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....


Jeremy R said...

In a small group that I am in we've been studying Daniel (along with Jeremiah 29) God says this through the prophet Jeremiah as the Babylonians have just destroyed and taken captive Judah, God's people.

"Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles who I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for yous sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear songs and daughters; multiply there, ad do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare."

God says this to his chose people whom he loves. Seek the welfare of the empire that just destroyed you. Be a blessing and pray for them. Not the attitude that I would want to have toward my capture.

But if we separate ourselves from the culture or the world that we live in, then we give up the chance to be the light of the glory of Christ.

I think I, and most Christians, try to separate ourselves to much from culture and our world. But there is a danger in going to far the other way and assimilating into the culture so deeply that your light becomes the same shade as the world's. There in lies the question, "how can we be in the world, but not of the world."