Evangelical progress in Romania

Evangelical progress in Romania
Robert Norman Author and missionary in Iasi, Romania.
14 March, 2024 4 min read

Christians tend to swing to either side of a pendulum. One side is liberalism. This seeks to involve flashy new ideas and modern concepts in churches to draw new crowds. On the other side, some Christians fall into legalism, or traditionalism. This consists of old ideas that do not really work anymore, yet people cannot seem to let them go. Are either of these right? The general answer is ‘no’.

Sadly, Romania is in a state of being caught between the two. There are a great many people here who hold to the old traditional model. This means that men and women sit on opposite sides of the church (even families do not sit together); women must wear head scarves; people pray with little direction; and men often preach without any real clarity to their messages.

On the other hand, a lot of churches have realised this problem. Unfortunately, they have been so desperate to break free from the chains of the past that they have swung too far in the opposite direction. They claim to be free, but bind themselves with shorter sermons, emotional experiences, and rock bands.

A lack of complete unity between church members is also strong here as people segregate themselves into ‘friendship groups’. They fail to remember that we should be working for the entirety of our local congregation (Galatians 6:1-10).

It is understandable why the traditional Christians want to maintain the past if this is the alternative. Nevertheless, it is also understandable why the younger generation is fed up and wants change. This is the constant battle in Romania. The strain that it puts on relationships between believers is immense. One side wants change while the other wants to keep things the way they have always been.

Back to Scripture

What do we do in the midst of such chaos? The answer is simple, yet its practice is profoundly difficult. Simply put, we go back to Scripture. The constant question we must ask churches (and especially ourselves) is: ‘Are we being biblical?’ When we want to defend our traditions, can we actually justify them from the Bible? And, when we want to do things differently, then is that supported by Scripture?

As simple as this sounds, not everybody agrees. The traditionalists refuse to make sure their traditions are biblical, because this is all they have ever known. The liberals want new ways of doing things and have become so blinded by the appeal of the new that they have left Scripture out of the equation.

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