Oak Leaf #157


September 12, 2016
 

Carved within the Cultures of Society

—Christianity Cannot Be Erased

by Andy Sanders

All Scripture references are New International Version.

I recently watched a video on the Smithsonian Channel about the ancient world of Pompeii and how Pompeii’s ancient graffiti correlates to modern-day social media. The show talked about how their culture allowed graffiti on most walls as a cultural norm because they didn't have paper and other forms of communication like we do today. Therefore, graffiti wasn't just found in poorer areas like in some regions today—it was everywhere, even on the outside walls of the wealthiest houses of that time. As they highlighted different images and words, I quickly took note of how old the excavation project was. It was amazing to me that Pompeii’s graffiti, carved out by people we don't even know, put messages on walls that still remain in a post-modern world—a digital age. If they only knew that in A.D. 79 a volcano would come and bury their entire region. If only they knew that almost two thousand years later, people would be reading their messages within the walls, what would they have told us?

Christianity Cannot Be Erased

By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place (Proverbs 3:19).

To the outside world, graffiti is a symbol of rebellion, delinquency, and poverty, but to those who understand the motive behind the carvings or drawings, it is an image of creativity. You can't remove carved graffiti out of concrete or wood with soap and water. Likewise, you can't remove the carvings of the Messiah from our hearts. Like the carved stone images within the walls of Pompeii, Christianity remains permanently etched within the timelines of society. We cannot be separated from our true Christian culture. We have been branded by the Lord. His message and image are engraved within our spiritual DNA—we are unable to separate the two. The more society attempts to scrub Jesus out of our hearts, the more He engraves His image deeper within us.

Our thinking, speaking, culture, banking, vacationing, work habits, careers, and lifestyles are all examples of what is inseparable from the fact that we serve Christ. Therefore, our Christian beliefs are joined at the hip to our political views. Your politics and Christian beliefs must be one and the same without any form of compromise. You can't live Christian and vote for those who aggressively fight against Christian values. Before anything else in life, we are Christians first. Society is forever changed because of you—a Christian. Culture cannot and will not be able to erase us, blot us out, or silence us. We are a supernatural force of divine intervention on earth.

True Christianity Is Radical

The reason why some other religions (good or bad) are labeled as “radical” is because they have arrived at a place in life where they do not separate anything in their beliefs from what they practice. Christians are supposed to be radical, unbreakable threads within the fibers of our culture. Just like you cannot separate water from the ocean or the moon from the sun, you cannot isolate Christianity from any other part of life—doing so would alienate the Bible from our understanding. True Christianity is a complete lifestyle, which includes our core beliefs and political views. Political views govern the land we live in. Our beliefs (religion) are the moral values with which we guide our lives. You, the Christian, are just as much civil (moral value of the land) as you are religious (spiritual understanding of the kingdom).

Radical Christianity will push back. It is time for radical Christianity. Sadly for many Christians, in order to avoid offending people we have allowed our political views to overwrite our Christianity during election season, and this must stop! Why are we allowing politics to control us every four years when Christianity should possess us around the clock? Politics should not separate the American church. Satan should dread the elections every time because Christians are the spiritual and political voice to the world.

Christians Are the Trajectory of Culture

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize (I Corinthians 9:24).

While watching Michael Phelps win his final gold medal (twenty-eight medals total/twenty-three gold), my attention was taken to an interview of him when he was younger where he stated, “Whatever I have pursued I have received. Everything I have gone after and set my mind to I have conquered” (paraphrased). In other words, his vision and reality of how he wants to live and be remembered cannot be separated. One hundred years from now, we may still remember the swimmer who won twenty-eight medals in just sixteen short years. Will we see it again in our lifetime? I don't know. I personally think that we have a greater chance of seeing Halley’s comet twice in life than seeing someone win that many medals in such a short time. Regardless, one cannot remove the swimmer from Michael Phelps. Likewise, we cannot separate our Christian heritage from the Christian trajectory of America. 

Christians: The Foundation of America

There are more Christians in the United States than there are people belonging to any other religion (www.pewforum.org/2015/05/12/americas-changing-religious-landscape/). You are not outnumbered. Rather, you and I are unified, to say the least. If all the Christians in the United States prayed at once, it would probably rattle the ground! What could we accomplish if we unified to fight as one? Do you want your great-grandchildren to inherit the current mess in the United States? I sure don't. 

Why are we allowing anything but Christianity to lead our Christian nation? Simple—we have succumbed to fear! We don’t want to be attacked, punished, or pushed back. As Christians, is it possible to dominate the elections? YES! Most importantly, it is time to nail the 95 theses to the wall again.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1). 

 


 

Andy Sanders had an encounter with God just before his high school graduation that altered his life forever. He has since devoted his time to preaching the Gospel, writing, and developing authors. He co-authored the Capturing the Supernatural series. Andy has a BA from Central Bible College and carries a masters and doctorate in Christian education from Freedom Seminary, graduating with honors. His family resides in Syracuse, NY.

For information regarding Andy Sander’s upcoming speaking events, click here.   

 


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Note the flag at the top of the mast that reads, "Appeal to Heaven."  This was our first national flag, and yet now prayer is banned in most public places.


 

 
 
 
 

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