February: Christianity and Culture
Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me…. For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.” (Luke 9:23 & 26)
Dear Friends of OCN,
Today’s Christian Church finds itself at an unprecedented crossroads. Christian Churches of every denomination find themselves challenged by secular society, but also by growing rifts within their own bodies. Today’s religious issues, unlike the theological issues that split the Church in earlier centuries, focus on social issues driven by personal emotion rather than reflection on Scriptures. Issues like sexual orientation, reproductive rights and science, and even gun ownership are at center stage.
With these issues, or whatever difficulties we encounter personally on our spiritual journeys, to what extent are we willing to pick up our daily cross rather than write off our struggle as “normal” for this day and age? Do we allow the natural shame we feel over our shortcomings to turn us back to a life of repentance, or do we twist that into shaming those around us who call us out on our behavior or model a better way? And how much do we turn to the Church for real guidance rather than just wanting a stamp of approval?
This month’s topic – Christianity and Culture – invites each of us to think about what it means to be a Christian given the multitudes of divisions that currently divide those who self-identify as Christian. How do we minister to one another in light of these divisions? How do we minister to others?
Join us this month as we talk with and about Christians whose faith and life’s work have shaped modern culture in America, especially Christian culture. Hear from Veggietales co-founder Mike Nawrocki, Mother Teresa’s official biographer, and a top leader of Focus on the Family about the core messages they’ve shared in their ministries, as well as what they feel the next 25 years will mean for Christianity’s future and place within culture and media.
What about you? What do you feel the next 25 years will mean for our Christian Church and our Orthodox faith? What issues are you struggling with or thinking about? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or good, old-fashioned email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We welcome your thoughts and questions!
I pray that God will continue to strengthen each of you as we reflect on what it means to be a Christian in this final month before the start of Great and Holy Lent.
Programming Director, OCN