Christians Clash with Popular Culture: A Spiritual Check-Up
How are we doing? Are we as Christians, amalgamating our principle with the culture of the world? Are the beliefs of this world somehow affecting Christians in such a way that it is hard to distinguish the difference between children of God and the world? Or are we inappropriately adapting our beliefs and behaviors to the culture that surrounds us every day? Have we become so weak in our faith that today’s culture is influencing Christians instead of Christians influencing the culture? If so it’s time to get a Spiritual Check-up!
What is Culture? In 2014 Merriam-Webster announced that “Culture” was the Word of the Year, not because it was a new word but because over the course of years the word “culture” has taken on so many meanings therefore making it very hard to define. Culture influences many things such as the way you think, your process of individual enrichment, the way you behave, your goals, your values, social practices, art, music, etc. The list can go on and on. It short culture influences your entire way of life.
In today’s culture there is no need for our children to go to war to witness brutal assignations because the war has come to our neighborhoods. What about the recent rise of killings by the police of Black males and females in this country, it’s astronomical. The unusual rise in rapes of babies and minors, humans selling humans is inhumane. Terrorist attacks happen almost daily around the world, as if it were a competition of some sorts. Not to mention the ugly climate that has been created by candidates in the race for the Presidents seat of the United States of America is not civilized!
Yet we cannot give considerable attention to any of these matters because we’re seduced or coerced by cultural distractions. Facebook, Twitter, Snap Chat, Reality Television…. Our minds constantly swarming – we react involuntarily to any passing stimuli. Distraction is the cultural norm and anyone who doesn’t assimilate to the norm are they regarded as antisocial or out of touch maybe even pious people?
Genesis 6:5-13 MSG, God saw that human evil was out of control. People thought evil, imagined evil—evil, evil, evil from morning to night. God was sorry that he had made the human race in the first place; it broke His heart. God said, “I’ll get rid of my ruined creation, make a clean sweep: people, animals, snakes and bugs, birds—the works. I’m sorry I made them.”8 But Noah was different. God liked what he saw in Noah. Noah was a good man, a man of integrity in his community.
Man’s inner nature was corrupt much like today. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. Amen! It is attention-grabbing to me how verse 6 begins by saying God saw. God looked over the whole earth to show Himself strong to those whose heart is loyal to him. God still sees. He is Omniscient; He is all knowing, and encompasses all knowledge. God is omnipresent, there is no physical location in this universe were we can hide from the presents of God. God is omnipotent; He is all ruling, all mighty! It is important to know that God does not change. Change happens all around us however, God stays the same. The eyes of the LORD still search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. Undoubtedly Noah was clashing with the culture around him, perhaps more so than us and he still managed to find favor in the eyes of the Lord.
In the midst of the violence there was a man that walked with God. In the mist of the corruption there was a man who was just. In the mist of the wickedness there was a man who fellowship with God. In the mist of terrorist there was a man of great obedience. In the mist of chaos and distraction, there was a man concentrating on the Lord. In the mist of deceit there was a man of integrity. In the mist of hatred there was a man of honor. In the mist of bloodshed there was a man who was blameless in his generation.
Clashing with culture is nothing new. We can learn a lot from Noah’s clash with culture. His faith to move with godly fear in preparing the ark for something he had not yet seen. His obedience in, “all that God commanded so he did” (Genesis 6:22) Last but not least, his character. Scripture tell us that the Lord said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and your entire household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation. When the rest of humanity was evil Noah was a just man, blameless in his culture.
It is important that we don’t blur the lines in our walk with the LORD. As God’s eyes run to and fro throughout the earth, throughout time there were godly men who did not conform to the culture that surrounded them. As God’s eyes continue to run to and fro, will He spot us as men and women who walk with Him in faith, obedience and godly character, who refuse to let the culture persuade us from our beliefs and find Grace in the eyes of our LORD? Where do we stand in this generation?