Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Radical Reformission, Pt. 3

Once again, Mark Driscoll's The Radical Reformission. These are excerpts from chapter 4.

Biblical Principles for Cultural Decision-Making (104)
· Is it beneficial to me personally and to the gospel generally (1 Cor. 6:12)?
· Will I lose self-control and be mastered by what I participate in (1 Cor. 6:12)
· Will I be doing this in the presence of someone who I know will fall into sin as a result (1 Cor. 8:9-10)?
· Is it a violation of the laws of my city, state, or nation (Rom. 13:1-7)?
· If I fail to do this, will I lose opportunities to share the gospel (1 Cor. 10:27-30)?
· Can I do this with a clear conscience (Acts 24:16)?
· Will this cause me to sin by feeding sinful desires (Rom. 13:13-14)?
· Am I convinced that this is what God desires for me to do (Rom 13:5)?
· Does my participation proceed from my faith in Jesus Christ (Rom. 14:23)?
· Am I doing this to help other people, or am I just being selfish (1 Cor. 10:24)?
· Can I do this in a way that glorifies God (1 Cor. 10:31-33)?
· Am I following the example of Jesus Christ to help save sinners (1 Cor. 10:33-11:1)?

First, to change a culture, we must change the people in that culture. The question that arises is whether people do what they are, or if they are what they do. The answer to this is imperative because if we are what we do, then all we need to do is train people to act differently, and they will change themselves. But if we do what we are, then we do bad because we are bad, and we cannot do good until we become good, the very thing which bad people cannot do, no matter how many dollars are spent and organizations are founded to help them (109).

The Bible clearly teaches that we do what we are. It also repeatedly teaches (particularly in Proverbs and in the teachings of Jesus) that our sin comes from our hearts, the center of who we are (109).

Second, if we aspire to straighten out crooked people, we must define what a “good person” is. This too has been the source of much conflict because there is little agreement as to what constitutes this good person we aspire to become. The Bible teaches that Jesus of Nazareth, who lived on the earth some two thousand years ago, was God in human flesh. And though Jesus was tempted as we are, he remained without sin. Because of this, he was the perfect person and is our perfect example of what a person is supposed to be. People must compare themselves with Jesus to see their sin. Only by seeing Jesus can anyone be aware of the sin they need to repent of so that Jesus can redeem them to be like him (109-110).

If we aspire to seek any change in our culture, we must resist the temptation to first change the culture. Instead, we must begin by bringing the gospel to people so that they can be given a new heart out of which a Christian life flows (110).

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