“God never changes.” That’s the refrain sung by those who are disturbed by societal changes that eventually creep into the church, whether worship styles, worship leaders, or changes in dress or entertainment.
And while I’ll concede that God’s character of love, justice, mercy, and grace never changes, His methods of connecting with lost people surely do.
Exhibit one: Jesus Christ. “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe” (Heb. 1:1, 2). For centuries God used prophets to communicate His message. His people consistently ignored them. Then God did something new, radical, and creative: He allowed His own Son to enter the human experience and reveal His character in a way that was both fresh and unique.
Exhibit two: When Temple offerings and sacrifices became trite and empty, they ceased being a required part of worshipping God; the same with circumcision. In fact, the entire Sermon on the Mount was about God (Jesus) moving His people toward a religious practice that had less to do with rituals and more to do with personal spirituality: heart religion.
The status quo is not part of God’s vocabulary. His watchword is: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” (Isa. 43:18, 19).
If history is any indication, God will try anything to get our attention and lead us to a brighter future. The notion that we honor Him by hanging on to meaningless traditions and doing things the way we always have because “God never changes” is an offense to an infinite God who does as He pleases.