Winning The Culture?
Submitted by Ted Mock
November 15, 2023
Mt 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
A few years back, a pastor friend of mine called to tell me that he was resigning his church and handing it over to a younger man. He had brought this man on staff a couple of years earlier with succession in mind.
It all seemed like he was at least making plans for the future. This is something that most of our churches fail to do in a way that produces good continuity when there is a pastor change. Perhaps he knew that I had seen many of the radical changes the new man had made on their website, or he could tell by the questions I was asking, that he began to explain the sudden changes to me.
The sanctuary resembled more of a theater or night club than a place of worship. The loud, contemporary music, stage lights, and casual “hip” looking new pastor was unrecognizable to me.
Once it was a church that preached against sin and for the Saviour. Now the sermons were all about self-improvement but without conviction and power.
I was broken-hearted when my friend apologetically told me that he was not happy with all the changes either, and then he told me, “But you know, we have to win the culture.”
We ended the call on a friendly note, but the saying caused me to think hard about the day in which we live. I know that I am of the “old school,” and at the same time, I realize that the “old time religion” could use a new coat of paint. But I cannot understand why we need to win the culture.
Which culture are we trying to win—the drug culture, the homosexual culture? I believe the Lord gave us the Great Commission to win people, not cultures.
Soulwinning is our business—first and foremost. “Winning” does imply a contest that can be won or lost, and we do need do our best to win—to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Our compassion should run just as deep as our convictions are high, but we cannot reach the world by being like the world.
Maybe, we need to lift up Christ and get back to winning souls instead of cultures. If we do that, maybe we can start to change the culture.
Consider: The One who upholds the universe will never let you down.