When it Comes to Culture, are Christians Missing the Point?

Christians spend a lot of time on leadership and “telling better stories.” Those aren’t bad things. In fact, they’re very good things.

But what if they’re missing the point?

One of the overarching problems with Christianity in America is its lack of reach throughout culture. There are no sitcoms that represent Christian values, no politicians that break the mold and rise above the political brew ha-ha. Sure, we had Passion of the Christ, but that was a while ago.

It feels as if we’ve almost retreated to our safe little corners where the tentacles of modern culture can no longer reach us. And so we write blogs for each other, create magazines and books for each other, and even have satire of our sub-culture.

What if instead we had Christians sprinkled throughout culture in ways that would engage the big ideas of the day and be able to speak to them with eloquence?

What if there were Christians hosting talk shows and interviewing their guests on faith while handling the topic with love?

What if there were Christians giving addresses that spoke to the horrors of our day like terrorism and what Christianity has to say on the topic (Mere Christianity anyone?)?

And not to say that no one is out there doing this. They are. But can you name one? And, more importantly, could a non-Christian name one? Because that’s the real question, isn’t it?

I lament the fact that Christian culture is not even taken seriously in many ways. Honestly, Christians aren’t even viewed as a “threat.” They’re just the “crazy religious” people who give up easily and don’t have anything to contribute (science debunked the whole thing anyways, right?).

Christians have to start taking seriously the call to be salt. Salt, in Jesus’ day, was sprinkled across the entirety of a piece of meat to keep it from decaying. Simply putting salt on half the meat didn’t help. If one half rotted, the other was rotted just the same.

  • Christopher

    Enjoyed your post. Bookmarked your site. I struggle with similar issues. I just finished “Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy” which you would probably like. I understand the risk of being overly legalistic in church. My parents were like this and I rebelled against it for a while only to come back to God later. However, I also recognize that Christianity is not “cheap”. It is very expensive and purchased at a great cost. The church is so “in a corner” these days as you point out. If politicians speak out for marriage sanctity or unborn children they can get voted out easily in most districts. I think American society and culture have bought into a “cheaper” Christianity. The big mega-church’s that preach a prosperity gospel are an indication of this. And on top of that the State is now the church, it provides for the poor, needy, gives jobs, meaning, purpose and even (worldly) salvation to many. The consequences of this are, historically, never pretty. I worry for the future of my children and grandchildren. I struggle with the role of a Christian in society? How do you balance the love of God versus the consequence of sin. If grace is cheap is sin really that dangerous? And if grace is expensive and purchased at great price should we stand-up for Christ and against sin? And how aggressive should we do it? It baffles me how a nation (America) can claim Christ and turn around and abort millions of babies, is fine with homosexuality, has a divorce rate through the roof, supports a progressive tax robbing from one class to give to another, has a massive pornography industry, is legalizing drugs, spends WAY more than in brings in, and claims allies that persecute Christians like China and Saudi Arabia to name a few…

    • http://aparchedsoul.com/ Grayson Pope

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment Christopher. Interestingly, I’m almost done with the Bonhoeffer book right now. This post was birthed out of what’s in that book, and what I’ve seen by watching some talks its author (Eric Metaxas) has given.

      Perhaps we got to where we are by making grace cheap, and, like you said, we made sin not that dangerous. I’m not sure exactly how to fix the problem we’re in, but I suspect something will have to be done at the highest levels of culture (see this article: http://www.qideas.org/essays/cultural-elites-the-next-unreached-people-group.aspx).

      In the past, it seems like more has been done by trying to redeem the culture in ways that are accessible to us rather than wishing than entirety of culture would be redeemed. Activity versus passivity.

      Do you have a blog or Twitter account?

      Thanks again!

      • Christopher

        My Twitter handle is @MrChrisClay, but mostly just have financial thoughts there. I really liked the article you shared. I wanted to let you know that I sort of had a similar message reiterated to me this past weekend. A missionary was talking about mission work in a hostile nations, particularly Columbia and Cuba. They specifically target the elites because without elite support things are much more difficult. This kind of reiterated (at least to me) the message in the article. Thanks.

  • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

    Very passionate post. I agree with you. It’s time to be salt and light.

  • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

    I wonder how much of this is that Christians don’t want to to do it, or that the world doesn’t want to hear it. It’s probably some combination of both.

  • Todd Trebuna

    Actually, Christians are doing those things. God’s call is for individual and church fidelity. If people aren’t set apart in their homes then how can they speak to the culture. According to scripture our heartws are idol factories. I see that in me and in most every Christian I know. Thankfully there’s Grace. Our prayer should be for the Lord to make himself our primary sufficiency. When he is most improtant to us, we will forsake caring about offending others and preach the Gospel message in love and humility and hearts will be changed. As long as we don’t believe our own message we will continue to cower in our churches and watch the rest of the world explode into new faith thruogh the unabashed, unembaressed preaching of the only Gospel that saves. Be blessed Brothers and Sisters. Strive.Carry. Preach.Live