EMISSARY^7 (G²)

COMMISIONED by CHRIST 4 SHARING HIS LIFE/KEEPING IT REAL ADMIST THE LIES (II Cor. 5:17-21))

CULTURALY RELEVANT 4 THE SAKE OF THE GOSPEL

Posted by Gabriel (G²) on March 25, 2008

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Just writing this to let everyone know of a powerful ministry in the Lord entitled Reach Records  and how they’ve taken the challenge of taking the Gospel of Christ to the STREETS……AND TO DO SO IN EXCELLENCE!!!!! For one investigating them, he or she will notice that hey have started a website calle Before You Die (which is the the gospel tract pictured  above). For a description of the tract and why it was created:

“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” -Act 4:12 Have you ever wanted a resource to help share the Gospel of Jesus Christ that is relevant to today’s culture?

“Before You Die” is written and designed to speak into the hearts of the urban and hip hop culture who are not followers of Christ. One of the challenges of sharing the gospel with others is presenting it in a culturally relevant way to the listener. This tract was designed to do just that.

By taking the reader through a graphic representation of the gospel with clearly written text, we pray that the Lord will be pleased to use this resource in a way that brings others to Christ and glorifies His name.

Also, a CD is attached in the back of each booklet with a collection of evangelistic songs and testimonies to share with the listener. Each song provides a great foundation to share further the good news of the gospel. Be sure to check out www.readthisbeforeyoudie.com. You can view the whole thing online!

CD Track Listing:
1. Before You Die Intro – Lecrae
2. Cash or Christ – Trip Lee
3. Death Story – Lecrae
4. Good News Intro – Trip Lee
5. Good News – Trip Lee
6. Take Me As I Am Intro – Lecrae
7. Take Me As I Am – Lecrae
8. Grace – JSon
9. The Gospel – Sho Baraka
10. Evolution – Sho Baraka

Again, if ya’ll get the chance, please consider hitting them up sometime and checking them out. Also, if interested, please consider checking out these kats—-

http://www.hazakim.com/index2.html

They seem to be pretty on point…..even had one of the kats from Way of the MASTER give them a shout-out for the way their lyrics were biblically based/meaniful.

 like the Word says, Paul was obviously grieved by that culture because…….but did he dismiss EVERYTHING within the culture as WRONG……rather, DID HE NOT FIND COMMON GROUND?

The Athenians had built an idol to the unknown god for missing blessings or receiving punishment, and Paul’s opening statement to the men of Athens was about their unknown god, whom Paul WAS NOT ENDORSING but simply using the inscription as a point of entry for his witness to the one true God.

For the Athenians were super naturalists who believed in supernatural powers intervening in the course of natural laws….and they at least ACKNOWLEDGED the existence of someone beyond their comprehension who created all that exist. Had Paul not acknowledged where they were correct at, he would’ve never had the opportunity to introduce them to the Creator who could be known by them (Deuteronomy 4:35, Psalm 9:10, John 17:3).

Of course he DID NOT LEAVE HIS MESSAGE UNFINISHED, for Paul eventually moved his message to the PERSON of CHRIST centering on the resurrection (Acts 17:30-31) and the fact that only SAVING FAITH (The COMPLETION OF TOTAL TRUTH) is found in Him. He confronted his audience with not only HIS resurrection/it’s relevance to all people—-whether it is punishment or blessing. And though many Greeks were unbelieving/offended at Paul’s statements (mostly because they had no concept of Judgment, preferred worshipping other gods instead of one, and because he after understanding their reasoning EXPOSED their foolishness in thinking that God could be just an idol, as well as various other things), Paul’s refusal to hold back the truth no matter what they thought of it made the difference in many of them choosing to want more n’ eventually convert (Acts 17:32-34).

But it still must be acknowledged that Paul’s understanding of the need to appeal to the UNIVERSAL and RATIONAL knowledge of the Lord (Romans 1:18-20) and his starting from creation, which is the general revelation of God (Acts 14:15-17) was also a HUGE FACTOR in the process.

WITHOUT A PROPER UNDERSTANDING THAT NOT EVERYTHING WITHIN THE CULTURE HAD TO BE DISMISSED and that COMMON GROUND WAS NOT POSSIBLE, PAUL WOULD’VE BEEN GREATLY HINDERED IN HIS EFFORTS

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19Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

As Paul made clear, there are several important principles for ministry.

