Engaging the culture

We spent this week at FCF Family Church Conference. What a blessing. One of the speakers, Dr. James Garlow, had just come from doing a live interview on CNN regarding the subject of same-sex marriage. His interviewer was Eliot Spitzer, former New York governor. It was quite a confrontation of world views. The subject of the legal status of homosexual roommates aside, I thought Dr. Garlow’s comments on the experience were very instructive:

1. We must strive to engage the culture we live in without becoming part of it. That means trying to understand the almost completely unbiblical mind of the world around us while maintaining a transcendent life as citizens of another world ourselves. It is the essence of “in the world but not of the world” and”all things to all men that I might by all means save some.” It is difficult to win someone whom you disdain.

2. The people in the media and academia don’t hate us as much as it may seem that they do. They simply do not understand us. They assume we hate them because their minimal exposure to Bible Christianity has given them that impression. We are here to demonstrate the love of God to them and to inform them on who we are because of who He is. That means we have to talk to them without speaking in Christian code, but in terms they grasp

3. The culture and its human representatives are not our enemy. The enemy is the enemy. People are both the tools of the enemy and the prize in our battle with him. Love the people, stick the Sword in the enemy, and recognize the purpose for which we have been left here on earth.

Scripture Reading: I gave them your word; The godless world hated them because of it, Because they didn’t join the world’s ways, Just as I didn’t join the world’s ways. I’m not asking that you take them out of the world But that you guard them from the Evil One. They are no more defined by the world Than I am defined by the world. Make them holy–consecrated–with the truth; Your word is consecrating truth. In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world. John 17:14-18 MSG

Somebody Said: “As long as I see any thing to be done for God, life is worth having; but O how vain and unworthy it is to live for any lower end!” David Brainerd

As Christianity flourishes and grows around the world, we in the United States find ourselves in an almost entirely pagan environment. Whose fault is that?


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