It’s a Cultural Thing

firstcandle

Since I first read Bonhoeffer I’ve been a fan of Eric Metaxas and I was particularly impressed by his remarks last year at the National Prayer Breakfast.

Metaxas writes in Breakpoint this week that perhaps the cultural losses that Christians have seen in the last few years are because we’ve been fighting in the wrong arena.  We’ve been fighting political battles when what we need to be doing is influencing the culture by creating.  In other words, we need to paint and write and create things of beauty, things of truth.

 

Metaxas writes:

But instead of cursing the darkness of Hollywood and New York—which we do too often —we should light a candle. We who embrace a biblical worldview need to get serious about creating art and culture or supporting those who do.

via It’s a Cultural Thing. at Breakpoint.org

 

After all, aren’t we to be in the world and not of the world?  Perhaps we don’t need to shun Hollywood, but we need to be there.  Perhaps we need to be making quality Christian films.  That’s quality.  Not the feel-good, cream of wheat variety that’s often foisted upon as as “Christian entertainment.”

Most of Hollywood and most of our culture doesn’t quite realize the depths of the gospel message in a movie like Les Miserables.  But there hasn’t been such a clear presentation of the Gospel on the screen in years.

Yes it’s gritty.  Yes, at times it’s bawdy.  So is life.  But it’s the gospel.

When the Bishop offers Valjean forgiveness he says to him “I have bought your soul for God.”  Interesting that Metaxas suggests we need to light a candle and they recurring imagery of forgiveness in Les Miserables are the candlesticks given to Valjean by the Bishop.

Maybe it’s not a coincidence. Jesus said:

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
John 8:12

 

As believers we are called to share that light.  But the message here is that it doesn’t always have to be through preaching and that perhaps we’ll never win the cultural war through politics.

None of this is to say that we shouldn’t continue to fight in the political arena.  We should, if only to slow down the corrosion of our society.

But when it comes to the culture, we can also light a candle in the darkness.  God’s truth is eternal.  And that truth can be portrayed through art, music, drama, writing and more.

Let your light shine.

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