Monday, February 23, 2009

Christ For The Nations- Session #1- Carpe Culture

"From the tribe of Issachar, there were 200 leaders of the tribe with their relatives. All these men understood the signs of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take." 1 Chronicles 12:31-32

Statistics showing the decline of the influence of Christianity in our culture.
*4 out of 5 young people say that Christianity is anti-homosexual; half describe it as judgmental, too involved in politics, hypocritical, and confusing; 1/3 believe their faith is old fashioned & out of touch with reality; & 1/4 of young people believe it is boring and insensitive to others.” (pg. 33) For more stats, click here
*Christianity is no longer the default religion of Americans. click here
*Christianity is no longer keeping up with the population growth. click here
*State by state analysis regarding the influence/importance of Christianity. click here
Church attendance statistics for the United States, click here

1. Can the church impact culture? The answer is yes. We need to remember how Christianity has made an impact on the various cultures of the world throughout history.

2. Should the church impact culture? Matthew 5 teaches us to be salt (preservers) and light (illuminators of truth) to a rotting culture

3. How can the church impact culture? Acts 2 shows us that when God birthed the New Testament church, He did so by His power & by the Holy Spirit. The miracle of Pentecost was not simply a strong wind, fire & speaking in tongues. The miracle was that the various speaking groups heard the gospel in their own tongue. RELEVANCE.

What is relevance? Very simply, relevance is using what is cultural, to say what is timeless. (illus.- the cultural containers)

The truth of God is relevant to every culture and to every person, but it must be translated to the hearers in a comprehensible manner. (good article from Dr. Ed Stetzer that goes into more detail, click here)

What cultural container do you need to use to reach the people with the living water (message) of Jesus Christ? We need to become missional Christians if we will be able to 'seize the culture' around us with the truth of the gospel!