Christians and Culture
When I came to LIALC, our first Youth Group series, re:View, was on worldview. The major focus of that series was on understanding and impacting culture. One thing that we mentioned a lot was Paul's interactions in Acts 17. The fact is, we cannot escape our culture. Unless we never leave our homes or watch TV or use the internet, we WILL experience culture in some way. Some things in culture are good, some are bad, some are neutral. We need to figure out how to separate those things. But what is our response to our culture at large? There are three main responses:
1. Be offended and withdraw: seek to avoid the culture at all costs.
2. Be delighted and assimilate: wholeheartedly accept everything culture has to offer. This "Christian" is indistinguishable from anyone else in the culture.
3. Be distressed and engage: this is Paul's response.
Paul looks around at the culture of Athens and doesn't go hide under a rock. Neither does he go and experience all the things that Athens has to offer. Rather, he is DISTRESSED. He looks around and he aches for the lostness of that city. So what is his response? He ENGAGES. He goes and speaks to the people of Athens in ways that they can understand. Compare Paul's speech here to the other speeches we've read throughout Acts. The differences are HUGE. Why? Because his audience here is vastly different and he seeks to explain the good news in ways that they understand.
So - which response do you have? Are you distressed by our culture? Or are you angry about it? Or happy and enjoying it? What are some ways that we can ENGAGE our culture?