By James Bartlett, 25 April 2011
I was in a meeting of about 20 people from a wide variety of conservative backgrounds when the topic of Christian culture came up. It was a heart-felt, open and thorough discussion that lasted about one hour.
Some of the people in the group figured that since we were all conservatives, we were all Christians; and we already have a Christian culture. Another person thought we wouldn’t want a completely Christian culture because men like Thomas Jefferson would not rise to influence. Most agreed the culture had declined in their lifetimes and that America needs to return to its Christian cultural heritage, but couldn’t articulate what Christian culture was, is or how it was lost. One or two figured that living by the U.S. Constitution was all that Christian culture involved. Most figured that Christian culture will never return, and using common sense is all that can be expected or needed.
The result of this meeting of diverse individuals was a general consensus, with the exception of one self-identified Deist, that attention to the Christian influence on culture is important, but difficult or impossible to define and implement.
When starting with the presupposition that the 66 books of the Bible are the Word of God, principally teaching what man is to believe concerning God and what duty God requires of man, it is easy to find an authoritative and infallible definition for Christian culture. To read the rest of this article, please visit the NDHSA blog at http://ndhsa.blogspot.com.
A Definition of Christian Culture
Culture is basically everything that a person, state or nation believes and practices - along with their traditions and rituals - which extends to what is passed down through the generations.
Since (1) Christians are commanded to teach all nations everything which Jesus taught until the end of the world and the fullness of Christ (Matthew 28:20; Ephesians 4:13), and (2) Jesus Christ is the Word of God (John 1:1), then Christians are commanded to teach the Word of God to all nations until all nations are full of God’s Word. A completely Christian culture in a state, therefore, would happen when all the people in the state are doing God’s Word (James 1:22) in all areas of life and thought.
Working toward Christian culture involves teaching God’s Word to our families and nation; and bringing into captivity every thought everywhere to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Do we have a Christian culture in North Dakota?
Yes, we do have some Christian culture in North Dakota. Probably your home is a part of the growing Christian culture in North Dakota. As you meditate on God’s Word, pray, obey the Holy Spirit, and put God’s Word into practice in your life, marriage, family, work, home school, economics, politics, and hobbies. That is Christian culture.
Could there be more Christian culture in North Dakota?
Yes, there could be more Christian culture in North Dakota, just as each Christian is growing slowly into the image of Christ. There will, therefore, be more Christian culture in North Dakota as God leads His people to preach the gospel and the Spirit of God converts and renews hearts and minds. Furthermore, as Christians look to God and His Word to transform their beliefs, practices, traditions, rituals, and that which is passed down through the generations by North Dakota individuals and institutions, North Dakota will slowly see more Christian culture.
Measuring Christian Culture
Pastors are able to measure Christian culture since they watch the soul of each Christian under their care and minister the Word of God to them. This contributes to growth in the Christian faith and conformity to Christ (Hebrews 13:17). Some pastors are also able to guage Christian culture as a composite of individual souls and faithfulness to the Word of God in businesses, schools, colleges, institutions and governments. For example, since 1987, the Nehemiah Institute has been measuring Christian culture using surveys among Christian young people.
The North Dakota 2022 Project
Seeing opportunities for Christian cultural reform in North Dakota, the North Dakota 2022 Project was launched to deliberately encourage more of an observable measure of the historic Christian culture in North Dakota by the year 2022.
The North Dakota 2022 Project, as the Holy Spirit leads and directs, hosts meetings to connect Christian people who will themselves develop and work together on projects such as: start churches, host debates, train and campaign for political candidates, write articles to revitalize Christian cultural engagement, host father and son leadership training conferences, provide strategic high school and college topics and projects, develop entrepreneurships and apprenticeships, undo a result of evolution in the law or medical professions, document the growth of Christian culture in North Dakota, and more.You are invited to participate in The North Dakota 2022 Project if the Lord Jesus Christ is calling you to do so. The original Westminster confession of faith will be used as the statement of faith for this project because it connects every thought directly to a specific Scripture and is thereby considered the best summary of Scripture ever written. It was also significant to the building of the Christian culture that existed in the early American colonies because it speaks directly and relevantly to political issues and offers specific, Biblical, and workable answers to questions people ask.
You can begin participating in the 2022 Project by listening to your favorite topics at http://pocketcollege.comThere is no cost to participate in The North Dakota 2022 Project. Call me if you would like to be invited to the meetings, or if you have questions.
James Bartlett is the Executive Director of the North Dakota Home School Association (NDHSA.org) and the Biblical Concourse of Home Universities (BiblicalConcourse.com). He and his wife Lynn home educate four boys on a small farm in the Turtle Mountains of North Dakota (BartlettFarm.us). They can be reached at 701-263-4574.