Are You Culturally Compromised?
The Cultural Christianity Series
What is Cultural Christianity?
When a Church allows cultural standards of morality and worldly philosophy to overrule the teachings and commands of Jesus Christ, it has become Cultural Christianity.
For more than a century now, the Church in America and Europe has been pressured to see God as only loving. Love is defined as being considerate of how other people feel to the total exclusion of their moral condition. Many Churches have succumbed to many pressures from the culture to conform to standards contrary to Christ.
The Spirit-filled Christian is aware the world's culture constantly presses its way into his life and realizes it is his responsibility to resist. Paul urged the Roman Christians, "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." (Romans 12:2)
Last week in a study I taught from Luke 17, where Jesus warned against becoming a stumbling block. He then tells those faced with a person who is a stumbling block by saying, "Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him." The process is a simple one, once confirming that a brother sins, then rebuke him. Following the rebuke is the matter of if he repents. Forgiveness is always predicated upon repentance. John the Baptist, Jesus, Peter, and all the NewTestament writers made repentance mandatory for salvation.
Jesus then added if he repents seven times in a day, forgive him. There can be no limits on forgiveness in the Christian faith because it is always a result of Christ's sufferings. Such forgiveness places a great demand upon Jesus' followers. His disciples immediately recognize their inability in light of the Lord's demands and ask Him to increase their faith.
In this passage, as in others, Jesus recognizes the value of small faith in an enormous God. When the believer's dependence upon God increases, it will, of necessity, decrease in himself. This transition is the stuff out of which humility is made.
This portion of scripture concludes with the story from our Lord about a slave and his Master. The slave, according to our Lord, has no rights. Jesus doubles down on this concept by referring to the Master and asking, "He does not thank the slave because he did the things commanded, does he?' The answer, of course, would be no. Then comes a clear and straightforward command from Jesus, "So you too, when you do all the things which were commanded you, say, 'We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.'"
The word translated unworthy into English can be rendered as "Useless" or "Good for nothing." Upon quoting our Lord's words, I was told we should never say to a person they are worthless or good for nothing. I fully understand and accept that a parent can harm a child by making them feel worthless. At the same time, all the prophets of old did the same thing and faced persecution for it. The Bible condemns sinners as being wretched and worthless and further tells us, "...for all have sinned."
Christian! Should we ignore the Biblical mandate of God and His Son Jesus Christ because culture tells us not to? In Christ, any person can be elevated to the status of a member of the Divine family as a child of God. Jesus used Gehenna, where fire received the garbage, metaphorically for hell. Do you think Jesus is unkind by referring to all the inhabitants of hell as garbage?
Better to think of ourselves as garbage, here and now, but spend eternity in the presence of the living and true God and be perfectly righteous and loving and loved then!
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