  • Find common ground with those you contact.
  • Avoid a know-it-all mentality
  • Make others feel accepted
  • Be SENSITIVE to the needs and concerns of others
  • Look for opportunities to tell them about Christ

These principles are just as valid for us as they were with PAUL, FOR THAT’S APART OF KNOWING HOW TO INTERACT WITH THE CULTURE AROUND US IN WITNESSING ( http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=1343 ) ……& SEEING THAT the study of PHILISOPHY is apart of the culture we live in, be curious to see what others thoughts on regarding this, especially seeing that this is ACCURATELY what Paul practiced when he encountered the Greeks

He didn’t begin by reciting Jewish History, as he usually did, for that would’ve been meaningless to the Greeks. Rather, he began with examples they already UNDERSTOOD to begin building a case about God (Acts 17:22-23), GAINED COMMON GROUND by emphazing where they aggreed about God (Acts 17:24-29), & then moved His message to the SIMPLICITY of the RESSURECTION OF CHRIST (Acts 17:30-31)

And even for those saying that Paul was dissilusioned after his experience at MARS HILL with debating/dialouging with the Greeks on their ideas/convincing them LOGICALLY of their FALLACIES , WITH THAT’ being the basis for his words in Corinthians, it’s surprising to me to notice how he CONTINUED in the PRACTICE ON MULTIPLE OCCASIONS AFTERWARD:

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    Now, on the issue of REACH RECORDS TRYING TO DO THE SAME THING,  of course there are many people who’ve done things in the name of Holy Hip Hop that are FLAT OUT WRONG (i.e. gang signs, bumping/grinding, bad terminlogy, etc). Went to a church, for example, where a popular “Holy Hip Hopper” Canton Jones was doing a music concert prior to G.Craig coming on the scene. The entire yyouth group ended up looking like a hard core club scene, but if anyone even said what the man was doing was wrong, many in defense of Holy Hip Hop would not even adresss it. That’s not to diss EVERYONE WITHIN THE MOVEMENT since there are MANY PEOPLE TRULY holding it down for Christ, but the actions of one doing it in EVERYONE’S name give a certain image…..and in all honesty I have not seen many people within Holy Hip Hop speaking out against foolishness done by other Holy Hip Hoppers in the name of it.

On the flip side, there are many OUTSIDE THE MOVEMENT who’ve made many negative stereotypes that have no basis (i.e. all rap is worldly, dance/mceeing is of the devil, etc) and are more based on their own cultural preferences. As a result, they’ve run the danger of broadbrushing EVERYTHING WRONGLY:

 . As we take our morals, values, and goals and purposes to Christ, they’ll inevitably set us apart for Him….and this is especially true since Christ calls us to a higher mission than to find comfort and tranquility in this life and conflict/disaggrement will arise between those who choose to follow Christ as He has revealed Himself snd those who don’t.

Don’t know how clear I can get with this, but for many of those within URBAN Culture, this has been the case. Even at the expense of DISOWNING THEIR OWN FAMILIES, many have counted the cost of preaching CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED (Luke 9:21-62, Luke 14:25-35). For many, it has been nothing short of a NARROW ROAD (i.e. having to be made fun of because they don’t listen to the same music as their old boys from the club,,,or being called “fags” and other deragotory terms for wishing to walk in purity and not go “get some”, or ignored for “wanting to get an education). My friend was highschool was literally the ONLY CHRISTIAN in her HOUSEHOLD…..and it was an EXTREME STRUGGLE for her to choose truth and yet have her own family diss her for her FAITH. Some have even seen family members MURDERED…..yet counted the cost of CHRISTIAN LOVE And chose to LOVE THEIR ENEMIES (Luke 6:27-36, Matthew 5:43-48)

Moreover, as for those with Urban/Street Culture, they’re SEEING A DIFFERENCE. Drug-Dealers are no longer wanting to do DRUGS, Prostitutes are NO LONGER WANTING TO WALK IN PROSTITUTION but honor the LORD WITH THEIR BODIES AND ARE REALIZING THAT THEY’RE PEOPLE MADE IN THE LORD’S IMAGE RATHER THAN PIECIES OF MEAT, AND CHILDREN ARE NOT STILL GROWING UP IN FATHERLESS HOMES….and in the cases of those who did (such as myself), they realize that they have a purpose in CHRIST and not forgotten by the Lord….

 Someone I was dialouging with on the subject once said this:

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If there is no visible difference between the worldly culture and Christianity, how can it be called Christianity?

