Christ has come to transform the culture by changing people’s hearts and minds and turning them back to God: “And do not be conformed to this world,” writes the apostle Paul, “but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2).
Remember, “culture” is society’s current way of life and thinking. People live the way they live because they think the way they think.
How you think determines what you believe. What you believe determines how you behave. How you behave determines who you become.
Jesus has come to change society’s way of life by transforming their way of thinking through the renewing of their minds that they may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Those who hold this position recognize that because God is over all – and remains actively involved in human history – culture can be changed for the better. But it can only be changed as individuals are conformed to the image and likeness of Christ through genuine conversion.
Support for this position is found in Matthew 5:13-16. Jesus says to His disciples, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
How can we transform culture?
First, as disciples of Christ we must recognize that we are the “salt of the earth.” As salt, God has called us to preserve the culture from moral decay and to add flavor to it by demonstrating the love of Christ.
Second, we must also recognize that we are the “light of the world.” According to Jesus, the most effective way to let our “light shine before men” is by doing “good works” among them.
“Our people must also learn to engage in good deeds to meet pressing needs, so that they will not be unfruitful” (Titus 3:14).
(Jessie J. Charpentier Sr. is pastor of Jenkins Memorial Baptist Church in St. Martinville.)