“To what can I compare this generation? It is like children playing a game in the public square. They complain to their friends, ‘We played wedding songs, and you didn’t dance, so we played funeral songs, and you didn’t mourn.’ For John didn’t spend his time eating and drinking, and you say, ‘He’s possessed by a demon.’ The Son of Man, on the other hand, feasts and drinks, and you say, ‘He’s a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of tax collectors and other sinners!’ But wisdom is shown to be right by its results.” (NLT)
There is no pleasing some people. Jesus is remarking that he threw himself into social celebrations and was criticised for it. John the Baptist was an anti social isolate and copped criticism for it. No wonder Jesus likens the crowds to children who complain that people won’t do their bidding.
It is a loser’s game trying to please everyone. Not only as individuals but as churches. It is good and right for church leaders to be creative and even take risks in order to engage with those outside the church. We are not out to make church unattractive or forbidding. We are intent on expressing the old truths in new ways. But we must never forget that the church is to challenge our culture, not conform to it. And while we challenge sensitively and lovingly, we will always come up against opposition.
So we try to get our message across in words and actions which we hope will get a positive response. But we can never risk diluting the message in order to get a positive response. Church is not meant to be dull or incomprehensible. But it is meant to provoke and disturb. Ultimately, we are in the business of being God pleasers not crowd pleasers.