Christian culture

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by JonC δοῦλος, May 11, 2015.

  1. JonC

    JonC
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    I have lived most of my life in the “Bible belt,” but I have also lived a substantial portion of my life outside of the area. I have noticed a stark contrast in culture (with the “Bible belt” having a strong cultural tie to Christianity….hence the name I suppose). My question is whether you believe the “Christian culture” to be beneficial, a hindrance, or benign to the local church.

    For my part, I have come to believe that Christianity as culture marks a significant downgrade to the gospel message, the local church itself, and evangelistic efforts.
     
  2. Zaac

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    I tend to agree as I think a large part of what is put forth as Christian culture isn't necessarily Christian in deed or action. And often times just straight wicked.

    And it's this type of superficial, made up Christianity that impedes people from being able to see the Gospel message received.

    People don't want to hear the Gospel if everything they hear and see about Christians is one where they just don't seem to be very nice or good people.
     
  3. Scarlett O.

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    I've said it before, but "Bible belt" was a derogatory term put upon people of the South by someone who despised us greatly.

     
  4. JonC

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    Thank you Scarlet for that information. To clarify, I am using the term in a more contemporary context. I mean the "secular Christian culture" that is more visible in certain areas of our nation. Regardless of the area, however, I suppose the concept is the same - Is Christianity as a culture creating a quietly hostile environment to the church (for example, reworking it's doctrine and identity)?
     
    #4 JonC, May 11, 2015
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  5. blessedwife318

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    I have not spent much time in the south but from people I know that have, they talk about how because the Christian Culture is so huge people just assume they are Christian. As one person I know said facetiously when it came to witnessing he had to unsave them before he could present salvation to them.

    Now that being said I believe that the culture reflects the church more then we want to take credit for, so I put a lot of our current problems at the doorstep of the church for not leading the culture in the way they are suppose to.

    My pastor preached on Marriage this last Sunday and he talked about the culture war we see with Marriage being redefined, but he said that it has been being redefined for almost 50 years now. First it was redefined as temporary, then it was redefined as optional, and now its being redefined as open to who ever you want. It kind of makes me wonder where we would be if the church had taken the hard line on Divorce, and Cohabitation 50-60 years ago that it is today on "gay marriage."

    Now just to be clear I am opposed to gay marriage and think it is wrong but it is something to think about how much ground we may have given up. But I'm digressing from the point of this OP and I apologize for that.
     
  6. evangelist6589

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    I lived in SC for 6 years. The culture out there was very different than that of Colorado or California. It had its advantages and drawbacks. As far as witnessing goes I found that in the Bible belt more churches were on the streets out witnessing and doing their job, than what I have experienced here in Colorado where the streets seem to be filled with lone rangers, and few if any churches.

    Another drawback to the belt was that everyone thinks of themselves as christians because they attend church. Numerous times on the streets have I met people that felt all that was required for entrance into heaven was attending church. Numerous times have I given people bad news. One advantage to the belt was that in general there are far more christians and so the true converts will usually be happy to talk about their relationship with Christ. Also in the belt there are lots of different types of churches and so its easy to find the more rare Calvinist separatist type churches. However one drawback to many churches is that so few are dedicated to their home church and bounce around from church to church.
     
    #6 evangelist6589, May 11, 2015
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  7. Zaac

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    Yes Indeed blessedwife. I've said the same thing. It's as though we went silent for a couple of generations and decided not to REALLY say anything against the creeping of sin into the church. We just kinda normalized it.

    Now it wants to sit on the front pew with us and we don't know how to respond other than with seeming nastiness.

    Love covers a multitude of sins and if we would just let loose some of that love to replace the political rancor, something might happen.
     
  8. Yeshua1

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    Are those code words for saying those of us against alternative lifestyles, and the liberal agendas and policies of leadership are among those 'wicked people" though?
     
  9. Thousand Hills

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    No, good stuff, your pastor is a smart man. Excellent points. :thumbs:

    The problems we are facing today can be traced to the comfortable/content generation before us.
     
  10. Thousand Hills

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    I guess I live somewhere near the buckle of the belt, might I add that in addition to those thinking they are christian because they attend there are also many thinking they are christian because their name is on a church roll somewhere, and even if they don't attend regularly no one's going to call them on it. Cultural Christianity is detrimental to the gospel as the OP suggests. The area I live in is not under churched it is under gospeled.

    It reminds me of Paul Washer's 10 Indictments Sermon, easy belivisim has resulted in many false converts and false assurance.

     
  11. JonC

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    I disagree to an extent. While the church may influence a culture, its influence should be through the gospel (the transformed lives of those who believe and are added to the Church). We were never called to fight culture wars, and when we do it seems the best that can be hoped for is compromise The problem is not the church becoming comfortable with sin creeping into our culture but the church systematically tolerating sin within the church to accommodate that culture. The church was never intended to look like the world.
     
  12. Thousand Hills

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    No, we're singing from the same hymnal brother. For the most part the "church" in America hasn't been different from the world in past cultural challenges in the 50's, 60's, 70's,80's, etc.

    I used to attend a "First Church", apparently the place was buzzin back in the day, it was the place to be if you were someone prominent in the community, that's just the way it was and how business, government, etc. got done back then. Back in the day the money was rollin in, and to keep up appearances pragmatism became the norm. And as J.L. Dagg, once said, “when discipline leaves a church, Christ goes with it.” Now this particular church is on life support with a bloated roll of folks that the FBI and a truckload of bloodhounds couldn't track down.
     
  13. blessedwife318

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    I Really liked Paul Washers stuff, even if it is a punch to the gut most of the time. He does not pull any punches and we need more of that in the US.
     
  14. Darrell C

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    I think this is one of the funniest things I have ever heard an atheist say.

    Thanks for that, and the quote. Never knew that.


    God bless.
     

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