I was listening to a radio show earlier this week on ethics and it was mentioning how we cannot stand alone in a group of people, that the group \’think\’ (if you will) penetrates our way of thinking and affects what we say and do. They were mentioning settings like Enron and Abu Ghraib and how they weren\’t populated by bad people set out to destroy and violate, but that they were each a group of decent people whose group mindset slowly descended into unethical and immoral behavior. The culture became \’sick\’. Dare we say as much has happened in America as a whole? Can we be objective enough to see the ways we\’ve descended into hell?
As Christians, I think this is why God calls us into community, not only with each other but with Him. We stand hand in hand with each other and feed off of Truth and let the Spirit lead us so that we can be \’other\’ than what we see everywhere else. We are counterculture…the definition of \’holy\’ is \’to be set apart\’–to be other. We become salt and light in a rotting, tasteless, dark place.
I think as Christians we need to look to see where we get fed. Many of us spend hours every day drinking in what the world pours out–TV, movies, billboards, radio, internet, corporate think, etc. Many of us worship at the altars of Oprah, Wallstreet, Obama, Dr Phil, American Idol, etc. What in the world is \’wrong\’ with these, you may ask? Well, I\’m not going to dissect these, but I think we should realize that they all project a worldview and reflect the American group think.
So, how to be Christian in a culture that isn\’t? Again, I think it has to do with being in community with the Holy Trinity (they promote community just by virtue of the fact that they are in relationship with each other: Father, Son and Holy Spirit). As we seek Him and surrender to Him, He gives us insight into how He sees things…yes, we get to sit treetop with God and look around. Also, we need to be with other Christians–Christians who have a close relationship with Christ, we cannot stand alone. Finally, we need to be mindful of what we feed off of (media, literature, etc). Guarding our hearts and minds (and those of our children) and inviting God into the space that we guard makes room for a renewal of mind, a worldview that reflects His heart.
(An aside: there is a college on the East Coast [Patrick Henry college in VA] that is set up to teach a biblical worldview and send young people out into areas of influence in the US to change the culture. The temptation with this whole idea, not doubt, is to make Christian principles into a \’god\’ and to eclipse personal relationship with Jesus. Also, I\’m not sure that a culture that is based on Christian ethics will see a need for a relationship with Jesus. If we transform into a culture of Pharisees then I\’m not sure we\’re making any progress…I don\’t know enough about PHC to say this is what they are doing, I\’m just voicing a concern about where they may go wrong.)
So, my thought is: ask Him to take you higher, take the panoramic view and then you\’ll know how to \’be\’…all will become clearer and the best part is is that you\’ll be closer to Him and others who sit treetop. I\’ll bet the air is fine…