Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
-Martin Luther King Jr.
The world through Western eyes. Living in today’s culture can be challenging. When I scan my news feed I see daily articles covering topics related to politics, pop culture, people, the Royals, etc. At the time of this post, newspaper, television reporters and social media are talking about America’s upcoming Supreme Court Justice replacement, immigration challenges and demonstrations, the Muslim band, trade wars, a shooting at a local Maryland newspaper, the ongoing Russia investigations and more.
The United States is one of the most culturally diverse societies. The culture of the United States of America is primarily of Western culture (European) origin but is influenced by a multicultural ethos that includes African, Native American, Asian, Polynesian, and Latin American people and their cultures.1
Merriam-Webster’s defines culture as the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group; also, the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization a corporate culture focused on the bottom line.2
How do Christians in America live out their faith amid the significant social issues that surround us in today’s culture? How should we posture ourselves as believers living in contemporary America? Do we resign ourselves to pessimism accepting the status quo? Do we change our beliefs to reflect those of the current culture because “if you can’t beat them than join them?” The reality is the contemporary American culture is increasingly anti-Christian. The rate of social and moral change has radically changed in recent years in unprecedented ways.
As believers we are not to imitate the ideals and opinions of the culture around us. We are to be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit by the renewing of our mind through Scripture. Romans 12:2 (TPT) says, “Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.”
The Bible also says, “If you were to give your allegiance to the world, they would love and welcome you as one of their own. But because you won’t align yourself with the values of this world, they will hate you. I have chosen you and taken you out of the world to be mine” (John 14:19).
As Christians, we are not to love the world or the things of the world because all that is in the world-the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. The affections of our heart should not be on this world or loving the things of the world. The love of the Father and the love of the world are opposing to one another (1 John 2:15-17 TPT). We become powerless when we set our affection on the things of the world. All that the world offers cannot compare to what God has in store for us. We resign ourselves to having a form of godliness denying His power bring transformation
God not only cares about what’s going on within the four walls of the church. He also cares about what’s going on in every society and culture. We should have an impact on today’s culture, not the other way around. More to come….
- Culture of the United States, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_the_United_States, n.d. Web. 24 June 2018
- “Culture.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 24 June 2018.
Dr. Francine is an ordained minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. She hosts a broadcast called “Going Beyond Church” on Facebook. You can connect with Dr. Francine on Facebook at @afrancinegreen as well as on Twitter @beyond_2017. Visit her website at http://www.afrancinegreen.com.