as much mud being slung, but I’ll check with Matt Olson before I firmly assert such).
This is getting too long (and I will have a bit more to say tomorrow), but I don’t want to finish without suggesting some logic. If we tailor our music, dress codes, style of worship, etc., to the preferences of people my age, we are going to lose a lot of young people. In another ten to fifteen years, we will be gone, and there will be about a fifteen year age gap in the church we leave behind. Defend the doctrine with all your might, but be sure it is doctrine you are defending. Quite honestly, I’m very comfortable with most of the changes, and I’ll live (quietly) with the few that I don’t appreciate. I’m much more concerned that future generations will find me faithful than I am with having it my way for whatever years I have left. “Find Us Faithful” is one of my favorite songs as it expresses one of the goals of my life.

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