WHEN CULTURE VS. CHRIST
Have you ever considered that any two people can use the same string of words and mean completely different things?
Hitler used Christian commentary as propaganda to convince people of his disgusting, policies -in order to gain political advantage.
Judas’ judgment against Jesus regarding the “waste” of the expensive ointment the repentant, grateful woman used to anoint Christ’s feet prior to His betrayal and execution is another example. “That expensive stuff could have been sold and the money given to the poor.” But Judas didn’t take that position out of love nor respect for those in poverty but due to his own self-interest in snatching money from the bag.
In essence Judas believed “Jesus was getting His”, so why couldn’t -he- dip into the purse and get what he wanted? Sick, but that’s the reality of sin nature in human lives.
Fear, anger and demand for control seem potently part of most evil in any culture.
I suggest to you in terms of politics- be they hard right or hard left, demanding control, anger and fear are surely no synonyms to faith, hope or love.
“Love is patient, love is kind…”. -1 Corinthians 13.4a
Indeed, anyone can say anything (and we do, especially via the Web these days).
So I was thinking about how to encourage those seeking to follow Jesus. In particular, how to clarify to inmates in a jail/prison situation the difference between the nature of God vs. the nature of humans who often cling to a particular cultural way of thinking rather than Christ… and who often confuse culture with the One and Only Savior.
Anybody’s culture can become the true master rather than the real God Who IS Love, Who is and deserves to be our True Master -and- Best Friend, Savior, Provider.
Here’s what I came up with:
Culture 5.22-23 Old Kaiser Version (OKV)
22 But the fruit of the spirit(s) without the Spirit of God is hatred, misery, tormenting agitation, a demanding impatience, unkindness, careless nastiness, faithlessness, 23 harsh bullying attitude, knee-jerk carelessness. Plenty of laws question and sometimes threaten anyone who disagrees with these “virtues” of culture.
Here is what God in His Word came up with:
Galatians 5:22-23 World English Bible Version (WEB)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith 23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such there is no law.
For greater clarity:
Culture often says “I have the right to whatever it is I want”. Christ in essence says “I give you the power to reflect the nature of God in a fallen, self-worshiping, deficient culture”.
Let’s be honest… we see both in as well as outside of Christian circles. God help us… or we play the “help-yourself” card and in the end confuse culture for Christ.
Tozer: “If you will be satisfied with an imaginary savior you must be satisfied with an imaginary salvation”.
As always, thanks for stopping by!