Annual Conference was last week and I took the occasion to go with some great friends and my amazing wife to see the new movie “A-Team”. I grew up watching Murdock annoy B.A., Faceman pull con-schemes, and Hannibal puffing a cigar saying, “I love it when a plan comes together”.
I have to admit…my expectations were low going in. I mean…seriously…how can you fairly represent such an amazing television series like the A-Team on the big screen. However, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the flick.
I did have one problem with the movie. In the TV show, there were certain phrases that were common. Two of these come from B.A….and were uttered quite frequently. The first of which was, “I pity the fool”. The second happened in the majority of episodes when he yelled, “I ain’t gettin’ on no plane Hannibal!” The problem is this: neither of those comments were in the movie.
Sure, the storyline did not hinge on the use of these lines…but they were great lines that you expect going in. But…you know…times change and it calls for tweaks and adjustments to the characters and the writing. It happens in many venues and areas of life. It happens in music with rewrites. It happens in books. It happens in the stories we tell one another. It even happens in the Church.
In the Church, we adjust the story a little in the way we tell it to relate to culture. We focus on various parts of the story to get the point across. We bring in illustrations to enhance the thrust of the message. We even walk away from reading the Scripture to telling the story found in Scripture to capture the imagination. When these things are done effectively…it is great. When we are not responsible when engaging in this “literary license” we watch our congregations (audiences) depart from the church (theater) feeling as if they missed something important that should have been there.
I am just curious how many times we structure worship services and church in general to appeal to the changing culture but fail to hold on to those important things. You know, the parts of the story that make it the story. How many times do we, by changing the way we tell the story, change the story? How many times do we, by structuring the Gospel to meet culture, make it something other than the Gospel?
I guess the question is…how do we meet the culture where it is and continue to share the Truth claims found in Scripture?
Just a bit of a rambling.
I still wish B.A. said, “I pity the fool,” at least once. I guess the producers thought it was enough to have pity and fool tats on his knuckles.