Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Counter Culture series so far...

[Edit] David Platt tells a story I want to quickly retell here. 

David Meakins and his wife were missionaries to Africa in the mid-90's. flying home from Ethiopia to England, their plane was hijacked. Regardless of warnings from the pilot that the plane didn't have enough fuel, the hijackers told him to fly them to Australia.

After the first engine stops the pilot tells the passengers the grim truth. They're about out of fuel and the second engine will go out soon. He advised them to prepare to crash land in the Indian Ocean. This was all over the news and there was even video of it happening in 1996.

The story goes that as soon as Andy heard the pilot's announcement he unbuckled his seatbelt and stood up. He began sharing the gospel with passengers all over the plan. He walked the aisles inviting people to trust Jesus Christ as their savior from their sins. A stewardess did just that. She and others who survived the crash later told this part of the story. She said that Andy was preaching the gospel as the plane hit the water. (Counter Culture, David Platt)

Andy must have really believed what he preached. In fact, he has a fiery zeal for God and passion for the salvation of people that resulted in his compassionate and courageous living out and proclaiming of the gospel to those on the plane.

This is a picture of what this series is about. It's about us deciding what we believe and then living it out and sharing it verbally with conviction, compassion and courage. [End edit]

Our goal in our Counter Culture series at Grace is to learn together how to apply the gospel to the cultural challenges before us. We do this by picturing, and then, living and proclaiming that gospel with conviction, compassion and courage. The title is based on David Platt's book by the same title. 
 Counter Culture is a picture. It’s what our kingdom looks like when lived out.
 Counter Culture is a way of life. It’s what we do when we live it out and proclaim it. We counter the culture of the world.
Week 1 we opened talking about the gospel and culture. We used Paul’s sermon in Athens (Acts 17) to show how we talk to our culture so that they hear the gospel and have a chance to respond. Our two prayers were 1) That we’d grow in our zeal for God’s glory, and 2) That we’d grow in our passion for the salvation of people far from God. 
The bottom line application was to live and proclaim the gospel with conviction, compassion and courage. 
Week 2 we began talking about the gospel and sexuality. For two weeks we wrestled with living a gospel-centered sexual ethic in a sex-crazed culture. This particular week our focus what does biblical manhood and woman-hood look like? 
Our bottom line application was boldly be who you are and lead others to do the same. 
Week 3 we got into sexual immorality more directly. We didn’t just address homosexuality either. We hit them all (sexually immoral sin) and owned that we all are dealing with this. Porn, adultery, coarse jokes, lust, poor music choices, pre-marital sex and acting on homosexual desires. 
Our bottom line application was Flee from sexual immorality. And love your neighbor (who hasn’t yet) as you love yourself.
This week we’ll continue applying the gospel message and life to the cultural challenges or our day. Join me in praying that we’ll all, “Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God." (Micah 6:8)