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Christianity and the Sub culture we have created

Discussion in 'Deeper Fellowship' started by Shannonkish, Jul 29, 2004.

  1. Shannonkish

    Shannonkish Proud member of the Loud Few

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    Let's talk about Christianity for a moment.

    I am very much a Christian.. but I have a huge problem with Christianity. Before you get all worried, let me explain.

    Christinity is a sub culture. We have created it to be so. There are Christian schools, Christian music, Christian bookstores, Christian Doctor's, Christian radio, Christian television, Christian websites, Christian diets, Christian candy, Christian coffee, Christian this and Christian that. There is a Christian copy of EVERYTHING!

    I am sick of the Christian subculture!

    In an effort to move towards being godly, we have secluded ourselves from society. We have created a subculture that has a copy of everything in society but has "christianized" it.

    And then, to make matters worse, we tell those Christians that don't live in the subculture, or use the items in the subculture that they are sinning. I can't count how many times that I have been told that I am sinning simply because I read a book that was not written by a Christian author, or listen to music that was not written by a Christian artist.

    Anyway, back to the subject. In an effort to clean society up and offer an alternative for Christians we have created a sub-culture of society. In being a part of this sub-culture we seclude ourselves from society and we loose relevancy to our culture.

    I refuse to be a part of the subculture known as "Christianity" instead, I will be a child of God, who passionately pursues Him without loosing my relevancy or secluding myself from society.

    Your thoughts?
     
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  2. Shannonkish

    Shannonkish Proud member of the Loud Few

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    Oh, and let me make something clear... I am in no way saying that these things are bad, or that we shouldn't have them...
     
  3. HoosierCanuck

    HoosierCanuck Senior Contributor

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    I understand what you are saying. I live in a small city in Indiana that is located in a county with not one but TWO Christian colleges. This area is QUITE divided between Christian and non-Christian. We have two coffee shops....one is a Christian bookstore, the other is a non-Christian 'hippie hangout.' We've become so segregated that the lost will continue to stay that way and the saved will continue to come across as 'cliquish' (sp?) and stuffy to the lost. Very sad.
     
  4. Cordy

    Cordy “In case I don't see ya…”

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    I think there are both good and bad things about “subcultures”. Almost any group or society that has a common purpose or perspective begins to produce its own form of culture. Christians are supposed to gather together regularly. We are supposed to edify each other, and encourage each other think critically about the world around us, and defend ourselves against sin. We want to be encouraged by other Christians in writing by reading Christian books. We want to listen to edifying music, so we listen to Christian music. Since we are supposed to gain our perspective on life from the Bible, we usually share many of the fundamental ideas of life with other believers. I think these are all part of what makes up this “subculture”, and I think it in some ways is a good thing. Through this network we can grow and find support and encouragement in our walks.

    I think the danger comes into play when we simply exist in the Christian subculture, and don’t go out into the world to do what we are called to do. You can listen to music about the love of God all you want, but if you are not sharing it with others, you are missing out in a huge part of the message. We need to be fed (private devotional time and supporting each other in the “subculture”), but we also need to get out and be active and put those feeding calories to good use. If we focus too much on building our own community and not reaching and living with those around us, I think we become unhealthy and in many ways ineffective.

    I think we need to learn to balance.

    Those are my thoughts.
     
  5. EJO

    EJO Hellafreak

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    Hey, Great thread Shannonkish-
    I agree whole heartedly. it is very frustrating that many christians have set this seperate world that does not want anyhing to do with the world, but copies and mimics almost everything that the world system puts out. I have a few questions roaming around my brian about this- who makes this stuff up? CCM? the Southern Baptists?(nothing against any baptists) Does a certain denomination? Who makes up those lame christian t-shirts, I wonder how many of these christian t-shirt manufacturers get sued for breaking copywrite laws with copycating logos and secular designs. Why cant we come up with our own original stuff?

