Are you changing culture, or is culture changing you?
For the followers of Christ there is no middle ground. We're either actively engaged in bringing the reality of God's Kingdom to light amid the cultural contexts of our lives, or we're allowing those cultural contexts to dim or obscure the light of Christ.
We spend our lives in a variety of cultural settings. Our Personal Mission Fields unfold within the various cultural spheres in which we live and work. Every culturual setting is characterized by norms, protocols, and practices which embody the values and priorities of those spheres.What messages do the cultural spheres of our lives proclaim?
The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it. Thus, we who are ambassadors of Christ and His Kingdom have a responsibility to bring the manifestation of that Kingdom to light wherever we occupy space for the Lord. It should make a difference - in our homes, schools, work places, communities, and the like - that we are there, living for Christ and seeking to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Him (2 Cor. 10.3-5).
Changing the culture in which we travel is a high calling and ongoing task. Can you envision ways the cultural arenas of your life would be different if they were wholly devoted to Christ and His Kingdom? Cultivating a vision for transforming culture is the starting-place for this work. By learning the Biblical meaning of such concepts as beauty, goodness, and truth, and then by envisioning the outworking of those concepts in our various cultural spheres, we can begin to get an idea of where we might establish some goals and objectives for our own work in changing the culture around us.
"Culture" is not some abstract, far-off idea which is only amenable to shaping by academics and "cultural types." We are all involved in culture, all the time - using it, making it, and either shaping or being shaped by it. We can't escape culture, and we must not allow culture to define the values and practices of our lives. Instead, we need to take up the challenge of changing culture, in as many ways as we can. to reflect the beauty of Christ, the goodness of God, and the truth of His Word.
Culture - along with the people in our lives - is where the cutting edge of the Kingdom engages the world, through us. God is determined to bring His Kingdom to light on earth as it is in heaven, and we are the tools of His Spirit for sculpting, crafting, and creating a new world for the glory of God.
So let us sharpen our culture-making skills and take up the daily challenge of shaping the world to reflect the reality of Christ's rule. We are the leaven of the Kingdom for transforming the loaf of this world for wholesomeness and goodness. A little leaven can leaven the whole loaf. Believe this, and act on it, and you may be surprised to see what God is able to do through you in bringing the light of Christ to your world.
Related texts: Psalm 8; Matthew 6.10, 33; Acts 17.1-9; 2 Corinthians 10.3-5
A conversation starter: "Is it possible to change our culture, one person, one place at a time?"
T. M. Moore, Principal