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Asking Questions


Our response to culture


In anticipation of the book, She Works His Way: A Practical Guide for Doing What Matters Most in a Get-Things-Done World, by Michelle Myers and Somer Phoebus, releasing October 12, Somer joins us on the blog today!

How can we be aware of culture’s twisted versions of God’s truth without making an enemy of culture?

Our Response to Culture | Val Marie Paper, prayer, ministry, culture, counter culture

It’s a reasonable question. And one that we felt called to address in our upcoming book.

The first part of the question can be answered somewhat simply. Just read your Bible so you know God’s truth and can identify when it’s being twisted.

But the second part of the question can be a little more complicated… “without making an enemy of culture.”

That’s the part that I think believers struggle so deeply with. We fear what we don’t understand, so we end up making an enemy of what we fear. It’s human nature. I’m not saying we need to set out on a journey to understand culture’s twisted view, but we also don’t have to bury our heads in the sand and create our own Christian bubble in order to escape it either.

It does create tension though. It’s logical that someone who doesn’t know Jesus and hasn’t had their life drastically transformed by His saving grace will most likely offend us. But they are not the enemy. In fact, we’re sent into the world for them.

John 17 recounts Jesus’ prayer in the garden before He was crucified. Read His words from verse 18:

“As You [God] sent Me [Jesus] into the world, so I [Jesus] have sent them [believers] into the world.”

With the same power and purpose that God sent Jesus to earth to die on the cross and defeat death, Jesus sends us into the world for the purpose of making disciples. And therefore, the brokenness of this world, AKA culture, should not be feared.

As believers, we have a hope that’s really hard to put words to. The only thing that comes to mind is miraculous. So based on that miraculous hope, our response to culture and its twisted ways should be met with one question:

How can I redeem this? This situation, this argument, this person, these words, this tragedy, this gut punch: how can I redeem it for the glory of God and the good of others?

Consider Stephen’s story, recorded in Acts 8. Stephen was immersed in a culture that didn’t believe Jesus was Who He said He was. They based their beliefs and eventually their decision to stone Stephen on twisted cultural lies. He did not run the other way though. He did not condemn or judge. He just chose to combat their lies with God’s Truth all the way to his own death.

Stephen knew his enemy was not the people, or the culture, but the sin we all struggle with. I believe our reaction to culture has the potential to say more about our love for Jesus than just about anything else.

To know God is to love God and when you love God you can’t help but love His people. And people create culture; it’s not the other way around.

So don’t fear culture. Don’t make an enemy of it. Ask God to redeem it, and aim to be a part of as many redemption stories as possible.

Love God. Love people. It’s not easy, but it is simpler than we often make it.

Somer Phoebus + Michelle Myers’ prayer in writing She Works His Way: A Practical Guide for Doing What Matters Most in a Get-Things-Done World is for God to set women free from the bondage of trying to be everything everything the world expects them to be while also aiming to be the woman He created them to be – and that they will just aim to be His. They both share the lessons they learned that challenged culture’s good things so they could find the greatest thing: God Himself. And it can be your story too. You can read Chapter 1 free here, and order the book here.

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