For Those With No Back Story
It was a great day back at Parkwood Baptist Church in Gastonia, NC. Pastor Brian Lowe, the youth pastor, brought a very powerful message from Acts 17 about sharing Christ within the culture He has placed us. He pointed out some interesting things about how Paul contextualized the Gospel. When he would preach to Jews and religious folks, he would use the Old Testament as a foundation upon which to build a case for Christ being the Messiah (vv. 2-3). This was possible because the Jews had context in which to place Paul’s teaching. They knew the back story. However, when he shared Christ with Gentiles the back story was missing. They had absolutely no context for the OT. So, Paul started with their culture and then pointed them to Christ. He started with something familiar, something that connected (vv. 22-28).
Brian challenged us not to be discouraged by the post-Christian culture in which we live, but rather to find inroads to the hearts of people through the culture while remaining faithful to Christ and His Word. And that’s the challenge for you and me. We shouldn’t be scared of our culture. We shouldn’t run from it. We shouldn’t cower before it. We must love people as Christ loves people, and loving people means that we speak the truth to them.
On another note, the worship team did a phenomenal job leading with me, and it’s always a pleasure for Tasha and I to be there. I brought my friend Steven Chapman (not to be confused with the contemporary Christian artist by the same name – no relation that I know of, although that would be pretty sweet – anybody remember “The Great Adventure”? – wow, I think I definitely just lost cool points for that one) to fill in on drums and he did an amazing job, as always. Thanks Steven.
1. Let it Rise
2. O Worship the King
4. Amazing Grace/My Chains are Gone
5. He is Exalted
6. Mighty to Save