Pastor's Blog

Pastor's Note - October 20

I mentioned in Sunday’s sermon that, as Christians, we are now a cultural minority. We are not becoming a cultural minority. Rather, if we hold to Scripture and the truth of Christ and salvation in Him alone, we will live as a minority in our culture. This should not surprise us at all! 1 Corinthians 2:18 tells us the cross is foolishness to the unbelieving world. I was reminded of this during Josh Lewis’ Sunday School class on the Gospel and Islam. Josh talked about different social emphases that tend to shape and influence cultures. He brought up three different dynamics: innocence/guilt, honor/shame, and power/fear. Some cultures emphasize innocence/guilt, and tend to measure things in categories of right and wrong. Other cultures emphasize honor/shame, where the most important question is whether or not an action brings honor or shame, particularly to one’s community. Still other cultures emphasize power/fear, where the priority lies in manipulating forces so that they act in your favor and bring good things. All of these dynamics are at play in all places, but each culture will tend to emphasize one dynamic more than the others. Interestingly, the cross is foolishness to them all. Jesus, the innocent one, became sin that we might be righteous. Jesus, the glorious one, humbled Himself, and was publicly dishonored and shamed. Jesus, the Mighty God, became weak to the point of death. All that our world emphasizes as good, Jesus became the opposite, on our behalf. He then calls us to follow in His footsteps (see the Beatitudes). So, we should not be surprised when we find that, as Christians, we exist as a cultural minority. The only question left is how we will respond. For some, this is an uncomfortable reality, and as “Christian influence” decreases, we may be prone to fear, anger, or worry. That’s a real temptation. But it’s a temptation we must avoid. As we are seen increasingly as “foolish,” and the world races in different directions around us, I am convinced our response must be one of faith, hope, and love (to draw off of last week’s sermon text). Faith that God is still in control, and we need not worry. Hope that God will make all things right in the end, and we need not despair. And love, not only for the Lord, but also for all those created in His image, even those we perceive as enemies, that we may not fall into hate. In every social and cultural context, these virtues ought to mark us as Christians. Let us live in faith, hope, and love.

Share this post