Monday, February 24, 2014

Culture Making - All In #5

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Here is another "All In" sermon, by Joseph Barkley: http://churchinhollywood.com/media.php?pageID=15

Romans 12:9-13
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
I looked up how to change culture once (because that seems like a good thing to do). I didn't really expect to find an answer, or thought it might be something like, "appeal to the good in people and they will change." I was surprised to find that one of the most proven ways to change a culture is to convince everyone that their peers are doing the desired behavior, so you should too, lest you feel left out.

Essentially it's saying, "everyone else is doing it," with the "it" being a good thing instead of bad. Isn't that funny though, considering we've all been told our whole lives to ignore that impulse -- staying on the proverbial bridge when everyone else is jumping?

I guess the desire to fit in is pretty powerful, although I hate to admit it. Someone said (my internet research came up with different sources), "All of us are born originals, but most of us die copies." That's so true, but here we are being told that changing a culture begins with copy-making.

So here's a sermon about changing and/or creating culture, and the principals outlined below are all about love. Jesus said in John 17:20-23 that the world would know He is sent by God by the way Christians love each other:
My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
So do the same principals of culture changing apply to this kind of culture? "Everyone else is loving one another, so you should too!" Maybe. If we entered a community in which others genuinely loved each other, I suppose it would be infectious.

But maybe love is even bigger than that, and rather than a behavior change, love produces a heart change.

Can one man change a culture by convincing others that everyone else is doing what he is doing? Maybe. But can one man change a culture by loving others in a way no one else is? Definitely. I'd rather change culture that way.

Notes:
  • Culture is the way we describe how living things behave and interact
  • We become accustomed to and maybe even addicted to our culture
    • Changing culture requires drastic change
  • We can create a culture of genuine love
    • "Love must be sincere..."
    • This teaching on love comes right after teaching on spiritual gifts
    • A community that is supernaturally gifted won't make a difference without supernatural love
    • Love can't be an act or have a mask on
  • Genuine love purifies affections
    • "hate what is evil, cling to what is good"
  • Genuine love asserts family
    • "be devoted to one another in love"
  • Genuine love honors liberally
    • "honor one another above yourselves"
    • "outdo one another in showing honor" (ESV)
    • Our words our incredibly powerful, and can be used to build up
  • Genuine love actively shares everything
    • "share with the Lord's people who are in need, practice hospitality"
    • This may be something that isn't natural, though we may enjoy it
    • Assess what we have to contribute, and actively seek out ways to do that
  • God must be the center of the community
    • "...never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, always serving the Lord..."
    • He's saying don't be spiritually lazy
      • Could happen in a culture of genuine love
      • Christian community is not an ideal to strive for
        • The temptation in such an awesome community is to worship the community instead of the Creator
  • Genuine love is weird, but it is a cultural distinction that the world needs to see
    • Jesus said the world would know He is real by the way we love each other

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