There is a common misconception in today’s world. Many Christians, in an attempt to follow Jesus well, are avoiding the world. Culture is full of sinful people who endorse drinking, sexual immorality, boasting, drugs, greed, and more.
Naturally, there is a temptation to “escape” the world by listening to Christian music, reading nothing but the Bible and Francine Rivers, and only being friends with other Christians. The only problem is, that is not the way of Jesus.
George MacLeod says it best:
“I simply argue that the cross be raised again at the centre of the marketplace as well as on the steeple of the church. I am recovering the claim that Jesus was not crucified in a cathedral between two candles, but on a cross between two thieves, on the town garbage heap, at a crossroad so cosmopolitan they had to write his title in Hebrew, Latin and Greek. It was the kind of place where cynics talk smut, thieves curse, and soldiers gamble. That’s where he died. And that’s where Christians ought to be and what Christians ought to be about.”
Jesus spent his ministry with tax collectors, Roman centurions, prostitutes, and Samaritans. Despite their faults, he did not avoid the culture of his time, but rather he worked to transform it. He came so that they may have life, and have it to the full.
As Jesus Followers, we should have the same mindset today. We should follow Christ’s example and engage with the world. If we simply flee from it, we will never see it change! Jesus did not just come for the people of his day, but also for the people living right now. As his followers, we must carry on his mission to bring people the full life.
We are called to be in the world, but not of the world. This means that when we engage with culture, we transform it. Not the other way around. Popular culture is a powerful entity, but it has nothing on God. He can transform it. He will transform it.
And we get to be the vessels he uses to change culture.
Every Friday, we’ll be engaging with culture here on #LiveFully. Maybe we’ll talk about a new movie or book, maybe we’ll discuss a celebrity making headlines, or maybe we’ll consider the latest virale video to hit the web.
Whatever we discuss, we want your feedback. Jump into the conversation, and let’s learn together how to engage with culture the same way Jesus did.
*Photo from Creative Commons: Ed Yourdon