Your thoughts on these statements.

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by SaggyWoman, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. SaggyWoman

    SaggyWoman
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2000
    Messages:
    17,933
    Likes Received:
    8
    1. Jesus was about living in and engaging his surrounding culture.

    2. The church emerged from Jesus engaging culture and humanity.

    3. A healthy church can transition in and out of culture with ease.

    4. Churches tend to either be inward focused (inreach) or outward focused (outreach). The church needs to connect with cutlture through a lens that is healthy.

    5. The church is something that God never intended it to be.

    6. Is the church the end goal or the vehicle to the end goal?

    7. Should the church be more integrated into culture, and if so, how?
     
  2. 4His_glory

    4His_glory
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Messages:
    2,884
    Likes Received:
    0
    Some of these statements concern me because they appear to be rather man-focused instead of God-focused. Also the word "culture" can be rather nebulous at times.

    That said here are my thoughts:

    1. I disagree, Jesus was about glorifying the Father, that was His chief business. His Gospel transcends culture.

    2. The church emerged because God raised it up and ordained it.

    3. I think that a local church naturally will reflect the culture in which it is located. This is healthy as long as culture does not violate any clear biblical standards and norms. In fact a culturally insensitive church (such as a church plant in a non-american culture) that seeks to be "american" will ultimately hinder the cause of the gospel.

    4. Those are not the only two options. A church that is "up-ward" focused (i.e. with the the glory of God being is driving motivation for all it does) will focus on the edification of the saints and the propagation of the gospel at the same time. To a degree a church aught to connect to culture as long as that does not overstep clear biblical mandates. I think it is better to say that a church should be sensitive to culture.

    5. I have no idea what the author of the statement thinks the church should be so I can not comment.

    6. The church is the vehicle to the end goal of God receiving all the glory due Him.

    7. I think I answered that in statements 4 and 3.
     
  3. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    1,041
    Likes Received:
    0
    Read Richard Niebuhr's classic Christ and Culture. Dated though it is, there is no more seminal analysis of what churches have done over the years to engage or disengage; and his discussion of the transformation of culture is the starting point for any serious theology on this matter.
     
  4. annsni

    annsni
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    20,198
    Likes Received:
    376

    What he said. :) I totally agree with you. I hate this whole "culture" excuse that people make about the church. It's about God - not the culture. Yes, we need to understand those we are ministering to but without a God focus, we lose our way.
     
  5. EdSutton

    EdSutton
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
    Messages:
    8,755
    Likes Received:
    0
    I "see" nothing particularly "wrong" with most of these statements, as printed, #3 excepted.

    At the same time however, I definitely "sense" a great deal that is very "wrong" that is underlying this, even though it is actually unspoken, here. All of the other posters, so far, have already made some good points, I would add. I would want a good deal more information from the one who has made these statements, personally.

    Ed
     
    #5 EdSutton, Jan 5, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 5, 2009
  6. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    7,406
    Likes Received:
    99
    I agree

    I don't know what this means. Honestly, I participate in a lot of conversations over this kind of material and need more info to understand this.

    I agree.

    I agree.

    I would change this and say the church is often close to drifting away from biblical roots. Yet in His sovereignty God continues to maintain us and keep the church on course...of in spite of the leadership.

    It is not the goal but it is assembly of those pressing towards the goal.

    I'm sort of with Andy Crouch on this, I think the church should be creating culture. Culture is a slightly ambiguous term, but it is a significant force. By creating culture we, in the church, can better contextualize our approach to reach people. Of course this naturally involves being integrated into culture, which I have no problem with. :)
     
  7. North Carolina Tentmaker

    North Carolina Tentmaker
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Messages:
    2,355
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with what 4His Glory said

    Well, yes and no. Certainly he engaged the people around him, but he was also very much set apart. He was able to engage sinners without ever sinning, something we would do well to copy.
    NO, as 4His Glory said, the church emerged because God raised it up.
    I don't know what this means. A healthy church should be able to engage people from a variety of cultures with love and compassion but the transition from worldly to godly is not easy.
    As 4His Glory said, the church should be upward focused. No reason we cannot have outreach and inward growth at the same time. We need both.
    Not God's Church! God's Church is exactly what he intended, the problem is we have lots of buildings and associations calling themselves churches that are not.
    If I have to pick I would say vehicle, but the church does not transport us or change us, God does this himself. The church is one tool he uses.
    Not if it means the church becoming more like the world. Culture needs to become closer to church, not the other way around.
     
