We need to be re-programmed. In a previous article post I talked about the collective rebellion against God that is manifested in culture. But let us remember that the Gospel not only reveals lies in our current life circumstances but also provides an alternative existence that is in every way superior. So, in looking at culture, Jesus offers us a chance to be a part of a Kingdom of God. This Kingdom no doubt retains the goodness of the expressions seen in the current world, but it rejects the influence of sin. It keeps the good, rejects the evil, redeems culture, and directs the culture-making apparatus in us all.
We Don't Know the Extent
It is difficult to fathom just how the effects of the Gospel will impact our culture, now and in the future. Frankly, even our current perspectives on the matter are limited inasmuch as we ourselves are still being sanctified and having our minds renewed by Scripture. Our vision has been made clearer, but not perfectly clear. However, it is for certain that as we are sanctified individually in the image of Jesus, the Kingdom of God breaks through the sin-tainted culture that is presently in place. I imagine that as the Kingdom of God manifests on earth (through the power of the Holy Spirit and in the church of Jesus), we will see many of our creative expressions change. Our ideals change. Our art changes. Our political aspirations change. Even, I suppose, our food may change. For instance, in the complete manifestation of Kingdom, we may not have any reason to kill an animal to gain valuable protein.
It keeps the good, rejects the evil, redeems culture, and directs the culture-making apparatus in us all.
Do Not Conform
I can’t help but be reminded of Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.” The idea here is that we are no longer to be conformed (think about how water conforms to its container) and we are to be transformed (that is, from the inside out) by the renewing of our minds (through the Word of God in an intellectual sense). Remember, Jesus invites us to be a part of His Kingdom, a Kingdom that retains the goodness of culture but rejects all of the sin. It allows humans to be the creative beings and culture-makers we were intended to be from the start. This week, be encouraged to enjoy our culture, but enjoy the manifestation of culture through the lens of the Kingdom of God.