Contemporary Theology  and Cultural Conformity of the Church

Glenn W. Harrell

In the book Gaily The Troubadour, published in 1936, Arthur Guiterman wrote the following poem.

“First dentistry was painless; then bicycles were chainless 
and carriages were horseless And many laws, enforce-less. 
Next, cookery was fireless, Telegraphy was wireless, 
Soon oranges were seedless, The putting green was weed-less, 
The college boy hatless, The proper diet, fat-less, 
Now motor roads are dustless, The latest steel is rust-less, 
Our tennis courts are sod less, Our new religions, godless.”

Society refuses to wear any overcoat that denies the proper style and suave.

It is all about the correct image. Never mind the lining is well mismatched and sorely lacking to provide enough warmth for the cold without.

In like fashion, Christ-less, we are a surface people in the midst of a plastic world with an appetite for all things hollow.

Society defines itself around the collaborative solutions to life’s pressing dilemmas. Much of our culture is then practicing the arts of allusion, mime and flattery. The world has no answer to life, so the world creates perpetual distractions to the embarrassment of its impotence.



Education for the sake of education has failed to produce the promised reform of humanity. It has created more highly intelligent criminals.

Financial and material prosperity has not given mankind more hope. It has taught men to depend on anything but God. It has underwritten the ticket for alcoholism and drug addictions that temporarily numb the pain all people feel. Only those wealthy enough can afford this brief escape from reality. The rest must beg, steal and borrow.

The haves and the have-nots stare at each other from greater distances than ever as our government and politicians keep their hands in the cookie jar and as greed lives on in epidemic proportions.

What does this mean to the Christian Church?

— It means that our enemy is crafty, yes, but at the same time shallow and childlike

— It means that our enemy, because it’s cold and lonely outside, will always want to come inside

— It means that our enemy will fight the good fight too

— It means that we remember Jesus’ words

 “I am sending you like lambs into a pack of wolves. So be as wise as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

How do we recognize the enemy?

The godless régime will not march in with defiance. It will send in those trained to speak our language in our dialect. They will live uncomfortably among us while they propagate their godless mandate so slyly that even the more astute among the clan of God will be deceived. They will be amazingly patient and persistent in carrying out the causes of conformity to the world and the absurdity of Christ.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
    the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

 I Corinthians 1:18-19


The enemy will always avoid the Jesus of the bible. Of necessity, they must design their own Jesus. This Jesus will serve their wayward interests and never “offend” people because “Jesus is Love.”

He will attack the trustworthiness of the Bible. If it is not God’s Word, then any standard can be erected in its place. Now worshipping God in the church can become a mirror image of this world with few complaining about it because so few have the mind of Christ.

The enemy will load us down with “worthy substitutes”

1-Praise Me Bands with set-list’s in church worship instead of selfless musicians not seeking to upstage God for their own pleasure, rather engaged in timeless biblical liturgy that includes:

scripture reading by both congregation and leaders, confession, prayer, psalm, hymn and spiritual songs, preaching/sermon, observance of the Lord’s Supper in remembrance of Him, doing all things for the good of all present, giving money-time and talent from our blessings, unity in commitment to Great Commission before departing.

2-Audiences in church worship instead of congregants seeking to be fed from the word rather than entertained by the personalities on the stage. There can be no audience of spectators in true biblical worship unless the leadership is out of sync with the gospel.

3-Tired sayings, cherry-picked bible, psychological mumbo, self serving pep talk and infomercial fundraising trickery instead of accurate exegesis of the bible. (see Daystar Television Hoodwinkers and Joel Osteen)

4-Flash, glitter and sparkle sensationalism in church worship, rather than true-to-life human fellowship that includes the ups and downs–“rain on the just and the unjust” with multi generational honor and respect.

5-Dysfunction and disease replaces sin (eg. alcoholism)

6-Feelings defy science (eg. gender fluidity, homosexual behavior and union)

7-Desire to escape consequences rises above value of human life–ABORTION.





“Don’t be like the people of this world,

but let God change the way you think.

Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to him.”

Romans 12:2


What is the new contemporary theology?

“There is no new theology, just new skeptics.”

Vance Havner said it so well,

“Too many are not willing to give the Gospel a fair trial.

They are too ignorant to speak wisely but not wise enough to speak ignorantly.

A man is not a sinner because he is a skeptic; he is a skeptic because he is a sinner.”

The ancient remains as contemporary as ever…

 “For by him (Jesus) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.”  Colossians 1:16-18

One comment

  1. Good to see you’re still kickin! Hope you are doing well. JC

    On Tue, Jan 7, 2020 at 10:55 AM wrote:

    > openhandspublications posted: “In the book Gaily The Troubadour, published > in 1936, Arthur Guiterman wrote the following poem. “First dentistry was > painless; then bicycles were chainless and carriages were horseless And > many laws, enforce-less. Next, cookery was fireless, Telegraphy ” >


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s