Christian Debatorial Works
Daily Living Issues
These articles are intended to provide insight into maintaining a Christian perspective of living in a secular or even anti-Christian society.
Of course, a word needs to be said here regarding culture, which is a dynamic and ever changing entity existing in all our societies. Ultimately, Gods' Truth is changeless and eternal, but the cultural conditions of the 1st century caused it to be given to the world in a 1st century 'container'. The challenge today, then, is to pour Gods' Truth from its 1st century 'container' and into our 21st century one. If done carefully, not a drop will be wasted.
I also feel this is a good place to make some predictions about the future of the Church regarding cultural issues. Here goes:
1. I expect that with the increased utilization of women in the workplace and community, male-only leadership in churches is becoming a remnant of the past.
2. The Christian church is largely losing the battle against homosexuality. Like it or not, I expect to see at least 75% of the congregations that are today entertaining the idea of female leadership will be promoting homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle within 20 years.
3. The Charismatic movement is continuing to draw more new members than the conservative groups. I expect this to continue, and at least 50% of congregations with 'barebones' styles of worship will be in serious decline within the next 20 years.
Now, while these are only personal observations, they do illustrate one thing: Nothing stays the same forever when it comes to humanity. That is why we need to trust solely on the eternal nature of God.
One final note: I firmly believe that any Christian can decide for himself how rigid a set of cultural guidelines they are to follow. How short their hair is, what music they should listen to, and how much TV is acceptable, for example, should be decided upon by personal decision. It is applying that same stricture (or liberality) to someone else that constitutes legalism. As Paul said,
He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. 8 If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
Thus, recognition of cultural conditioning in others (and, indeed, oneself) will go a long way in helping us get along well with others.