Why the Cultural Moment is a Crucial Aspect of our Calling as Christians

"The Lord rebukes his generation; they can read the weather, he says, but not the signs of the times. I think what’s missing in the American church is a living awareness of the nature of the times we’re in." - Breakpoint

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T Howard's picture

Quote:
This is a time when every American, certainly every follower of Jesus, has got to stand up and speak out exactly where they are.

I'm curious as to what specifically Christians have to "stand up and speak out" about other than the gospel. What exactly is the crisis? Listening to the podcast, it appears the crisis is that the family and church are under attack, the culture is in chaos, and we're in danger of losing our religious freedoms in America.

Jay's picture

That line might be more compelling if so many Evangelicals and Fundamentalists hadn't already had their chance and had chosen not to bowing the knee for political and social power.

Now it's just a matter of sorting out real believers from cultural defenders.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

dgszweda's picture

The problem is that we have a church that sees two callings.  One views the times as a need to push back on any cultural movement and government, maybe to the point of resistance and even violence.  We have another view where they view the culture and government changing and we should speak out about it, but we need to learn to live in this space and resistance is not as paramount.

Larry's picture

Moderator

I'm curious as to what specifically Christians have to "stand up and speak out" about other than the gospel.

I suppose the answer depends on what kind of community or society you want to live in. 

Should we speak up about a rash of car thefts by calling the police and reminding our neighbors to be vigilant? Or just speak the gospel into the midnight darkness? Should we warn about a rash of car jackings? What about child abuse? Should we refuse to say something about that?

It seems to me that speaking out only about the gospel is a rather truncated view of the life God has called us to live.

My guess is that if you saw your neighbor's six year old daughter being picked up and put in a windowless van while she is screaming, you would not be saying, "Let's just preach the gospel." You would probably stand up and speak out, get involved physically by trying to rescue her. 

That's because you believe that Christians should speak up about more than just the gospel. You think we should show common grace in civil and civic matters in our society.

I think no one lives by the creed of "gospel only." Very few of us want that kind of society. And so we speak up in some way. 

Larry's picture

Moderator

The problem is that we have a church that sees two callings.

Or perhaps the problem is that we confuse the calling of the Christian with the calling of the church.

T Howard's picture

Larry wrote:

I'm curious as to what specifically Christians have to "stand up and speak out" about other than the gospel.

I suppose the answer depends on what kind of community or society you want to live in. 

Should we speak up about a rash of car thefts by calling the police and reminding our neighbors to be vigilant? Or just speak the gospel into the midnight darkness? Should we warn about a rash of car jackings? What about child abuse? Should we refuse to say something about that?

It seems to me that speaking out only about the gospel is a rather truncated view of the life God has called us to live.

My guess is that if you saw your neighbor's six year old daughter being picked up and put in a windowless van while she is screaming, you would not be saying, "Let's just preach the gospel." You would probably stand up and speak out, get involved physically by trying to rescue her. 

That's because you believe that Christians should speak up about more than just the gospel. You think we should show common grace in civil and civic matters in our society.

I think no one lives by the creed of "gospel only." Very few of us want that kind of society. And so we speak up in some way. 

Because the article and podcast were about car thefts and child abductions in our neighborhoods. No, the article was about macro trends within our decaying culture, and the solution proffered was to stand up and speak out. That's a pretty vague call to action. What does that mean?

Larry's picture

Moderator

No, the article was about macro trends within our decaying culture, and the solution proffered was to stand up and speak out. That's a pretty vague call to action. What does that mean?

I would imagine it means to speak up and work for common grace values in our society. I wouldn't read a whole lot into a short snippet of a longer conversation and an even bigger discussion. The point of the examples was to show that speaking only about the gospel is not a legitimate way to live and everyone knows that. Those examples are things that indicate societal or cultural decay. 

I don't get the hesitancy to say these things are wrong and attempt to make a larger argument about why they are wrong. Perhaps you could push back on that for me and help me understand your side of it.

To me it still comes down to what kind of society do we want to live in and do we want to have a voice in that?

T Howard's picture

Larry,

I appreciate what you're saying. I don't necessarily disagree with it. I just am leery when I read that Christians should "stand up and speak out" about cultural issues because that is usually quickly followed by, "and vote Republican," or more recently, "vote for Trump 2024."

No thanks. I don't believe the solution to our cultural decay is political. This is ultimately a spiritual battle (Eph. 6), and so we as Christians need to start treating it as such. First Peter says that judgment begins with God's household; IMHO, that means the solution to our cultural decay must begin with the purification of the church. We can't be salt and light when we are almost as bad as the culture around us (Matt. 5:13). So, for me, "stand up and speak out" is calling out and correcting the rampant sin in the church, starting with mine.

All of the sexual / spiritual / leadership abuse issues surfacing in the church now are a result of these sins not being dealt with biblically and correctly years ago. Instead, the church was content to slip them under the rug, let them slide, or look the other way. Now, all this garbage is in open view for the unbelieving world. The church lacks any moral high ground; there is very little saltiness left.

Further, the church's fight against post modernism by appealing to the authority and truth of Scripture is counteracted by many within the church content to not only sequaciously believe lies, half-truths, conspiracy theories, but to repeatedly promulgate them.

Thoughts?