My response:And what defines “visible difference”? A note? A syncopation? An upbeat tune? Or what defines worship? Or what defines WHAT IT MEANS TO BE “HOLY”??? Or WORLDY (minus I John 2:15-19, which deals moreso with attitudes of the heart—-preoccupation with gratifying physical desires, craving and accumulating things, bowing to the god of materialism, and obsession with status or importance—— as the standard rather than mere externalities of the people we associate with, the places we go, the activities we enjoy_)…

Is the musis causing people to sleep around, not love the Lord or tell others of the salvation found in Him? Or is it causing people to do other crazy things often found in the world like cussing, stealing, etc>

Again, as I’ve said before, when it comes to the issue of drums or urban worship, there are PLENTY OF PEOPLE WHO’VE ACKNOWLEDGED THAT THEY’RE ABLE TO SEE A DIFFERENCE—-from respected theologians such as John Piper to many others within the Hip Hop Culture itself who pay attention and listen to the CONTENT OF WHAT THE MUSICIANS/CHRISTIAN INDIVIDUALS ARE SAYING and how they’re not picking up EVERY ASPECT OF THE CULTURE….BIUT BEING RELEVANT TO THE CULTURE…

The GOSPEL WAS MEANT TO TRANSCEND ALL CULTURES….

If you wish to take the standard that drums are not godly or gloryfying to the Lord (as well as things such as dance, or even other things not mentioned in the word like SPOKEN WORD/POETRY, Rap, etc), then honestly you’re going to again have a bit of trouble on the mission field. You’ve disrespected the people within those cultures where that’s part of their heritage….and regardless of anything said afterward, that’s doesn’t fly.

Perhaps here in the states, but not across the world, WHETHER IN CHURCES IN ASIA, AFRICA, the CARIBBEAN, South America, or other places…….

For example, Acts 21:20-21 IS VERY CLEAR THAT PAUL’S ACTIONS were in principle him becoming a Jew to win the Jews. Read the context. The Jerusalem Council in Acts 15 had previously settled the issue of circumcision of Gentile Believers.

Evidently, Rumor said that Paul had gone far beyond their decision, even forbidding Jews to circumcise their children. This of course was not true…..so Paul willingly submitted to Jewish Custom to show that he was not working against the council’s decision and that he was still JEWISH in his lifestyle. Sometimes, we must go the extra-mile to avoid offending others, especially when doing so would hinder God’s Work…

Again, the text (As well as numerous others) make clear that Paul was simply trying to keep the laws as custom in order to avoid offending those who he wished to reach with the gospel (See Romans 3:21-31, Romans 7:4-6, Romans 13:9-10).

Also, as Acts 21:23-24 shows, it did lead to peace….In paticular, for the men who he went to the temple with…..these four men had made a religious vow. And because Paul was going to participate with them in the vow (apparently, he had been asked to pay some required expenses), he would need to take part in the purification ceremony for entering the temple (Numbers 6:9-20). Paul submitted himself to this Jewish Custom to keep peace in the Jerusalem Church. Although he was a man of strong convictions, he was willing to compromise on non-essential points, becoming all things to all people so that he might save some (I Corinthians 9:19-23)…….this is basically the gift of MUTUAL SUBMISSION for the sake of the GOSPEL,

The reason things did not lead to peace was not due to the men he went to the temple with having an issue, but to the Judaziers./Jews who were activetly spreading FALSE REPORTS about him. That’s what happened with the RIOT….where they followed HIM, lied about Him going against ALL THE LAW and other things:

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<H3>Acts 21:27-31

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Paul Arrested

27When the seven days were nearly over, some Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul at the temple. They stirred up the whole crowd and seized him, 28shouting, “Men of Israel, help us! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against our people and our law and this place. And besides, he has brought Greeks into the temple area and defiled this holy place.” 29(They had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with Paul and assumed that Paul had brought him into the temple area.)

30The whole city was aroused, and the people came running from all directions. Seizing Paul, they dragged him from the temple, and immediately the gates were shut. 31While they were trying to kill him, news reached the commander of the Roman troops that the whole city of Jerusalem was in an uproar

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 To add on to that, this is the reasoning behind Acts 16:1-4, where Paul had Timothy Circumcised. Timothy’s Father was a Greek, & by being both Jew & Gentile, Timothy had access to both cultures—an indispensable asset for MISSIONARY SERVICE. The circumcision was done to aid his acceptance by the Jews & provide full access to the synagouges he would be visiting with Paul & Silas, for the Jews could have assumed that he had renounced his Jewish heritage & had chosen to live as a Gentile………& contrary to what some may think, Paul wasn’t doing this soley to “decieve”/play sides. It was an issue of LOVE.

