Human Culture and Knowing God

How can we be Christians in our ungodly culture? Some people like the Amish want to separate themselves from the culture around them. Others figure that they can blend in with their culture if the Bible doesn’t condemn it directly. Who’s right?

A woman walks toward the light.

One problem with western cultures is that they have eliminated God from their content. In other words, the evil influence of secularism has prevailed in our cultures. It’s obvious in movies, sports, TV, songs, and other content of pop culture as well as in most of public life. God has been kicked out of people’s everyday lives.   

The problem I have with Amish separatism is that it’s virtually impossible for Christians in that kind of community to reach out to unbelievers outside the group since their lifestyle is very different. The only hope they have is their young people staying as part of the community. Being extremely separate isn’t the answer.

The other extreme isn’t desirable to me either. Christians must not adopt the unbelieving values and ideas of the culture around them either. For example, in the following picture, many baseball fans have assembled to watch a game. It’s in a stadium in which I have watched a game. How many fans have any thought of God?  

My wife and I sat in the upper-deck “nose-bleed” section above left field at the upper-left of the picture. I imagine that very few of the fans were thinking about God during those three hours. On the other hand, God has taught me to praise him for his creation of the human body when athletes display their God-given talents. “The heavens display God’s glory; the earth, his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1).

My dad was a great pool player; he could make the balls curve around and jump over others. None of us three boys ever beat him. Now, I praise God for his talent, but then I learned the lesson along with rooting for the Chicago Cubs that “winning isn’t everything.” In fact, God also taught me that I could praise God for the abilities of the opposing players and teams as well as my favorites. I think that’s the way we can separate ourselves from the self-centered values of human culture while maintaining contact with unbelievers to be a blessing to them as God gives us opportunities to witness to them. What do you think about this topic?    

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