Should a church or church group seek to become like the culture that it is attempting to influence and bring to Christ? How far is too far? What do you base your opinion on?
No individual, church or church organization should ever "seek
" to be like any culture for any reason.
In fact. . . No
believer, church or church organization should be attempting to influence a "culture".
All "cultures" are the by product of the nature and expectations of man without God. A superficial entity of communal standards and beliefs that is ever changing from within and without. Influencing a culture is like blowing into the wind. It goes as it will with no consistant change by the efforts of a relitive few.
Jesus did not seek to change or influence "cultures"
It is people, soals, (individuals) that our creator wants ,not "cultures" Cultures have no soal. There are no "cultures" in heaven.
So where does man get the idea that is what He wills for us to do????
Changing a "culture", even for the better doesn't insure anything in relationship to God. How could it?????
It is people (individualy)that we should be trying to influence, as individuals,not as organizations,churches or cultures. Individuals and in a personal manner that will bring them from the "cultures" of this world and to a personal relationship with Christ Jesus.
1Co 9:19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
1Co 9:20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
1Co 9:21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
1Co 9:22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
1Co 9:23 And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
The most significant word here is the word "I". Paul didn't prepare a group, organize force of influence to go out and redeem a "culture". He as an individual "One person" sought not to influence cultures but do the will of the one who sent him "That some might be saved".
Yes, to some extent Paul did engage them where they were, but just like Jesus, He sought not to change their culture but redeem them as individuals from it.
But let's not lose sight of the proper perspective by Pauls saying; "I become all things" .
Paul did not become a drunkard to witness to drunkards. Nor did he become a customer to witness to a prositute or a theif or homosexual that he might spread the gospel to them.
Christianity in it'self has become a popular culture, at least here in the United states. A widley accepted politicaly correct status symbol of conformity and compromize acceptable to dying world.
To assume for one second that any individual or group can engage on a long term basis any culture without themselves being influenced by it is the height of foolishness.
Check the the OT. Samson, the Sameritans, the account of Sodom and Gamorah, The tribes of Isrial that mingled amung the Pagons and became as them.
The Lords work is done to and for individuals by individuals, not buy groups engaging groups at their respective cultureal simularities or differances.
Sincerely His and yours