Church, Musings

Quotes about the Church and Culture (Part 3)

How should the church relate to culture (see previous posts 1, 2)? How should we teach our children to engage society (see previous posts 1, 2)?

G. K. Chesterton is often quoted as say,
“We do not want, as the newspapers say, a church that will move with the world. We want a church that will move the world.”

Can the church move the world? What would it take? How could we, how should we seek to move the world? Which direction do we want to move it?

Can we do this from within the walls of a church building? Can we do it without engaging, living in and among the culture, within our communities?

But the G. K. Chesterton quotes is longer,
“We do not want, as the newspapers say, a Church that will move with the world. We want a Church that will move the world . . . It is by that test that history will really judge, of any Church, whether it is the real Church or no.”

Two more quotes, these from Chesterton’s autobiography

“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.”
“Take away the supernatural, and what remains is the unnatural.”

When combining these thoughts, I’m struck that the way the church begins to move the world is not by removing the obstacles of the truth–the stumbling blocks of the gospel or of Jesus Christ. The supernatural must remain or we are simply suggesting something that is unnatural. And if we want to make it “easy” we remove the reality that the road is narrow.  That is not the message of the real church.

But where “we,” the church are the obstacles, we must change or we will never move the world–toward Him.

Christianity is so entangled with the world that millions never guess how radically they have missed the New Testament pattern. Compromise is everywhere. The world is whitewashed just enough to pass inspection by blind men posing as believers. A.W. Tozer

The devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them . . . providing amusement for the people is nowhere spoken of in the Scriptures as a function of the church . . . the need is for Biblical doctrine, so understood and felt that it sets men aflame. Charles H. Spurgeon

(For more great quotes, see

Author: Steve

Steve Kilgore joined the staff of Calvary Church in Lancaster, PA in the fall of 2002 as the Pastor of Discipleship to facilitate the equipping ministries, which include Adult Bible Fellowship and other adult discipleship ministries, and work with the rest of the education ministries. He currently serves as the Executive Pastor of Ministries with a focus on providing ministries that facility individuals taking intentional Next Steps for growing and participating in the leadership and administrative aspect at Calvary. He has also taught part-time at Lancaster Bible College in the area of Spiritual Formation and New Testament. Prior to coming to Calvary he served in two churches as well as taught part-time at Philadelphia Biblical University. He was born in Dallas, Texas, but spent the first 13 years of his life in Guatemala where his parents were missionaries. It was there at the age of four and a half that Steve placed his faith in Christ as his Savior. Steve received a Bachelor’s degree in Bible from Philadelphia College of Bible and a Masters of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. Steve and his wife, Mary Anne, have their two boys, Andrew and Nathan (both in college), and live in East Lampeter Township. Steve lives and ministers by the personal motto, Know what you believe and why, live it, be able to defend it. His hobbies, other than playing with his family, include tinkering with computers, reading, drinking coffee with his wife, playing and watching basketball. Steve and Mary Anne are looking forward to exploring new hobbies as they transition to life as empty-nesters.

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