Monday, July 1, 2013


Many Christians do not go to movies. I go to few. Many do not watch TV. I do... but it's limited. They avoid anything that is even considered worldly. I was just SW of Iowa City over the weekend. I drove by several Amish Farms. They have shut themselves out from the world. We admire men like Smith Wigglesworth ( I DO) who would read no newspaper. Just the Bible. Many of us (me included) have our bookshelves full of Christian Books. We don't read novels. We don't read shades of Gray. Nor should we. That causes us to become Cultural Heretics. We have isolated ourselves completely from the culture. We do so many times to protect ourselves and our families from influences that might kill them. Particularly in some communities where that is a real possibility. We talk a different language. Our conversations are coded...biblical references and assumptions.

We have so succeeded in isolating ourselves from a fallen culture we no longer are capable of engaging it. We can't speak to them. They have no idea what we are saying. Our books and movies are not read by the culture... oh a few are. Jesus Calls, Left Behind, Cross and Switchblade. There are few christian authors who successfully cross over. Mostly we are talking into an echo chamber of our own making. The ones who DO succeed in crossing over are criticized. Joel Osteen for instance. His "Best Life Now" book was read in the culture. Yet Christians lambaste him for his soft approach to theology. He's engaging the culture, we're not.

Our movies are for the most part unseen by the unsaved. The Bible TV series was watched...but very little Christian Witness exists on Secular TV. We are unrepresented. Mostly because we don't exist in the places where Decisions on these things might be made.

Most of our Christian music (save a few C&W artists) is unheard by the lost. I have admired those who have tried to do Christian Rap. It is an art form that will speak. Unfortunately no one has really crossed over. I hoped at one time that EMINEM would get saved.

The Apostle Paul knew about this. He was a cultural chameleon. HE became all things to all people. In Athens he pointed to their art and used it as a launch pad for conversation. In Rome he became like them. He said, 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

We must learn to speak into our culture. We are no longer able to do so. I don't mean compromise, I mean we must become like Paul. The great catastrophe in 72 AD caused the Christians to disperse throughout the culture. They became many different things to many different peoples. Maybe God will have to do that again to get us to engage with the culture.

To continue to hide behind our church walls and not engage the culture is cultural heresy and if we consider Paul's approach... maybe it's simply HERESY


Anonymous said...

I like the article I would submit a testimony to give a perspective. I belong to a union when I went to the union school they provide a room two men per room as some classes may run a week or two. I went to school last year I fell asleep left the lights on woke up to snarling and growling looked over my roommate was asleep lights still on His face twisting and contorting in an inhuman way.. I thought I need to make sure I am awake. I sat up and watched as the mans face contorted twisted and growling and snarling came through his twisted face and yet eyes closed he was asleep I bound it and went back to sleep. When people become full of led and controlled of God as I am sure paul was either the enemy will confront or God will lead to confront and effect change in His way will time and season. If the church of America where producing Holy Spirit filled and yielded disciples (not perfect men) but carriers of Gods presence cultural engagement wouldn't be a problem but on a large scale they aren't what happens when they do finney wigglsworth etter McPherson all changed geographical climates both moral and spiritual with 3 to 4 hour services packed full of the Word and not afraid to preach repentance and some hard truths paul spoke about. It starts with the believer and the church if it doesn't start there the arm of the flesh will only affect so much change and we are encouraged not to lean on it.But when the Holy Spirit comes He will convict convince and reprove. So where are His vechiles and how full are they. Where are His churches and how full are they this is the recipe for national change. If the Lord orders the engagement with His overflowing power and presence who's to withstand Him.

Steve Finnell said...

There are only two kinds of doctrine taught in contemporary churches.

1. Man-made doctrine, which is heresy. (Mark 7:1-9-13... 9 And He said to them, "All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.....13"making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.)

Man-made doctrine is found in catechisms, creed books, and church statements of faith.

2.The word of truth, which is God's word. (1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.)

The word of God is found in the Bible and the Bible alone.

Some believers proclaim that in order to be saved, men must go to a mourners bench, repent and pray until you feel saved. Still other believers assert that men need to go to a so-called altar, in front of the church building, and pray a sinner's prayer in order to be saved. There are those that believe salvation comes from simply saying a sinners prayer, and having a repentant heart. Is this heresy or truth? Where are the Scriptures to support these doctrines? There are no Scriptures, there are only handed down traditions of men

Jesus said, Mark 16:16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

Was Jesus a heretic for saying "Is baptized will be saved?" Or was Jesus speaking the word of God?

The apostle Peter said, 1 Peter 3:20-21....were saved through water. 21 There is also an antitype which now saves us, namely baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

Was the apostle Peter a heretic for saying, "Which now saves you, namely baptism?" Or was Peter speaking the word of God?

Ananias said, Acts 22:16 'And why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.'

Was Ananias a heretic for saying, "Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins?" Or was Ananias speaking the word of God?

The apostle Paul said, Ephesians 5:25-27 ...just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it, 26 that He might sanctify and cleans it with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Was the apostle Paul a heretic for saying. "sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word?" Or was Paul speaking the word of God?

The apostle Peter said, Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Was the apostle Peter a heretic for saying, " Be baptized for the forgiveness of sins?" Or was Peter speaking the word of God?

There are only two choices. 1. Man-made doctrine, or 2. The word of God.

(All Scripture from: NEW KING JAMES VERSION)

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