Lately I’ve heard a couple of new nomenclatures for those of us who are searching the Scriptures daily and are attempting to apply their principles to the decisions of our personal moral lives. Apparently, that makes us members of “the extreme right subculture of the church.”
And it makes us serious textual Christians, rather than mere social Christians.
I mean if I should think that Matthew 5:18 paired with I Timothy 2:9,10 places any responsibility on women to personally enforce, in their own lives, some real standards of modest dress, I’m a part of the subculture. I am more than a social Christian. If I think about and quote verses when engaging in conversation about marriage and divorce, then I’m not what the world views as a “regular Christian.” If I believe that the implications of Philippians 4:8 would have a bearing on what I choose to view on my television or computer, I’ve crossed a line into radicalism. And it’s particularly egregious radicalism if I should ever attempt, in keeping with Titus 2:3-5, to teach another woman any particulars of discretion or chastity or keeping at home. As one man said to me a few days ago “But Cindy, you don’t need to examine passages. Most people don’t get that. Most people are social Christians and they don’t ‘get’ looking at words in the Bible.”
If looking at the text and trying to figure out how it applies to the very real crossroads to which I come daily in this arduous walk toward heaven is the extreme right subculture of the church (and I do not believe that’s always the belief in our congregations), may I suggest that the church has been absorbed into the larger culture—the world (Romans 12:1,2..see, there I go…trying to apply a text).
I know I shouldn’t be shocked when I’m described as the extreme right in a subculture. But, Biblically, there are two choices that determine all subsequent ones. The choices are succinctly outlined at the bottom of Matthew 7. It’s two regular men who are builders. One builds on the sand and one on the rock. The rock foundation has been claimed by those who hear the sayings of Jesus and do them. The “do them” part means something. If it doesn’t mean that the rock-builder takes seriously the words of Scripture and tries to apply them in situations (when the wind blows and the rains come), then I do not know what it means. Without application, Scripture is rendered meaningless.
Thanks, but I do not want to be a social Christian. I don’t want to be placed in a category of people who are along on the Christianity journey for the rewarding sense of belonging to a culture. I’ll take the subculture of people who believe Scripture’s Words are inspired, purposeful and directional in everyday situations. The Holy Spirit has worked for thousands of years to accomplish what you and I can open today and read with ease. I’m treasuring His work in every scenario. The application of the reading is not as easy. It flies in the face of our world of relativism and non-judgmental tolerance of sin.
Put me down in the subculture column.