What can the Church do to change culture?

I recently attended a seminar which had as it’s subject the apparent increase of public policies that directly conflict with the the Bible says. Subjects such as transsexualism (gender dysphoria) where talked about, and why it is important that we as Christians take a firm but kind stance on these issues.

In the course of the event, someone asked me, “Is there something we’re doing wrong? Is there something that the Church isn’t doing that it should be doing, that these sorts of things have become so prevalent in our culture?”

The answer is both yes, and no.

No, there’s nothing we can do.

On one side of the issue lies the sovereignty of God in all things. It is God who ultimately decides who has power in a nation, and when those powers choose to promote evil, it is to their own judgement.

If we can come to any conclusion, it is the dependence on the (a)morality of man that has led us down this road; no matter how well-contstructed a political system may be, it will still fall victim to the fact that it relies on fallen human beings.  When power is centralised around certain people, those certain people’s failure affect a lot more people.

So unless we’re willing to give anarchy a go, we’ll still run into the same problem where people abuse the system because we’ve given them more power than a single person ought to have.

Yes, there are some things that the Church isn’t doing that it should be doing.

Pray.

There are a lot of Churches that pay lip service to prayer (pun not intended) but don’t practically implement a Church-wide strategy. I’m amazed at how many churches don’t meet together often and regularly. Once a month for an hour is not enough.

 Know the Bible.

I don’t think I can emphasise this enough. It is gut-wrenching how many people in the Church have not even a cursory knowledge of the Bible, let alone having the capacity to deal with some of the crucial heart-issues like the doctrine of election. In my experience very few people who profess to be Christians actually read through, study, or pray over the Bible on a regular basis, and that is crippling to those people and the Church.

Preach the Gospel.

All the arguments and logic in the world won’t soften a hard heart like the work of the Holy Spirit, and that is evident to us in the power of the Gospel. We don’t have any time to waste on frivolities, there are millions of people passing away into eternal darkness while we’re sitting on the couch watching Stranger Things 2.

Live an extravagant life of generosity and discipline.

This world is not your home, and it’s only temporary. Even the greatest physical pleasure—sex between a husband and wife—will pass away (Matthew 22:30). So Don’t Waste Your Life on television, video games, or Facebook.

You have one life, waste it for the glory of God. Instead of watching TV, pray. Instead of playing games, study the Scriptures. Instead of going out to eat, support a missionary for a month. Instead of dropping ten grand on a beach holiday, visit overseas missionaries and encourage them in the field, or go serve in a conflict zone.

People will think you are weird. It is weird according to the spirit of this age. But we’re not here to eat, drink and be merry; we’re here “that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 3:10).

Don’t be ashamed.

If you’re not willing to lay everything down at the foot of the cross for the sake of the glory of God, you’re doing it wrong, and you’ll lose your life. That means your job, your house, your savings, your friends, and your family.

Love the truth, and as “sheep in the midst of wolves” we must “be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves”. It is important that we actively promote the truth and stand against evil, especially when it is within the Church.

I have placed this point last for the very reason that it must come as a result of the others:

Boldness without being sent from the Throne will end in ruin.
Boldness without the solid foundation of Scripture will end in ruin.
Boldness without the readiness of the beautiful Gospel will end in ruin.
Boldness without extravagant witness in servitude will end in ruin.

To sum it all up:

What can the Church do to change culture? Shed the trims and trappings of this world, commune in prayer, abide in His Word, preach the Gospel, and serve the world, even “filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions”—even unto death (Collosians 1:24).

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