Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Culture as it Is

I've been thinking a lot lately about how influenced we are by what we see in media. Many of us work hard to be 'in the world but not of it', yet, try as we may, we cannot escape the influence of those around us and what we witness in print and film media. There are calculated reasons companies are willing to spend millions of dollars to have product placements on television and in movies.

Are any of us immune from the influence of media? My answer is no. In light of this how should the follower of Jesus 'think' about the influence media has on us and our culture? In contemplating 'culture' it is apparent my vision and understanding has been underdeveloped and naive. People speak of "changing culture" or "culture wars" but which culture? In our world there are many 'cultures'.

May I suggest that Plan A would be to begin 'changing culture' by understanding the one in which you live your day? This 'culture' would be what is your 'cultural sphere'. Various cultural spheres overlap but by far family is culture at its smallest and most powerful.

What is your 'family culture'? Is it one that if magnified into the larger culture would make the world a better place? I'm challenged by this because we ARE creating culture! Our families will go out into the world and make their own culture - today. This is not an insignificant thought. Sunday last we took OUR culture with us to church and this morning our children took OUR culture with them to school. Is the world a better and more loving, kind and generous place because of how we act before and in the world - today? These are good and thoughtful questions - and very challenging!

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