I personally believe that as Christians we have been called to make an impact on the culture in which we live and shouldn't to be exclusive and afraid of it. Shouldn't we desire e are to engage it? I love the way Brian McLaren puts it into perspective.
"If we live with this sense of identity and mission-if we remember who we are in the world and what we're about-we will be truly alive. If we don't-if we try to avoid sinful passions by extinguishing passion altogether, or try to isolate rather than enjoy and engage the world as followers and agents of Jesus-then we're missing the point. Jesus followers are not to be isolated avoiders, passionless nerds, or snooty critics.
They're to be in the world, into it-sent into it, infact-with it, engaged, alive, passionate - not out of it. "Whoever claims to live in him,' John the apostle wrote, "must walk as Jesus did." (1 John 2:6) Jesus was in the world, engaged, alive, involved, making a difference. So must we be.
How do we stay on track?
Live missionally. Am I focused on Jesus mission? Am I part of God's solution, or am I adding to human problems?
Live communally. Am I hurting my Christian brothers and sisters, setting a bad example for them either by isolation or conformity? Am I listening to their warnings when I slip toward either danger? Am I helping my brothers and sisters guard themselves from both dangers?
Live Spiritually. Am I sensitive to the Holy Spirit, who constantly affirms my identity in Christ and constantly urges me to live missionally?
Live without judgment. Can I believe the best about others without getting inquisitory with them-even if their way of living out their identity and mission in Christ is different than mine?
Live carefully. Sin is tricky. Thousands of sexual addicts and drug addicts will tell you that what seems like freedom can become a new kind of bondage.
We walk a path the Jesus said is narrow. He wasn't legitimizing narrow-mindedness-quite the opposite, actually: Jesus told us that if we try to avoid the rattlesnake that is beside the path on the left, we'd better be careful not to edge too far over to the right either, because there's a crocodile in the bushes there. Narrow minds see only the dangers on one set of the narrow path; broad minds see both. That's our challenge if we don't want to miss the point." Brian McLaren and Tony Campolo 'Adventures in Missing the Point' p.135-136.
I want to challenge each of you not to live in fear and ignorance. Let this be a century where believers and the world can look back and say, "they engaged the culture."
You can make a kingdom difference!
What do you think of the points Brian McLaren makes on staying on track? How have you seen your church engage culture? How have you seen Christians engage culture? If we are to be effective in making a difference what must we do? How does it effect us if we miss the point? Think of ways that you personally can engage culture. What do you plan to do? What gifts do you bring to the kingdom that you have been afraid to engage? Is there anything you want to add?
What do you think?
Share your thoughts.