One of the great concerns of missional theology is the translation of theological language and practice across cultures. While the truth of the gospel does not change, the mode of communicating it can and must depending upon location. This was one of the arguments for the adaptation of rock and pop music in worship. Every musical style and genre will eventually run into the same problem: diminishing returns crossing cultures. A seminary professor of mine once told a story of visiting an evangelical church in Japan that was a slavish copy of American churches. The church had a praise team that dressed like a caricature of American worship leaders and played translated CCM. And it didn’t work, because it failed to account for the differences in American and Japanese culture.
As American and western culture changes, the use of rock music in worship stops meeting the needs that lead to its employment in the first place…
An elder of the church who commits adultery should be permanently disqualified him from ever again serving as an elder of the church.
This statement may seem to contradict the Christian spirit of repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation, grace, and restoration, yet it remains the biblical truth.
1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1
In 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Paul lays out the requirements for an overseer/bishop of the church, repeated by him in Titus 1:5-9 for elders of the church. In both passages (1 Tim 3:2, Titus 1:6), Paul says that the officer of the church must be a μιᾶς γυναικὸς ἄνδρα, literally a “man of one woman”. This is commonly translated as “husband of one wife” (e.g. the CSB, ESV, KJV, NASB), but some translations have rendered it as “faithful to his wife” (e.g. NIV, NLT). Both of these translations get to an aspect of its meaning, but by themselves are inadequate in capturing the full sense of the phrase.
The idea in Paul’s requirement is not that an elder of the church is merely monogamous, but is faithful in his commitment to his wife. To be an elder you must be a man of one woman, and someone already an elder must remain a man of one woman.
Because few Catholics are bold enough to say they actually know all the Church’s teachings, the traditional recourse is some version of “the Church cannot err in its teaching, so whatever she teaches—even if I’m still struggling with, or even unaware of, that teaching—must be true.” But of course the Church teaches via her bishops, and preeminently the bishop of Rome. So the claim is, in effect, “I trust that the bishops and the pope speak the truth.” (Yes, I’m aware that the underlying theological claim is a little more sophisticated than that; still.)
But that trust is precisely what is being forfeited with the cover-up scandals. And note the already evident domino effect. In light of the scandals, many faithful Catholics, for example, are now comfortable saying that it was likely a mistake to canonize John Paul II. But it has long been the majority opinion of the Church’s theologians that canonizations are exercises of papal infallibility. If, in light of the scandals, otherwise faithful Catholics are now willing to doubt what was long believed an infallible exercise of magisterial authority, there’s little reason for them not to doubt other of the Church’s teachings. That’s not to say they necessarily will doubt other teachings; but the door’s been cracked and there’s no longer a principle to prevent it being thrown wide open.
h/t D.G. Hart.
When “contemporary” music hit the church scene starting in the 1960s, really picking up and winning out by the late 1990s, one of the arguments for the change in style is that it would be more familiar and appealing both…
Why have so many evangelicals openly embraced such compromises? The answer is very simple. It’s the next logical step for a church that is completely ensnared in efforts to please the culture. For decades the popular notion has been that if the church was going to reach the culture it first needed to connect with the style and methods of secular pop culture or academic fads. To that end, the church surrendered its historic forms of worship. In many cases, everything that once constituted a traditional worship service disappeared altogether, giving way to rock-concert formats and everything else the church could borrow from the entertainment industry. Craving acceptance in the broader culture, the church carelessly copied the world’s style preferences and fleeting fads…