Or should that be: “Our Responsibility”? I recently received an email from a Christian friend; a minister who has two earned doctorates. He said, “But I think the church has a responsibility to raise the culture.” I can find no place in Scripture where Jesus said, “I think.” Neither can I find where He told us what to think. He often asked what we think or told us not to think this or think that, but He never suggested that we “think” anything.
As for our responsibility to “raise the culture” He said, “Ye are the salt of the earth,” and “Ye are the light of the world.” Notice please that He did not say that we should be salt or light but that we are these things. If you put salt on something it will season it, and if you turn on the light it will shine forth. These are not things we do but things we are, if Christ is truly the light of our lives.
My duty as a Christian is to get to heaven, and as such I will practice the Golden Rule, which means I want you to get to heaven as much as I want to get there myself. But what of our duty to this world? I know of nothing that has derailed organized Christianity more than their trying to answer this question. Early Methodism seemed to be a mighty force for Christ in the America of the 18th and 19th centuries. What happened? Well they were accused of offering “pie in the sky by and by” but not really making this a better world. So rather than sticking to their guns and working at winning souls they began to build hospitals and colleges. Gibson General hospital in Princeton, Indiana, where I grew up was originally, Methodist Hospital. Have you heard of Southern Methodist University? Methodist schools are everywhere. But how spiritual are they and how spiritual is Methodism today?
My late mother-in-law was a Christian woman, but did Bud, her oldest son, walk in her footsteps and allow Christ to be the light of his life? What he did was to become a Lieutenant on the Indianapolis Police force. To my knowledge he made no Christian profession, but as far as I know he was a good cop and endeavored to enforce the law and make Indianapolis a better place to live. His mother’s influence made him a better person than he might have been if she had not been a righteous person, and as such her influence raised the culture.
“To raise the culture” will be a secondary result of our service to Christ, but it must never interfere with our laying our treasures in heaven. (See Matthew 6:19-24 KJV.) Notice please that Jesus teaches a “single” eye. Divide and conquer is one of the enemy’s best tricks; don’t let him trip you up with alternative goals. KEEP LOOKING UP!