The challenge of being a Christian in a world with a Christian subculture

OIP-22

This is a challenging time to be a Christian. There is a big difference between what is culturally Christian and being a Christian in culture.

One is concerned with policy; the other is concerned with people.

One wants to create a separate world; the other seeks to inform the world we have.

One is concerned with safety; the other relishes danger.

One is driven by fear; the other driven by hope.

One is against the world; the other loves the world (John 3:16).

One is not in, but of the world; the other is not of, but in the world.

One creates a subculture alternative to the world; the other are people making contributions in the world.

One majors on morality; the other majors on grace.

One is big and getting smaller; the other is small and getting bigger.

One champions differences; the other champions similarities.

One judges; the other accepts.

One blames; the other forgives.

One is proud; the other is humble.

One is exclusive; the other is inclusive.

One separates; the other embraces.

One is trying to reform society; the other is about being reformed in society.

This is a time like no other in history. We cannot assume that our traditional evangelical messages are being understood as to what they really mean. Christianity has been politically usurped. We must find other ways of living out our faith other than the popular, presumptive ones that have been around for the last few decades. We need to internalize our faith and then find new ways to talk about it. We need to work at articulating the meaning of truth not just brandishing Christian platitudes and buzz words. Don’t trust what comes down the Christian marketing channels; study the word of God for yourself and translate it into the world around you. These are exciting days to think for yourself and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth.

We are not cultural Christians; we are Christians in culture. One lets the culture speak for it; the other speaks for itself.

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This entry was posted in Christianity and politics, discipleship, kingdom of God and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to The challenge of being a Christian in a world with a Christian subculture

  1. dierama says:

    Wow! you certainly smacked that growing monster on the head!
    You could not be more correct and have more insight that you do!
    Your well written sermon could be summarized by a simple statement. ” This Christian nation is being subverted by ….. (you name them) and we need to make it great again”!

    • Paul Sonkowsky says:

      I think I would summarize the message somewhat differently. It’s not really about fixing America, it’s more about how we are going to live as Christians — in this country or any other — during these very challenging times.

      • Bob Pusey says:

        I agree Paul. I think that it’s easy to idolize our country, it’s leaders, and political parties. Our allegiance should be first and foremost be to Jesus and his kingdom. I’m not sure about the ability of any nation to be Christian, only the people within them.
        All kingdoms rise and fall. Like John taught on Sunday night at the Catch, Ps 146:3 “Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who can not save”. And I like Is. 2:22 “Stop trusting in man, who has but breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he?”.

  2. peter leenheer says:

    John, I agree with your thoughts. You sure smacked that ‘monster of the head’.
    What God appears to be doing is transferring the kingdom of Satan out and the Kingdom of God in. Hence “thy kingdom come” in the Lord’s prayer. In Ephesians 6 (especially vs 17+18.) in the armor of God section what is often missed is that using the sword of the Spirit is Prayer.
    Turning to Revelation 8:1-5 we read how the prayers of the redeemed are mixed in a bowl with the incense of God, right in His presence. Verse 5 gives a good description of the effect our prayers have. Read on about the seven Trumpets and the ‘troubles’ they created on earth. (Rev. 8:6 – 9:21)
    Verse 21 states that despite all these calamities and plagues the survivors did not repent. We are in a war. Our prayers for repentance of the world translate into any calamity that will drive unbelievers into the Kingdom. So let us pray, ‘thy kingdom come’ and harvest as needed. It is going to take turmoil and battle to get satan to give up his authority of this world. Jesus has won, but satan is not going without a fight.
    So let us pray God’s culture into existence in prayer and action.

  3. In Judaism, every Sabbath and Festival meal begins with the kiddush, saying a blessing over a cup of wine. We hold the cup and raise it up while we make the blessing. One of the meanings behind this symbolic act is that we raise up that which has been pushed down. We elevate that which has been oppressed.

    This very simple act is also symbolic of the different ways that we can approach life.

    In life, there are two ways to get ahead — either by raising ourselves up, or by pushing others down. Unfortunately, people often choose the latter. Be it a colleague in a large company trying to ascend the corporate ladder, or a cruel dictator wanting to enrich himself, many people choose to better their own conditions [or personal isms] at the expense of others.

    This was exactly what Balak, the king of the Moabites, decided to do. Balak was afraid of the children of Israel, and so he employed Balaam, a sorcerer, to curse the Jewish people. Really, he could have just as easily hired Balaam to bless his own people. He could have asked for greater strength for his own people, but instead Balak asked Balaam to weaken the Israelites. Ultimately, Balak’s plan did not succeed. Instead of being weakened by Balaam’s words, the Israelites were strengthened when Balaam’s curse came out as a blessing.

    We all have the same choice in our own lives — to either spend our time cutting others down, or building others [and, ultimately, ourselves] up. While pushing others down through gossip or [worse] may be tempting, we really only hurt ourselves. On the other hand, when we bless others, we benefit from their blessings as well.

    The world will not become brighter by diminishing someone else’s light. It’s only when we make our own flame brighter or add light to someone else that the world will become a brighter place for us all!

    Who can you raise up today with words of encouragement?

    Excerpted from Holy Land Moments Daily Devotionals (07-01-2020):
    “Raising Up Others” by Yael Eckstein
    https://www.ifcj.org/learn/holy-land-moments/daily-devotionals/raising-up-others/

  4. jwfisch says:

    Part of a prophetic message is to say, “Not this, but this.” Half of the Sermon on the Mount is “You have heard it said…” But I say …” That’s what I was trying to do here. I hate to find people turned off to the gospel but they are turned off to the wrong one.

    • Sandie says:

      Unfortunately, the reason people get turned off to the gospel is because they have been turned off by Christians. Heck, I’VE been turned off by Christians! When they look at us they should experience Jesus,,,instead they experience US with a token veneer of Christianity thrown over the mess! You’re right. We are giving the world a sorry shadow of Jesus and His Grace.

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