8 hours ago
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Ponderings on Culture
I would call myself a student of culture.
I am very interested in the things that make people and society tick. I am fascinated by the things people use to define themselves. I am intrigued by what glues people together. I watch a lot of movies, listen to a lot of music and surf a lot of web as a part of "research". And ultimately I look at these things to figure out how best to communicate God's love and connect people to a relationship with their Creator.
Now there are a lot of different opinions about how we as followers of Christ should respond to the culture we see around us. I would call this the "culture war".
Some people think we should mask or conform ourselves to what current culture looks like in order to reach those (to quote an old Relient K song) "the world just loves to hate". This week as a part of my "research", I've been watching this documentary called "One Punk Under God" about Jay Bakker & Revolution Church.
Jay is the son of the fallen televangelist team of Jim & Tammy Bakker. And, after a lot of struggles and soul-searching, Jay has come to grips with God's love and forgiveness and started a church that reaches out to people who have been turned off by religion. But I see Jay struggling with compromising truth in order to reach out to "culture".
On the other side you have this perspective that attacks our culture and says it must change. But those who hold to this thought pattern have a tendency to be judgemental and self-righteous.
So I feel that I have swung between these two perspectives, trying to figure out what the right response to "culture" should be.
But this week I read an article that challenged me with a whole new perspective. It said we shouldn't respond to culture but we should create culture. Wow. What a concept. Our responsibility isn't to look like pop culture or attack it, but to create the type of culture that people are longing for. Offering the things that are broken or lacking in the mainstream culture. Creating the environment that will define and connect people the way God intended.
So, let me know what you think that culture should look like. What does it look like for our lives to be 180 from the world's? What does it mean to turn ours and others lives right side up? Let's start creating that culture!