Cultural Tension, part one; What is culture?

This Past Sunday, I had the opportunity to teach on common grace and saving grace.  As I prepared for this sermon, I thought about a lot of things related to our current culture, how Christians are reacting to our culture, some misperceptions about culture and how we should engage culture.  So this week, I will be posting every day with something related to the cultural tension that we face today. I want to start today with briefly explaining what culture is.  I think it is incredibly important to have an understanding of what we are talking about when we say culture.  We tend to depersonalize culture but culture is actually a living thing that is an embodiment of people that make up that particular region.  Merriam Webster defines culture as "the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time."  So when we talk about culture, we are talking about the adjectives that describe how people work, raise families, find relief, find hope, and explain their actions.  

If we love culture, we love the effects of a certain group of people.  If we dislike culture, we dislike the effects of that certain group of people.  This is important to understand for a few practical reasons:

1. The conversation about culture is not about something abstract, it is about the beliefs, customs, etc of people.

2. The culture war is a war against and/or between people, whether it is violent or non-violent.

3. For culture to change, people have to change.

APPLICATION QUESTION

To believers, who are frustrated with/discouraged by our current direction of our culture; Do you understand that our culture is representative of the beliefs, values and lives of people?  If you think their values/beliefs are dangerous; are you concerned with their lives/well being/eternity or are you just concerned about how culture might affect your lifestyle?