Over the years I’ve had some friends that loved Civil War history so much that they began to take up the hobby of Civil War Reenactments. They would head off to some battlefield wearing their Union Blues or their Confederate Grays armed with their version of Civil War weaponry. The battlefield would be equipped with all the communication and transportation technology of that era. Which I assume would be a megaphone and a horse.
It was great fun and provided a touch of nostalgia for those students of the era.
However, when war breaks out today no one in their right mind (not even those Civil War enthusiasts) would argue for the use of Civil War era tactics and technology to fight our modern day enemies. Instead, we opt (rightfully so) for F-16 fighter planes, heat seeking missiles, drones, and soldiers equipped with the most modern weaponry available. Not even the worst Commander and Chief would send soldiers into battle today armed with a musket and a bay mare.
We need to understand that there are those who would like the church to be more like a Civil War Reenactment than a modern day battlefield. That temptation leads us down the path of choosing nostalgia over relevance and effectiveness. It makes the church more of a museum than a mission.
Make no mistake there is a battle waging for the souls of men. Today 80% of people are saved by the age of 12. America is now officially a post-Christian nation. Many churches (most of which are more museums than missions) are declining. Everyday another church (aka museum) closes its door.
In light of these realities we can ill afford to opt for nostalgia. Nostalgia is nice and gives us our fare share of warm fuzzy feelings. But when it’s comes to reaching this generation we cannot count on Civil War like methods to penetrate modern day lives with the timeless and ageless Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I want to challenge our church and others to not settle for being a museum but to be on mission. Let’s not live in the nostalgic world of reenacting days gone by- instead let us wage a spiritual battle in real time using the most effective means possible to penetrate the darkness with His glorious light!