Something Dan wrote over at Bumbling Genius got me to thinking. He was talking about the need for parents to be very involved in the Biblical education of their children, not leaving the education up to the church where it only takes place one hour a week. There was also the issue of homeschooling involved and I wrote our goal with our children is to have the school, our home and the church all saying the same thing so that they would grow up understanding the gospel and have a Christian world view.
Dan responded by writing:
Yes, indeed, family church and school should say the same things. This would define the idea of “culture”. I say often that if the only thing a culture has to offer is its proposition that all cultures are equal, which is the same thing as the culture saying that it itself has nothing to offer, that culture will not stand for long. It will be overtaken by something that offers itself as worth coalescing around. I pray that revival will provide that very thing.
Still, many Christians in the world live their lives in cultures that are hostile to their existence in some form or another. As Christians in America, I think it is imperative that we wake up to the truth of this here. It is a worn out cliche, but at some point, we must realize that, if it hasn’t happened already, it is getting dangerously close to the frog no longer having the strength to jump out of the pot.
This got me to thinking about cultures in general and the idea that all cultures are equal, as Dan pointed out. I don’t buy the argument that all cultures are equal and should be seen as valuable. What makes a culture superior to another culture? There are a lot of sub cultures here in the United States that I want nothing to do with. I don’t want my sons involved in those cultures or to be influenced in any way by those cultures.
Think drug culture, grunge culture, gang culture, liberal artsy-fartsy cultures, etc. Those cultures are so saturated with sin, it would be cruel for me to send my boys off into those cultures or to not warn them of the dangers found there.The people in those cultures are trapped and truly need to be rescued and redeemed from those lifestyles. But those are not the only cultures that I want to keep my children out of. There are also other sub-cultures in our country that need to be redeemed as much as the gang culture.
The point is that culture needs to be redeemed and that can only come about by the gospel penetrating a culture. This only happens when those in the culture are converted, and take their newness of life into the culture and give it meaning using the grid of Christ. this happened during the Reformation. Culture was saturated with the gospel to the point that we are still reaping the benefits of that culture today.
This is why some cultures are superior to others. If all our culture does is reflect our most base nature, then there is nothing of quality about it, hence the gang culture. The gang culture seeks to exalt that which is in us that is most repugnant, man’s tendency to kill and have sex like a bunch of dogs. Hardly noble and definitely in need of redemption. Yet, in our culture of intolerance, to criticize such a culture by calling it base is to bring out the priests of pop culture and receive their wrath.
So be it. The gang culture needs to be condemned along with those who defend it. It is repugnant and base and there is nothing of quality about it. I don’t believe that those who enter that culture, even as believers, can continue to live in a culture that is centered around violence and not be stained by it all. Just look at Lot. Even though he was a man or righteousness, living in Sodom really caused him a lot of grief. He was redeemed in that culture, but stained by it as well. Also note that he really had no impact on the culture at all. True, that this event took place before the full revelation of the gospel, but the point is that apart from revival, it wasn’t redeemable. Only the gospel can redeem a culture, and it does that by redeeming those in a culture who have their attitudes shifted from sinful, an shameful ones, to ones that seek to glorify God.
Those cultures in history that truly stand out, are those that were changed by the gospel. Well, I hope the gospel can redeem this post because, quite frankly, I’ve lost my enthusiasm for these thoughts. What are yours?