    Well, I am going to back off this before I go off the deep end. I have not even started talking about 'mainstream' christian music....

    I am lucky to be in seattle- the most unchurched region in the country, and one of the hardest to reach people because of their flippant disregard for anything christian, why you may ask? It forces us as christians to think outside of the box. the world sees us coming a mile away. this world wants something sincere, not something manufactured.

    Keep it real Shannonkish.

    Peace,
    Pastor EJO
     
  6. EJO

    EJO Hellafreak

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    btw, I love relevantmagazine.com
    from your little avatar

    ejo
     
  7. Iosias

    Iosias Senior Contributor

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    As a separatistic fundamentalist I welcome these occurences!!
     
  8. Filia Mariae

    Filia Mariae Senior Contributor

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    Great topic Shannon!:)

    There is definately a place and need for fellowship with other Christians. During the time I first became committed to my faith, I had no friends who were serious about living for Christ. It had a lot of negative effects on my faith life. I know have several groups I belong to in which we fellowship and share spiritual, service, and social activities. These groups have really helped me to grow in Christ.

    But- there is a danger in developing a "circle the wagons" mentality. Most people who are converted to Christianity come to Christ through the example of a close friend or family member. I mean- how many people do you know who heard some televangelist one day and just decided to become a Christian based on a tv show? I don't know anyone like that. All the converts I know converted because of the testimony (of both words and actions) of someone they love and respect.

    We need to be in the world without being of the world. Easier said than done, but true.

    If someone is a new or weak Christian, I would recommend they spend more time with other Christians, so as not to be led astray. But for committed and strong Christians- we need to get out there, preach the Gospel, baptizing and making disciples of all nations!:clap:

    If you refuse to associate with any non-Christian, you will not only never win souls for Christ, you will look like an arrogant high schooler who won't talk to anyone outside the clique.
     
  9. Shannonkish

    Shannonkish Proud member of the Loud Few

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    Glad to hear that.. however, I am very thankful that God does not condemn for the the things that people with this mindset do. (liek reading a different version, say NLT of the bible)
     
  10. e-bwm

    e-bwm New Member

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    this is really a good subject. We really need to be grounded in our faith, but beyond that, we need to be seen as real people out in the world who have struggles likes the next guy does, because we all go through hard times and good, and the world needs to see that we can identify and understand their pain and suffering, but hopefully we can offer an example of a positive way to handle it, having had some victories in our lives. This is such a relevant thread, because I have seen the church do the very thing you're talking about in so many areas, and I'm sure that for the most part it is with good intentions, but we have to be out there if our light is going to shine. God bless.
     
  11. Iosias

    Iosias Senior Contributor

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    A. I am interested as to why you believe the so called "Great Commission" is for us?

    B. For you to read:
    Primary separatism: Believers separate themselves from unbelievers and a corrupt world.


    The Biblical foundations for primary separatism are:

    • Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
    • 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
    • 2 Corinthians 7:1 “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
    • Ephesians 5:3-7 “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them.”
    • James 4:4 “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”
    • 1 Peter 1:14-16 “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
    • 1 John 5:19 “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.”

    We see here that because the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one believers are to come out from among unbelievers and be separate. We are not to conform to the way of this world but cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. For whosoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God and as Christians we are to be holy because God is holy.



    Secondary separatism: Believers separate themselves from false teaching and apostasy.



    The Biblical foundations for secondary separatism are:

    • Romans 16:17 “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.”
    • 1 Corinthians 5:11,13 “But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.”
    • Titus 3:10 “A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;”

    What we see here is that believers are to separate themselves from false teaching and apostasy.



     
  12. Iosias

    Iosias Senior Contributor

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    I am afraid I do not understand your post!
     
  13. Filia Mariae

    Filia Mariae Senior Contributor

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    Who do you think it is for?



    All you have proven is that we are not be to OF the world, which I already stated. Nothing you have quoted supports the view that we are to shun non-Christians. In fact, that is the anti-thesis of Jesus' whole life.
     
