Christianity 201

January 30, 2021

Living in a Post-Everything World

Today’s article is by Alec Zacaroli and appeared on the website Burke Missions, which we’re visiting today for the first time. There’s two reasons today to click the header which follows and read this there, and not here. First, it’s the beginning of a series you might want to bookmark and follow. Second, because this particular blog post is just hours old, we’re going to close comments here so that you can comment on the original site.

Though this first item in the series is introductory, it poses some questions I had never considered before. What does it mean to live at a time that is “post” so many things? Or more particularly, to live in a world where everything is temporary, transitory or (to use a word increasingly popular) fluid? And what does it mean to join this journey with a vow of never turning back?

Leaving It All In A Left-It-All Culture

This is the first in a series of blog posts in which we will look at sharing and living out the gospel in a post post-modern and post-Christian culture.

“When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.” – Luke 5:11

Let’s face it, folks. We like leaving stuff. Metaphorically speaking, we are like a teenage girl, moving on from one outfit to another in search of the ultimate (yet unattainable) look. We were once modern, but that got old.  So we became post-modern. It appears the bloom is now off that short-lived rose, so we’re moving on to post post-modern. Once we figure out exactly what that is, we’ll probably leave it too. We’re post-Christian, post-religion, post-race, post-gender, post-family, post-marriage… you name it, we’ve moved on from it.

Maybe we’re really just post-commitment.

Whatever we call our condition, the truth is whenever one moves on from one position, one moves into another.  You can’t go from somewhere to nowhere, some place to no place, or something to nothing. In that case, you still would be moving into something. It’s called Zen Buddhism. But I digress. The point for believers is that we need to understand the times we are in and what that means for our faith and witness. And for non-believers, I think the time has come to settle the question of where you will park your life. Because you can’t just circle the lot forever.

So we live in a post-everything world. Where does that leave us? Well for one thing, luckily, for those are believers in Jesus Christ there is no such thing as “post-belief.” He told us: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” John 10:27-28 (NASB) Thus once you have placed your faith in Jesus, you can’t just move on from Him. Though many may try, believers cannot simply purge themselves of the Holy Spirit once He has come into them. This is important, because it means you are never lost in a sea of confusion without any mooring. The issue, in a time when everything is always in question, is how do you lay hold of that anchor? Put another way, how do Christians live out the gospel and share its remarkable and undeniable good news in a post-everything culture?

In this series, we are going to explore this question by delving into a series of other questions. Questions like what did it mean to be modern? Or how do we understand the concept of modernity?  In turn, what does it mean to be post-modern?  And what are the characteristics of the post-modern culture that replaced modernity? And now that it appears we’re done with that experiment, what does it now mean to be “post post-modern”, as some are calling our current age?  In all of this cultural exegesis, we will also look at what is means to be a “post-Christian” culture.

But we won’t stop there. Because where we’ve been and where we are doesn’t necessarily tell us where we are going.  And as author Lewis Carroll wrote, “if you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” So we need to find the right road. Once we have arrived at some understanding of where we are, we will see why the only true road is the road to the cross. We will look at why the gospel provides the only sure footing we have, and the only sure footing we need, in a turbulent age. And we will explore how we both live out and share the gospel during these strange and increasingly antagonistic times.  Not to be a spoiler, but just as the first disciples found, we will see that leaving everything is not such a bad idea. The critical thing is not what we are leaving things for, but Who?

Thanks for joining us on this journey. I hope it will bless and encourage you in your faith. And if you lack faith, I will pray that on this road, or whatever road you may be on or choose to take, you will meet the One who is the only Way, the only Truth, and the only Life.

February 26, 2012

Where Changing the Culture Begins

I’m always happy when people take advantage of our offer of direct submissions, but it helps if I actually check that e-mail inbox. This was submitted a few days ago by Jarod Hinton who lives in Georgia and blogs at Sermonettes, where this appeared (for the second time!) under the title Reformation’s First Step.

Our country is in sad shape. Our culture, also, is just this side of Gomorrah. Maybe a taste of what we’re up against is that in a recent research survey they discovered that 57 percent of “evangelical Christians” believe their faith is not the only way to eternal life! This goes back to my previous post a little bit. Hypocrites in the church. But beyond that, my own compromise and hypocrisy. Basically we need a reformation in our country. (And our Canadian neighbors also.) I have been praying for a mighty movement of God’s Spirit for a long time. Our society is doomed if we do not repent and seek the Lord again. I say that with all seriousness and sincerity. I’m not a doom-and-gloom-er, but we are in a war for the future of our children, and our nation.

But we will not see a great movement of God upon our country until the body of Christ repents of its own sins and failure to behave as Christ would behave. We need a reformation (or revival, whatever you want to call it) in the Church before we will see it in our country. That is in part why I am a minister seeking to help God’s people live in freedom and power.

But we will not see a great movement of God in the Church until there is a stirring of God’s Spirit in families. The family is the backbone of the Church. That is to say, the family structure is vitally important for the successful carrying out of the Great Commission. Also, the best discipleship happens in the home. A powerful revival in God’s body will come in the form of families that are changed and unified and powerful, in God’s Spirit.

I realized last night something significant I can do to speed along the reformation of our culture. In fact, I realized what the very first step, the beginning, of this reformation will be. If we will not have reformation until the church repents and is revived, and we will not have revival until the family is surrendered to God’s control, and I am the leader of my family, then I can begin in my own life to prepare the way of the Lord. Prepare ye the ways of the Lord. Make his paths straight.

The first step to reformation is in ME!

I must begin now to seek the Lord and earnestly pursue a life of holiness and a pure walk with Christ. How does that happen? It happens through the Word of God. That is the instrument God will use to shape me into the image of my Savior. Then my living will be what it ought to be. (Or at least, it will begin moving in that direction.) God cleanses and directs me through his Word. That is the key to spiritual growth.

So I need to quit bemoaning the sins of society so much — not that I will stop completely — and start working on the compromise and selfishness in my own life. I need to be a man and get up early enough in the morning, regardless of circumstances, and spend time with Christ in prayer and His Word. Then Christ will begin, more and more, to live my life for me. That is the goal. To be filled and controlled by the Spirit.

So I am going to start taking the first step of reformation. I hope you will join me.

~Jarod Hinton

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