Culture Blog 1.0

I am going to take a few blogs to talk about culture, Pop-culture, these blogs are part of a series I do in my youth ministries, it is one of my favorites, and students seem to really love it, and get a lot out of it. This first one is an intro, basically the message I would give the first week . . . more or less.

Now as Christians there are numerous ways to react to our culture today and in any age. Two of these reactions are the Duck and cover reactionist side, or the embrace with open arms and hearts radical side. Philippians 4:8-9 – “Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” Based on this passage how do you think we ought to react to our culture? Do you think we should be Reactionists: people who see how dirty and sinful our culture is and attack and run from it? Do you think we should be Radicals: people who embrace the culture and all that it is? Or do you think that just maybe we should take a moderate approach and filter through our culture know about it and interact with it. Use it as part of our gospel message, find the good in Pop-culture icons and expose the evil as well?

Read Acts 17:16-31 to see how Paul reacts to the culture he encounters. In my opinion Paul here demonstrates a proper reaction to a secular culture.

Since the points I make in the first message take so long I am going to split it up, and cover the ‘basics’ over the next few days.

How do you react, or interact with the culture you live in?

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7 thoughts on “Culture Blog 1.0

  1. steve says:

    i’d agree with a moderate stance on pop culture. any one can see how dirty our culture is. and most of cant run away from that, so what we should do is realize how dirty our culture is and abstain from the evil natured parts of it. every one at some point will interact with the rest of the world. unless your in a holy huddle where you shut the world out and ignore everything. that approach can be perceived as snobbish by non christians

    so by shutting out the rest of the world we wouldn’t be able to reach out to the rest of the world which, as christians, we are called to do.

    but realization of how evil our culture has become doesn’t mean that we have to personally experience it to understand it.

    everything in moderation

    • supermatt28 says:

      That last observation you made about not experiencing culture, but still understanding is a good one Steve. We get the idea from Christ’s teachings that he understood a great deal of his culture, but didn’t necessarily go into theaters or other culture hubs. Our goal as Christians is to be like Christ, so we do need to know culture but, like Steve said, not necessarily experience it.

  2. […] Culture Blog 1.2 You can read the first post: Culture Blog 1.0 here […]

  3. Robert says:

    I firmly believe Romans 12:2 where it states: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” This is the basic idea of being “in the world” but not “of the world.”

    From Philippians 4:8-9 I gather that we should mediate on things that are true, noble, right, and pure…and it’s clearly obvious that much of today’s popular culture are none of these things.

    Our ‘filter’ for today’s culture is the Word of God, and we should take care not to use our own thoughts and opinions to filter things that we should distance ourselves from.

    In Acts 17, Paul is clearly appalled (NIV says ‘greatly distressed’) at the idolatry that existed in the Greek culture there in Athens. While he is knowledgeable to the point of knowing even about Greek poets, he does not embrace or condone their beliefs, but quotes “We are his offspring” to identify that even the Greek literature eluded to the one true God of the universe.

    Rather than interact with the worldview of the Athenians, Paul preached a message that was counter to their views, and called for repentance.

  4. supermatt28 says:

    I have to disagree slightly on the last point. In my opinion Paul did interact with the Athenian culture. He had to in order to use the ‘bridge’ that he did to share a counter-cultural message with them. But I like the rest of what you said.

  5. Kathryn says:

    So in a way, interaction with a culture is a good thing. Too much to the point that you become part of that culture, is not a good thing. I think that all you need to do is learn to understand why the people of a certain culture think the way they do. To me it seems like Paul wasn’t really interacting too much with this culture in Athens. He was more preaching the Good News. He saw that they were “ignorant of the very thing they worshiped”.

    Don’t get drawn into a culture that you don’t understand, is what I can pull out of this. Don’t get pulled in, but just understand enough of it. Then you can know why the people think the way they do. Then you can really help them with what you want to tell them.

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