Sep 11, 2012

In the world / Of the world?

If we want Christianity to be a part of our living, breathing, day-to-day culture, we need to be a part of that culture.

if we want to be modeling, to that culture, we must be in that culture.

How different does it look to people if we're in amongst them, working with them vs. being cocooned in our own "Christian Culture"???

I mean, sure........
a. it's comfortable
b. we're bigger fish when the pond is small
c. we're understood among those just like us.
d. and isn't this what conversion was? leaving the bad behaviors? leaving the bad influences?

But What is the church here to do?

a. keep our delicate treasure safe while we wait for Jesus to return

b. share our message

. It's a loaded question and we understand that by context, but we take holiness seriously. We want to be pure for "be holy, as the Lord our God is holy"

but we need to trust god's forgiveness of and love for us.....not IGNORE those verses., but realize how many more verses are telling us to love those around us. to be salt, flavoring our world, to be light in a dark place.

Our church history here in Amer, for reasons I either can't understand, or can't remember (talk to one of our fresh seminarians) has taught us to isolate ourselves; this is the first model, Christ against culture, but as Neibuhr showed us, there are other options.

Our society continues to split into niches, and we're and will be a part of our culture, in spite of ourselves: but is it willing or unwilling? I'm here to ask you to be a willing participant in our culture.

Think about the salvation army vs. the amish:

one is against culture, one is critisized for being a part of it, but who's ever been saved by the amish? Only harrison ford, and Witness was a movie. See, you're already part of pop culture.

Back to our question:  Are we to:

a. keep the gospel safe?

b. get the message to people who might need it, but risk seeing it get twisted, or made fun of, or diminished or demeaned... or not done right...

c. trust God to protect the gospel.

What answer does Jesus give?

"Put it under a bushel? No- I'm gonna let it shine!"

Bury talent, or invest it?

Most of us know these songs and stories, but whatever it is, it's so ingrained in our heads, that despite assenting to these things, we do 
nothing about it.

We put on Christian T shirts we bought at Christian stores, driven to in a car made 'Christian' by a symbol only we understand <when was the last time you explained THE FISH to someone? and when did it become our official symbol anyway?>, all the while listening to Christian music, stopping at a 'secular' bookstore only long enough to buy the latest christian bestseller (to paraphrase Tony Campolo, you probably noticed that I didn't capitalize 'christian' more than you thought about what I just wrote)

These things are wonderful, taken seperately, in moderation... understanding that they're another Christians artistic expression. But I don't think God intends or is happy when we build a house out of them that insulates us from the sick ppl who need the medicine the most.

Doesn't that amount to a city on a hill trying to be hid?  Or a lantern hidden under a basket of "holiness"?

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