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Featured Cultural Engagement: Every Christian's Obligation

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Iconoclast, Feb 16, 2021.

  1. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    Saw this while searching for some information;

    Cultural Engagement: Every Christian's Obligation


    1) First, we must engage the culture because kingdom advance is why we’re here

    2) Second, we must engage the culture because God deserves glory in every sphere.

    3) Third, we must engage the culture because Christians are misguided in their approach.

    4) Fourth, we must engage the culture because we need not waste our lives.

    I liked this;
    Don’t waste your life! At the end of your days, you will not regret the things you did but you will most certainly regret the things you did not do. This reality will hold true with particular reference to what you do or do not do for the sake of kingdom advance if you are a true believer. Paul wrote, “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is (Eph. 5:15-17).”

    I did not like this;
    Martin Hinton, the British churchman who decided that the bible is just too intimidating for modern readers produced the “100 Minute Bible.” Len Budd, publisher of the slimmed-down bible, admitted that much had been lost in the reduction. “Is it a dumbing down of the Bible? Yes, but that's the world today
    Although we as Christians love the Bible it is very user-unfriendly. People just don't have time to read it.

    If this book means more people can answer pub quiz questions on the Bible, so much the better." So, that's the point? It appears that the purpose behind this project was something closer to cultural literacy than evangelism/kingdom advance. The new edition is "not an evangelical document," Mr. Budd explained.

    Did you have a biblical thought or thoughts on this?
     
  2. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    I think people waste time on end-time speculation more than engaging those perishing around us.
     
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  3. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    We are to occupy and be about the business of the Lord Jesus until the time of His second coming!
     
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  4. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    For example, the Kingdom of Darkness encroaches in regard to our biggest social issues.

    Simply consider a few of the massive concerns before us in this culture: abortion,
    euthanasia,
    cloning,
    the homosexual agenda, etc.
    Pharmacists are required in some places to dispense the morning after pill even if it violates their consciences. In these citations alone the moral breakdown of our culture combined with the erosion of personal liberty has served to advance evil in our culture in an unprecedented way.

    Are we to ignore such things?
     
  5. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    Should Christian's just be spectators and just complain and whine or are we to engage the culture in a robust way making an impact.
    This article suggests there is a degree of laziness and apathy that has spread worse than the virus.
     
  6. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Amen :Thumbsup
     
  7. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    God gives us one task. Be Ambassadors of Reconciliation wherever you live. That means engaging the culture.
     
  8. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Or, more precisely, people of different cultures.

    Years ago I read David Wells pointing out the fact that culture is not benign. We often think it is, but it isn't. Every culture carries with it a set of values. And every culture is, in and of itself, worlds save one (the Church). That was the first time I considered the idea, and after considering it I can see some validity to Well's point.

    I am pretty sure the book was either No Place for Truth or God in the Wasteland.
     
  9. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    I have read both. The statement doesn't ring a bell, but then again I read them about 10 years ago so it's on me for not remembering.
     
  10. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I could be thinking of another book....maybe another author.

    Now it's going to bug me. God in the Wasteland is one of my favorites (read that one several times, and owned a few copies).
     
  11. Dave G

    Dave G Well-Known Member

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    " No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of [this] life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier." ( 2 Timothy 2:4 ).
     
    #11 Dave G, Feb 20, 2021 at 7:28 PM
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2021 at 8:30 PM
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  12. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    It is not necessary to take up a cause in order to engage the culture. The words of our Lord in Matthew 5:16 instructs us on how to engage the culture. Matthew 5:16 "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."
     
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  13. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Sounds like we are to engage the culture by existing outside of culture (or, maybe, being of a different culture so much so that people take notice).
     
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  14. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    5 For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.

    6 But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man that thou visitest him?

    7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:

    8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.

    Recently John Macarthur said of Christians"we lose down here"

    What if the truth is we might lose some battles...DOWN HERE, but we win the war right down here?

    Certainly, the gospel is front and center in our role as ambassadors, and the beatitudes are Kingdom living explained.
    In the type which was National Israel, once typically redeemed in the first Exodus, they were given laws and Kingdom life was to be an outward testimony to others.

    Deut4
    5 Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it.

    6 Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.

    7 For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for?

    8 And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?

    9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons;
    Israel failed, The Nt. Church does not fail down here.

    Acts28;

    23 And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.

    24 And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.




     
  15. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    God in the Wasteland The Reality of Truth in a World of Fading Dreams1 David F. Wells Synopsis and comments by William H. Gross, Colorado Springs 2005 In No Place for Truth, David Wells describes how America became pagan over time. Here he describes our current spiritual environment, our conception of ourselves, and our conception of God.


