Being In the World, Not of It
Take an assessment of our culture today…turn on the news, sign on to Facebook, listen to your friends’ and neighbors’ conversations; we are bombarded by a world with issues and ideas often running counter-culture to our Christian faith.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
To be human is to face an inundation of ideas, issues, obstacles, claims, truths, and lies. We build our lives, relationships, and families in the midst of this all while learning to navigate the bumps and pitfalls along the way.
What is a Christian to do with this? How are we to train up our children regarding this?
Let’s start at the beginning – before our sin problem.
Take a look at Genesis 1:26-28. In these few verses, we find our whole identity as people! We are HIS image-bearers. The pinnacle of God’s creation. Made and called to “have dominion (verse 26)” and to “fill the earth and subdue it (verse 28).” Culture is not inherently bad; in fact, it was part of God’s plan from the beginning. God intended for man-kind to “cultivate” (nurture, support) the world around us.
We are living in the middle.
There’s a book many of you probably have, the Jesus Storybook Bible, where Sally Lloyd Jones says, “No, the Bible isn’t a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story … the best thing about this Story is – it’s true.” It’s God’s Story, and it accurately describes reality, what went wrong, what God has done to redeem the situation (Jesus Christ) and how the Story will conclude.
Within Scripture we find Truth – with a capital T. And in our post-modern age where the common belief is that culture shapes our individual truth, it’s important to distinguish Scripture as objective Truth. So while culture is never fixed, shifting and changing with the ebbs and flows of ideas, the Bible, and our God, is constant.
We are a plot point, which means the only way to make sense of our culture is to view it in light of the bigger Story.
How the story ends:
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21:5)
Make no mistake – God is at work today through His people, His image-bearers. Tune your heart to see the ways He is at work around you and be encouraged – He uses people to feed the hungry, adopt orphans, care for the sick, create brilliant art, transform nations, and restore culture … and in places like New Braunfels, Texas, He uses a fun, safe, wildly enthusiastic camp environment to reveal a little more of who He is and teach us how to love Him and love others well.
Let’s be agents of restoration, God’s image bearers, with our identities set in Jesus Christ, not shifting to and fro with the waves of culture. Have a great conversation around the dinner table tonight talking about how your family can be agents of restoration.
What Truth will you stand on this week to be a part of restoring our culture? That might look like you NOT joining in unhealthy behavior, or speaking up in a conversation where a worldly opinion is being presented as “truth”. You can do it! You are courageous, because you’re made in God’s image!