Erik Knox (who started the church, The Well, here in Portland) is planting a church in Los Angeles named Sojourn Gospel Community. His vision for his church is to be a tool of cultural renewal for the Kingdom of God in Los Angeles. But what is cultural renewal? Why not just focus on saving souls…as most churches seem to do? The problem is this; to those outside of the kingdom of God (non-believers) speaking in terms of merely “saving souls” sounds like some type of take over that they want nothing to do with. It also has the propensity to separate spirituality from real life. There is a more holistic approach, which certainly includes a mission to save souls, but encompasses so much more. God has not called us to live duplicitous, compartmentalized lives. Eternity includes the physical as well as the spiritual. We are to use all that we have (including our physical possessions, jobs, etc) for the glory of God. Why? Because culture is good! We will not leave the material world in eternity. The first thing God did with the earth was create and cultivate (or culture). Now we are to continue this cultivation. This cultivation should be sacrificial to the point where our lifestyle is interrupted. It is true that culture is broken. There are not many more obvious truths than that. Our job is not to run from culture but to redeem culture. And we need to cling tight to our identity in Christ in the process. If we have any other motives to our service and work in taking the gospel to the culture, things will crumble. Our identity will crumble. But if we stand firm in our identity as a child of God, that will not crumble. How do we redeem the culture? We hunger for the light of Christ, and desire to take that light to the culture in real, tangible ways. Nothing within us, save Christ, can redeem the culture.
Isaiah 60:4 - 11