Christians must know how to engage culture.
As followers of Christ, we won’t always fit into the world in which we live. In fact, we’ll often find ourselves going against the flow of popular culture in certain areas of life. It’s necessary for us to have a solid biblical foundation to stand on in the midst of a rapidly shifting cultural landscape.
We need to know how the eternal Word of God shapes our understanding of current issues and how we can share the gospel compassionately and courageously with the people around us.
Here are four possible responses to cultural change.
1. WE CONFORM.
We start compromising what we believe and the way we act in order to appeal to and appease the surrounding culture. We may even genuinely believe that doing so is both loving and strategic, hoping somehow people will be attracted to Jesus through a less offensive form of Christianity and will ultimately be saved. However, we have to realize that our goal isn’t to make following Jesus easier. The message of the gospel is necessarily countercultural and offensive to the human heart.
2. WE CHECK OUT.
The opposite extreme is to secede from culture, distancing ourselves so completely that we never have any interaction with the world around us. Again, the intent may seem honorable and sincere because we want to remove even an appearance of evil and the temptation of sin. But Jesus specifically prayed that His Father wouldn’t take His followers out of the world but protect them while they were sent into it (see John 17:15-16).
The world around us desperately needs the life-changing power of the gospel. Forming an isolated, insulated subculture may feel countercultural, but it isn’t an appropriate response.
3. WE COMBAT.
This approach is antagonistic and defensive. ...