Ask about Culture: What is culture?…Culture is the arts and manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarding collectivity.
Ask about the American culture: What does our American popular culture include?…What are some ideas, perspectives, attitudes, images, and other phenomena that are within the mainstream of our culture? What are the icons that represent our culture?
Talk about representations of culture in the past: Decades and decades ago, art in popular culture was paintings, plays, and classical music. These were influential aspects of the culture. They represented what was entertaining and important to society.
Ask about current culture: Has the culture shifted/changed?…Culture is heavily influenced by media.
Ask about media’s influence on us: What does our media portray to us?…Fear everything, you can survive with ‘this’ product (security system, Axe, fast food), spend money freely because you deserve it, God doesn’t exist, do what you want to do (ex. drugs, premarital sex, money), money will give us happiness, we can find the truth of life in the stars, etc.
Talk about the main theme between these examples: What do all of these examples have in common?…They are without God
Read Matthew 6:19-24..Who do you serve?…money, lust, selfish desires?
Ask about what we should serve: Who should we serve?…Why should we serve the one we should serve?…He has fulfilled His promise in the past and he will fulfill His promises in the future as well. These promises are eternal life with God and joy in serving others and Him.
Ask about masters: Is it possible to serve two masters? (ex. money and God)…Why not?…
Read Revelation 3:14-22…You are gonna get spat out! He would rather you be devoted to one master, whether being Him or something else.
Brainstorm about serving two masters: Let’s say we tried to honor both, most likely, when serving/loving money, it would eventually find its way to control us and it would lead us to committing other sins. It’s like a gateway drug.
Read 1 Timothy 6:1-10…What does verse ten mean? What makes it a true statement?…The love of money is a root that leads to the tree of evil. As a gateway drug leads you to other deadly drugs, the love of money is a root that leads to other evils, including selfishness, lust, coveting, etc.
Talk about what our culture tells us: Our culture says, “Money will grant you happiness, true happiness”. The Bible says, “Don’t love money, the love of money is the root of all evil.”
Talk about the impact of powerful scripture: Let’s read a verse that can better explain the potential power that sin can have over us.
Read Hebrews 10:26-27…These verses suggest two primary aspects of sin:
- Sin has the power to temporarily separate us from God when we have a relationship with God, thus we should continue to repent when we sin.
- The love of sin has the power to eternally separate us from God.
Talk about culture’s potential negative impact on God’s creation: Culture has the potential to defile what God calls sacred. God has created a world, a structure, a culture for us. Sometimes we modify to suit our wants, which can remove God from the picture.
Read Psalm 8:3-4, Isaiah 40:25-31, 1 Corinthians 15:35-41…Basically, God wants us to recognize Him in everything because He made all and He made us all uniquely different. For example, in verse 41, it recognizes the specific splendor that God gives to each specific creation. God gives his splendor and glory to all of His creations. Recognize God through your culture. Don’t forget Him!
Ask about stars: What are stars being used for?…Currently, stars are being by astrologists and scientists to find and tell us about ourselves, with neither God nor the truth of the gospel. They attempt to theorize on how the universe came about, how we came about, and how we are supposed to live. Well…all of those answers can be found in the Bible…In my opinion, as long as God is number one in your life, science and astrology can be a form of worship, being that it is a way to discover God and His creation.
Talk about popular culture and what it tries to do: Our popular culture attempts at guiding us to how we should live. Our culture, via media and advertisement, is attempting to tell us to dress like ‘this’, buy ‘this’, do ‘this’, look like ‘this’, act like ‘this’. What are some examples?
Ask about qualities of a manly man: For example, what does advertisements and media say about what a manly man should look like?…it is probably a different answer than what the Bible says about what a Godly Man looks like.
Talk about the changing feature of culture: Here’s a fun fact: Culture and its features change constantly!…For example, the ways that beauty was measured in the past differs than how it is measured now. Specifically, around the 19th century, weighing more was an indication of more beauty and health and it also indicated that you were associated with the upper class. Currently, weighing more is viewed as unattractive and unhealthy.
Talk about the features of the Bible that differs from the culture: The concepts in the Bible never change. The Biblical concepts that can be associated with culture still remain constant. For example, the meaning of what a Godly man still remains the same as when the book in the Bible was made.
Conclusion to the lesson on culture: Remember this…It is easy to be deceived into conforming to what a culture tells you in regards to how to live, especially the pursuit of happiness. Always refer back to God and His word. There you will find what you need.
Bible Study Tools. (2017). Retrieved from http://www.biblestudytools.com/
NIV Life Application Study Bible. (2011). Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan.
The Bible Knowledge Commentary: New Testament. (2004). Colorado Springs, Colorado: International Bible Society.
The Bible Knowledge Commentary: Old Testament. (2004). Colorado Springs, Colorado: International Bible Society.
Unger, M. F. (1976) Unger’s bible dictionary. Chicago, IL: The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago.