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The Relationship Between Holy Culture and Unholy Culture Should be One of Witness

This entry is part 18 of 20 in the series

"Christ the Sanctifier of Behavior"

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The sixth conclusion drawn from the idea that culture is behavior is that the relationship between holy culture essay order and unholy culture should be one of witness. The separatist sees the relationship between the church and “unholy” culture as one of complete separation. Two-kingdom advocates also see the two as completely distinct but encourage Christians to involve themselves in the civic realm for the good of mankind. Transformationalists see the relationship as one of redemption and kingdom-building, blurring any real distinction between the two.

Understanding “culture” to be “behavior,” the biblical picture appears to be somewhat different from all three, although overlapping in some areas. As explained above, the Bible does recognize a separation between the behavior of believers and unbelievers when the unbeliever’s behavior is unholy. Yet this separation itself is what has evangelistic impact. Peter admonishes believers to “keep your conduct (ἀναστροφὴν) among the Gentiles honorable” so that “they may see your good deeds (ἔργων) and glorify God on the day of visitation” (1 Peter 2:12). He tells women that their unbelieving husbands “may be won by [their] conduct (ἀναστροφῆς)” (1 Peter 3:1-2). Contrary to the missional transformationalists, unbelievers will not be won by adopting or adapting (“transforming”) their unholy culture. Rather, expressing holy values through holy culture will reveal the deficiencies in the values and behaviors of the unbelievers, which may have a convicting influence and lead them to Christ.

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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.