Different in a Religious Culture

One of the things that I think a lot about as a pastor is Jesus' command to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16) and Paul's command to be ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20). There's no question, from the beginning to the end of Scripture, God wants people who follow Him to be different from the people around them.

That's fine and dandy for a believer in a culture whose behavior and lifestyle is hostile to Christian morality. A Christian in a tribal community that promotes human sacrifice or child abuse is not difficult to spot. But I'm a pastor in Fort Worth, TX.

We're not just in the Bible Belt. Bible Belt buckles are manufactured here.

Although there are 40,000 unchurched people who live within a 5-mile radius of McKinney Church, I live in a very moral city. It's often impossible to tell a Christ-follower from someone who is far from God, not just because Christians don't frequently live up to their calling. That's part of it, but the other part is that even the people in our culture who are far from God tend to "behave" fairly well.

So what is it about a believer that should set them apart in a moral culture like a light on a hill? What would you tell a person, or a church, about specific things they should do (or not do) that would immediately set them apart from the culture in a clear, compelling way?

I'd love to hear your perspective and then I'll post a quote tomorrow that I think gives a fairly good start. Fire away until then.


The Kinley's said...

I think it's the way they respond to people or situations. It's definitely not something I always do, but I feel like someone who is seeking to live a life that directs to Christ generally has a response of love, peace and compassion towards all. Sometimes my struggle is being this towards my hostile, un-believing or back-slidden loved ones.

C and P McKinzie said...

John 13:34-35 gives a pretty clear definition...