“Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you” (2 Corinthians 6:17).
The Church of the 1970s-1990s was surely well described as the era of “beige Christianity”; those who lived through that era remember it as a time when many signs started to appear outside attesting to all and sundry “All Welcome!”; Churches beckoned the unsuspecting passer-by to “come and experience our welcoming services and warm fellowship”; the most evident desire was to fit in and be thought of as “normal”; the Church was filled with people just like those passing by.
Our theology was deconstructed so as to minimise the possibility of anyone taking offence; Church architecture and interiors were contrived to reduce the feeling that one was in a sacred environment; a form of music evolved which mirrored popular musical culture in style and content, and the language of the liturgy became folksy, the gospel being reduced to a collection of wishy washy offerings with which no-one could possibly take offence. The gospel promised everything and demanded nothing; the act of believing was all that was required.
This was all meant to make newcomers feel “comfortable”; the emphasis was on blending in, and affirming, rather than challenging. If anything “challenging” were to be offered up at all, it would be on “safe” issues such as protecting the environment; not being judgemental or intolerant of anyone; not holding to our faith too positively in case it caused offence to unbelievers or those of another faith; and similar issues which were finding root in the brave new world, where there was to be no such thing as right or wrong; everything was permitted within the limits that were being defined by the world’s cultural warriors.
The embrace of the world’s values bring to mind Peter’s insistence that what Jesus was saying about His death and resurrection would never happen to Him. We all know the answer Jesus gave to Peter: “Get behind me, Satan: you are a stumbling-block to me: for you mind not the things of God, but the things of men” (Matthew 16:23).
In this new-age paradigm adopted by the Church, grace became tolerance and faith became “accepting Jesus”. The Church put the sword of the Spirit back in the scabbard and picked up a white feather instead.
While we may wish to blame any number of factors for the spiritual and moral collapse of our faith, we cannot exclude ourselves. We, who are supposed to be the light of the world, with Christ shining in us, have preferred to hide our light under a basket and lay low, surrendering the battle field to the enemy. The ruins of our families and culture are testimony to the triumph of error and the suppression of the truth.