This past Sunday, Gateway celebrated Armed Forces Sunday.
We enjoyed a slide show of pictures of military and former military members of the congregation and family members. Pastor Ed interviewed Eric and Valerie Johnson, both members of the military.
We also had special visitors from Boy Scouts troop 2013. Gateway has agreed to be a charter sponsor of this troop. I hadn't realized that Boy Scouts look for community sponsors, and Gateway has begun that relationship with a local troop.
The sermon pointed out that Christians have always had a problematic relationship with the military.
We are commanded not to kill, and Jesus is the Prince of Peace.
But freedom needs to be defended, and we honor those who have served.
Christ-followers have also always had a problematic relationship with the culture around us.
How should we relate to the culture around us?
1) Christ against Culture.
Reject any claim of culture over us, trying to be totally separate.
Not effective in the long run.
2) The Christ of Culture.
See the best parts of culture as inspired by Christ himself.
Make spiritual life approachable.
May have compromised their message to gain an audience.
3) Christ the Transformer of Culture.
In the culture, but not fully of it.
This is the approach in Jeremiah 29:4-14.
The Israelites could have attacked Babylon or could have been absorbed by it.
God said, if Babylon prospers, you will prosper. But don't forget your home and don't forget Me.
*Don't Miss This*!
1) God knows where you are!
2) You're here on purpose!
3) If you seek him with your whole heart, you will find him.
God carried me here.
This has always been his promise.
These are true for those who have experienced the death of your dream.
These are true for those who have been doing it a long time.
This is exactly what we see in Jesus.
Jesus didn't abolish the law and the prophets, but his message was transformative.
Jesus showed us how to be transformative.