The “Brave New World” of the 21st Century requires a “Brave New Discipleship” strategy.

How Christians Can Escape the Rip-Tide of Modern Culture – Part II of III

Posted on: March 21, 2017

SCRIPTURE REVEALS THE KEY TO ESCAPING THE CULTURAL RIPTIDE

Last week I made the point that the first step in escaping the riptide of modern culture is realizing that modern culture has a powerful negative influence on an authentic Christian experience.

This week, we make the next point, that Scripture reveals the key to escaping the cultural riptide.

The cultural deterioration in America, and much of the rest of the modern world, did not catch God off-guard, nor did it overwhelm His resources. God and what He gives us is sufficient to meet our needs in any time or place.

1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”

So how has the Lord provided a way of escape for us in this powerfully negative culture? The way is lying hidden in plain sight in a single passage of Scripture:

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2:

If you have been reading my blog for some time, you know that when we work that passage backward, we see:

  1. We can be living demonstrations of the fact that God’s will is good and acceptable and perfect
  2. But only if we are transformed
  3. To be transformed, our minds must be renewed

Therefore, mental renewal is the key to being living proof of the fact that the will of God is good and acceptable and perfect.

Surely, it requires the Holy Spirit, it requires the Word, and it requires prayer… but underneath all that, if the mind is not renewed, the life will not be transformed.

Of course God answers our prayers for spiritual growth, the Holy Spirit will convict us of sin, call us to righteousness, and illumine our minds to the truth of Scripture. But when it is all said and done, if we do not respond to these things by exercising the spiritual discipline of mental renewal, we will not be transformed.

  • God does the work of God
  • Man does the work of Man
  • Man cannot do the work of God
  • God does not do the work of Man
  1. The work of God is: The Holy Spirit, the Word of God, answering prayer
  2. The work of Man is: The spiritual discipline of renewing the mind

This is so important to understand because Christians may pray, read the Word, go to church and be earnest and sincere in their desire to grow spiritually, and yet may not protect their minds from unnecessary negative cultural input, and may not power feed their souls the things of the Spirit, and therefore may still be swept out to sea by the rip-tide of modern culture in spite of their sincerity and traditional efforts.

It is not unusual for some Christians to respond to life’s challenges with anger, anxiety, sensuality, fear, and materialism. It is not unusual for some to embrace secular philosophical positions and lifestyle choices that are contrary to Scripture. Much about their lives may be little different from non-Christians.

Sincerity is not enough. And modest traditional Christian activities are not enough.

  1. We must protect our minds from unnecessary negative input from culture
  2. We must feed our minds positive input sufficient to offset the inevitable negative input from culture.

There is wonderful news on the flip side, however. It means that if we do protect our minds from unnecessary negative input, if we do sufficiently power feed our souls the things of the Spirit, we can break free of the riptide.

In fact, we can be more spiritually powerful today than we would likely have been 50 years ago, because, just like when physical exercise is harder, we get stronger physically – so when life is harder spiritually, we can become even stronger spiritually, if we follow the truth God has outlined in Scripture.

Next week, in Part III, we will look at how we can power feed our souls sufficiently to offset the power of modern culture.

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