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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

11 Feb '11

Cultures of Life and Death

The culture of Christ is a culture of life in all of its dimensions. It sees people as made in the image of God with eternal souls. As men and women and children in His image it sees them as infinitely precious and rejects all actions, attitudes or institutions that demean or diminish that image. 

As image bearers - no matter how flawed the image by the fall, every individual on this planet has infinite value to the Creator, and therefore to us as His family members. 


But just as the culture of Christ is a culture of life in all of its dimensions, the culture of the evil one is that of death and destruction in all of its dimensions. Jesus put it this way in John 10:10, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." Christ brings life. Satan brings death.


It should not surprise us, therefore, that the predominate culture of our world is one of the devaluing of human life. Think of all the things that devalue life: pornography, sexual promiscuity, lack of justice, corruption, the sex trade, abortion, the indiscriminate killing of civilians in warfare, spousal and child abuse, slavery, discrimination, and all behaviors that devalue people. Wherever people are marginalized, mistreated, denied basic rights, oppressed, used and denied justice, the culture of the evil one prevails - and that is most of our world.


The Gospel is good news for the soul - and the only route to eternal life - but its implications are far broader than that. Jesus invaded our world to right what had gone wrong in the fall and which will be completed in his return. We are told to pray (and therefore act) that "His will would be done on earth as it is in heaven." The gospel brings eternal life but it also must bring a culture of life to a world that has a culture of death and devaluation of people made in His image.


As Christ followers we are called to live and to promote a culture of life where the dignity of individuals is lifted high, where those things that devalue life are seen for what they are and to the extent that we can have an influence, eradicated. 


Think about this: Prison ministry brings a culture of life to a dark place; abstinence education globally brings a culture of life rather than a culture of using people for our own gratification; those who stand up for justice bring a culture of life; those who help women with unwanted pregnancy stand up for a culture of life; those who minister to orphans and widows the same. Every time we act to help those who are marginalized, mistreated, oppressed or uphold the dignity of people made in God's image we support a culture of life.

The thief comes to steal and destroy in every way He can. Jesus comes to heal, save and restore in all dimensions of life. When we join Him in that work we support Him and push back the culture of death with His culture of life.