Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Understanding People Before Culture

Mark Lauterbach in this month's NEXT Webzine gives some great words of wisdom when it comes to how we as Christians should engage the world around us. We so often (myself for sure included) get caught up with thinking more about culture than anything else. Sometimes we do so out of our own self-justification, so we can watch South Park or listen to this or that. We engage in "cultural studies" without ever actually engaging the culture we study with the gospel of Jesus Christ! That is wrong, that is sin and we must heed this wisdom from Lauterbach.

Here is an excerpt:

In light of this, there’s a big question many Christians are asking today: How should a Christian relate to their culture?

Should we insulate ourselves in Christian ghettos? Or are we to study the culture–stay in touch with the best of TV and cinema, keep up with the bestsellers, and know some of the new music?

Personally, I am not sure I know exactly how to answer all these questions or where to draw all the lines. I know we should ask these questions, carefully and biblically. And I know we will all answer them, in good conscience, in different ways.

But I want to suggest that this question–“How should a Christian relate to culture?”–may be the wrong question. This may be the wrong place for us, as Christians in the middle of culture, to start. Here’s why: I am not sure how I am to relate to the culture, but I am sure I am to relate to people outside of Christ for the sake of their salvation. Before we ask how we as Christians should relate to our culture we must ask how and why Christ came into culture. Christ and his mission should define the questions we ask about culture.

Click here for the rest of the article.

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