Engaging Our Culture
Throughout the years, every generation of God’s people has had to wrestle living within a certain culture. As we live life, we must find ways to engage the culture in which we live without allowing the culture to mold us and shape us into something we shouldn’t be. We are to be in the world, but not of the world. We are in the world to do good, reach out to those who are lost, and influence it for the better. Our responsibility extends far beyond the walls of the church building.
What is culture? Culture is many things. It is how we are entertained, how we dress, what we eat, what we do, what our society thinks and believes, etc. Although some have tried to limit culture to one aspect or another, I believe it is a very broad term that encompasses many different aspects of a society. T.S. Eliot described culture as “that which makes life worth living.” As Christians, we understand the source of an “abundant life” is not material blessings, but spiritual ones. However, this does not mean we cannot enjoy the material blessings God has so richly blessed us with. In fact, God wants us to enjoy these things (Eccl. 3:12-13).
When Christians speak of culture, it is usually negative. We tend to point out the negative impact culture often has on sexuality, language, apparel, etc. Every culture is comprised of things which are good and evil. We should always refrain from that which is evil, and seek a reasonable and logical way to point it out to the world.
Christians should not only seek to discuss what is evil about culture, but we should also converse about what is good. People enjoy talking about cultural things. We like to discuss the last movie we saw, the latest fashion, the new CD we bought, what we did over the weekend, etc. Instead of approaching these conversations from a purely secular point of view, we should approach them as Christians. People may not want to hear a Bible lesson while at work, but they will probably listen as you tell them about the latest movie you watched, and the good moral lesson it teaches. By engaging our culture, we are creating more opportunities to reach out to others, and we are looking for God in everything we do.