TGC Canada is pleased to announce the launch of our website. For a number of months, we’ve been working to line up contributors and gather content specific to the Canadian experience.
It seems fitting that we’ve realized this goal just before Canada’s 150th birthday. We’re excited to share a bit about the history behind TGC Canada’s website and why we’re so excited to have reached this milestone in our growth.
Many Christians retreat from the cultures around them because they’re afraid of compromising. But at the ERLC’s National Conference, J.D. Greear, in his talk How Can Churches Engage the Public Square without Compromising the Gospel?, gives us wisdom about being in but not of the world. Living like our Savior will mean actively loving the world. We hope you find courage from this message.
For about two months I walked out in the Swiss mountains. When it rained, I walked in the old hayloft above our chalet. And as I prayed, I went all the way back to my agnosticism. With as much honesty as I could, I asked myself, ‘Was I right in becoming a Christian as a young man?’ The unreality I had found in the Christian world, the ugliness I saw in Christian relationships, the fact that Christians were not able to talk to twentieth-century people–all these made me ask, ‘Was I right?’”
It does make me wonder, though, if we do similar things spiritually – that we tend to grow up out of the love of God. Sure, there were days when we first heard the gospel, were first floored by the realization of the extravagant nature of God’s love for us, but then we start to grow. We start to learn. We involve ourselves in the “deeper” things of theology, relegating the love of God to the days of Vacation Bible School and macaroni art from Sunday school.
I listened to the first twenty minutes or so of the conference talk. I suppose he was a successful dude, so maybe he knows something I don’t. But after about fifteen minutes, I turned it off and started listening to Trip Lee again. Honestly, I couldn’t believe the questions the speaker was encouraging us to ask. I think the talk was about exegeting our culture or something, and he kept saying we have to ask, “What will reach them? What will hook them? What will draw them?”
If Aristides observed your church, what would he find? If he sat in your staff meetings, what would he conclude is important? If he walked around on a Sunday morning, what would he determine is valued? If he watched how people interacted throughout the week, what would he say? Would he say these things?
A favorite from the archives:
There’s a peculiar thing I’ve noticed in some of the songs in popular Christian praise and/or worship music—typically the ones you hear at the beginning of the “set” intended to warm everybody up and get everyone excited. It’s this idea that we are somehow summoning God into our presence. Songs about inviting him into our midst, calling him down, telling him to show up in power, and show us his glory, and all this kind of stuff…
Now, depending your congregation’s proclivities, you’re probably going to sing a song like this today. And I’ve gotta say, to me at least, it’s really weird. It’s not that I’m against being aware of God’s presence, nor am I against praying—or singing for that matter—for true, Spirit-wrought revival. But I’m not sure this is what these songs are talking about. Instead, they seem to be putting us in the drivers’ seat, making us the ones in control during the our time of corporate worship.