Speaker: Lecrae (Christian rap artist. Last month, he released his latest album Gravity, which immediately dominated the charts, taking the No. 1 spot on iTunes Top 10 Albums).
Session: We Engage Culture for Jesus
There is a secular-sacred divide that hinders us from impacting culture. We, the church, are great interpreters of scripture, but we are often clueless when it comes to of art, music, and science. As Christians, we ought not to avoid culture; rather, we should engage it with the transforming power of Jesus.
Christianity cannot be imposed on culture. It can only engage and transform culture.
Daniel is a great example of a man who did not run away from the things that the society he lived in identified with. Although he lived in the midst of a pagan nation, he actually immersed himself in the culture for the sole purpose of bringing glory to God.
After interpreting King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream correctly ”the king gave Daniel high honors and made great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of babylon. Daniel made a request of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego over the affairs of the province of Babylon. But Daniel remained at the king’s court” (Daniel 2:48-49). Daniel felt called to stay in the king’s court because he desired to point them to Christ.This is a biblical worldview.
What we need to realize is that Christianity is total truth not just religious truth.
Because it is total truth, it is relevant and applicable to all areas of life. When we don’t know how to navigate through culture, we miss out on Jesus’ power to shape and transform society. We, as Christians, have the unique privilege of being able to expose how things that this world has taken and intended for evil can be redeemed for their intended purpose, the glory of God.
Some philosophers have claimed that matter existed before God and was evil in and of itself. We know that God is the only one who is preexisting, the creator of all things (Psalm 24:1), and that everything that he made was good (Genesis 1). Things in and of themselves are not inherently evil. People are inherently evil.
How we interpret culture: Good, Bad, and Redeemable
“For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving”1 Timothy 4:4
You are not more godly by avoiding things. They are not bad in and of themselves. You can’t transform culture if you aren’t willing to engage things.
God is structuring all things for his glory and purpose, humanity misdirects them for evil to serve their own purposes.
The question is not what is evil but rather what can we do with the things man meant for evil to bring glory to God.
Redeeming is doing exactly what God has commanded us to do in Genesis 1:28, “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it.”
“We don’t just need evangelistic Christians, we need missional Christians.” -Tim Keller
All we tell people is what to do and how to get saved. If this is all we talk about people will not listen. We need to engage and through doing that we will transform.
Three ways to apply this
1. Engage Culture– Know the language, values, ideals, and learn how to contextualize
2. Love the people in the culture- They are not a project. They are souls that matter.
3. Rehabilitate culture (Redeem)– We are here to paint a picture of what it looks like when Jesus changes us.
Jesus has redeemed us to demonstrate that this world is his, and he is coming back for it. So whatever you eat, whatever you drink, whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).