  8. JustChristian

    JustChristian
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Messages:
    3,833
    Likes Received:
    0
    1. Jesus was about living in and engaging his surrounding culture.

    Yes, Jesus did live in and engage his culture. He did this primarily through teaching and preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God. This was His secondary objective in coming to earth with the primary one being His sacrifice on the cross and resurrection to provide salvation for all mankind.

    2. The church emerged from Jesus engaging culture and humanity.

    The Great Commission summarized Jesus' marching orders for the Church.

    Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

    The early church grew rapidly through Christians' faith, commitment, and sharing the Word. They didn't do this by "circling the wagons" but through engagement with non-believers.

    3. A healthy church can transition in and out of culture with ease.

    We are told as Christians to be in the world but not of the world. Christians and the church should not mirror any culture they find themselves in but need to work in that culture to be obedient to the Great Commission.

    4. Churches tend to either be inward focused (inreach) or outward focused (outreach). The church needs to connect with cutlture through a lens that is healthy.

    The church needs to support and empower its members to go out into the world and spread the good News.

    5. The church is something that God never intended it to be.

    The church should speak out on moral issues but should never associate itself with political candidates or a specific political party. Patriotism and Christianity should not be mixed. Both are of course worthy objectives but they should not be considered to be dependent upon one another.

    Most of today's church members assume that "soul winning" is the responsibility of the church staff or the Deacons. Every church member needs to understand that they are responsible for outreach as well.

    6. Is the church the end goal or the vehicle to the end goal?

    Individually worshiping God and establishing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is the goal. The church is here to support individuals. The pastor won't be standing beside us when we face the final judgment. We have to face Jesus Christ alone.

    7. Should the church be more integrated into culture, and if so, how?

    The church should be more engaged with culture as was Jesus. He associated with the worst members of society (prostitutes, tax, collectors, etc.). The church should NEVER be integrated into culture. We must always be separate but engaged.
    __________________
     
  9. Marcia

    Marcia
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    11,139
    Likes Received:
    0
    SaggyWoman, tell us where you got these! It sounds like Emergent-speak.

    No. 2 is so wrong. The church was established by Jesus and had nothing to do with the culture it was in. It's for people "set apart" or "called out" from the culture. That's what the word "church" means.

    What is meant by "transitioning" in and out of culture? No, the church should not look like the culture. We should engage the culture, but that's different than looking like it.

    No. 1 is wrong. Jesus was about coming to announce the Kingdom of God is at hand, and to die for sins, so that man could have forgiveness and be redeemed.

    No. 4 is a false dichotomy. The Emergents are experts with this and use them all the time. For this and other reasons, I think this is coming from an Emergent person, church, or Emergent-friendly person. If it's not, I bet the person who said this is being influenced by them.

    No. 7: The church should not be integrated into the culture, but should understand the culture and be bringing the gospel to the culture.
     
  10. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,378
    Likes Received:
    790
    It is Utilitarian Garbage
     
  11. IveyLeaguer

    IveyLeaguer
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Messages:
    666
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well done.

    BINGO !!

    I would add:

    No. 3 is a false premise. A healthy church doesn't react to the culture at all. It obeys its Lord.

    No. 5 is wrong. The 'true' church (ekklesia) is exactly what God intended it to be. The 'professed' church (the visible church the world sees) consists of true church members (wheat) and professed believers who are not really Believers (tares). It is what God knew it would become, and in the sense of His sovereignty, what He intended it to be.

    No 6. is another false premise. God doesn't set goals that may or may not be met.

    :saint:
     
  12. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,378
    Likes Received:
    790
    The word culture, which is often used when the appropriate word is sub-culture, is many times ans excuse to be comfortable, feed the flesh, conform to this world. And God becomes a means to the end which is the happiness of man.
     
  13. Marcia

    Marcia
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    11,139
    Likes Received:
    0
    SaggyWoman, if you did not make these up yourself, aren't you obligated to say where these come from? You know, give the source??
     
  14. daveme7

    daveme7
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Be inthe world but not of it-preaching the gospel of Christ is the only biblical way to be engaged in cultutre.
     
  15. annsni

    annsni
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    20,198
    Likes Received:
    376
    Yet as Jesus showed us, the approach can change when the message does not. :)
     
  16. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,378
    Likes Received:
    790
    Where in scripture does it say He engaged culture?
     

Share This Page

Loading...