I’m a student of current culture. I try to stay current with what’s happening in our society and the world. I subscribe to ministry journals and newsletters and regularly read blogs and commentaries related to trends in church culture and ministry. Friend me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jimastephens and follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jimastephens. I can surf the internet and send and receive emails on my phone. I’m making the effort to be up-to-date with the times!
There’s a tension between being up-to-date on the culture and thinking that being “up-to-date” or “cutting-edge” in life and ministry is what really matters. We could get to the place where we’re as up-to-date as today’s news, able to talk about the latest in sports, entertainment, technology, and politics and be stupid in the things that matter most.
We must balance our exposure to pop culture with exposure to God-culture. We can do that through daily Bible reading and journaling, through conversations that deeply and practically discuss real issues, through spiritual disciplines of quiet and contemplation, and through diligent practice of the teachings of Jesus. These are perhaps our greatest protection against cultural irrelevance or cultural assimilation.
For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love. (Galatians 5:6 MSG)
I’d rather be God’s fool than a fool in God’s eyes.
Father, Please help me never to become a stuck-in-the-past religious fool or a cutting-edge, pop-culturally-aware secular fool. May I live with the wisdom and courage to develop and teach the values and practices that keep me on the “God’s fool” side of the line. Amen.
Reading: 1 Corinthians 3; Psalm 122
18 Don’t fool yourself. Don’t think that you can be wise merely by being up-to-date with the times. 19 Be God’s fool—that’s the path to true wisdom. What the world calls smart, God calls stupid. It’s written in Scripture, He exposes the chicanery of the chic. (1 Corinthians 3:18-19 MSG)
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