Context – Christianity and Culture

 

Foursquare National Convention

Steve Falkiner, Faytene Grasseschi (the Cry, My Canada), Rick Hiemstra (EFC), and Glen Burris (President of USA Foursquare)

Christianity is flourishing

·       Matt 28:18-20

·       We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints— 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel 6 that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth.  Col 1:3–6.

·       The Word of the Lord (Prophecy) stands the test of time. 

Culture is changing

·      The culture of Jesus’ day

·      Paul and the Roman Empire

·      The Dark Ages

·      The Reformation

·      Agriculture to manufacturing

·      Colonialization

·      World War

·      Modern culture

Here's the question: How do we connect our Christian faith into a changing culture.  The sad reality today is that claims of religious commitment run high, but impact is at an all-time low.  Stay with my thought that Christianity is increasing, it is, because the Kingdom of God is ever increasing (Isa 9:7).

Here's the problem: Many of us who are Christians have gotten caught up in our increasingly bankrupt culture. We have adopted many of the values of the world around us. Maybe it's the new sexual ethics or pornography, rampant greed and materialism, or winking at the needs of the poor.  Gal. 5:9 explains why adopting these values is a problem: “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.”

So, when we try to have the best of both worlds, we exchange the truth of God for a lie and the glory of God for idols, we do what seems right in our own eyes, we get engrossed in the secular world, and we worship created things instead of the Creator. 

What is the result of having our feet in the world and in the church? Cultural Christianity.

·      Cultural Christianity means pursuing the God we want instead of the God who is.

·      It is the tendency to be shallow in our understanding of God, and making God in our image and having our own way.

·      It is a need for God, but on the basis of culture.

·      It is wanting the God we have underlined in our Bibles without wanting the rest of Him too.

·      It is God relative instead of God absolute.

The struggle between genuine Christianity in context with the culture that surrounds us has produced two kinds of Christians; biblical Christians and cultural Christians.  There is a struggle to maintain a genuine and growing Christian identity as a result of the culture in which we live. 

Biblical and Spiritual Christians are to make disciples of nations creating kingdom culture, kingdom thoughts etc.  We are to influence the culture in which we live with Jesus; Loren Cunningham and Bill Bright (1975)

1.     Spirituality and Church

2.     Family

3.     Education

4.     Government and Law

5.     Media and Communication

6.     Arts and Entertainment

7.     Business and Finance

Here is a sad video clip in the area of Education that will help us to see the changing culture we live in today. 

 

Lessons from Elementary School (The Principle of Diffusion).  To be a cultural Christian today is like having the whole bottle of red dye poured in the glass.

Prophetic Revolution:

Changing gears.  The last few days we partnered with the Pexas and were able to host a weekend Prophetic Revolution with Nolan Clarke and TJ Green.  The worship and messages that were brought forth were profoundly impactful. 

Testimonies

What is a Jesus Culture?

There has always been and will always be great variety within the body of Christ. One reason for the surplus of church denominations is that human beings are unique and one size does not fit all. With every generation, down through history, there has been revivals of passion for Jesus that have been expressed through different outlets.  I believe it is helpful to identify some of the key aspects what a Jesus or Kingdom Culture looks like.

·      Joy and Salvation by grace through faith.  

·      Tears and Repentance

·      Prayers and Fasting

·      Personal encounters with the love of God

·      Signs and wonders, including visions, healings, and speaking in tongues. J

·      Abandoned Praise and Worship

·      Worldwide missions

In Conclusion

In the midst of this truth the cultures all around us are confused and presenting so many contrary values to the Kingdom of God.  It is like flying through the clouds and trying to land an airplane.  We have to rely on the instrument panel.  What does the instrument panel represent to you?

 

We live in a world where the King is advancing with an army of believers who are sold out to his plans and purposes.  This is an exciting day in which to live, the Soon Coming King is coming again.

Let’s pray