Christian Cultural Engagement

Few will argue that Christians must be about cultural engagement. But in doing so, we must always remember what true Christian cultural engagement actually looks like. For John the Baptist, cultural engagement looked like this. For Jesus, true cultural engagement meant public humiliation, scourging and crucifixion. We’ve all seen the Passion. (Do we really expect to improve upon Jesus’ example?) For Paul the Apostle, cultural engagement looked something like this:

The Beheading of Paul the Apostle

The Beheading of Paul the Apostle

Sad to say, many Christians very wrongly believe that Christian cultural engagement should look something more like this. If you aspire to be a true follower of Jesus then, prepare your heart not to be praised by the world, but for the kind of “cultural engagement” that John, Jesus, Paul and millions of others faithful witnesses have already demonstrated for us.

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  • Jeanne
    Posted at 12:05h, 18 May

    “Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those WHO HAD BEEN BEHEADED for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4

  • Robert Macniel
    Posted at 14:45h, 18 May

    While were on the subject of cultural engagement there is something I witnessed and that has got me worried. Recently two American evangelists came over and they both did something strange. I don’t know if this is a new movement or what but they both preached Jesus without the bible. Not only did they not use bibles, but they preached anecdotes and testimonials from their ministry instead of the biblical works and message of Jesus. I think the entire evening I heard one bible verse. They came across more as motivational speakers then as evangelists. I’m not in the united states so I cant tell but could this be something new thats going to sweep over to Europe perhaps? Reason I worry about this is if you don’t preach using a bible you are leaving Israel out. And it came across to me as if they were preaching an American Jesus that just blesses and doesn’t ask anything off us.

  • BJ and Alisa
    Posted at 15:54h, 18 May

    “By George, I think you’ve got it!” This is what we are called to teach the reality of living the Christian life.

    Jesus told us: If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first. If you belong to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to this world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his Master’. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obey My teaching they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. If I had not come & spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. “John 15:18-23

  • JM
    Posted at 16:27h, 18 May

    Always love your stuff Joel. Lets throw in Daniel and Joseph as blessed examples of cultural engagement. They were loved…and hated. Everyone loves the “taking mtns” message- so long as it yields overt blessings. People laud the premiership of Joseph…often forgetting the sufferings. I guess both go together. “100 fold in this life + persecutions.” (Mark) That last part takes supernatural grace. People even love apostles/prophets today who command blessings. Saw you on Jewish Voice here in Africa. I am trusting God to visit Izmir/7 churches this year (did you make it there in your visit?) May the King always grant you those insights. Blessings multiplied.

  • Laurel
    Posted at 21:21h, 18 May

    I read this verse the other day. When you look at that painting of the beheading, it takes on new meaning…
    Revelation 3:18
    I counsel you to buy from Me GOLD REFINED IN THE FIRE, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.

    To be refined by fire, is not a pleasant thing, but He tells us to counsel Him that it be so.

    PS. I completely agree with you about the antichrist, the Madhi, Head of coming Caliphate. It all came into perfect focus. Also those interviews with Hayron Yahya… amazing. Thanks and blessings.

  • linda keyes
    Posted at 12:58h, 19 May

    It is very sad, when ever i have rang into radio shows, how ever charitably i speak, i have always been the one who appears ‘the unloving’ one, while the wolves in sheep’s clothing are readily accepted.

    Its true that truth costs, it would seem that popularity is the word for today. Personally i believe that’s why we don’t see many signs and wonders in the west, God anoints His truth, which will at times cost us our reputation and popularity, when we compromise and deny truth, we restrict the fullness of Gods grace that the lost need.

    Just as we are ‘supposed’ to be provoking Israel to jealousy , i think
    that the Lord is using signs and wonders in the middle east to provoke
    us back to living as we should.

    Blessings to all

  • giles
    Posted at 17:21h, 19 May

    I think if that kind of thing were to happen here (the UK), then something serious has happened to us as a military power (well, you can currently fit the entire army into a football stadium, literally).

  • Henry
    Posted at 03:45h, 20 May

    Joel, thank you for pointing this out. I just came from a weekend of hanging out with several Christian men and realized that none of them, seemingly, had the foggiest clue about the times we’re living in. What blew me away is one fella actually seemed to think there was a danger in studying and discussing the book of Revelations. It didn’t seem to matter that it is the only book in the entire bible that specifically promises a blessing for those that read and understand the book of Revelations: Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein:for the time is at hand.(1:3).
    Frankly, I’m tired of this “wishy-washy don’t judge and don’t offend” kind of Christianity. I appreciate your directness in pointing out obvious errors churches have embraced and even promoted, all in the name of Christ.