As I Corinthians 9:19-23 makes clear, Within the Limits of God’s Word & his Christian conscience, Paul was determined to be as culturally and socially Jewish as necessary when witnessing to the Jews (Romans 9:3, Romans 10:1, Romans 11:14). He was not bound to ceremonies & traditions of Judaim….& all legal restraints had been removed, EXCEPT THE CONSTRAINT OF LOVE….Consisdering what would be BEST FOR BRINGING PEOPLE BACK CLOSER TO THE SAVIOR.

Within the bounds of God’s Word, he would not offend the Jew, Gentile, or those weak in understanding. Not changing Scripture or compromising the truth, he would condescend in ways that would lead in Salvation/GROWING IN THE SAVIOR……THE ENTIRE POINT OF CHRISTIAN FREEDOM:

1 Corinthians 10:23-33

The Believer’s Freedom

23″Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive. 24Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.

25Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, 26for, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.”[a]

27If some unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. 28But if anyone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, both for the sake of the man who told you and for conscience’ sake[b]— 29the other man’s conscience, I mean, not yours. For why should my freedom be judged by another’s conscience? 30If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for?

31So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.

Romans 14

The Weak and the Strong

1Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. 2One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. 4Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

5One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. 8If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

9For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. 10You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11It is written:

” ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,

‘every knee will bow before me;

every tongue will confess to God.’ “[a] 12So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.

13Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way. 14As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food[b] is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean. 15If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died. 16Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil. 17For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.

19Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.

22So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

That’s why he had issue with Peter when the Judaizers came to the house of a Gentile & Peter, though he was eating Gentile Foods, backed away from them. The Judaizers already accused Paul of watering down the Gospel to make it easier for Gentiles to accept, while Paul accused the Judaziers fo nullifying the Truth of the Gospel by adding conditions to it. Things came to a climax when Peter, Paul, the Judaizers, and some Gentile Christians all gathered together in Antioch to share a meal. Peter probably thought that by staying away from the Gentiles, as TORAH may’ve required (in my understanding at least), he may’ve been promoting harmony—He did not When they all gathered for a meal…..FOR to eat with the Judaziers, even though Peter had given up all Mosaic ceremony (Acts 10:9-22, Acts 11:1-18), & then decline invitations to eat/fellowship with Gentiles, which he had previously done, meant that Peter was affirming the very dietary restrictions he knew God had abolished (Acts 10:15)…thus STRIKING A BLOW AT THE GOSPEL OF GRACE because he NO LONGER WAS DOING AS HE WAS PREVIOUSLY by MODELING THE IDEAL OF CHRISTIAN LOVE/LIBERTY BETWEEN JEW & GENTILE. …….

Galatians 2:11-21

Paul Opposes Peter

11When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. 12Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.

14When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?

15″We who are Jews by birth and not ‘Gentile sinners’ 16know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.

17″If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. 19For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”[a]

.& again, for study material, http://www.bible.org/topic.php?topic_id=65

 As said best by Bible.org,

In the words of Bible.Org on the subject,

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http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=1343

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For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, that I might win the more. And to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, though not being myself under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, that I might win those who are without law. To the weak, I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some. And I do all things for the sake of the gospel, that I may become a fellow-partaker of it (1 Cor. 9:19-23).

To Paul, as to all of the apostles, the gospel was primary, and culture was secondary. Gentiles did not have to adopt the Jewish culture to be saved for the gospel did not require it. Neither Jews nor Gentiles were compelled to forsake their culture, as long as the gospel was not compromised by it. Whenever the gospel could be promoted by adapting to the culture of another, the preaching of the gospel required such change. In addition to the implications of the gospel which govern culture, culture is also an important consideration because of its impact on the gospel.

The decision of the Jerusalem Council was the watershed of world evangelization in the Book of Acts. Once it was determined that the Jewish culture was not an essential part of the gospel, the gospel was freed from its cultural bonds and seen to be a universal message of salvation to all men. While this was a change that required a total reorientation on the part of Jewish Christians, it was not a change without considerable precedent, in both the Old Testament and the New Testament gospels.

