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World culture vs a Kingdom counter-culture

warriorWithin the Arts, we have a world culture vs a Kingdom counter-culture conflict.  By their very nature, they are often diametrically opposed.

The contemporary world culture seems to often be founded on the need to feed an unmet hunger within this generation.  The unsatisfied needs of a soul that searches for belonging, meaning and truth is fed feel-good food that contains lots of harmful chemicals and no nutrition.

Conversely, the true Kingdom counter-culture offers answers.  It offers belonging, meaning and truth.  It offers undeserved, infinite love and peace and joy.

So how do we, living in the Kingdom, react to those who are on the opposing side?  Romans 12:20 has the answer.

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

hearthWe have an opposition that is motivated by their hunger and thirst.  Let’s feed them and satisfy their thirst with living water.

This is not for the purpose of hurting them with 3rd degree burns as one might assume from the passage.  “Heaping burning coals on his head” was a cultural reference.  In those days, families needed to keep their fire going for warmth and cooking.  If their fire went out, they were in big trouble unless somebody showed them kindness and shared some of their hot coals with them.  Within that culture, they would carry the coals in a container on their heads.  So in heaping burning coals on your enemies head,  you were in fact sacrificing your own needs to meet their desperate cry, as an act of outstanding kindness.

Likewise, as creatives and their audiences in the world discover the meaningless of their cold embers, we perform an act of embracing grace as we give them creativity that is not a counterfeit and that is as hot as a hearth fire.

And so, what are our final instructions in Romans 12:21 for our part in this battle?  The culture of the world surrounds us.  It immerses us on every side.  Christian artists are outnumbered and out-financed.  What are we to do?   

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Let’s feed them.

Ever changing; Thy Kingdom come.

Jonathan

 

 

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Comments

  1. Wendy May says: June 8, 2014

    Thank you, Jonathan, for this Biblical and historical insight. I appreciate your writing; you’re doing an important work for the Kingdom in opening our eyes to the possibilities of “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”.

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