Nostalgia is Dangerous

We all love the chance to relive our childhood.  That's why products that came out when I was a child have been brought back, movies have been made based on old TV shows, and stores called "Nostalgiaville" exist. Kenny Chesney has a cheesy song intended to play upon nostalgic notions, but he's not the first as the Statler Brothers have made a killing off of playing on the romantic notions of one's childhood.

The church also likes to dwell on nostalgic notions of the past.  "Remember how great things were back then?"

But the thing is...nostalgia can be dangerous for the church.

Romantic longings for the past keep us from looking to the future.  Longing for things to be how they used to be keeps the church from evaluating its present situation and taking the appropriate actions based upon the present, rather than the past.

Now, don't get me wrong, I love to listen to the stories of the past.  The past is very important.  We just can't live there and we shouldn't spend our time longing for it or romanticizing it.

Let's be inspired by those who came before us.  Let's be encouraged by the fact that God did great things in the past, using ordinary people.  Let's celebrate the history of our congregations and the pastors and people who have been a part of it.

But let's not become nostalgic or try to recapture the past in the present.  Instead, let's take a look at the present situation and continue the legacy of those who faithfully lived before us.


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