Are Christians influencing our culture or vice versa?

I would say the answer to this question is yes, but more of the latter than the former. Many churches have adopted views that are highly influenced by the culture in which we live and that are influenced very little by scripture. We can see this in areas such as how churches handle finances, the lack of a relational base that churches should be founded on, and a tendency for churches to become abrasive on issues they are deeply passionate about. Yes I firmly believe Jesus was stern at times when the occasion called for it, but some churches take it to the extreme and do it for the wrong reasons (ex. Westboro Baptist protesting funerals and holding anti-homosexual hate rallies). Jesus never had hate in his heart towards people, yet we as Christians are quick to go to a place in our hearts where we degrade others to a sub-human status.This ought not be so and we need to reevaluate our motives and actions. In doing such an evaluation I believe we would see that we are far from the church that Christ died for. Christ had standards for His own life and he also calls us to those same standards.

We live in a culture that is complacent and it is killing our faith. We have seemed to confuse the meanings of tolerance and acceptance. I believe Christ was tolerant of peoples behavior and let them use and abuse their own free will, but He was by no means accepting of peoples actions and attitudes. In that same way we as Christians need to use extreme caution that we do not become accepting of behavior that Jesus openly opposed.

When all is said and done we cannot simply just demand people live up to our flawed views of Christ’s teachings. People will pay much closer attention to our actions than anything else. Until we become relational in the same way the church was in Acts 2 we will continue to hurt the Kingdom of God. Randy Harris, ACU professor and well known theologian, said at a recent college ministry retreat “Everything you do has an impact on your ministry. Everything you do either adds to or takes away from the Kingdom of God.” Ask yourself… are you taking away from or adding to the church for which Christ died?

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