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The Culture & Christianity

by randy on June 4th, 2009

I don’t know what your end-time views are.  Neither do I really know mine; but I do think as Christians we have dropped the ball in terms of our involvement in science, culture, education, business and the arts.  This is partly due to dispensational eschatology .  Having learned my Christianity in a dispensational, post-modern “fundamentalist” church I saw a strict secular vs. spiritual dichotomy.  I dropped all my entrepreneurial pursuits (having successfully started and sold businesses in my ‘B.C.’ days) and really only reached out in very surface level ways such as in street evangelism, church life, etc.. (all good things).  In a sense I was taught that it was being more eternally minded to be doing “spiritual work” whether it be prayer, bible study, evangelism, missions, preaching, etc… (again, all very good things and things every Christian should be involved in).

My view has changed considerably.  Today I’d really like to see more Christians running businesses, writing books, involved in research, establishing institutions and influencing culture to the glory of Christ all without loosing that boldness to proclaim the true Gospel.

I have been seriously enjoying our recent (May, 2009) studies through the book of Micah.  OPCLI, Sermon Audio

8 Comments
  1. Sarah permalink

    Hey Randy, I came across a blog today that I thought you would enjoy (that is, if you haven’t found it already. . .): The Riddleblog located at kimriddlebarger.squarespace.com – there is a particularly helpful post with a list of books for those new to the reformed faith. http://kimriddlebarger.squarespace.com/books-for-those-new-to-the-ref/

    Blessings!
    Sarah

  2. If only this world and the things in it wasn’t perishing away, then I too would waste my time on temporal things. I would build an edifice to the great things man could do (for the glory of God of course) I would lay up treasure on earth as if there were no tomorrow and also tomorrow I could find time for the Lord, I’m sure I could find some time to squeeze Him in. If I am to spend eternity with my Saviour I may as well make the most of this world, right?
    What does He say? What’s that? “Lay up treasures in heaven”???
    “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” But what about ME Lord, I want to do so much, I have so many plans. What’s that? “Not My will but Yours.” Yes Lord, I know I said that I too could drink from the same cup, but, but …

    Lord of the havest, I plead with you, please Lord, thrust out labourers into Your great harvest, men who would have the same single minded purpose as You have, men who would not be distracted by the things of this world. Men who would drink from the same cup as You. Men who would seek to glorify You in all they say and do. Thank You Lord.

  3. Carl,

    It’s one thing to pursue the things of the world for self gratification and to mascaraed it as worship. It’s entirely different to obey the cultural mandate given to all men to be fruitful, multiply and subdue the earth. This is not just a command for the haters of God, but a command for those who love Him as well.

    The fact that the world and the things in it are perishing is not an excuse to ignore our command to be salt and light. No one who lights a lamp puts it in a jar or hides it under a bed.

    You have embraced the lie that culture is atheistic and secular. Christians should be part of society and as salt and light they should be affecting it.

    It’s a cop-out to say, “it’s all perishing, lets hid in our bunkers and wait for the cavalry.” God has given us all callings and vocations. You may be called to plant a church in tribal Africa. You may be called to politics or to write computer software, perhaps you are a business man or entrepreneur. If the later, should you keep Christ from your vocation? Aren’t we commanded whether we eat or drink, or whatever we do to bring glory to God?

    Are only atheists called to make art? Must all societal interactions embrace the atheistic presupposition and be secular?

    You prayed that “Men would seek to glorify You in all they say and do.” I agree. But that doesn’t mean that all that men say and do must be in their secret Christian ghettos.

  4. Randy, Hi brother.
    I hope I haven’t embraced the lie that culture is atheistic and secular – if it is or isn’t I don’t know. I will allow the Holy Spirit to convict me if I am embracing a lie, but thank you for bringing it to my attention.
    I have a question, “Do you believe in the progressive revelation of Scripture?” It is just that the “cultural mandate given to all men” was just that, it was given to ALL men. Have I become your enemy because I remind you of a truth? – Go ye into all the world… This was only given to christians, each and every one of us. Can you say with Paul that you have striven to proclaim the gospel not where Christ was named lest you build on another man’s foundation? Do you say with Paul, “Woe is me if I preach not the gospel”? Am I saying that every single believer should be going out as a missionary? – NO.
    Am I saying that every believer should be involved in some way in the furtherance of the gospel? – YES.
    Each believer has a new life in Christ. simply stated what I was doing with the life Christ has given me. I do not know if you were convicted of your requirement to be obedient to Christ’s command or if you believe I should be more a part of the world.
    You are right to say “It’s a cop-out to say, “it’s all perishing, let’s hide in our bunkers and wait for the calvary.”
    Calvary has been and gone, Jesus died for a fallen world, let us act more like the cavalry, get out of our bunkers and reach out to a lost multitude.
    I am your brother with a differing part from you, in His body – I guess we are not both feet, which is just as well for I need a helping hand at times to share the burden the Lord has placed on me. If your blog is not the right place to share this, I will accept your decision. Are you willing to extend a helping hand to me – for the furtherance of the gospel?

