Sunday, September 30, 2007

Impacting Culture as Lay Christians

What is your purpose in life? If we were honest, this is one of the many questions that all of us have struggled with. As Christians, our purpose should be centered in God’s eternal plan. He seeks that none should perish but that all come to eternal life through Jesus Christ. God has set us here on earth to fulfill His eternal plans.

What is God’s eternal plan? In addition to proclaiming the Gospel, I believe a critical aspect is to impact our culture. Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world.” Just as light is a luminator, we are to show how Christ can transform not only the individual but our society for the better. Just as salt is a preserver, we have a duty to preserve the Christian influence that has pervaded our culture.

We need not be priests, pastors or professional missionaries to impact our culture. Jesus has commissioned all of us to impact our world, in whatever role we have in life.

There is a cultural battle that rages today seeking to suppress Christ’s influence in the name of separation of church and state. Interestingly, without Christ and the Church, much of the modern concepts of individual rights, freedom, liberty and justice for all would not have developed as we have it today.

While the Church can grow in any system of government, whether supportive or oppressive, it grows much healthier and faster in a supportive environment as opposed to suppression. As Christians, regardless of what we do in life, we can help advance the work of Christ by living out our faith in our school, work and business. When we pervade our culture with good Christian role models, we impact culture, transforming it into a supportive culture that will minimize barriers to the Christian faith.

One of the ways that lay Christians can help the Church is to go into the world and live Christianity as a teacher, mechanic, police officer, businessman, physician, politician, scientist, attorney, judge, etc. As God puts us in a position of influence, we need to remember that He placed us there for a purpose. When provided with an opportunity to help the Church and people in need, remember to do so in a way that will advance the kingdom of God. Christianity cannot just be a Sunday event. It needs to be lived 7 days a week to be effective. When we live Christ in what we do, we can influence and impact our culture.


Sam said...

I would totally agree with what you wrote...what then is the role of priests, pastors, missionaries, etc?

Father Lu said...

Sam...I would hold the view of Ephesians 4:11-13. Priests, pastors and missionaries are God's ordained leaders in the Church to prepare His people for service in the body of Christ and beyond.

The spiritual leaders are just one part of the body of Christ (See 1 Cor. 12:12-31).

If I can use Henri Nouwen's hospital analogy, ordained ministers are like hospital staff. Just as physicians care for us medically, ministers do so spiritually. The purpose for a hospital is so we can heal and strengthen to then go out and do what we were trained to do. Just as the hospital sends us out when we are well, so we also go from the church into the world to serve.

Our physicians and pastors are here not to be the end all but rather, to physically and spiritually prepare us to do what we were truly called to do--to bring God's message to every part of life (not just on Sundays) and impact our culture until one day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and every ear shall hear the voice of God saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God." (Rev. 21:3)