Friday, October 16, 2009

Staying Pure

Hosea 7:8-10
(8) Ephraim mixes himself with the peoples; Ephraim is a cake not turned.
(9) Strangers devour his strength, and he knows it not; gray hairs are sprinkled upon him, and he knows it not.
(10) The pride of Israel testifies to his face; yet they do not return to the LORD their God, nor seek him, for all this.

I've baked a few cakes in my day and I can tell you that it is not pretty when one is half-baked. That's how Ephraim is described here. It comes from being mixed in with the other peoples. I can tell you that a cake will not come out right if you start mixing foreign things into the recipe. That's what happened to Israel.

This makes me think of our mandate to be salt and light to the culture. How far does relevance go? On one hand, we need to be able to "exegete the culture," as Haddon Robinson would say, but we also need to make sure that we don't get the culture mixed in with us lest we become like Ephraim here.

I know that personally I do better with the less I mix in from the culture. I don't miss TV or movies. Even when we go to see a movie that is OK we get bombarded with all kinds of junk in the previews. You can't watch a football game without seeing the cheerleaders. And so on.

The good news is that, fundamentally, the gospel is always relevant. Yet I know that we need to present it in a way that people can understand. I'm all for that. Let's just make sure that we do not get anything wrong in our batter.

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