Every church is contemporary. Every church looks like the world around us. All Christian churches are contemporary.
Some are contemporary to the 1950’s. And that’s OK.
Some are contemporary to the 1980’s. Again, no prob.
One of the vanguards of the contemporary church movement began in 1965 with casual dress and upbeat music. As the decades changed, many of the churches did as well. They were (and still are) known for solid bible teaching (verse-by-verse), quality worship and great discipleship. The churches in the movement that stayed anchored to the 60’s and 70’s didn’t do so well.
All churches are contemporary. All dress styles are “worldly.” Because we don’t wear clothing that is completely different from the world around us. Bankers and Corporate Execs wear nice clothing. So do some church people. Many people like to wear jeans and T’s. So do some church people. God does NOT look at the type of fabric on your body and feel dishonored when it’s not fashioned into a suit and tie or a dress- 1 Samuel 16. Esp. since you are NOT coming into “His house” to worship. God doesn’t live in the building- – Acts 7:48, 17:24. YOU are his house. And you gather together to be “built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit”- Eph. 2.
By the way, do the research. When people began wearing ties to church, it actually caused church splits. Because ties were considered “worldly.” And when people went from black ties to color ties, that also caused problems. Because Christians have a damnable habit of sanctifying the form and forgetting the function. Of worshiping styles while trampling upon the freedom the Creator has given to his creation.
And, really, can you imagine telling Africans or Aborigines or Middle Easterners that they must dress like you to attend worship? Of course not- because suits and ties aren’t part of their culture. And that clothing is part of yours, Sunshine.
Some of the music proclaimed as different from the world, as “God’s music,” is simply a collection of bar tunes (from late 1800’s to early 1900’s) in which the words were substituted for religious words. There is NO Christian music. There are only words that make the music have a particular direction. If I played you a tune without the words, you couldn’t tell me that it is Christian or non-Christian. If you think you could, such proclamation only betrays your particular prejudices. Music is neither Christian nor secular, save for the words. Therefore, styles are chosen based upon what speaks to the current gathered group of worshipers.
We are to be different, right? Not in style. But in character. In our love of Jesus and the people created in his image. In our hatred of the things that have fractured our relationship with our God and with one another. And continue to. Fruit of the Spirit, anyone? (Galatians 5).
“Lord, I thank you that I am not like other men…”- Pharisee (“We’re different and better”)
“Lord, be merciful to me a sinner…”- Tax Collector (“I need God’s grace daily”)
The Tax Collector is the one who went home justified (declared right in God’s sight).
Traditional? No problem. Contemporary? No problem.
Thinking I’m better because I’m either one? Huge problem.
Because then it’s not about Jesus, it’s about me and my silly little style.