  14. Periann

    Periann Well-Known Member

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    So to sum this all up: We are to be in the world but not of the world but we are to be Christians living in the world with real problems and umm...wait...what?

    I don't really see the point of this. For me having a personal relationship with Christ doesn't mean that I don't have any problems or anything...and it doesn't mean that Im only friends with Christians. If I were to try and only live with Christians (besides being impossible) I would live in a very boring world.
     
  15. Shannonkish

    Shannonkish Proud member of the Loud Few

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    AV1611..

    I really do not care to debate with you about being seperated from the world.. and all that jazz, because really there is no point. You nor I will change our views on this matter, so we will just be sharing words that are unnecessary. However, I will respond to your post..

    If it isn't for all christians then exactly who is it for? And how do we suppose that others will come to know God if we never tell them about God... say for example the people that live in the jungles of Africa, don't have a Bible in their language, and there are no missionaries to reach them. What then?

    Romans 10:14-15
    Are we to ignore Matthew 28:19-20
    As for the rest of your post.. you have not proven anything, other than what Carly already pointed out, that we are supposed to be IN the world and not OF it. But being IN the world, doesn't necessarily mean that we can enjoy life to the fullest.
     
  16. Iosias

    Iosias Senior Contributor

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    If I may direct you to http://www.geocities.com/protestantscot/ttd/chapter10.html

    Furthermore you may want to read this:
    THE APOSTASY OF THE SUCCESSIVE DISPENSATIONS
    by John Nelson Darby


    ...The rejection of our blessed Lord proved that no present mercy and grace, no present interference of God in goodness here, would meet the wilful and persevering enmity of the human heart, but only shewed it in its true light. But this, never being set up as a dispensation, but only the manifestation of His Person (to faith), I pass by. The last we have to notice, in a humbled sense of sin in us, is the present, where we are apt to take our ease in the world, as necessarily secure, but which, and the sin of which, the Lord sees and recognises, takes as much notice of, though not openly, as of others — the dispensation of the Spirit.

    Much has been said, with strong objection to it, as to the apostasy or failure of this dispensation.

    The results are but too plain. If we believe that the exhibitions of the Spirit's power and presence, in the second and fourth chapters of Acts, were gladsome and well-pleasing to the Lord, if the blessed Spirit was right in these effects — and who blasphemingly and in the darkness of his own soul dare to say He was not? — then is the present picture of Christendom just as opposite as one thing well can be from another. They have not kept their first estate. The patience and mercy, and sure grace of God has still kept up a witness to Himself through the mediation of Christ, it is true. So it was in every dispensation; but this did not alter or prevent the result of the apostasy. And the facts shew us that it was ever at the outset the failure or apostasy took place; and that it was patience and grace, which bore with and carried it on, but never undid the result of the first failure.

    So to our shame has it been in Christianity. The state of the seven churches, I think, would shew this sufficiently to have been the case, and the way in which John was left at the close, to awaken the threats of judgment against a declining church. Where was Paul to hold all in vigour and beauty for the coming of the Lord, presenting every man perfect in Christ Jesus? He had to confess at the close of his career, "I have none likeminded who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's."

    Such was the result of apostolic labour; and the history of the book of Revelation, the testimonies of Peter and Jude, as well as the warnings of John and Paul, also shew that this would be the result of Christianity, according to the solemn sentence of the apostle,

    "Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; on thee goodness, if thou continue in his goodness; otherwise thou also shalt be cut off."

    But we may trace the immediateness of this failure more actually and definitely in circumstances to which the attention of the church seems little directed. When the Lord was parting from the disciples, He gives them the commandment, "Go ye and disciple all nations." Where is the fulfilment of this by the apostles whom He had chosen? This was their special commission from Him, as risen and having all power in heaven and earth. The principle and value of the dispensation could not be altered. But where is the fulfilment by the twelve apostles? Scripture affords it not. There is no account of the twelve in Scripture going into all the world and preaching the gospel to every creature: nothing which Scripture recognises as the accomplishment of this command. This in itself would be sufficient to show that the command on which the dispensation hung was, in the revealed testimony of God, unfulfilled by those to whom it was committed.

