Culture versus Kingdom
This is an adaptation of an article by Pastor Joseph Matera
Many believers (including preachers) interpret the Bible through the lens of their culture. This has resulted in many beliefs, doctrines and practices prevalent in the church that are not in accord with the clear teaching of the Kingdom paradigm of Scripture.
The following are some of the contrasts between Western Cultural Christianity and Biblical/Kingdom Christianity:
1. Western Cultural Christianity focuses on individual destiny. The Kingdom focuses on the reign of Christ over the nations.
2. Western Cultural Christianity focuses on individual prosperity. The Kingdom focuses on stewardship.
Much of Western preaching today focuses on “our rights in Christ” to be blessed. In Scripture the emphasis has to do with being blessed by God in order to be a blessing by bringing God’s covenant to the Earth.
3. Western Cultural Christianity appeals to using faith to attain stability and comfort. The Kingdom encourages believers to use faith to step out to spread the Gospel.
4. The Western Cultural apologetic focuses on human reason. The Kingdom apologetic focuses on the power of God.
We have been taught to defend the faith utilizing scientific, archaeological and linguistic proofs to validate the historic accuracy of the Scriptures. In the Bible we see the prophets, apostles and Jesus based their message on the anointing, authority and reliability of God.
5. Western Cultural Christianity promotes a culture of entertainment. The Kingdom promotes the pursuit of God.
We are often catering to an obsession with entertainment and visceral experiences, instead of cultural engagement and personal intimacy with God.
6. Western Cultural Christianity is about efficiency. The Kingdom is about effectiveness.
The whole point of being part of the “Body of Christ” is not to see how much we can pack into the shortest amount of time in a building but about being effectively equipped to take the Gospel to the world!
Seek FIRST the Kingdom of God… because often the culture cannot meet the needs! Learn to be more culturally relevant than culturally driven!
Linda HolmesMay 17, 2016 at 3:52 pm
Well said, Ian! We (as individuals and as a corporate body) need to be Kingdom enlightened! It is such a better way. Have you read, “Culture of the Kingdom,” Billy Humphrey? Amazing book that you would resonate with. AND…he is coming to MN and BIHOP June 4-5th and coming to our leadership meeting; and then on Sunday the 5th he will be speaking at River of Life, Elk River. Just though you might like to know…