||2017-07-16 00:35:40, 조회 : 434, 추천 : 127
| Pop Culture|
Chapter Two - Popular Culture and Our Kingdom Calling
Of all cultures that are known to man, there is only one that rises above the rest: the culture of the kingdom of God. This may sound weird. You might think, “Wait a minute, isn’t the kingdom of God not of this world?” Well, yes you are right about that: the kingdom of God is most definitely not of this world. Therefore, how could we put the kingdom of God in the same category as that of the arts, language, and customs? Shouldn’t we avoid mingling this holy kingdom with the evils of popular culture? It’s impossible to do such a thing.
Popular culture surrounds us; it is impossible to escape from. Popular culture is constantly around the corner; it is waiting to ensnare us with its awe-inducing capabilities. Our Heavenly Father, also commissions us to interact with the world around us. It is most definitely true that our Lord has set us apart from the non believers of this world; however, the Lord also tells us to take the world captive and to practice dominion over this earthly domain. All we do, is for the glory of our Heavenly Father, this includes our involvement in popular culture. We can’t forget that the world that is around us, is also the Lord’s. The thoughts, creations, innovations, all belong to the sovereign King.
The first distinction that we have to make is that the Kingdom of God is not a place, rather it is a dominion. Herman Ridderbos describes the Kingdom of God as, “pre-eminently the idea of the kingly self-assertion of God, of his coming to the world in order to reveal his royal majesty, power and right.” In short: the Kingdom of God is the presence of God. Christians are called to live according to Christ’s dominion. This is our calling to Christ’s dominion, and there are five aspects of our calling.
The first aspect is the spiritual nature of the kingdom. The kingdom is not made of anything of this world, rather it is completely spiritual - metaphysical. It is built up with spiritual resources and it aims for a spiritual agenda. The kingdom often aims for things that counteract the agenda of the material kingdom. Although it seems that the kingdom of God and the earthly kingdoms are constantly butting heads, the kingdom of God will prevail and overcome all that has been made on the earth.
The second aspect is the mandate of the kingdom of God. This mandate is to grow and fill the earth. This was told to us when Adam and Eve were given this exact mandate. They executed it by naming and tending to the plants and animals. We are also told to be the salt and the light of the world, as said in Matthew 5.
The third aspect of the calling to the kingdom of God is the individuality of the kingdom of God. As we say about the people of this world: we are all unique individuals. However, it seems that in mass movements or in trends people are often very quick to throw away their individuality to be able to fit in. The kingdom of God does not require nor does it encourage that. It is a culture that wants its followers to embrace their individuality. This is because it is the differences that are seen within us that gives us the power to fight the sin of this world.
The fourth aspect is the “communal character of the kingdom.” The kingdom of God supports individuality, yet it does now support individualism: the idea that everyone is independent and ought to act according to their own will. Unlike that of the world, where we try our best to remain independent, the kingdom of God requires a communal gathering. As brothers and sisters in Christ we are brought together to be reminded of the glory of God. The communal culture of the kingdom of God allows us to help one another in our fight against popular culture and sin.
The fifth aspect is the eschatological nature of the kingdom of God. “Woah. Woah. Woah. Big Word. Please define eschatological.” Eschatological means, “the part of theology concerned with death, judgment, and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind.” Now we’re back on track. The eschatological nature of the kingdom of God allows its citizens to confront the cultures of their day. This is because knowing that we are heading for a place that is full of comfort and joy, fill us with… well comfort and joy.
Popular culture will always be there. There is little to no chance of us being able to escape the grasps of popular culture; however, it is our duty as Christians to not be overtaken by pop culture. We ought to overtake the ideals of pop culture by presenting ideals from the kingdom of God. However, for us to do anything of the sort, we must have our heart fully devoted to our Lord and his kingdom.
1. How has the chapter increased your understanding of the kingdom of God? Would you say that seeking that kingdom is the top priority of your life at this time? What makes you say that?
2. IN what ways are you actively involved in seeking the kingdom of God? How is the reality of God’s kingdom affecting your life? In what ways would you like to see more evidence of the kingdom’s presence in your roles, relationships, and responsibilities?
3. How might you expect to see your involvement in popular culture affected by daily renewing your resolve to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness? Does the prospect of this excite or dismay you?