  5. Wow, I never expected that! I see you have changed your original blog. How do I know? I copied and pasted your original post only correcting your hid for hide. You have obviously read my reply then changed your posting (which then makes mine look absurd). It is a pity you don’t see the need to reply to my second posting, just the need to save face – that is between you and the Lord but I would exhort you to confess it to Him. The only reason I posted my original posting was because of your extensive posting on Lordship under the heading “Apologetics”
    Why do you call Me “Lord, Lord,” and not do what I tell you?
    Luke 6:46
    Tie that in with.
    Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel…
    Mark 16:15
    Jesus tells us to go, not to get involved with the world. You infer that I suggest we should hide in our bunkers or that I suggest that actions should be carried out in secret Christian ghettos. Nothing could be further from the truth. How can a person be hiding in a bunker or a secret Christian ghetto if they are going to the lost with the gospel of Christ? If you would like to reply to my question in my second posting I will abide by your decision as this is your site.
    I am your brother with a differing part from you, – I guess we are not both feet, which is just as well for I need a helping hand at times to share the burden the Lord has placed on me. If your blog is not the right place to share this, I will accept your decision. Are you willing to extend a helping hand to me – for the furtherance of the gospel?

  6. Carl,

    I fixed a spelling mistake; from calvary to cavalry. I am not quite sure you understand what I am saying here and at this point I think we are talking past each other. If you thought I was referring to the location “Calvary” my apologies, but the context wouldn’t allow it.

    The word “world” is used in varying contexts throughout scripture. You are bringing your singular definition of ‘world’ to 1 John 2:15 when it is actually defined otherwise in 1 John 2:16. World in this context refers to sin. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.

    John is not a gnostic. In fact he is writing in response to gnosticism and is in no way calling all things material sinful. He is not commanding us to abstain from material things (food, drink, things that God made and called good). (See 1 Timothy 4:3-4)

    If you take your singular definition of ‘World’ and apply it to every use of the word in scripture then you are also condemning God who claimed to love the World (John 3:16). Clearly world means more than one thing.

    What you are doing is you are dividing life into two categories: the secular and the sacred. Scriptures do not make this distinction.

  7. Yes we are talking past each other – You are harder to pin down then jello. Again I ask when did I refer to hiding or secret Christian ghettos?
    When did I bring John into this? or even gnostiscm. I am not the one dividing life into secular and sacred – Christ is all and in Him we live and breath.
    Your original post was concerning being more involved with this world which I pointed out as passing.
    You still haven’t answered my question, you seem only able to want to score points. You have posted many articles on your site – I have read them all to date, never do you accept correction.

    I am your brother with a differing part from you, – I guess we are not both feet, which is just as well for I need a helping hand at times to share the burden the Lord has placed on me. If your blog is not the right place to share this, I will accept your decision. Are you willing to extend a helping hand to me – for the furtherance of the gospel? This is the third time I have asked this question. To get rid of me all you have to do is either answer the question or ignore it for the third time. To God be true,

  8. Carl, You are reminding me how much I hate dialoguing with modernists. I will try to address all of your posts as briefly as possible.

    Incase you are allergic to context my initial post concluded with the following, “Today I’d really like to see more Christians running businesses, writing books, involved in research, establishing institutions and influencing culture to the glory of Christ ALL WITHOUT LOOSING THAT BOLDNESS TO PROCLAIM THE TRUE GOSPEL.”

    In reply you said, “If only this world and the things in it wasn’t perishing away, then I too would waste my time on temporal things.” You implied that “writing books, running businesses, and establishing institutions” was wasteful and wrong.

    In my reply to you, I pointed out that you were guilty of the very mindset I was initially writing against. You created a secular/spiritual dichotomy.

    YOU are falsely placing vocation in the realm of the secular and are preaching that men should hide in their cultural bunker and hand out tracts and pray instead of being involved in society.

    I am saying that men should continue praying and sharing the gospel… But that we ought to be involved in society. God calls us to varying tasks and interests and pursuing “business, writing books, establishing institutions, etc…” is not wrong. We are to do all things to the glory of Christ and that means sharing the gospel and conducting ourselves as Christians IN SOCIETY.

    I accused you of hiding in a cultural bunker because you have labeled being involved in society as wasteful and worldly. You would like to sit in a Christian ghetto handing out tracts and calling men to join your “monastic” bubble.

    You said, “When did I bring John into this? or even gnostiscm.” You don’t need to mention the word gnosticism to espouse its doctrine. As for John.. the closest verse I could find that makes reference to “not being involved in the world” is 1 John 2:15. I was merely pointing out that it doesn’t say that. You said, “Jesus tells us to go, not to get involved with the world.” Perhaps you could clarify and show me where Jesus says that.

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