    God bless!

  • Doug Hanley
    Posted at 05:27h, 21 May

    woe to you when all men speak well of you,
    for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets.
    New International Version.
    (Lk 6:26)

  • BJ and Alisa
    Posted at 14:09h, 21 May

    As you said in your opening statement. Even though Jesus tell us how difficult and dangerous living the christian life can be at times,He also expects us to help our fellow brothers and sisters when we see a need.
    Matthew 25:41-46 There are good organizations that are doing this type of work that you can partner with. Jonathan Bernis has a medical outreach that helps neglected and abandoned people. And I’m sure you know other organizations as well.

    Matthew 25:41-46 isn’t something we should take lightly.

  • Rob
    Posted at 17:55h, 21 May

    Not being an American, can I assume Barbara Walters is a bad person? I have seen her face on TV but never followed her. I think she was a commentator on 60 Minutes?

  • Nelson
    Posted at 15:38h, 22 May


    How sad that your friend is afraid to open and read Revelations. He does have much to fear. Once a Spirit filled believer begins to study the return of our Blessed Hope, he cannot help but begin to live for His coming Kingdom. But Peter wrote:

    scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” (2 Pet. 3:3-4 NKJV)

    Peter writes of the scoffers who are blind to the signs of Christ’s return and come walking according to their own lusts. Living for Christ’s Kingdom takes one’s focus off our own desires and wants and places our focus on Jesus and promoting his Gospel. It is difficult for many to abandon their comfortable, self-absorbed life. There are millions like your friend.

    We have a ministry to awaken and prepare the church. It seems your heart is tender to this call as well. Feel free to log onto this website:

    Besides potentially getting involved yourself, this teaching website is designed for end-time skeptics. Although it is primarily aimed at end-time skeptics who are pastors, perhaps your friend will read it as well? You can tell him it is based on the words of Jesus in Matthew 24 and 25.


  • good4u
    Posted at 02:53h, 23 May


    I have been reading this website that Nelson posted above and your book, Mideast Beast, has been influential as part of the principle understanding regarding how we are to interpret prophecy driven events as they happen. The Islamic paradigm is really starting to make significant headway now within the Christian mindset and has come a long way since I first learned of this way back in 2008 at my first conference with you in Maryville, IL . Very few were listening when I first heard you all those years ago, but when I did I instantly knew this was the truth because it fit Scripture perfectly and what world events were showing us to verify this was truth.

    It has taken a very long time, but God is faithful to his prophetic word and it will not return void to him.


  • giles
    Posted at 20:25h, 23 May

    This might seem a little off topic, but does anyone have any ideas about those strange noises from the sky are? Im starting to wonder if when it talks about all creation groaning in anticipation of the second coming, whether thats literally, as wierd as that sounds. I heard one, so have a couple of my friends, so they cant all be hoaxes on youtube.

  • Robert Macniel
    Posted at 04:33h, 24 May

    Those sounds sure are spooky. Thought I heard some trumpets in there to. Perhaps there’s war in the heavens and satan is getting his butt whooped.

  • Bob
    Posted at 12:39h, 24 May

    It’s hard to find a church in Ontario, Canada that’s not using Rick Warren products or bi-products. I have tried to reason with elder church leaders concerning some of the controversial works and associations the man has been involved in. I am stunned when they don’t see any major problem with “the common word” exchange in particular. Sometimes I think I am going crazy, I am so isolated from my community in my opposition to Rick Warren. I hope I’m not blowing the issue out of proportion, I know The Lord prayed for a united church. I don’t think I take any pleasure in being divisive on this issue but I do see a wicked tendency in “the old man” to be argumentative.

  • Joel
    Posted at 17:24h, 24 May

    One of Warren’s big problems is that he never seems to truly acknowledge legitimate criticism. He simply casts all criticisms as that of angry, dishonest, Pharisees. It in itself is a very dishonest approach, not only with others, but which himself.

