Where Do You See Yourself in the Process of Change?
In the era of postmodernism, people tend to be less committed to God, which is caused by a focus on material benefits and comfort. A human being is much more complicated than it may seem at first glance. The visions with which God and people view the world differ (Brick, 2014). While the latter pays attention to appearance and superficial characteristics of each other, God considers humanity as a whole. In other words, He knows how one event may affect the other one and what consequences may one or another action promote. The Bible includes various stories that depict the integrity and omniscience of God.
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When God rejected Saul because of his pride and self-will, He appealed to Samuel and stated that He found a new king among Jesse’s sons. Samuel did as the Lord commanded: he came to Bethlehem and was met by anxious elders at the entrance to the city (Samuel 16: 6, NIV). They asked about the prophet’s intentions for coming there, and he replied that he should sacrifice to the Lord and perform a rite of consecration. After that, Samuel consecrated Jesse and his sons, inviting them to the sacrifice.
When they arrived, he saw Eliab, the eldest son of Jesse, and believed that he was to be anointed one before God (Samuel 16: 6, NIV). At this moment, the Lord said to Samuel that it is not correct to look at his beauty and height only and that he did not choose him. God emphasized that He does not consider the way a person looks, while people do stress their appearance.
The described Bible excerpt illustrates that the vision of people may be rather limited, and there is an urgent need to take action to extend it. Today, more and more young persons become not aware of their lives and what happens around them in the world. Their level of consciousness seems to be restricted by their affairs that are driven by postmodernist features such as maximalism, fragmentation, hyperreality, and pastiche (Susan, 1998).
In this connection, a minister should understand the behaviors of young people to formulate the ideas of attracting them to the church. By knowing how consistent and regular attendance looks like, it is possible to engage the community members and empower them to volunteer more. The worship style that will be appealing to the identified population should be selected properly. The pivotal goal of implementing change processes concerning the church is to achieve the convergence in how God and people view others.
The church does not have to compete with entertainment organizations and places. Probably, the most appropriate way to attract a person is to tell a little about oneself, personal thoughts, feelings, and why one is Christian. The church is a collection of believers, which is composed of people with various preferences and characters, yet they are integrated by a common goal and concern (Susan, 1998). The church ensures that a young person grows to be able to accept and love others, be patient, forgiving, compassionate, and responsible for keeping his or her word to help other people and comprehend his or her role in their lives.
Today, the church tries to attract young people to the righteous life and increase attendance. The process of change may be facilitated by offering participation in and temple services, charity projects, and promotions, thus assisting them in understanding the aspiration to have a life that is important for others. Step by step, they would gain knowledge and skills in apprehending their abilities and talents not for their egoistic pleasure yet for their close ones and people in general.
How Do You Feel About the Church?
Postmodernism is often associated with openness to spirituality, experience, and mystery, while religious institutions tend to be distrusted. People, especially young persons, put authenticity and uniqueness at the core of the concept of truth (Beach, 2015). Instead of following the word of God through obedience and learning the Holy Scripture based on the authority, they believe that it is a genuineness that identifies the actuality, thus doubting the relevance of the church. As a result, they often refer to other means of seeking or receiving assistance in various situations, and the popularity of the church decreases.
Concerning Christianity, postmodernism has consolidated its status as an undoubted threat. The most frequent associations that emerge in connection with postmodernism are perspectivism, relativism, and, ultimately, nihilism. However, in a series of brilliant essays on Jean-Francois Lyotard, Jacques Derrida, and Michel Foucault, the scholars who focused on the given topic, James Smith challenges such interpretations.
In his book called “Who’s Afraid of Relativism? (The Church and Postmodern Culture): Community, Contingency, and Creaturehood”, he shows that postmodernism has attention to the textual, narrative, and rooted nature of truth in the community (Smith, 2014). It not only gives Christianity a new intellectual toolkit but also allows it to return to the very center of modern intellectual life. This point is important to understand how the ideas of postmodernism can serve faith revival.
Initially, Christianity was practiced by Jews only, but it was expanded to become a universal religion. The Acts of the Apostle’s book describes that the apostles were gathered and instructed in the city of Jerusalem to spread God’s teaching (Luke 24:49, NIV). Thus, Christianity freed from ethnic and cultural barriers, and the original proposal was evidently to make all people Christians so that they can have greater religious commitment and understanding of how people should live their lives. Accordingly, today, the church should continue this primary intent and attract more people to the tithe.
What Do You See in Your Future Based upon What You have Read and Learned This Week?
The future of Christians is closely related to that of understanding the dilemma between the church and postmodernism-driven attitudes of people. In comprehending and resolving this situation, the minister is expected to employ his or her congregational experience to achieve young persons and increase church attendance. The cultural shift that is evident should be considered by the minister as the context for further actions. The meaning of discipleship and discipline should be considered in terms of modern social changes and challenges to identify and, if necessary, adjust the mission of the church.
It is essential to emphasize that the vision of God is comprehensive, while people have a limited view of a person and judge him or her by appearance at the given moment. One should remember that God knows about the changes that will occur with everyone and that He selects those who may seem nothing for others. The chosen people are to be made great in His hands, and this should be taken into account by ministers and ecclesiastics while planning and implementing solutions to the postmodernism dilemma.
Beach, L. (2015). The church in exile: Living in hope after Christendom. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
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The Bible, New International version (NIV). (n.d.). Web.
Brick, M. (2014). A postmodernist’s progress: Thoughts on spirituality across the David Foster Wallace canon. Christianity & Literature, 64(1), 65-81.
Smith, J. K. (2014). Who’s afraid of relativism? (The church and postmodern culture): Community, contingency, and creaturehood. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.
Susan, R. S. (1998). Exile and creativity: Signposts, travelers, outsiders, backward glances. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.