Counter Cultural TWICE
I am learning that there are at least two different ways I should be counter cultural.
1. The first is counter cultural to the prevailing religious American norm. I want to be perpendicular and different from pretense, judgemetalism, doctrinaire and self righteousness. Ultimately, I am to be and lead others to be different than the normal ‘Christian’ culture.
2. The second is being counter-cultural to the self-centered, individualistic and materialistic prevailing culture.
It’s really hard to do both.
People who live in one extreme tend to label you as being in the other. God doesn’t want me us in either.
Here are some things God says about cultural wrongs. Look at His thoughts on the world…
“The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:9-13 ESV)
We need to live in the culture of Christ. A culture of forgiveness, repentance, grace, mercy, conviction and commitment.
That is a Jesus Culture.
“They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” (1 John 4:5, 6 ESV)
He is telling us that there will always be people of this ‘world’ infiltrating and hanging around God’s people. Watch out for them. Their presence may not be obvious.
Then God tells us how to deal with this problem… How to know the real truth.
“But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;” (1 Corinthians 1:27 ESV)
He is saying that God doesn’t save through intellectual understanding or impressive production. He saves through forgiveness, grace & mercy. That is the ‘culture’ of Biblical living.
He warns us not to try and be a ‘winner’ in a worldly culture…
“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”(Mark 8:36 ESV)
But he also warns us not to spend our lives trying to destroy or judge a worldly culture. Don’t fight against the world. Help save it…
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:17 ESV)
Let’s live between the religious culture as the worldly culture. Let’s love like Christ and live in Him.