A while back I had an interesting conversation with a lady who is quite angry and bitter about what seems to be … everything! I think if we all were to sit down with her together, we would easily come to the conclusion that she is a bit of a racist, ageist and even a music snob. Not a snob of music quality – more of a snob of music genre. It almost felt like she wants to take a slice of human history (the 1950s) and label it good and everything before or after bad. Even her spiritual security isn’t in the trajectory of Biblical truth, but in the package that truth was delivered in while she was in her formative years of life. Her security is in the aesthetics of a church building, the style of music and the country church congregation that was made up mostly of white families of four or more. As the country church style slowly fades out, so does this security.
At one point I looked at her and said, “What do you think heaven will be like?” Even though she wouldn’t say this, she pragmatically believes that God will wash the color out of peoples’ skin and magically they will all speak English. Charles Wesley (the great hymn writer) will be the worship leader conducting the heavenly hosts. I think she believes there is no way an African tribal drum or electric guitar would ever cross the pearly gates. That’s crazy! At first I was really frustrated with her Biblical ignorance. Then I realized she is afraid because she doesn’t understand the time transcendent truths in the Bible, only the package that those truths are supposedly delivered in.
Now more than ever, we need people who are Biblically literate. I don’t care how big (or small) a church is or how many people attend. If a church isn’t teaching the time transcendent truths, it is developing a group of people headed toward fear and confusion when their “style” comes to an end. The melting pot of cultures demands deliberate exegesis and hermeneutics. The truth of God’s word was designed to pierce cultures and groups of people, not be bound by them! The truth of the Bible can be exemplified everywhere from the heart of Africa around a campfire, to the inner city of New York in a hip hop church, to the backwoods of Kentucky on a banjo! Do you worship the “package” church comes in, or the truth it is supposed to contain?