he word “culture” brings
to mind a wide range of
current issues: abortion,
attacks on law enforcement,
entitlement mentality, acceptance
of the LGBTQ agenda, redeﬁning
distance between the rich
and poor, disintegrating
family structure. And the
list could go on.
While evidence of the world’s
decay may vary from generation
to generation, the fact of sin is
unchanging. From the moment of
the fall of mankind recorded in
Genesis 3, the ways of God have been
diametrically opposed by the devices of Satan.
We live in a sin-cursed world culture described in
Scripture as being under the domain of the Devil,
the “god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4).
So according to Jesus Christ, how should believers
relate to this decadent culture?
Relationship to Our Culture
Probably the most pointed instruction given by
Jesus to help us understand our role with the
world is provided in the intimate moments of
his High Priestly prayer recorded in John 17. He
describes our relationship to our world with a
series of four prepositions.
Jesus begins by declaring in John 17:6 that He
has “manifested thy name unto the men whom
thou gavest me out of the world.” True followers
of Christ are OUT OF the world where they
physically reside. Simply stated, we don’t ﬁt in the
But Jesus continues in John 17:11 by stating that,
“I am no more in the world, but these [believing
ones] are in the world.” Our denial of practicing
this world’s culture does not remove us from it.
We do live IN this world. Our presence should
be evident (in), even as we are different (not of).
However, as believers our disdain for our culture
should never be seen as permission to cease loving
the people of our culture. We must love the lost
like Christ modeled for us as he displayed moving
compassion for the needy culture of His day.
The third prepositional description is clearly
implied though not directly stated by Jesus.
Having afﬁrmed our assignment to exist in the
world, Jesus quickly prays, “Holy Father, keep
through thine own name those whom thou
hast given me” (John 17:11). In these words Jesus
describes believers as being kept FROM the world.
Christians must guard themselves lest they fail
to be eligible for the desired unity portrayed by
By Dr. Daniel Anderson
Our denial of
world’s culture does
not remove us from
it. We do live IN this
world. Our presence
should be evident
(in), even as we are
different (not of).
THE CHRISTIAN AND CULTURE ACCORDING TO JESUS CHRIST