While reading through Martin Luther's "The Large Catechism," I was struck by a statement he made nearly 500 years ago:
It is evident that the world today is more wicked than it has ever been. There is go government, no obedience, no fidelity, no faith--only perverse, unbridled men whom no teaching or punishment can help.
Read through a Facebook feed for more than a few moments, and you will have someone spouting similar words today.
Of course, Luther was repeating something past teachers and philosophers had spoken. This quote is attributed to Socrates:
Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners,
contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love
chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the
room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up
their food and tyrannize their teachers.
Apparently not much really changes. In fact, when I posted Luther's quote on my Facebook page, one of my friends and fellow pastors interjected with simply saying: Ecclesiastes 1:9. That reads, this by the way:
What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun.
Of course, the Teacher, was referring to human nature and its many manifestations. He was not referring to technological advances and the like. There is plenty new under the sun when it comes to those advances, but advances in human nature? Not so much.
We are like we have been. There is nothing new under the sun.
Which then leads me to ask: if Christianity's central message--the Gospel--deals with the nature of humanity, then why are there those who are so concerned with the Church being relevant? While there is indeed a need to change the medium of the message (using the vast means of communication these days), why are there those who feel the need to change the message?
It should (and actually is) as relevant as ever, and, in fact, I believe is absolutely necessary as a corrective to much of what we see happening in society these days.