Churches exist in societies, and the changes that happen in these societies tend to affect the church. Since our world is subjected to the effects of the fall described in Genesis 3 and illustrated in chapter 4, and indeed in the rest of the Bible, the pull is sadly ‘downward’.
Society, contrary to popular opinion, unaided by the gospel and left to itself does not evolve nor improve with time. If it were not for the continuous preaching of the Bible in the pulpits of the world, and if it were not for heaven–sent reformation and revival movements given by God from time to time, and if it were not for the common grace and the patience of God, and were it not for the true church of the Lord Jesus Christ, acting as salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16) in all ages, the self-destructive nature of fallen men would have brought about the total demise of this world far sooner.
Many people are not sure as to what the role of the church ought to be in our ever changing society. On the one hand there are those who maintain that the church ought to accommodate herself to the times. Their representatives call the church to adapt her message to suit the times. On the other extreme there are those (they are not too many these days) who believe that the church ought to resist the times, to the point of becoming isolationist and non- interactive. Therefore, since they do not intersect with their society, they have no influence upon their society, and for all intents and purposes, they are irrelevant.
Jesus never intended His church to be an uncritical follower of culture or societal norms. Jesus Himself was not afraid to take on religious and cultural establishments in His day. What mattered to Him was that the truth of God’s plain Word should be applied to man’s thinking, thus correcting the continuous drift of society into evil and falsehood. The church must do likewise.
The church is not a cultural phenomenon. The church is not an institution designed by man. The church is not an uncritical rubberstamp of her society. She is a creation of God. She is the ‘ekklesia’ of God. She is the people of God, purchased by the death of Christ on the cross. She represents the people that are ‘called out’ of the world , and called to belong to God. She is ‘God’s new society‘. She is called by God to be God’s alternative society. She is called to proclaim the gospel to this corrupt society, declaring the good news that God has made a way for sinners to be reconciled with God through believing in Christ and to be changed by Christ once more into a God fearing, godly people. So, the gospel is not only an announcement concerning how sinners may be reconciled with their Creator. The gospel is also an announcement regarding ‘how we should live’.
SECULAR VERSUS BIBLICAL ANTHROPOLOGY
In this regard one of the greatest challenges in our day has become the matter of biblical anthropology (i.e. the doctrine of man) severely clashing with an aggressive secular and atheistic anthropology that is challenging the way in which we have traditionally and biblically looked at God and man.
I consider how the landscape has changed even within my life time. I find that the greatest challenge started when society began to abandon the biblical distinction concerning the different roles of men and women in favour of an ‘egalitarian view‘. The biblical view is ‘complementarian’, meaning that men and women have been created by God to complement one another, rather than to compete with one another. The egalitarian world view recognises no functional difference between men and women, and therefore men and women are now competing with one another, rather than completing one another. The gender wars have become not only a feature of the international community, but indeed also of Namibian society.
This ongoing gender war has opened a proverbial can of worms. If we challenge the biblical view of the unique design of men and women in terms of their unique design in terms of their differing roles, and their different sex, then we must not be surprised that, following the abolishment of these biblical distinctions, further cracks appear. The little crack in the pipe has now become a serious water – leak. Lack of gender distinction has now become gender confusion. And all of a sudden, and at a dizzying speed, the gay, lesbian and transgender agenda has appeared with an astonishing force and strength, challenging everything sacred: marriage, biblical sexuality, child raising principles, education.
In the church the prevailing trend in Namibia has been to almost uncritically endorse the prevailing culture, even to the point to which the plain meaning of the Bible, the Word is of God is challenged and re-interpreted to suit the culture. For instance. the Bible knows nothing of women elders and pastors leading the church, and yet it is true that more and more women take over the leadership roles of the Namibian church. The Bible would firmly challenge this development. People would call this a fundamentalistic position, when in truth it has everything to do with the authority of Scripture which is being plainly ignored.
It is this tendency to rebel against biblical authority in the church which ultimately gives way to the great spiritual apostasy of the church and thus ultimately to the disassembly of society.
Namibian churches and pulpits must be prepared to see this and to pray, preach and obey the gospel, earnestly and lovingly to our society.
 From the Greek word ‘ek’ & ‘kaleo’ - literally, ‘ to be called out’. The church is the people of God called out of this world and called to belong to God . She is God’s new society
 1 Peter 2:9-10
 John Stott : Commentary of Ephesians , BST Series (IVP) , p.26
 The Bible makes it clear every man is a sinner : “ All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” ( Rom 3:9-26)