The Native Tourist
reformed/biblical observations on Christianity and culture

Friday, February 25, 2005
Some Thoughts on the Antithesis
If the Christian community is ever to about making Christian culture, it has to take the antithesis seriously. Distinction is necessary. Unwary cultural engagement is foolish at best and disastrous at worst.

Even though Paul says in 1 Tim 4:3-5:

3They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.

we need to balance this with

33Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits."

(note that in this we are prone to being deceived!). Then there is this interesting passage in Haggai:

. . . 11 "This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Ask the priests what the law says: 12 If a person carries consecrated meat in the fold of his garment, and that fold touches some bread or stew, some wine, oil or other food, does it become consecrated?' "

The priests answered, "No."

13 Then Haggai said, "If a person defiled by contact with a dead body touches one of these things, does it become defiled?"

"Yes," the priests replied, "it becomes defiled."

14 Then Haggai said, " 'So it is with this people and this nation in my sight,' declares the LORD . 'Whatever they do and whatever they offer there is defiled.

It would seem that the idea of church funtioning as a "preservative" to culture (i.e. "salt") may not work in principle. Influence is not a two-way street: holy things cannot make unholy things holy by mere proximity. But unholy things can corrupt holy things.

Still thinking this through.