Receive, Reject, Redeem

I love teaching Sunday School.

Not for kids, though that’s a lot of fun too, but for our adult class.

I love it because teaching a lesson or sharing what God lays on my heart with my friends, family, and other members of our community carries a certain level of accountability that is easier to avoid in cyber space. If I’m out of integrity or off base in that class, there are people in position to call me on it. Lovingly, but all the same, they’ll tell me if I’m out of line.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to conduct the class and brought up the touchy subject (something I’m prone to do) of cultural change and it had more of a discussion than a traditional lesson. The discussion sent my mind reeling toward the applications across all people. Not just those in my church.

The central theme of the class was the 3 R’s of Cultural Assimilation: Receive, Reject, or Redeem? In other words, how do we approach the things in our culture and evaluate what we allow and don’t allow into our lives? The purpose of the Sunday discussion is the same as this post; to leave you with more questions than answers, but to give you a useful structure with which to face the world and all of the cultural change.

Every decision we make is based on our particular world view. Our mindset. What do we believe is important, offensive, healthy, etc. Those things give us the foundation for evaluating the things we encounter in life.

There is a near constant debate about cultural changes and if they are good or bad for us. The generations who have seen the changes in, for example, what is allowed on television since even the early 80’s are frequently amazed at the nature of most programming on common channels. The generation born in the 90’s look at us and wonder, “what’s the big deal?”

As active members of society, we have to look at cultural influences and make a determination of where they fit regarding our world view. This is where the 3 R’s come in.

  • Receive – Is this bit of culture completely okay and geared toward growth in my world-view? Do I welcome it with open arms into my life?
  • Reject – Does this influence stand completely opposed to the way I believe and do I feel it is totally detrimental to my growth?
  • Redeem – Is there something about this cultural option that I can take and use or change for my growth even though it doesn’t line up 100% with my world-view?

Too often we allow the cultural steam roller to run wherever it pleases without consciously and intentionally staring it in the face to see what it really represents. The challenge for all of us is to get purposeful and put things in their proper place. It may not always be black and white on certain issues, but the exercise of forcing cultural influences to pass through your 3 R’s is enough to strengthen and sharpen you in an age where people are all too eager to just lay down and take it.

What is your world view and does it really matter? What will you tolerate before you get intentional and push back?

Be your best,

PJ

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