How Should Christians Engage with Culture?
By Fin Sheridan
The UK Church is beginning to find itself more and more at odds with the culture it exists in. It’s not always been this way but this is the way it is now – and that gives Christians unique opportunities and unique challenges.
Whether it’s how we respond to movies or tv shows, what music we endorse, how our faith moves us to spend our money; it feels like there is a new curiosity in Christianity, that people are watching us to see if we have something worth saying.
They’re watching because they want to know what we really believe and if we really believe it. Do we really hate homosexuals? Does Jesus actually make any difference? Why do Christians still bother going to church? In a world brimming with opinions and starved of truth (#fakenews), people are hungry for authentic conviction.
“The Bible says some things that our culture disagrees with – and that’s okay.”
So how should we steward this attention? If the spotlight is on us, then what should our response be? Well, I think there’s a lot to think about and much to pray about but here’s 3 suggestions for how we, as Christians, should respond to the culture around us.
We should respond THOUGHTFULLY. God gave us a brain, an intellect and to most of us, he gave common sense. Taking some time to think before you speak (or type, or share) can be the difference between opening a conversation and beginning an argument. Spend time processing, analysing and considering your words.
We should respond BIBLICALLY. More than ever before, we need to know what God’s word says and we need to trust it. We need to let it change and shape our lives – our characters, attitudes and behaviour and then apply what it says the culture around us. Whilst it can form why we believe differently to someone, we should never use it as a weapon against people. The Bible says some things that our culture disagrees with – and that’s okay. Responding biblically will require courage and conviction, which the Holy Spirit promises to give us.
We should respond LOVINGLY. 1 Corinthians 13 tells us that without love, all the wisdom and supernatural power in the world isn’t worth anything. Jesus said that the proof of our belief in him would be our love. We cannot underestimate the impact of a loving, kind, genuine response that mirrors the heart of the Father. No one was ever hated into changing but plenty have been loved into transformation. That’s the heart of the Gospel.