Living Counter-Culturally. . .

 Jesus then said, “I came into the world to bring everything into the clear light of day, making all the distinctions clear, so that those who have never seen will see, and those who have made a great pretense of seeing will be exposed as blind.”Some Pharisees overheard him and said, “Does that mean you’re calling us blind?”Jesus said, “If you were really blind, you would be blameless, but since you claim to see everything so well, you’re accountable for every fault and failure.” (John 9:39-41)

It’s not easy swimming upstream. Salmon know how. They are genetically wired to buck the tides to preserve their species. Humans, however, are socialized to ‘go along to get along.’ Well, at least most of us. “Counter-culturalist” is right up there with ‘anarchist,” “anti-social misfit,” and “loner.” So what does ‘counter-culture’ mean?

A counterculture (also written counter-culture) is a subculture whose values and norms of behavior deviate from those of mainstream society, often in opposition to mainstream cultural mores. A true counterculture includes a significant number of people and persists for a notable period of time. A countercultural movement expresses the ethos, aspirations, and dreams of a specific population during a well-defined era.

For Christian believers, that era began with Jesus and his first followers, and has continued through the centuries into the present day. It’s been a difficult choice at times–for most of us–having to choose to live in faithfulness to Jesus and His Gospel, in the middle of a world whose choices are expedient, selfish, and ego-centric.

But I don’t want to recount all our failures here. We all know some of them–and our friends or enemies can point out the ones we deny, or overlook. Pointing out failures is an exercise of Darkness.

This is a reminder–that we are called to live as Redeemed Brothers and Sisters in a world that is largely unredeemed. We are called to be marginal, to demonstrate, with our behavior, our words, and our lives that Jesus is Real, that He can redeem,. restore, and renew our failures, our missteps, our mistakes, and our violence–if we acknowledge our failure to Love and surrender to His transforming power to heal and empower us.  But we need to surrender, and be willing to swim upstream–even if it scares us!

My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love…If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating…he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both.(1 John 4:7-8, 21-22)



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