Should Believers Engage or Abstain From Culture?

I have a friend who is a good man.  He is a good father, husband, and worker.  He is by any person’s account a righteous man, and we agree on many things.  But an area in which we disagree is the aforementioned question of whether Christians should engage culture, or should we shun anything with the appearance of the world.  He believes that we should remain outside the of orbit of culture, and all of its trappings.  No television, secular music, books, clothing, etc.  Many believe this way, and I do see their point of view.

I agree that much of television, the internet, and general entertainment is straight up filth, and I don’t watch it.  And yes we have far too many believers, including many pastors, doing everything they can to impress and mimic the secular cesspool of entertainment and fashion.  However, here is an illustration I came up with:  A Texas attorney calls you at your home in Boston and says he has some good and bad news for you.  The good news is your Aunt Murtha, who pinched your cheeks the only time you met her twenty years ago, has named you in her will.  The bad news is she has passed away, and the property she left to you is in terrible condition.  Intrigued, you fly to Opawalla, Texas and see the property.  It is evident that it was once a beautiful property, built by an architect known for his masterful designs.  An appraiser informs you, that if fixed up, the property would be worth nearly one million dollars.  But it needs lots of work.  The home is dirty, with a stench or soiled diapers and cheap liquor.  The people living there took advantage of old Aunt Murtha’s age and kindness. They have not paid the rent in three months.  Question.  What do you do?  Do you a) get on plane and fly back to Boston and concede the house over to the tenants?  After all they are living there and have rights.  Or b) take your house back and restore its beauty?

For me the answer is clear.  It’s my house, and I would rectify the problem by taking my house back, and making it once again beautiful.  This is what old Aunt Murtha would have wanted, and it gives the home its proper financial value.  I view many things in the world the same way.  Many things in society originated as righteous and holy, but was stained and corrupted by evil.  Example God ordained and sanctioned sex for man and wife.  Sin, however, corrupted sex into pornography.  The internet is a powerful tool that can be used for good, like starting a blog for believers :). But if corrupted, it can be used to lure young children into some dark places.  But should we not use the internet at all?  No, engage, and influence the culture.  The scripture calls us the Ecclesia, which was a council of Godly people who set the cues for daily life in the city, including entertainment.  So why put ourselves in bondage and call it righteousness?  No! Take what the enemy has stolen and make holy once again.

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