The Nature of Fellowship: Radical Life part 3

The Nature of Fellowship: Radical Life

Collision with Culture

Acts 4:12

 

When I talk about “colliding with culture” let me be clear. I’m not talking mainly about addressing and fixing ills in culture.

 

I am talking about repairing the broken image of God in man and the reconciliation of mankind back to God so that Holy Spirit, by the means of supernatural sanctifying power, resurrected will and putting a sword to sin and the working of his saints in community, will begin to disciple his adopted people into the culture of his Kingdom.

 

When you hear “colide with culture” I’m talking about addressing the missing component of the people who are not in the kingdom. I’m talking about those divorced from Eden.

 

From the fall onward, mankind has been enslaved to the evil one and has chosen to worship and serve images and creatures and the like, which is ultimately Satanic in origin, rather than God.

 

In the fall man died. Man died toward God. Man died toward each other. Man died toward creation. Man has therefore, been abusing worship, each other and the creation ever since.

 

Rome is full of worshippers. Everyone worships. The question is what or who do they worship?

 

The better statement is that Rome is full of idolatries and many of them wear Christian t-shirts, have Christian tattoos, go to Christian schools whether home or UCS, got “saved” at a “Christian” booger game olympics and have thus christened all their activities as “Christian”.

 

Some of the other idolatries are not so cloaked in fake Christian tones, but they are idolatries and they are worship of demons nonetheless.

 

Mankind’s idolatries are as diverse as the villages, towns, cities and countries that make up the globe.

 

“…in ancient cultures social life revolved around sanctuaries, temples, and stadiums. There, various gods and goddesses were worshiped as people gave their time, talent, and treasures as sacrifices to the adoration of their deity. Even the buildings themselves were built as acts of worship.

 

Today, little has changed. The temple of Ra, the sun-god, has now been replaced with warm wather resorts and tanning salons where worshippers pay homage to their bronzing god.

 

The temples of Ptah, the god of craftsmen, are today hardware stores and Craftsman tools.

 

The temples at Nemea, Olympia, Delphi, and Isthmia included stadiums, which now have been replaced with soccer fields, baseball parks, football stadiums, and basketball arenas where pagan fans dress up – like they always have – as birds and animals to cheer for their gods as they score points.

 

The healing cults of Asklepios, with sanctuaries at Epidaurons and Corinth, have now been replaced with holistic health spas.

 

The Oracular gods often had sanctuaries near fresh water sources that we refer to as beaches, campsites, golf courses, and fishing holes.

 

At the temple of Apollo, prophetic pronouncements about the future were given; these have now been replaced by speculating newscasts and blogs as sort of digital divination by which the future can be predicted.

 

The temple of Thoth was where the god of writing and knowledge was worshiped, and is now housed in local libraries and universities.

 

Monthu, the god of battle, was worshipped at Armant, but is now more commonly found at war and veteran monuments along with appearances in violent video games and cage fights.

 

Min, an early fertility deity, was worshipped at Coptos but today is present at medical fertility clinics.

 

Hathor, the goddess of motherhood, was worshiped at Byblos in ancient days but has relocated to birthing centers.

 

The temple of Neith in the Delta was connected to medical education, which is presently found in medical schools and research centers.

 

The temple of Aphrodite in Corinth where sex was part of worship has now gone global with strip clubs and porn.

 

The small shrines that filled ancient homes and required homage and financial sacrifice have long since been upgraded with home entertainment systems and high-speed internet connections.

 

Finally, Paul once said that our god is our stomach, and that god is worshiped by the gluttonous and obese al all-you-can-eat buffets.

 

Indeed, when our culture is considered through the lens of worship and idolatry, primitive ancient paganism seems far less primitive or ancient. This is because everyone everywhere is continually worshipping, and idolatry is, sadly, seen more easily when we examine other cultures rather than our own. This is because we often have too narrow an understanding of worship and do not see that idolatry empowers sin.”

– Mark Driscoll

 

Our town and our world as a whole is not caught up in the grand and supernatural story of Father, the metanarrative.

 

They have been cast from Eden and rather than living with God in the story by the glorious reconciling work of Jesus they are content to worship demons with culturally acceptable idols.

