Engaging Culture

Engaging Culture
In the Upcoming Weeks
Dear TLC Family,
As we gradually climb out of the pandemic, many of us feel fatigued and overwhelmed. It has not all been because of COVID. While the pandemic was raging, we were inundated by so many social and socio-cultural issues converging right around the same time, many of them at volatile levels.
 
How do we process these things? We live within the culture and are surrounded by these issues. We meet them at our workplaces. Our children and youth encounter them at school. We run into them in neighborhood conversations. Our children engage them in their friendship circles. We watch them on TV and mainstream media. We and our children scroll through them on social media. We wrestle with these realities of the moment everywhere else but the church.
 
How can God’s people gain the tools, or framework, with which to process the things happening all around us? Part of the job of a pastor is to (hopefully, faithfully) equip God’s people with handles to engage the world around them, in alignment with God’s Kingdom values yet with practical tools for our place and time — not to influence your personal views on the issues, but to offer a biblical framework for those seeking to process and engage them as believers.
 
In the next few Sundays, I want to step into this potentially messy part of the pastoral duty. The question that has pursued me for months is: if God’s people are not offered a biblical framework within which to process these issues, are we then not left at the mercy of the handles that everyone else offers from outside?
 
To be abundantly clear, this is not about political views. I am not called to talk politics. I am looking at the political issues that have burdened us, specifically looking for a biblical framework to help God’s people engage them as Christ followers living in a tangible society. While we are not a church that will be about these issues all of the time, we also do not want to be a church that operates in a bubble, insulating ourselves from them.
 
In the next few weeks, I want to take up one social phenomenon each Sunday that has been recognized as an issue in our culture and politics in the last year, and offer a biblical framework within which to process them as a Christian. This email is necessary as a way to prepare our minds for it
 
Sunday, May 2: The Christian and the Call-Out/Cancel Culture. How can we process and engage these trends?
 
Sunday, May 9: The Christian and Identity Politics. This is with special attention to generational differences affecting family interactions and relationships.
 
Sunday, May 16: The Christian and Racial Tensions. What does it mean to be called into participation in the Kingdom Ministry of Reconciliation?
 
I am guessing we will all be ready for a break after three Sundays. 🙂
 
Let me be abundantly clear, my objective is not political. It is pastoral. The pulpit does not serve personal opinions, and I have none to offer politically. God’s Word is there to shape our hearts and minds in Kingdom life. If anyone goes home feeling good about any of the series – based on their political viewpoints – then something went wrong. Do not come hoping to be affirmed or fearing being criticized. Come hoping to be challenged… wherever you are in the spectrum, by God’s workings in your life and in His world.

In His Care!
Donald+