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Navigating Culture Collisions

June 25, 2017 Speaker: Dan Davis Series: Collision Course

Topic: Sunday Message Verse: Romans 12:18, John 15:18–15:19, Matthew 5:43–5:48, 1 Peter 3:15, 2 Peter 3:9

Navigating Culture Collisions

The eighth of eight messages in a series about how we can navigate the relational conflicts we face in life
Romans 12:18 NIV

18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

While we've learned how to navigate conflict well in the three vital relational realms (our church, our marriage, and our home), these don’t compose the entirety of our lives. There's also life with others in a society filled with people who aren’t always going to see eye to eye with what we believe. These collisions can anywhere from causal indifference ("yeah, whatever, you go do your church thing, just leave me alone.") to hostile intolerance ("How can you be so religious and narrow-minded in your beliefs?").

Matthew 10:16 NIV

6 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.

Sheep Among Wolves

So what’s Jesus saying here? He’s not trying to be a defeatist, but He does want to be a realist. He wants us to go through life with eyes wide open, realizing that conflict with others in our culture who see life differently than we do will be inevitable.

John 15:18-19 NIV

18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

Shrewd as Snakes

Shrewdness is more about "street smarts" than "book smarts." Shrewd people know how the world works. They’re able to get things done. They can read other people, and they’ve got keen insight into human nature (the good, the bad, and the ugly.). Unfortunately, we as Christians can be some of the most naive people in the world. We’re incredibly trusting, which isn’t a bad thing, but we can tend to believe anything people tell us. That makes us an “easy mark” for others to take advantage of us. God calls us to be discerning, where we're able to size up a situation for how it really is, and not just how it appears to be.

Innocent as Doves

Shrewdness by itself can turn us into suspicious and cynical people, which in turn can harden our hearts. The command to be innocent is a call to keep our hearts soft. This comes down to trusting God's Word and cooperating with God's work in our lives. So instead of just reacting to opposition, the Bible gives us a different vision and leads us down a better path.

Matthew 5:43-48 NIV

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

As you live out your faith in this culture...

1. Don’t go looking for conflict, but also don’t be surprised when it happens.

As you live out your faith in this culture...

2. Disagree without being disagreeable.

1 Peter 3:15 NIV

15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

As you live out your faith in this culture...

3. Keep on loving people and never give up.

2 Peter 3:9 NIV

9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

More in Collision Course

June 18, 2017

Navigating Family Collisions

June 11, 2017

Navigating Marriage Collisions

June 4, 2017

Navigating Church Collisions