(Leviticus 17 and the worship of goat demons by not bringing an animal killed in a field to the temple to properly worship the Lord)

(Man I need that f-250, I’ll just tie up the next 72 months of giving and it’ll be ok)

 

It is far too easy to worship idols in our context than it is to live in the grand story of the Gospel!

 

To put a “Narnian” spin on it, they are contented living in Finchley totally unaware that there is a Narnia they have been divorced from and can live in again.

 

To say it another way, according to Lewis, they are content with mud pies in the slum because they can’t imagine a holiday at the sea.

 

If you eat enough mud pies you will destroy yourself and lead others to destroy themselves and think all the while you are good and all is well and you are doing it your way and free of constraint not realizing you are enslaved to the fall.

 

You don’t need much of an imagination to see all the “mud pies” our culture is willing to eat.

 

Social ills are symptoms of the fact that they are divorced from God and they have delighted in the Enemy and his demonic hoards through the various means of worship offered by the demons and have lived in death and destruction with the illusion that they are like God knowing good and evil.

So, when you hear “colide with culture” know that this is primarily a Gospel issue.

How do we collide with culture

1. Tear down strongholds

2 Corinthians 10:1-5

I, Paul, myself entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold toward you when I am away!—I beg of you that when I am present I may not have to show boldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of walking according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete. (2 Corinthians 10:1-6 ESV)

 

2 Corinthians 11:12-15

And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. (2 Corinthians 11:12-15 ESV)

 

A. Right use of apologetics

B. Put on the armor of God(Ephesians 6:10-20)

C. Recognize the strongholds you have (what false beliefs do you hold on to?)

 

2. The Gospel is powerful to transform culture

Romans 1:16

A. All authority has been given to Jesus, so don’t fear, tell

B. The Gospel does not need help

 

3. Preach the Gospel where you are and where you are sent providentially

Acts 1:8 “You will be my witnesses….”

Acts 4:1-2, 5-13, 31

Acts 5:17-21

Acts 6:8

Acts 7

Acts 8:1-4, 26-40

Acts 9:1-19, 20

Acts 10

Acts 11:20

Acts 13:4-5 (first missionary journey)

Acts 16:14 (second missionary journey)

Acts 21-28 (Paul’s journey from Jerusalem to Rome)

 

Listen, I’m continuing to see people respond to the Gospel in my little context of work daily. Why? The  Gospel is powerful! Some of them are students and some are parents. These students are going back to their churches alive and telling the Gospel to their families and friends. Dude, I got parents who think I’m a lunatic because of the Gospel.

 

I don’t care whether they ever come to our church or not, just that they go to some church. When Jesus saves people get them where the bible is preached, people love them and they are comfortable.

 

A. Start where you are

 

B. The Lord is in charge of the mission and he advances it in his time and way

(passive voice and the event that was used of the Lord indicate the work of the

Spirit)

1. Acts 8:1-4

2. Acts 11:19-21

 

C. It is no waste of time to preach to church goers in Rome (Ezekiel 36)

1. Lydia Acts 16:11-15

 

4. Be ready to deconstruct false notions of the Gospel

A. The Gospel of morality

1. Do all the right things and that is Christian

This phenomenon is a result of attracting people with events, telling them inspirational stories, inviting them to pray a prayer and sending them back to sermons on “how to be

a Christian”.

2. Holy living is a result of Justification. Holy living will not make one

just before God.

B. The Gospel of politics

1. Jesus is not Republican, Democrat, Tea, Libertarian, Fox, CNN

2. Jesus is just King of them all

a. Proverbs 21:1 “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand

of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.”

C. The Gospel of church (nominal church)

1. I go to church (sometimes) rather than I am the church and a vital

part of the mission and serving my church family in the Gospel by the gifts of the Spirit for their good

D. The Gospel of “god”

1. I believe in “god”, you know, the “god” who loves everybody the same

way, never judges (and you should not judge either) and is always “shiny

happy people holding hands (REM reference)”.

E. The Gospel of prosperity

1. God wants to make me rich and that is evidence of faith.

2. Luke 12:13-21 Parable of the rich fool

 

5. Be ready to disciple new Christians into the church

A. Get new Christians a bible and read it with them

B. Bring new Christians to church and explain to them what we do and why

C. Take new Christians to your connect group

 

6. Conduct gospel work in prayer

A. Faithful work done in the closet will be rewarded openly

1. Matthew 6:5-6

“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:5-6 ESV)

 

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