    Aliens and Strangers in the World Those who are separated from worldly culture are the ones driven to change it; those who are comfortable and at home there are so beholden to it that they resist being dislocated from it. Those “not of this world” have the reason, and acquire the fortitude, to resist the charms and allurements of the world.2 P. 36. It has been argued that people whose lives are on the whole pleasant tend to find ultimate meaning in a god who is immanently present within life, whereas those whose lives are on the whole more painful and dark tend to find ultimate meaning in a wholly transcendent god. Those who follow this logic typically identify Christianity as a faith fixed on the transcendent, and therefore mistakenly conclude that it has no interest in the world.

    The “world” is the way in which our collective life in society and culture is organized around the self in substitution for God. “It is life characterized by self-righteousness, self-centeredness, self-satisfaction, self-aggrandizement, and self-promotion, with a corresponding distaste for the self-denial proper to union 2 Jn 8:23; 18:36; Do not love money: Lk 4:5; 16:13; 1Tim 6:5,10; Heb 13:5; 1Pet 5:2; Never satisfied: Ecc 5:10; Do not love the world: 1Jn 2:15; Jn 15:19; 17:14; Jms 4:4.

    http://www.onthewing.org/user/Ev_God in the Wasteland - Wells.pdf

    The American Mindset Why is it so hard for evangelicals to discern how to be in the world but not of it? Because the evangelical world has abandoned theology. Those characteristics which contribute to American life also contribute to undermining our discernment. T
     
    #15 Iconoclast, Feb 20, 2021 at 10:27 PM
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2021 at 10:34 PM
  16. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    In that same work, he states this;
    ” The “world” is a godless assembly demanding that its teaching be obeyed, rewarding those who acquiesce, sanctioning those who do not, and generally making belief and trust in Christ difficult. Christ himself was alienated from the world. He was not of it (Jn 17:14; 18:36), refused to pray for it (Jn 17:9), opposed its ruler (Jn 12:31; 14:30), and is now its Judge (Jn 9:39; 16:7-11). The “church” is defined by a knowledge that creates an unbridgeable chasm between its moral and spiritual values and those of the society in which it is placed.

    Christians are called to be exiles from the world (1Pet 1:1; Heb 11:13), however painful that exile may be. They are aliens in the world’s darkness (1Pet 2:11) as they seek another city, “whose builder and maker is God” (Heb 11:10). “This is no easy antagonism to maintain.” Pp. 40-41.

    I think we are exiles here, but seeking to influence individuals with the gospel so that we can combat that which is evil as the kingdom grows here on earth as it is in heaven.
     
  17. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I agree. I would add that our method of combating evil (not flesh and blood, but the principles and powers of this world) has to be in our belonging - our citizenship- in this other kingdom and not in uniting with the worldly powers.

    My concern is so many churches seem to become a part of the world (to join with the powers of this present darkness) in order to influence the world for the good. But that will never work. We have to be salt. We have to be Light. We have to reman citizens if that city on a hill. We do not have a duak-citizenship.

    As such, I believe those who do unite with the world will ultimately share blame for the persecution that I think will come to the faithful in the future. But this persecution is only my opinion (I am not a prophet nor the son of a prophet).

    I only know we are to put on the armor of God and stand in a time when too many Christians seem to be sitting at the table of this World.
     
  18. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    From what I can see this book identifies many of the ways in which the church has compromised with the world and lost its effectiveness now. I think it's time for the church and christians to raise up a political candidate political Christian legislators governors and presidents .
    A president who is a real Christian and take a stand in the public forum .
    I don't think we should just abandon it and leave it to the world to determine how we live. God has determined how was supposed to live here on the Earth and the other nations are supposed to submit to God ,we're not supposed to submit to the ungodly
     
  19. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I disagree that the Church should form a political party. The World is condemned already and I believe attempts to influence the Workd via politics would be misplaced.

    Our nation is no less ungodly than was 1st century Rome. The Church refused to engage Rome at a political level. They sought not to change the World but to reach people with the gospel.

    This changed with the RCC. At that point the Church had a political voice, but IMHO at that point the Church (RCC) ceased being the Church.

    But at the same time such a stage (a Christian party) could be a venue to share the gospel.
     
  20. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    The Church is the Church.The world is the world.
    God has the church on a .mission.
    While Kingdom members are in the world we are to occupy till He comes.lk19:13-14.
    We do that as individuals not the Church.
    I do not think we are to remain absent and not have believing legislators.
    We should bring about change as the gospel goes worldwide.
    It does not do any good if the church drops the ball.
    When I speak of the "Church" I am speaking about truly regenerate persons.
    Nominal professors are not the Church.
    We have not had numbers enough to be a major influence so the world of the ungodly grows like fungus.
    Scripture looks forward to the nations coming to God and His laws.
    It is not going to happen with entertainment,rock bands,puppets,etc.
    The concept seems as if it could not happen but that just shows we have to put the hand to the plow.
     
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