Christ and Culture Part 2

Written by Aleck Cartwright

Continued from page 1

There is no place for separatism or self-righteousness either, we are encouraged in any noble service to culture. An argument could then be made that if we are justified by grace and not works, why should we then not sin allrepparttar more? The purposes ofrepparttar 126992 law is to be a curb for sin, a mirror or plumbline for sin and also as a guide or tutor to lead us to Christ. The last purpose, as a guide is more optimistic thanrepparttar 126993 other two, in that it affirmsrepparttar 126994 universality of sin, but maintains that culture can be converted in line with God's temporal law. Where those things in culture that have been perverted can be reformed and redeemed to some extent.

While this sounds good, such earthbound hopes tend to underminerepparttar 126995 belief of eternal life andrepparttar 126996 ultimate destination of mankind in an afterlife. Transformation of culture may be seen asrepparttar 126997 whole reason forrepparttar 126998 existence ofrepparttar 126999 church. The social gospel may quickly replacerepparttar 127000 salvation gospel instead of being held in tension, as they should be. Although as Christians we are under grace it might be tempting to rely onrepparttar 127001 law for social reform, exchangingrepparttar 127002 word forrepparttar 127003 sword.

Also, in rejecting certain aspects of culture, we are not rejecting culture in total, as even our act of rejecting culture is a part of culture. As Christians we do reject certain aspects of mainstream culture, but not culture in totality. If we were to reject culture in totality, why would God not have taken us into heavenrepparttar 127004 moment we were saved? The fact is that discipleship occurs not by taking choices and culture away from us, but placing us directly in it to be counter-cultural.

This does not mean that we are opposed to culture but it does mean that we are against any form of cultural idolatry, those aspects of culture that do not point to Christ as Lord of all. Whenrepparttar 127005 New Testament talks ofrepparttar 127006 world it speaks of those aspects of culture that are self-glorifying and self-serving, claiming autonomy apart from God.

Thusrepparttar 127007 real question is not whether we should accept or reject culture in it's totality but what isrepparttar 127008 correct principle for discrimination. We cannot be self-righteous monastics and neither can we be in rebellion from state institutions and divinely appointed offices and leaders. Ultimately we can argue for reform ifrepparttar 127009 temporal law seeks to override Godly principles as in a dictatorial government, such as Zimbabwe or Iraq.

Whenrepparttar 127010 law of God written on our hearts is held in tension withrepparttar 127011 temporal law laid down inrepparttar 127012 land, we find that we do have a paradox, we who are not held underrepparttar 127013 law, actually commit ourselves to do those things which upholdrepparttar 127014 law. As Christ is in us we do naturally what is required of us, not because of a rulebook, but out of a desire to love God and our neighbour.

In our desire to uphold justice and law in our nations, social action byrepparttar 127015 church body is usually resisted as a contamination of Church and State, word with sword. The temporal law laid down byrepparttar 127016 state should be upheld byrepparttar 127017 church asrepparttar 127018 moral force in society. Whererepparttar 127019 state makes decisions that are contrary to God, moral law should still be upheld regardless ofrepparttar 127020 state consequences. In this wayrepparttar 127021 body of Christ is both underrepparttar 127022 law and above it, though whether under or aboverepparttar 127023 law it's Lordship is still God. Whererepparttar 127024 church cannot have direct action, it can through it's members have indirect influence. This influence can be exercised throughrepparttar 127025 chosen vocations of it's members. Christ lives in us to express Himself through us torepparttar 127026 glory of God. In this wayrepparttar 127027 separation of sacred and secular is closed while Christ and culture, church and state are held in healthy tension. (continued in Christ and Culture 3)

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Check out for new articles and news from Aleck Cartwright. Aleck is a Zimbabwean missionary who has travelled all over the world, sharing God's love and heart for the world.

Intercessory Prayer for The Pentagon and Employees

Written by Angelique Watkins

Continued from page 1

PS: I would appreciate it if you would leaverepparttar correspondence with me to an absolute minimum.

I serve in two Armies, if you know what I mean, and I have to tame my spiritual excitement withrepparttar 126991 fact that I have a job to do here.

"Greenberg, Milton L Mr Army G8-FD" Friday prayer mission Thu, 13 Feb 2003 15:21:37 -0500

FYI...we now have approval fromrepparttar 126992 Pentagon Chaplain to start daily prayer sessions inrepparttar 126993 new chapel...1130 to noon 5 days a week starting this coming Tuesday (2/18/03)!


Keep praying.




A mighty fortress is our God; a bulwark never failing; Our helper He amidrepparttar 126994 FLOOD of mortal ills prevailing. For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe; His craft and power are great, and armed with CRUEL HATE, On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing; Were notrepparttar 126995 right Man on our side,repparttar 126996 Man of God's own choosing. Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus it is He; Lord Sabaoth His name, From age to agerepparttar 126997 same, AND HE MUST WIN THE BATTLE!!!

And though this world with devils filled, should threaten to undo us; We will not fear for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us. The prince of darkness grim -- we tremble not at him; His rage we can endure, for Lo! his doom is sure, ONE LITTLE WORD WILL FELL HIM!!!

That word above all earthly powers -- no thanks to them abideth; The Spirit andrepparttar 126998 gifts are ours Through Him who with us sideth. Let goods and kindred go; this mortal life also; The body they may kill: God's truth abideth still, HIS KINGDOM IS FOREVER.

(Written by Martin Luther)

Independent Researcher, Writer & Life Enrichment Advocate

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