I often think Christianity Today misses the important realities of what God does in the world, so when they hit one out of the park Iâ€™m not only surprised, I want to share it. In the March 2006 issue of Christianity Today, they printed an article on the influence of believers on culture entitled, Loving the Storm-Drenched by Frederica Mathews-Green. It is the most incredible article Iâ€™ve ever read on the subject and I wanted to shout AMEN virtually with every paragraph. Iâ€™ll quote some excerpts here, but Iâ€™d really encourage you to follow the link above and read the entire article.
Whatâ€™s more, (the culture) is already changing â€“ constantly, ceaselessly, seamlessly â€“ changing whether we want it to or not, in ways we canâ€™t predict, much less control. If you take the cultural temperature at any given moment, you will find that some of the bad things are starting to fad, and improvement is beginning to appear; simultaneously, some good things are starting to fall out of place, and a new bad thing is emerging.
Not only can we not control this process, we canâ€™t even perceive it until changes are so far developed as to be entrenched. Chasing the cultures is a way to guarantee that you will always be a step behind the times.
God has not called us to change the weather. Our primary task as believers, and our best hope for lasting success, is to care for individuals caught up in the pounding storm. They re trying to make sense of their lives with inadequate resources, confused and misled by the Evil One and unable to tell their left hand from their right.
This focus on an external, public sign is contrary to the mission of the church. Christ planned to attract people to himself through the transformed lives of his people.
But if someone should actually see our billboard, and be intrigued, and walk in the door of a church, he would find that he had joined a community that was just creating another billboard.
Culture is not a monolithic power we must defeat. It is the battering weather conditions that people, harassed and helpless, endure. We are sent out into the storm like a St. Bernard with a keg around our neck, to comfort, reach, and rescue those who are thirsting, most of all, for Jesus Christ.