3 Ways Christians Respond to a Changing Culture1
Click Here for Sound Bite
In America, our culture is rapidly changing. It can be difficult for Christians to know how to respond and react to changes. David Kinnaman (You Lost Me) and Gabe Lyons (The Next Christians) describe 3 groups of Christians in responding to culture.
The Separatist withdraws from culture. They claim that everything about the world outside of the Church is corrupted and wrong. They feel called away from the world. Inside the Separatist group, there are 3 types of people...
1. The Insider - Their lives revolve primarily around ‘Christian’ activities and functions involving other Christians. Their kids attend Christian schools or are homeschooled, listen to Christian radio, and wear Christian t-shirts.
2.The Cultural Warrior -- The Cultural Warrior is someone who loves watching Fox News and listening to talk radio. They want to 'get our country back' to being a Christian nation and are very concerned about where we are heading. Although very sincere and well-intentioned, they can come across as super critical and too negative as their message is more of 'doom and gloom.'
3. The Evangelizer -- The Evangelizer is only concerned about getting people saved that they don't care how they come across. This can be bold and admired, but their tactics can be too harsh and not appear genuine.
The second group of Christians reacting to culture are known as the Culturalists.
The Culturalist tends to accommodate culture and conflate their faith with the culture itself. There are 2 types of Culturalists...
1. The Blender -- Blenders have one concern: being like everyone else. They've seen how the Separatists have been alienated from the 'in crowd', and they have no desire to go down that path. Although they identify with the beliefs of Christianity on a spiritual level, they attempt to blend in on the cultural level and don't look any different than non-Christians.
2. The Philanthropist -- Philanthropists emphasize volunteer service and doing good works. They want to make the world a better place so they are constantly serving at soup kitchens, leading a Boy Scout Troop, or cleaning the garbage off the side of the highway. They share the good news of Jesus only with their actions.
The third group of Christians are known as the Restorers.
Jesus says, "I have come to make all things new (Revelation 21:5)." Jesus Christ restores the brokenness around us. It is by His Name that we see ultimate healing and restoration. There is power in the name of Jesus to break every chain ("Break Every Chain").
There is one type of Restorer, the Disciple.
1. The Disciple -- The Disciple understands his or her role is to thoughtfully engage culture. Not withdraw from culture or accommodate it but engage it. The Disciple knows he must speak the truth but to do so in love, knowing that he is a grave sinner and prone to wander and leave the God he loves ("Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing"). He is assertive and gentle, strong and humble.
He knows that he must minister to othes in word and deed; sharing our faith and serving others is not an either-or but a both-and.
The Disciple knows that relationships are healed in the name of Jesus, distressed neighborhoods are revitalized in the name of Jesus, addictions are demolished in the name of Jesus, and the unborn are protected in the name of Jesus.
We all favor one group or another at different times, but we must aspire to living the life of a Disciple of Jesus whose chief concern is to help restore the brokenness around him in the name of Jesus.
For more on this, check out my sermon "In, but Not Of".