March 14, 2007

Christ & culture II

often times we think that Christ and culture are polar opposites and that they have no relationship to each other, that an individual can't be culture savvy and still be a devout follower of Christ. what if being a devout follower of Christ means that one has to be culture savvy? it would make sense to me to think that if i want to know how to most effectively impact someone with and through the love of Christ i need to know the culture in which they live. there is a certain amount of responsibility on me to know and understand the culture in which i am trying to follow Christ in.

i think it's more than just knowing culture but actually engaging culture as well. engaging culture can take a number of different forms: talking with a neighbor over the fence, going to the movies, staying aware of current events, going out on a Friday night, joining the league at the 'Y', etc. Christians engage culture when we take Christ with us outside of the sanctuary on Sunday mornings and into our places of work, our homes, schools, cars, etc.

now please understand that i'm not saying we should be standing on the street corners "preaching" at passerbys but i'm also not saying we should just blend into the background of the cultural landscape. engaging culture means we have to give culture a reason to engage us, if we are exactly like culture then there is no point of engagement. something about Christians is different than culture and that's the way it should be. the very lives that we lead should cause people to stop and ask questions like; "You really think this, why?" or "There's something different about you, what is it?" it's in questions likes these that Christ and culture meet, depending on our response. Jesus said, "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden...In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."

March 9, 2007

Christ & culture

so i've been reading some different things for a couple of my classes and have started thinking about the relationship between Christ and culture. and of course i'm asking myself all sorts of questions like: what does that relationship look like? should a relationship even exist? what role do Christians play in that relationship? does our culture care about Christ? (sidenote-when i say culture, i am referring to the culture in which i live, Western or American culture, in case you were wondering.)

i think there are a lot of implications that go with the relationship between Christ and culture and i also believe that as a follower of Christ, one has the ability to impact culture without being completely lost in it. as Christians we hear all the time, "be in the world, not of the world" but what it seems like is happening more and more is not only are we not going to be of the world but we're going to take ourselves out of it as well. what i mean by that is Christians are secluding themselves from culture and then we talk about how bad our culture has become or is becoming. i mean look at Jesus, this guy was immersed in the culture of his day but never lost sight of his focus. he didn't run around telling his disciples to stay out of the temple or not to talk to people on the streets or in the markets. Jesus met people where they were, in their culture and showed them what it meant to truly know God. if we as Christians are afraid of culture and retreat into our own camps, when we do this we not only take ourselves out of culture but we take Christ out of a culture that is looking for something with lasting meaning.

more to come on this topic....