Dr. Jenson spoke about culture in his next lecture. Culture represents the language, customs and values of people.
There are many cultures in the world. We can speak of “Western culture,” but even Ponoka has a culture and within Ponoka are various cultures also, like those who work for the oil industry or those who involve themselves in hockey.
Dr. Jenson said that Christ and his body, the Church, also represents a culture. Christ embodies the culture of the kingdom of God and likewise, the Church is called to embody that culture too.
However, what has happened is that many so-called “Christians” have adopted a culture outside of Christ and then tried to bring that into Christ’s body, the Church. Much of the individualistic, consumer orientation of churches we see today is a product of an external culture being brought into the culture of Christ’s body. As a result, external morals and beliefs displace kingdom morals and beliefs and a different religion is produced.
The Church must seek to maintain the culture of Christ and his kingdom even if it means that it diminishes in size. Each congregation is like a mission outpost in which the Christ culture is supported and strengthened. From here people are sent out into the world to proclaim Christ’s presence and his reign. In the world we affirm what is of God, but also finds ourselves in battle with opposing forces to God’s kingdom.
The call of the Church today is to become an authentic community, centered on Christ the Word made flesh. An authentic Christian community is one that grows around Luther’s marks of the church which are all Word-based.