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The Church and Christian Cultural Involvement

This entry is part 11 of 13 in the series

"Citizens and Exiles"

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Last week, I made the case that the church’s mission is narrow and unique; it is not cultural or societal transformation, but rather the exclusively redemptive goal of making disciples.

Nevertheless, because members of churches may certainly be involved in various cultural endeavors as citizens of the common kingdom, the church does have a secondary role in cultural engagement: churches should instruct believers in what it means to live Christianly in their various spheres. Part of what it means to fulfill the Great Commission is to teach Christians how to live out the implications of their relationship with God and how to obey the Great Commandments through being holy, active citizens in the society for the good of their fellow man. Churches should also speak to relevant moral issues under attack in society as part of discipling Christians to know how they should live in that society.

However, churches must not speak beyond Scripture, may not require of their people what Scripture does not require, should motivate Christian views of education, the arts, politics, or social matters in terms of sanctification rather that cultural redemption or eschatology, and should not in any official capacity meddle in civil affairs. Instead of motivating Christians to live as disciples of Jesus Christ in their roles within the Universal Kingdom of God in soteriological or eschatological terms like “cultural redemption,” “cultural transformation,” or “kingdom work,” Christian social responsibility is rooted in Christian sanctification.

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About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is director of doctoral worship studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.