In the mail the other day, I received a packet of information for general ministry items (books, signs, church supplies, etc.). Included in this packet was a card advertising a message from Brad Bright, president of Bright Media and son of Dr. Bill Bright (Founder, Campus Crusade For Christ). The card also had a picture of Brad Bright’s book entitled, Becoming An Agent of Real Change: God Is The Issue.
The message on the card included the following:
The only way to change culture is to change society’s view of God.
These words especially drew my attention. In essence, Brad advocates changing the culture by changing the society’s view of God. Such a dream is idealistic, however, because God’s kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36). In fact, WE don’t change society’s view on anything. It is the Lord, through His Word, who softens and changes hearts, calling to repentance and faith.
The Church, God’s people, simply proclaim the Good News of sins forgiven in Christ. They “rightly divide the Word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) and “let the chips fall where they might.” It is God who “gives the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:6-7).
Does the Church have a responsibility to society? Yes, but not to change it. Rather, she, the Church, is to confess the truth, to call sin—sin, and to preach the Gospel. The rest is in God’s hands.
The Church is also to be compassionate and merciful, not to change society, but simply because that’s what she does, out of love for neighbor. Such is what the Father is toward us—in Christ.
Society and the citizens within it need help. Plain and simple. We, as God’s people, don’t change anything. We are to be God’s people, a light with lamps burning (Matthew 5;16), not drawing attention to ourselves, but to Christ.
The reality is that culture won’t change even if society’s view of God changes. Until Christ returns, the consequences and effects of sin remain. And especially does the Christian struggle with these, living under the cross. Christ didn’t come “to change” culture. He came to save sinners. He did that by shedding His blood on the cross. The church doesn’t save anyone. She is called to speak the truth. And it is through that word proclaimed, which is not her own, that sinners come to faith, believe the Gospel and become heirs of eternal life. And it is by that same Word by which Christians remain and “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).