Weatherford Democrat

Viewpoints

December 27, 2013

TISCIONE: The Christian and the culture

By LOU TISCIONE

The recent controversy involving a TV celebrity being fired for statements he made during a magazine interview provides Christians an opportunity to think through how to live in an adverse culture. Over the centuries of church history many have considered this important issue including E.G. Tertullian, Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin and others.

Books have been written outlining various Christian lifestyles. There are generally five views that have been put forth. There is the view that Christians are to live against the culture. Secondly, some say that Christians should blend in with the culture. Thirdly, others maintain that Christians are above the culture. Fourthly, there is a view that Christians and the culture are in paradox, contradicting realities. Then fifthly, Christians are to live seeking to transform the culture.

To summarize, the question before those who profess Christ is: “Was this celebrity out of line or did he simply represent what all Christians should do?” To put it simply, “Should Christians express what they know to be true or simply co-exist?”

In order to answer this question, believers must appeal to Scripture.

Jesus said, “If the world hates you, know that it hated me first. … If you were of the world, the world would love you; but because you are not of the world … therefore the world hates you.” John 15:8, 9.

Jesus also told His disciples that they were His witnesses. (Luke 24:48) Jesus gave the church a command. He commanded the church to make disciples of all nations. (Matthew 28:19)

The reality that every Christian must face is that living the Christian life will offend the world. Yet, we are not to live in fear of the world. Jesus said He is the only one to fear. (Matthew 10:28) He said in the same narrative, “Everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33)

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