Saturday, February 6, 2010

To Change the World Campaign – Through Five Core Principles Part 1

I’m convinced we all want to make a difference, especially if our faith matters. As committed Christians, we get up each morning with a purpose and a mission. Acts 1:8 says, “But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria and throughout the ends of the earth.” New Living Translation.

The Body of Christ has been doing this for over 2,000 years. It would seem that today our society has become resistant to Christianity. Are we happy with what we see in the world? Do you believe, as Christians, that we are making a difference? Is it possible that something is blocking our efforts? If you are like me, you are frustrated. Why are we not changing the world? Why does it seem to be changing us?

I offer for your consideration five core principles that I believe will change our world. They involve the combination of media, faith, and culture. They are interconnected and dependent upon one another in order to achieve results. Without accepting the first principle, you cannot move on to the second principle.

Some Christians argue that if we simply live out our lives and be Christ-like we can change the world. But why is this not working? Sure, we can see pockets of our faith in action,. But, for the most part, our society and the world in general goes about its business as if we, the Body of Christ, do not exist. We have become irrelevant.

Let’s be honest. Only two things can happen. We are advancing the cause of Christ and changing our society or Christianity is in retreat. There is no middle ground. We cannot remain static.

37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Matthew 22: 37-40 New Living Translation

Christianity is not complicated. If we do the above as Jesus commanded, we will change the world. So what’s stopping us? The change must first come from inside the Body of Christ. We must examine what is blocking our efforts. Our five core principles will lead us to a better understanding of how we can change the world.

Principle One—Christianity is rapidly loosing its impact on culture. Today the media controls the culture and, by doing so, controls the hearts and minds of the people. That includes both young and old, Christians and nonbelievers. In fact, it is no longer possible to determine where culture starts and where media ends. They have united to create a media culture. We now have a “media culture crisis”. Every Christian must play a part in solving this crisis.

Most Christians reject the above concept. We see only 10% of the issue. The media culture is like an iceberg. Only a small portion lies above the surface of the water. For the most part, we see sex, violence, bad language and nudity as the main problem. To be fair, the majority of Christians accept this part of the concept to be true. Why we reject the other parts of the principle is because of fear. We don’t want to admit that we are just as likely to be influenced and controlled by media as the general public. Others see the issue as too big or too complicated so it’s easier not to think about it. Why? Because we believe we can’t change it even if we wanted to. Still other Christians have a false sense of security by not having cable TV, or watching R-rated movies, or limiting their exposure to media in general. It’s much easier to justify that it’s somebody else’s problem. But we are only lying to ourselves. Isn’t it time that we face the truth?

What is culture? It is a shared consciousness, which influences our behaviors, attitudes, actions, and thought patterns. It helps to create a collective worldview. It is direct and indirect as well as tangible and intangible.

In other words, it is part of the air we breathe. It goes beyond one movie, one television program or one cable network. Media impacts every aspect of culture and society. I will not bore you with all of the statistics, analyses, and studies. But I do trust their results. We have more than enough information from Christian and secular outlets, such as the Rand Corporation, George Barma, the Kaiser Family Foundation, Media and the Family, the Bridger Generation and the list goes on.

What are their findings? Faith seems to have little or no impact on our lifestyle choices. Our behavior and attitudes are linked to our exposure to violence, sexuality, and media in general. The research suggests that the media culture extends beyond the reach of the electronic screens of our media devices. Consider this analogy. We are being exposed to a low form of radiation. We cannot taste it. We cannot hear it. We cannot see it. Nor do we feel its affects immediately. But over time it will kill us. And just like exposure to low radiation, exposure to media over a period of time is killing us spiritually and making us ineffective.

Monday Part 2

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