Christ & Culture

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.


4 Comments on “Christ & Culture”

  1. Linh says:

    agree! Every time I’m working out or at the Union, library, etc there is always a crowd around me. I don’t even say a word and i test it many times, finding the farthest corner of the room etc. And ALWAYS there is a gathering around me. It made me conclude it is the Spirit inside me that is drawing people. And I just pray for them… relevance is very important, but eventually it’s the Spirit of God that gets the job done. 🙂

  2. Danny says:

    Though extremely difficult to find and maintain a balance, I believe if Christians strive to establish and fuel their intimacy with Christ, wisdom and foresight to properly speak, react, and internalize culture will be given. But being given this ability does not ease the discomfort and at times unwilling nature of a fallen being to be a voice against culture (when needed) as exampled so perfectly by Christ.

    “Our lack of spirituality is the impotence of the Church.” Interesting statement. It’s contrary to what the church should be striving towards. Would we be less “impotent” as the local body if our hearts and minds were refocused back to the main reason we strive towards spirituality? Namely the cross.

    Good things to think and pray about. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Linh says:

    Danny had some very good points in his first paragraph, very well put.

  4. Anon says:

    You’re missing the point. Christ never existed. Get over it little sheep.

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