Culture Questions

March 10, 2009 at 6:57 pm (Uncategorized)

Yesterday, I wrote about the four major relationship roles I see Christians take toward culture. Culture is the society we live in, and the avenues through which that society communicates. (ie. TV, movies, art, musics, etc) If you haven’t read yesterday’s post, you really should. It’s right here.

Here are some major questions I would ask of each of these four groups:

1. Combatants. I guess I would ask first, “Are you doing any good?” I mean, have your boycotts, pickets and internet outrage actually slowed or stopped the progress of what you deem to be bad stuff? A couple more: “Why are you expecting secular people to do anything but create secular media/culture?” And perhaps the best, “Did Jesus call you to change movies, TV, and music, or to help change lives?” I mean, really! Here is the best news for you: When lives are truly changing for Jesus, all the other stuff will change too.

2. Consumers. God gave you a brain. Time to use it. You’ll never hear me say, “Don’t watch TV. Stay away from movies. etc.” BUT AT LEAST THINK ABOUT IT! Why is that song so popular? What does it say about God and men? Why does our culture think that show is funny? I guess the biggest question I would ask is this, “What need does this reveal that Jesus can meet?” My advice for those who disengage their brain and simply consume is to take your faith glasses wherever you go.

3. Creatives. Let me say this, I applaud you! I wish I were among your ranks, creating art and beauty. You have your own unique set of challenges. Here are some questions I would ask you: “How do you measure success?” You are trying to reach the culture by diving right into the middle of it, but be sure to have some benchmarks to make certain you are the one doing the influencing. “Where are your boundaries?” What are your limits? How far is too far?

4. Communicators. (NOTE: I am one of these, so I try to ask myself these questions.) The biggest challenge for communicators experiencing culture is motives. Are you really watching that show, listening to that music for some learning purpose? Or is it just for you? THAT’S NOT ALL BAD, but let’s just be honest about it. Because I could use this argument to justify watching TV all day instead of working. ‘Just doing some cultural study by watching Soap Operas.’ I guess the other big challenge with communicators is realizing that ALL media with not reflect YOUR culture. In other words, while some cities and towns may relate and live out ‘Sex and the City’ most DON’T. I guess the the cure to this is to get to know people. Turn off the TV, leave the movie at Blockbuster, unplug the internet and go be around some real people. Media can be a listening post for culture, but it can also be a soap box for the extremes.

We all have our own unique challenges as Christ-followers in a secular culture. But the answer is the same as it has always been. Jesus’ message changes lives. And when lives are changed, culture is changed.


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