I love the idea of the Christians engaging culture. Without this engagement, the church starts to look like M. Night Shyamalan’s Village, an awkward commune whose leaders spend their days warning the people of the monsters that lurk just beyond the forest.
This is hardly the light of the world picture that Jesus referred to. You can’t light a city from a hole in the ground.
I realize the push back from fellow believers. “Brother, we are not of this world.” Agreed. However, we are still in this world. Jesus didn’t stand on a rock, just before ascension, and say, “Go into all the world and start communes, hiding yourselves from all those scary sinners.”
In fact, in his last recorded prayer, Jesus requested this for Christians:
I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.
(John 17:15 ESV)
It is my belief that Christians are called to be cultural missionaries in their respective contexts. When the Apostle Paul addressed the people of Athens, he used Greek poetry—written by pagans, mind you—to frame his statements about God.
Many churches take a similar approach to this, using the hot-button topics of culture to communicate the timeless truths of scripture. I love it. Unfortunately, I think many churches are going about it the wrong way. Read More…