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« This and That | Main | Beyond the Gate »

Comments

Agate

I really like what you say here about culture being an external expression of our core beliefs. When you put it that way, it doesn't make any sense to be quiet and apologetic about being Christian. On the other hand, if I'm making all my choices based on my love for God, won't my Christianity be obvious, without preaching? Won't people know and respect my faith simply by seeing and understanding what I do? It's when I preach that I take the risk of being a clanging symbol--the hypocritical Christian who angers and alienates so many non-believers.

Jeremy Doan

So much of this discussion concerns semantics. How exactly do we define "religion"? Is it your belief in whatever god? or is it your belief in what explains this universe? I hold more to the latter. Therefore, everyone has religion, and religion affects every decision they make. Christians, as you say, do much harm to themselves when they attempt to separate their "religion" from their societal and political interactions

cwv warrior

Amazingly, meaning this is God's doing, I am coming in on this topic from an entirely different angle. If you have a few hours to spare (h-hm), read Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey. Her thing is the cultural mandate. I quote from her other book with Charles Colson, "the Lord's cultural commission is inseparable from the great commission." They even write, "that may be a jarring statement for many conservative Christians"!

Ouch! That's how bad it is. Christians don't understand the split in their worldview which Ms. Pearcey explains as fact/value...that is life/church, science/ethics, natural/supernatural. Today, people see the science side as truth and everything on the other side as relativistic. In other words, we don't apply the word truth to religion, as a society. Therefore, the church rarely applies God's revealed truth to life. THis is why I'm not in church right now. I don't find it relevant. Voting, school curriculum, art, work, our choices are never separate from God's view yet we have made it so.

You don't know how overwhelmed I am that someone besides Nancy Pearcey gets it! Thank you for the fresh air.

Dory

Agate,
I'm not sure that the only alternatives are either 'preaching' or remaining silent and hoping others will notice your 'obvious' Christian model. There are many appropriate ways to put forward a Christian worldview in political debate, in our practice of the arts and sciences, in our interactions with our neighbors, etc.

But are you saying you think we are not called to make disciples but only to model? See Matthew 28, Titus 2, 2 Cor. 10. I do think our lives give credibility to our testimony, but they cannot replace our testimony.

Most people who have a view of Christians as hypocrites do so because they misunderstand the Gospel we believe. They think we consider ourselves better than others and deserving of heaven. It is obvious to them that we are not sin-free, so they consider us hypocritical. We cannot correct this notion by modeling Christian living. We can only correct it by teaching them the true Gospel.

Milton Stanley

Very much enjoyed this post, Dory, particularly the part about Rev. 19. You think very clearly and write very. Thought you might like to know I wrote about your post and linked to it at my blog. Peace.

Stuart DiNenno

"This assignation of religious core values to a second-class status is not surprising by those who espouse a materialistic or other god-free value system. It is simply an attempt to apply social pressure to restrict unwanted cultural competition and give more power to their worldview."

I recently had a brief email exchange with the head of the Cultural Department at the German Embassy which relates to what you say above.

I posted the messages on my blog, if anyone wants to read them:

http://christianity-applied.blogspot.com/2005/01/tyranny-of-germanys-education.html

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