By Matt Dawson
Whenever I have a conversation with someone around a culturally charged issue (gay marriage, HB2, racial prejudice, anything political…), there is usually an interesting dynamic that comes out in those conversations. It seems that either someone is fully embracing the cultural stance of what “everyone” thinks and should adhere to OR someone is talking about how “Christians” should be and why failure to stand up, fight, argue, or band together is sending the nation to hell in a hand basket.
However, I really have never understood why we approach cultural concerns this way. After all – aren’t we a part of the culture? Doesn’t culture constantly change? I mean, what is “normal” and what “everyone,” thinks today is so different than it was 10 years ago – won’t it be different 10 years from now? Many Christians just want to RETURN to the way things were… WHEN WAS THAT? I’m only 42 but I’m not really sure there is an ideal time in history that didn’t have conflicts between culture and faith!
Many Christians have their own “sub-culture” of what they think “everyone” should and shouldn’t do. The temptation for many believers is to just ask the world to swap their pagan culture for our more moral Christian culture and we think it’s a win-win! However, most of those outside the church have zero desire to trade one culture for another… their culture suits them just fine!
The truth is, for as long as we draw breath on this earth, we’re going to have to find a way to navigate between WHAT GOD SAYS about everything and WHAT OTHERS (CULTURES) SAY about everything!
This is not only a challenge for most religions but especially for those of us who follow Jesus Christ. Jesus challenged us to LOVE others in such a way that reflected how much He loves us! This doesn’t allow us to just adopt our own sub-culture of belief… He called us to ascribe to HIS KINGDOM! That’s a completely different way of approaching cultural issues.
In our new series, “What Happens When…” we are going to tackle some tough conversations that we are having around those areas that challenge our faith. What happens when culture challenges my faith? What happens when my family challenges my faith? What happens when science & progress challenges my faith?
How do we manage the tension between FEAR and FAITH when approaching these topics?
Join us at Journey for the next several weeks as we spend some time discovering “What Happens When…”