Christ & CulturePosted: March 1, 2008
In response to Pastor Min’s sermon last night on “The Mind & Culture” (1 John 2:15-17), I had several thoughts and convictions, but I’ll share just one.
In the beginning, he referenced Niebuhr in his book Christ & Culture by noting the many different trends of Christians in response to this subject of Culture & Christianity.
1. Christ against culture – Jesus was in opposition to the world
2. Christ of culture – Jesus was with the world and was one in the same
3. Christ & the culture in paradox – Jesus and the world are mutually exclusive
4. Christ transforming culture – Jesus was in the culture and changing it
Where are we today on this issue? Whether we know it or not, what we think about this issue and where we stand will greatly effect our life’s choices. Because depending on what your stance is, your attitude of missions & the Word of God will be effected.
But ultimately, I believe what’s lacking in our world is not merely relevance, influence, or even intellect, but it’s simply a lack of spirituality. Our lack of spirituality is the impotence of the Church. We don’t merely need greater insights into culture, but deeper intimacy with Christ. We often tend to lean toward one side or the other on this issue of Christ and culture, don’t we? But when that happens you lose hold of the other. Have your nose in the Word and you lose sight of the world. Have your ear solely on the world and you’ll never hear God’s voice. It’s not so much a delicate balance between the two as it’s a firm grasp on the Word and a loose grip of the world. But again, as Pastor Min poignantly put it, “Cultural change should be the result, not the aim of our Spirituality.” We are first in love with our God, then we are to love people. It’s the volatile mix of “Doxology & Missiology” (the rigid right hand & the loose left hand).
I hope that Christians would never lose relevance in our culture (though it may seem so at times), and that we’d be diligent students of culture, but even more devoted disciples of Jesus Christ.