    But I further find (contrary to the word, "when they persecute you in one city, flee ye to the next") that on the persecution which arose about the matter of Stephen, they were all scattered abroad except the apostles. But the testimony is not merely negative, for I find, in extraordinary grace, a new arrangement entirely made—an apostle of the Gentiles raised up, entirely distinct: "one born out of due time"; "not of man, nor by man"; who was neither apostle with them, nor from them, but asserts, as he proved, his own independent qualifications. And the Acts of the Apostles, as to ministry, are the acts of Peter, as one in whom God was mighty to the circumcision, and it was agreed that he should go to the circumcision, and Paul and Barnabas to the Gentiles; and so the acts of Paul, as one in whom the same God was mighty towards the uncircumcision. That is, we find an express special office of apostle to the Gentiles, and whatever work was done of the commission, "Go ye into all nations" (Gentiles) was done, as presented to us in Scripture, actually by somebody else specially and extraordinarily raised up for the purpose. Thus, whatever grace and power from Him that was glorified might effect, this dispensation as well as any other failed and broke off in the very outset; and in point of fact the gospel has never been preached in all the world, nor all nations discipled to this day, but the church which was gathered has departed from the faith of the gospel, and gone away backward, so as to be as bad or worse than the heathen.

    But the point which is proved in this is not merely that it is in a bad state now, but that like all others it broke down in the commencement — no sooner fully established than it proved a failure. This does not touch upon the faithfulness of God, but exalts it, as in the case of the Jews, where their lie abounded to the glory of God. The remnant have been preserved all through, and according to the measure of grace and faith have prospered, or have been raised up from depression according to the counsels of God; but the dispensation was gone. We belong to a better glory. Nor, this being brought in as the object of desire, can the believer seek other or old things and earthly arrangements. And as he cannot desire, so neither does Scripture present the restoration of a dispensation; it never justifies its actual condition; and though grace and faith may, as I have said, effect revivals during the long - suffering of God, the dispensation, as such, is actually gone, that the glory of the principle contained in it may shine forth in the hands of Messiah. The attempt to set this dispensation on another footing, as to its continuance, than those dispensations which have failed already, not only shews ignorance of the principles of God's dealings, for the calling of God was always by grace true (and if it were it never could make way for that which is to come under Messiah), but it is actually negatived by the assertion, that it stands on the same ground as to this with the Jewish — "if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise, thou also shalt be cut off." (Romans 11).

    When He is come who can bind Satan himself, so that his power in the world shall be set aside, and not merely the testimony of the Lord's power maintained there, then shall there be continuance, until, for the accomplishment of the purposes of God, and the final separation of evil and good, he be let loose again for a little season. And the close of all dispensation, and the end of all question and title of authority shall come, and, all being finished, God shall be all in all without question and without failure. How the glory of God and our consequent blessing in these things is increased and enhanced might be very plainly shewn, as it is indeed just declared by the apostle; but if the fact be recognised and its truth established as before the Lord, it may suffice now.

    Reference to the second chapter of Galatians will confirm and establish the point historically as to the present dispensation, where not only is the fact stated of Paul having the ministry of the Gentiles, as Peter of the circumcision; but it was actually agreed on their conference, consequent upon the grace given, that Paul and Barnabas should go to the uncircumcision; and James, and Cephas, and John should go to the circumcision. And so far was the apostle's mind under Judaising influence, that it required a positive fresh revelation to induce him to go into company with a Gentile at all, and even after this he would not eat when certain came from James. In fact the Gentile dispensation, as a distinct thing, took its rise on the death of Stephen, the witness that the Jews resisted the Holy Ghost: as their fathers did, so did they.
     
