So you wanna talk about culture?

I am finding some of the discussions about culture around the blog world to be out of step with the clear imagery that Jesus uses in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:27-30). Some have become so drunk (both literally and metaphorically) with “understanding culture” that they have become unbalanced in their pursuit of holiness. While I affirm the need to understand your surroundings (like duh) this should not mean that we drink from the same putrid well that Bunyan’s Mr. Worldly WiseMan devoured. On the one hand it is a grievous error to confuse mutilation for sin with mortification from sin but it is equally erroneous to eat mud pies so you can relate to two year olds.

Stott keenly notes, “It is better to forgo some experiences this life offers in order to enter the life which is life indeed; it is better to accept some cultural amputation in this world than risk final destruction in the next. Of course this teaching runs clean counter to modern standards of permissiveness. It is based on the principle that eternity is more important than time and purity than culture, and that any sacrifice is worth while in this life if it is necessary to ensure our entry into the next. We have to decide, quite simply, whether to live for this world or the next, whether to follow the crowd or Jesus Christ” (John Stott commenting on Matthew 5:27-30 in The Message of the Sermon on the Mount, 91).

One response to this post.

  1. Great post Paul. It is so difficult to have balance in this arena of life and ministry…

    I watched Piper’s DVD on Tyndale today. It was very insightful. I’m interested how his national conference goes with such a wide variety of speakers (Above All Earthly Powers)…

    Have a good night

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