When God created the nation Israel and brought them out of Egypt, He gave them the Mosaic Law in order to provide them with a standard of righteousness, with a promise of redemption, and with a prescription for a culture which would isolate them from the godless paganism of the heathen nations around them. When Israel was outside of the land, it was not possible to live completely under the law for they were not able to offer sacrifices in the prescribed places, nor were they able to isolate themselves from the cultures of their captors.

The first example of this is found in Joseph. When he realized that he would live out his life and die in Egypt, he chose to adopt much of the culture of the Egyptians. Before Joseph stood in Pharaoh’s presence, he shaved (Gen. 41:14), which was culturally very significant. A beard was highly regarded in Israel (cf. 2 Sam. 10:4-5), but in Egypt it was not. Joseph revealed wisdom by adapting to the culture of his day, yet in a way that did not violate any biblical principle. A beard was really a matter of culture, not of creed. By taking the Egyptian’s language, their dress, and even an Egyptian wife (cf. Gen. 41:45), Joseph identified himself with the Egyptians in a way that made his ministry more acceptable, yet without any sacrifice of biblical principle.

Perhaps Daniel is the most striking example of cultural concession in the Old Testament. In Daniel 1 we find the prophet and his three Hebrew friends taken captive to Babylon. We know these men best in terms of what they refused to do. All four refused to partake of the king’s choice food and wine (Dan. 1:8-16), which seemed to be associated with idolatrous worship. (In this case, it would be consistent with the prohibitions of Acts 15:20, 29.) Daniel refused to cease praying (Dan. 6), and his three friends would not bow down to the golden image (Dan. 3). In focusing our attention on what these four men refused to do we sometimes fail to take note of the cultural concession they were willing make. They were submissive to the king’s requirements by becoming educated in the schools of Babylon for three years, and of serving the king as advisors. These men, even in their youth, had the God-given wisdom to discern between what was culturally acceptable and what was not. They were able to faithfully serve God and to be witnesses to Him, even in a pagan land, because they could discern the elements of that culture which were an offense to God. Perhaps they were aware of the words of the prophet Jeremiah:

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Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, “Build houses and live in them; and plant gardens, and eat their produce. Take wives and become the fathers of sons and daughters, and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply there and do not decrease. And seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare” (Jer. 29:4-7).

Wanted to add into there people like Ester (http://www.google.com/custom?hl=en&s…Esther&spell=1 )….
 

     Also, In one critique, he brought up some excellent points which were found in Driscoll’s book “Reformission” …..

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The goal of Reformission is “to continually unleash the gospel to do its work of reforming dominant cultures and church subcultures” (ibid).

These three forces, gospel, church and culture, form a triangular relationship. Reformission begins with a return to Jesus who saves us by His grace and sends us to be missionaries to our world. Jesus has called us to “(1) the gospel (loving our Lord), (2) the culture (loving our neighbour), and (3) the church (loving our brother)” (ibid). Tragically, Driscoll asserts, one of the main causes of the failure to fulfill our mission has come by being faithful to only one or two of these counts.

Driscoll provides three formulas to show what happens when one of these areas is neglected:

Gospel + Culture – Church = Parachurch

Many Christians become frustrated with the church and abandon it in favor of outside organizations. While these organizations can do a lot of good, they allow people to remain disconnected from the local church. People are connected to unbelievers, but outside of a context where they can introduce these people to the wider church body. This in turns leads to theological immaturity (and I would assert it also leads to a greater possibility of theological error). Further, parachurch organizations are often organized around only one type of person (the poor, youth, etc) so they do not display the diversity of the body of Christ.

Culture + Church – Gospel = Liberalism

Some churches are so concerned with being culturally relevant that they neglect the gospel. These people convert others to the church but not to Jesus. Driscoll says that “This is classic liberal Christianity, and it exists largely in the dying mainline churches” (page 21). Many conservative Christians would also suggest that much of the Emergent church fits into this category, having forsaken the gospel in favor of culture and community. These people run the risk of loving their neighbour at the expense of loving God.

Church + Gospel – Culture = Fundamentalism

Some churches care more for the church, its traditions, buildings and politics than the spread of the gospel. While they know the theology of the gospel they rarely take it to the people. We can wonder whether these people love the lost as much as they love their buildings and traditions.
Driscoll claims that Reformission gathers the best aspects of each of these types of Christianity: “living in the tension of being Christian and churches who are culturally liberal yet theologically conservative and who are driven by the gospel of grace to love their Lord, brothers, and neighbours. This book focuses on issues related to the scriptural content of the gospel and the cultural context of its ministry, and I write out of my sincere love as a pastor for Christians, churches, lost people, and culture” (page 22).

