The C3 March program theme is “Being a Culture Shaper”. We are challenged as Christians to “not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our mind.” Jesus taught through the parable of the sower in Matthew 13:1-23 that when we prepare the soil properly, there will be an abundant harvest of 30, 60, 100 times what was sown.
We can either let culture shape us or we can shape culture, which can be challenging considering our position in history. The rate of change is accelerating at such a rapid pace due to globalization, exponential technological advances, and exposure to information almost 24/7. The current rate of change presents many opportunities and can also threaten the values and beliefs of many in the world. I believe this is one factor contributing to the polarizing environment we see in our culture today.
For the Christian today, this can create a cultural dilemma. When the values we believe so strongly in are threatened, it is easy to isolate ourselves from the world and declare a war on culture. However, is this the approach we are called to in scripture?
The Church, which is made up of all followers of Jesus Christ has less influence in our culture today than 60 years ago. The Judeo-Christian values that were the foundation of so much of society seem to be diminishing. When we look at the seven mountains of influence in a culture, which are religion, education, business, family, government, arts and entertainment, and media we see where there has been a separation of Church and the other six mountains of influence. We have bought into the lie that there is a separation of my Christian values and the way I operate my life, which has attributed to the secular/sacred divide.
As Christians we can work to integrate our Christian values as taught in scripture into how I live my life at home, work, government, or in the community. This does not mean I must proselytize, or beat others up with the Bible, but to apply my faith in such a way they see Jesus through my speech and actions. I like the quote that states, “tell them about Jesus and if you have to use words.”
Cultural engagement begins with a transformed life. As we apply biblical truth and allow the Holy Spirit to do the deep work in our own lives, we can help others and positively influence culture. Matthew 7 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible and addresses many of the deep issues that can be barriers to a transformed life. Listed below is the major topics of Matthew 7:
- Judging others
- Getting the board out of your eye so you can help get the speck out of others
- Ask, seek, and knock
- The narrow and wide gates
- True and False Prophets
- True and False Disciples
- The Wise and Foolish Builders
This principle is also seen when we fly in a commercial airplane and the flight attendant states in case of emergency make sure you put the oxygen mask on yourself before you try to assist others. We must work first on being healthy ourselves so we can help others. Join me on this journey to allow the Holy Spirit to transform our lives so we can see our culture and communities transformed.
To get more information and join the South Carolina Christian Chamber of Commerce (SC-C3) movement, go to www.sc-c3.org and become a member today!
Jamie Jordan is the State Director for the South Carolina Christian Chamber of Commerce (SC-C3). His passion is to see unity and excellence exhibited within the Christian community. Jamie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.