6 Ways to Culture Proof Your Church

Churches Should Be Influencing the Culture, Not the Other Way Around

We are bombarded with error. Newspapers, television, billboards, radio, and magazines all try to fill our minds and hearts with philosophies and ideas that are completely contrary to Scripture. Here are some thoughts to help strengthen the Lord’s people against these attacks.

1. Teach the Truth

I am told that the ancient Chinese banking families never let their children see counterfeit money. They did, however, let them play with real money of all denominations from their infancy. They knew that which was real so well that they would instantly recognize counterfeits.

2. Give Bible Answers to Current Cultural Error

Is gay marriage being promoted as the norm? Teach them what the Bible says:

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.—Romans 1:26–27

If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.—Leviticus 20:13

Is the transgender agenda being promoted? Teach them that the Bible says, “And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female” (Matthew 19:4).

Is promiscuity being promoted? Teach them that the Bible says, “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4).

3. Teach Them to Correct Error Mentally as Soon as They See It

Dr. Wayne Van Gelderen Sr. preached my baccalaureate service when I graduated from college. He cautioned us back in 1973, that we were being bombarded with falsehood. He said the only way to keep our minds straight was to correct the error mentally every time we saw it. Even “decent” television shows and “innocent” children’s books will promote error. That is why the Apostle Paul, in 2 Corinthians 10, instructed the Corinthian believers to reject thoughts that are not true according to Scripture and to use the Word of God as a weapon to pull down strongholds. We will absorb erroneous thoughts into our minds if we are not careful to correct them each time we see them.

4. Set Appropriate Guidelines for Leaders in Your Church

It is the responsibility of the pastor to determine those areas of culture that are both a bad testimony and a negative influence on his people and to encourage those in leadership to stay away from them.

5. Teach Them Bible Principles

There are not enough commands in the Bible to cover every situation. There is no command that says, “Thou shalt not drive 100 miles an hour.” But there is a Bible principle that we should be subject to the higher powers. “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God” (Romans 13:1). There is a principle that we should let our “moderation be known unto all men” (Philippians 4:5), and the principle that we should treat others as we wish to be treated, “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise” (Luke 6:31). It seems to me, that all of those would keep us from driving 100 miles an hour in virtually all circumstances.

6. Show Them the Real Life Consequences of Sin

Make sure that your members, and especially your teenagers, see the real life consequences of following the devil. One of the best things the Lord did for me in my early years was to allow me to see, at the Detroit Rescue Mission, lives ruined by booze. During the ten years my dad was the superintendent there, I saw men who had been accomplished musicians, nearly completed medical school, and held good jobs in corporate America—but all had their lives ruined by alcohol. As a result, though I have done many things I wish I hadn’t and have been tempted in many areas, liquor has never been a temptation for me. “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise” (Proverbs 20:1).

At our church, we love to get our teenagers involved in the bus ministry. Seeing five children in a home with four different last names, no father present, and the mother passed out on the couch in a squalid living room does much to discourage our young people from an ungodly lifestyle.

Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.—Proverbs 4:14

Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them.—Proverbs 24:1

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