The Church and Culture

Feb 21 2012 Published by under Church

by Alver Rance 

Over the last few years, we have been made aware of how the culture of this world has affected the church. The Scripture warns us not to let the world entice us to accept its values. Romans 12:2, tells us to not be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.

 I John 2:15, says, “Love not the world neither the things that are in the world”.

What are the things against which we are being warned ? Just by observing the culture around us, we notice that the world places value on pleasure, comfort, entertainment, popularity, recognition, power, authority, money and forging one’s own path. Many would never worship an idol of wood or stone, but the things mentioned are pursued irregardless of the price it may cost. God does not want us to conform to these values, for in so doing we compromise our relationship with Him and our family.

To be accepted by the world, one must espouse these values or be rejected. Even though these values fly in the face of Biblical principles, many churches bow to the culture of the world in order to be accepted.

Recently, a religious denomination rejected an amendment that is being offered in the Minnesota legislature that would define marriage between one man and one woman. Their reasoning is that since they have been discriminated against in the past, they don’t want to discriminate against any, including those who want to marry someone of the same sex. Another example of this is how the abortion issue is often framed. It is popular to say that a woman should have the right to chose. In their argument, they fail to disclose that their choice leads to the death of a baby. No mention is ever made about the baby’s right to life. Both the Old and New Testaments are very clear about both of these issues.

As Christians, we must not allow the world to squeeze us into its mold. When two laws are in conflict, we must always choose the higher law.  God’s law is that higher law.

 All through history, the church has been persecuted for not conforming to the culture around them. II Timothy 3:12 says, “All that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution”.

As Christians, are we willing to stand against the world’s culture like millions of our fellow believers around the world who suffer for their testimony, or will we conform to it?  It is true that a life of holiness is a lonely road and not well traveled.

Alver Rance serves as a Missionary at Global University. Alver and his wife Linda served as Missionaries to Latin America for 35 years. For more information about Global, visit www.globaluniversity.edu

4 responses so far

  • Alver Rance says:

    Thanks Mary! Yes, we need to be the one influencing the culture, no vice versa!

    Alver

  • Dr. Mary Logan says:

    Thanks, Alver, for such an insightful blog. As we live in God’s presence each day and experience the transformation by the renewing of our minds, we will become the “salt” and “light” that will influence our culture rather than our culture influencing us.

  • Gary Seals says:

    Amen, Alver! When the Church trades righteousness for relevance and would rather be hip than holy, it is spiritually skating on thin ice. Many churches in America are casting off restraint due to a lack of vision (Prov. 29:19) so it is little wonder than so many churches look and sound more like a night club than anything else.