  17. Shannonkish

    Shannonkish Proud member of the Loud Few

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    AV.. This isn't a discussion about doctrine, and personally I don't care to hear your doctrine.. I know what it contains and I don't agree with it.

    Have a great day.
     
  18. Shannonkish

    Shannonkish Proud member of the Loud Few

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    AV.. This isn't a discussion about doctrine, and personally I don't care to hear your doctrine.. I know what it contains and I don't agree with it.

    Have a great day.
     
  19. Shannonkish

    Shannonkish Proud member of the Loud Few

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    BUMP... new members= new perspectives.
     
  20. vinc

    vinc Senior Member

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    Excellent and much needed post Shannonkish. I wholeheartedly agree with your thoughts. Christianity indeed has become like an "organized religion" and all such religiousity is limiting us from being the "Real" and "True Christians" in the sight of Lord Jesus Christ.

    The largest number of books written in the New Testament is Apostle Paul. He is the Author of 13 or 14 of the NT Books that we read or have read. Therefore, we have incorporated much of his teachings and one can almost say that Apostle Paul (instead of Jesus Christ) has become as the Founder of Christianity. Another sad fact is that Apostle Paul was one who had not lived with or been with Lord Jesus Christ like Peter, James and John. Only 4 books (the 4 Gospels) in the NT are all that we can rely upon as the real words uttered by Lord Jesus Christ.

    Sometimes we are doing what we are supposed to do as Christians and not because we really want to. Sometimes we are despised and even persecuted (directly or indirectly) by our own religious-minded Christians for not following the sub-culture that they have created or the sub-culture that they have been following so far. Some of them even start doubting our Christianity if we do any small thing different which is not their "christianized version".

    Even some or most of the Non-Christians are well aware of the christian sub-culture and may feel why we are doing something which is not part of the christian sub-culture. They might even gently remind us saying, "hey, do you know that as a Christian you are not supposed to be doing this or that?".

    The Christian sub-culture that you have described above is suffocating the real christian spirit in us. It is also possible that we have build ourselves a wall following the New Testament just like the Jewish people in Jesus days built a wall for themselves following the Old Testament. So, when Jesus Christ came they found Him different and He found them different than Him too. In the same way, i think Lord Jesus Christ may think differently about the christian sub-culture which we have made around ourselves today.

    The Bible says that there is a certain liberty (freedom) in Christ which we as Christians avail. We should allow the Holy Spirit to have a free course in us. The Holy Spirit may lead us to live somewhat differently from the present sub-culture, then, we ought to obey the Holy Spirit. Which is more important? Obeying the Holy Spirit's leading in us or obeying the christian sub-culture?

    2 Corinthians 3:17 - Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

    Galatians 5:1 - Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

    1 Peter 2:16 - As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.

    Accordingly, we are free to read a book which is not from a Christian Author and free to listen to music which is not from a Christian Singer/Artist. Those are not sins. In fact, those which are not sins have been considered as sins by our christian sub-culture. This is the sad part really.

    A True Christian usually encounters such problems and sometimes may have to bear with them throughout his/her life.

    Acts 16:6,7
    - "Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, 7 After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not. 8 And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas."

    According to the above verse, Apostle Paul was not led by the Holy Spirit to preach the Gospel in Asia and Bithynia at that time and they obeyed the Holy Spirit and went to Troas instead. If it were any other Christian Evangelist (having a strong religious fervour and living in the Christian Subculture) in Apostle Paul's place, s(he) would have disobeyed the Holy Spirit and gone to Asia and Bithynia to preach the Gospel there in order to "expand the Kingdom of God". I am not saying that preaching the Gospel is wrong, but preaching the Gospel when the Holy Spirit is forbidding you is wrong. Such things can happen if we are lost in the christian sub-culture today.

    I am glad that there are Christians like you who are sick of it. These are natural thoughts while growing as True Christians.
     
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