Our culture informs us.  It tells us what is good to wear, what is good to eat, what is fun, etc.  So often, it has informed so much of us, that we do not even realize just how fully we are products of our culture.

This happens in the church as well.  We see our faith through the eyes of our culture.  We interact with Jesus in our culture.  This can be a beautiful thing as we bring fresh enculturated expressions of worship to God in our day and age.  We can also seriously undermine Jesus' teaching without really noticing it. 

How do we get the good without the bad?

Jesus asks us to be his students and to align ourselves with Him.  This often looks like submitting ourselves little by little to what he taught about life and God.  It is good for us and is a natural part of Christian growth to go through this process.  Try this classic exercise:  Ask God to join you as you read a small passage of the Bible.  Ask yourself what you believe about what the Bible is talking about.  Identify where your ideas differ from what the Bible expresses.  Choose to follow Jesus in your thinking.

Those who practice this kind of submission on a regular (daily to weekly) basis will change -- not overnight, but over the course of years.  They will start talking like Jesus and thinking like Jesus.  They will be filled with the Holy Spirit.  They will be light in dark places.  Imagine walking with Jesus for a lifetime and bearing His image.

When you change, you do not leave your culture.  You simply reflect Jesus to the culture.  It is a testimony of what God has done and is doing in you.  Your culture changes with you, though ever more slightly.  It becomes a culture that respects life, upholds virtue, praises good, feeds the poor, and addresses injustice.  It becomes like Jesus but with the familiar clothes, food, and entertainment that it had before.

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