Monday, July 13, 2015

Christianity and American Culture


Christianity is not the same as American culture. Many Christians have forgotten that. The Christian faith has always been counter-cultural and subversive to every culture that does not recognize and honor Jesus as Lord. In the days of the apostle Paul, the surrounding culture was very different from the Christian faith. It was Caesar who was honored as Son of God, Savior and bringer of peace to the world. “Caesar is Lord,” was the proclamation. So, Paul and the Church were being very counter-cultural and subversive by the proclamation of the gospel: “Jesus is Lord!” It was the announcement that Jesus, not Caesar, is King over all the world, the Lord of heaven and earth.

The proclamation remains the same today as ever: Jesus is Lord. Jesus — not the Supreme Court, not Congress, not Barack Obama — is Lord, even over America. That is the message we bring, the good news we can offer. But we must offer it with love, not out of anger or fear. For God is love, and the way of King Jesus is love, who gave himself for all. He did not come to condemn but to invite, to rescue, to set all free from every bondage, including the bondage of culture and every power structure.

So let the Christian faith be clearly seen as distinct from the surrounding culture. We serve a different King. Let not your heart be troubled, then. We’ve been here before.