  • David W. Lincoln
    Posted at 17:35h, 24 May
  • good4u
    Posted at 14:59h, 25 May


    I had the chance to listen to your suggested link and have gone thru part one of the three sections. She has a lot of background at the beginning for say, the first 45 minute and then really gets into the what I feel is accurate understanding of the historical setting and context of the Book of Revelation toward the end of part 1. The audience that the Apostle John was writing to who was the Apostolic Shepard of the Asia churches (i.e, modernTurkey) would have indeed understood what the Apostle John meant concerning Emperor worship! It’s modern application when the rise of the Caliphate transpires and the emergence of the Caliph/Madhi/AntiChrist will have direct application for the modern Body of Christ!

    I found what I’ve heard thus far, fascinating! If only modern pastors understood as much! Oh, how the approach to pastoring, preaching, and missions would change drastically! Amen?

    I’m looking forward to hearing the remaining links this holiday weekend. Thank you for posting these links!


  • Nelson
    Posted at 01:16h, 26 May


    Thank you for posting these 3 mp3s. I must give my opinion and warn readers that the speaker is steeped in a lot of “old” interpretations (Roman Antichrist, Can’t know the “season” of Christ’s return, etc.) None of us have a full understanding of the end-times because Christ hasn’t permitted that yet. This audio, however, although it gives “some” interesting facts is steeped in a historic/Roman Beast worldview that doesn’t match with scripture.

    Please be sure to “test the spirits” when listening to this audio to discern fact from fiction.


  • Jeanne
    Posted at 14:36h, 26 May

    Thanks, Nelson. I agree with your comments on the links David provided; I listened to all three. She also believes that the Church is now “Israel”. She doesn’t mention Daniel 12 and Revelation 12, where Michael “stands up” and casts Satan down, wherein he incarnates the Anti-Christ. I wonder how she views that. Looking at her list of sermons on her website, I didn’t find any on Daniel.

    FYI, I am going through your bloodspot and find it very interesting.

  • good4u
    Posted at 17:30h, 26 May

    Nelson is correct! The speaker on the three links from David is of the old paradigm of the Roman Empire, you must discern carefully regarding what she is teaching and at the time of my first post, I only heard the first link. Tho’ I have the ability to discern what I needed to understand from a historical context what the speaker was saying regarding the Apostle John’s audience he was writing to was valuable to me, personally. I could discount what she was saying regarding the Roman Empire completely.

    Sorry if my post caused any confusion to posters! Joel, I am solidly in the Islamic paradigm and supporter of the same!


  • Rick
    Posted at 19:35h, 27 May

    Robert, I have experienced one of the “Preachers” you wrote about. Here in Texas, at the church we were attending, one of the ministers does this. I asked him why he doesn’t use Scriptures more and he said, “you don’t have to quote scripture to speak truth”. Needless to say we are not attending that church anymore. One more note. Also at this church I wanted to talk to my “small group that I was apart of about Islam and how it fits into Bible prophecy. I was told by this same minister that I could not because it is too decisive and controversial. Then he sent a young lady “christian missionary” who spent time in the middle east (part of the insider movement) to explain to our small group why I was wrong about Islam. I was never given a chance to debut.

  • Joel
    Posted at 22:00h, 27 May


    You were right to flee such a church.

  • Robert Macniel
    Posted at 15:05h, 28 May

    I hope you can find a good spiritual home Rick. As far as quoting scripture, luckily we know that the scriptures are the only truth we should go by. When preaching is not founded on scripture we will stray very fast. I hope this does not grow into a new craze among ministers. Motivational speaking may look good, but I prefer the reality and the truth of God anytime over something that just looks good.

  • Henry
    Posted at 02:52h, 30 May

    Thanks for the link you posted a week ago.

  • Nelson
    Posted at 13:11h, 31 May

    Henry, you are very welcome. Hopefully it will awaken some souls. That is why the Spirit had us put it together.

  • good4u
    Posted at 00:12h, 01 June

    Hey Joel!

    This is slightly off topic here, but I “bump” into things on the Internet when I get bored on a Saturday night and it’s raining! LOL

    The attached link is an analysis performed by Stephen Coughlin in 2007 for the trial in US v. Holy Land Foundation. The memo is a chilling evidentiary trial document and the Islamist agenda has never changed. This memo is sober reading for any skeptic who is unsure about devout Islamist goals for world domination through a revived Islamic Caliphate. A recommend reading for anyone who visits this blog, imo.


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