Repentance, Progress, and Culture
In the events leading up to the Civil War it seemed as if culture was changing to understanding that slavery was wrong, and should b abolished. Later there was a cultural change that called for equality of rights for citizens of the United States. In each of these cases there has been people who call themselves Christian on both sides of the table. There were those who were against the idea of slavery being illegal, and there were those against the idea of people having the same rights. These were church going people who presumably believed the Bible was the inerrant word of God. It has always seemed as if the church has been lagging behind culture or at least that is the narrative that is being put forward by many today. Has the church always been right behind culture? The answer is no. In many ways the church has been leading the way in culture. It was churches who were the ones who first started hospitals and general care for the sick. It was churches who first started to understand that God is a God of order and thus made a universe of order as well and so started to study it to peek at the mind of God. While this was a para-church movement it was a Christian that started to educate the children in the church building which was known as Sunday school. There were Christians at the forefront for abolishing slavery and fighting for equal rights. There are some times when the church has stood it's ground against culture. The idea that culture is moving forward and the church has been behind trying to keep up is a nice way to make the church look like it is irrelevant and inferior to culture and thus should submit to the cultural norms. I would argue that if the church had always done that and had not called culture to repentance and resisted culture, then slavery would still be legal. This is not to say Christians had all influence in this discussion, however I think many people forget how involved Christians were in this issue. The same is true for civil rights. MLK Jr. was a preacher after all. Sometimes the church should be leading the charge even though culture is not ready to follow, and sometimes it is important for the church to call culture back from where it has gone astray. How do we know what we should do? This is where scripture comes in. Many secular people hate the fact that Christians use the Bible as a defense of what they should or should not do. I argue that the statements made from the authority of scripture in its entirety are the best arguments that can be made. What has God declared through his word what we should or should not be doing as a culture? Christians if we believe the Bible has been inspired by God, then we should stick to what it says, seek to understand it correctly and call culture to follow our lead which is the path of life, not death. I fear that too many Christians are content to sit and allow culture to dictate how and what they should think and feel, but I say, "Do not be conformed to the patterns of the world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind." Are we going to lead the way in transforming culture through the power of the Holy Spirit in us as we live the life of one who has been forgiven by Christ Jesus or will we allow culture to transform us? "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
2/22/2015 11:17:40 am
I completely agree. Society views culture today as the "end all, be all" and that should not be the case. Culture constantly changes. Why would we want to put our hope in something that changes, in now and out tomorrow? I for one am thankful that we can follow something that is constant, never-changing, and truth, God's word.
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