Clearly, the challenges of the postmodern era are getting bigger and bigger before our eyes. Is there a place for a biblical view of the postmodern age? Do we share their beliefs and values by responding to logical responses to the challenges of today's church and how to overcome them?
Broadly speaking, there are 3 most critical challenges that Adventist Christian youth must face are as follows:
The existence of the postmodern era in a new era that gave rise to a new morality with personal standards, such as LGBT, homosexuals and polygamy. This personal standard has become the new religion replacing Christianity. This is contrary to God's design in the creation of Man (Genesis 2:18).
Issues of religious radicalism, such as propaganda, terrorism and various movements carried out by a group of people who have the heart to act extreme. This seems to corner every church. Not only that, this also raises symptoms of religious intolerance and fanaticism as well as excessive exclusivism in socio-religious relations in society. Nowadays, many Christian youths are easily trapped by misinformation, provocations, and fake news that go viral on social media. So that they can become the main target for recruitment of radical groups who develop networks, as follows:
- The rise of various heresies and heresies that have heretical sects, such as Gnostics, Mormonism, Christian Science, Jehovah's Witnesses and so on. This contradicts Jesus' warning to His disciples (Matthew 24:3-14; 1 Timothy 1:3; Romans 16:17).
- Persecution of Christians was seen as antisocial and a cause of unrest. As is told about the persecution of Stephen (a Christian martyr) and a number of the Jerusalem congregation (Acts 7:54-8:3).
- People who are getting smarter and living feel as if they no longer need God. This is against God's will (Romans 12:16 "but set yourself on the simple things. Don't think of yourself as clever!").
- The void of life often occurs, even though it is filled with various sophistications of world civilization. An example is that many churches reflect the world by pragmatically justifying all means. This was contrary to the church at Sardis having maintained their reputation in a compromising manner (Revelation 3:4-6).
Church splits because of money issues, different interpretations, different group interests and so on (1 Corinthians 3:3). A split had to occur to see who could stand the test. However, we must not be the source of the division. We must remember that Jesus did not want division (Matthew 12:25).
Super humans are busy with their respective worlds. An example is that the millennial generation often relies on the most sophisticated gadgets. So that the gadget has become a new model of 'idol' tools. It can be seen from each congregation that they rarely carry a printed bible because the Bible has become a digital bible on their cellphone or Ipad. Even more sad during the service, they keep playing social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, and so on. This is the beginning of hedonism and materialism that is often practiced by Christians (James 4:1 – 5:6; 1 John 2:15-17).
There is no brotherly love that affects individual competition even between nations. Examples are adultery and divorce. Many do not care about others and are not committed to prioritizing the Bible as the main guide in their lives.
We as children of God must carry out a heart transformation in accordance with John Stott's view which contains "The heart of human problem is the problem of the human heart". Ways to do a heart transformation, including:
- It takes a willingness to be re-formed by God even though the process is not easy. We need to be silent before God to ask God to change our hearts. Even though we as a church have flaws, we will be reshaped by the Holy Spirit when we come to God. We must pursue what makes for peace and for the building of one another (Romans 14:19).
- Preach the Gospel to anyone who doesn't believe. Preaching the Gospel is a must and obligation for believers for the glory of God not for self-aggrandizement (1 Corinthians 9:16) so that we can understand God's purposes and plans (Matthew 28:19).
- Must be united and of one mind with other ministers (1 Corinthians 1:10-17; 1 Corinthians 3:9). But use the gifts we have to build up the body of Christ. To build up the church, we are the body of Christ and Christ is the head (1 Corinthians 12:27; Ephesians 5:30; 2 Timothy 2:24).
- The church must never tire of continuing to wheeze remind the congregation that every human being must behave properly with gadgets, namely regularly and beautifully if we get rid of gadgets and communicate verbally with our families at home or with others in other places.
Despite the difficulties and challenges we often face, we must remain faithful in carrying out His commands by having a sensitive heart towards others and having a sincere soul so that anyone who wants to repent and be saved and then get salvation, which is a gift from God (John 3:16; 1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9).
In essence, we must present and model the way of thinking about the challenges of the church today and how to overcome them by clarifying their culture that the Christian faith (Romans 15:6; 1 John 5:4-5) must be relevant to all questions regarding these challenges. Hopefully this article on the challenges of the church today and how to overcome them is useful.