To me, I’m glad Challies gave credit where credit was due instead of throwing out the baby with the bathwater, as Mark Driscoll’s summarization beautifully that summed up the tension from folks on ALL SIDES of the issue…..((http://www.challies.com/archives/art…k-driscoll.php)……

You get a chance, check out this interview. It’s by a pastor from an Urban
Church up north that’s a Holy Hip Hop church.
http://www.vft.ag.org/enrichment/fall04.cfm
), whose PASTORED under a man by the name of Urban D. It Seemed
pretty intriguing/insightful on many points, & I think you’ll be blessed greatly by it:
Part 1

Urban D on TBN (Part 1)
Urban D on TBN (Part 2)

Of course, there were actually 4 parts to the interview….but you should be able to find them once you get there on the video sidebar.

In my opinion, he’s a perfect demonstration of MISSIONAL LIVING being in the culture but not OF THE CULTURE….and that it CAN BE DONE……

      When have to be in the culture to a certain degree in order to refute it. What I am saying is to put everyone in the same group is stereotyping and as I stated earlier no music (rythem, beat, percussion, chord, sound) is sinful in and of itself. It is always the lyrics and hearts intent behind making the music. 50 Cents isn’t sinful because of his musics but because of his lyrics and what he attempts to glorify in them. Anyway here are the sites.

http://www.reachrecords.com
http://www.lampmoderecords.com
http://www.crossmovementrecords.com

Search for the lyrics and see what these young men are doing for the kingdom. If you don’t like what they are doing then fine…..

Also, for anyone interested,

http://coreybuckner.com/wordpress/ch…1-intorduction

http://www.coreybuckner.com/cblog/in…ristian-Hiphop

http://www.coreybuckner.com/cblog/in…p-and-Rap.html

http://ct.coreybuckner.com/hub.htm

http://www.trailblazinministries.com….msg171#msg171

Moreover,

http://www.rwlyons.org/2005/05/g-craig-lewis.html

www.exministries.com

http://www.clarkyboy.com/hiphop.htm

These are some of the ministries/commentaries that I’ve researched and that I base some of my stances on. Seeing that I’ve been on both sides of the fence (from thinking that “Music is just music/lyrics don’t matter” to “music/beats is sinful to seeing that it’s moreso the lyrics/content that matter” , etc), I wanted to place study material out there which would examine BOTH SIDES of the issue….from “being in the world but not of it” and seeing the verse IN CONTEXT with the rest of the Word of God to others that are used for both sides of the issue—-paticularly, on the issue of beats/tunes in worship, culture, etc…..

As I offered earlier, consider this……It’s from some music videos from one paticular Holy Hip Hop group named “Grits”….and though they don’t necessarily represent everyone’s mentality or style affiliated with HOLY HIP HOP , based on melody/style, I’d be curious as to what you felt the intent of the music was for:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEklIh4u0Qw

Also, regarding the discussion, here’s a clip from a Holy Hip Hopper named “Da Truth”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0RFYxGdftA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtVAk…elated&search=

What feel did you get from seeing him? Did you feel he had good intent or bad? To praise God or something else? And moreover, even though both were using beats/rhythms you’d hear in Hip Hop, did they both make you feel the same or did they evoke 2 different mentalities/moods in hearing them?

On the issue of Holy Hip Hop, here’s first hand info on where I’m coming from:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?do…arch&plindex=0

http://video.google.com/videoplay?do…arch&plindex=6
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQE4XQmKAsw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzz8emnMwq8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-ob0Dp5wyU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XyNvg5SZCs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQMXds5AfRM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WUNW2frDJg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gikyT26-TSE

Or consider this, from one of the ministries I’m affiliated with entitled “The Passion of the Christ Movement”:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhK4-…eature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-qSi…eature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNJ5o…eature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Vvx8…eature=related

Most people, at a surface level, would automatically assume that because her style was found within Urban Culture, that it’s somehow ungodly…..and yet when studying up close, there does seem to be a distinct difference…..and for another example of those within Urban Culture actually being “In the culture but not of it”, consider this example of witnessing at the BET Music Awards…..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rU5eE8OotQQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuVDr…eature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXX2g…eature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJfPX…eature=related
   

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