Examples And Patterns

In a recent post “Art: Painting Inside The Lines” I mentioned God providing Moses with a pattern for the tabernacle He commanded the people of Israel to construct. This idea of creating a pattern seems to be one of God’s ways of working.

In a very bold, dramatic move, He chose a people of no special standing and set them apart to be holy as He was holy. The idea was, the nations around Israel would see this relationship God had with His chosen people and how He blessed them, and they would therefore acknowledge God as God.

First God set Himself up as the standard of holiness. Next He set Israel up as the model for relationship.

In another bold move, He later gave His Son as the One to whom believers are to be conformed. In other words, Jesus is the “gold standard,” and we are to allow God to mold us and make us after His image.

The Apostle Paul even writes that we are to be imitators of him as he is an imitator of Christ.

Patterns, examples, standards. You’d almost conclude a model is worth a thousand pictures, and we know what a picture is worth.

Here’s my question. How is it that Christendom has adopted so much of the culture, as if the culture is the pattern, the standard, the example?

We see it in churches that adopt a “business model” and try to “sell” Christianity or their own local assembly.

We see it in Christians trying to produce a moral nation rather than working to make disciples as Jesus instructed.

We see it in Christian bloggers who decide to “heresy hunt” rather than love our neighbors when Jesus clearly said our love would be what the world would be attracted to.

But I have to bring it home to my own industry. We see it in Christian writers who imitate secular writers and popular content rather than setting the standard and dictating the trends.

I just read a somewhat related blog post by Rebeca Seitz—not about writing but about marketing/promotion, not about content but about strategy. That’s OK, I think her point is well made.

We can fuss and fume and complain, or we can lead. Set the pattern. Invite others to follow.

Of course I don’t think that’s something a Christian should decide apart from God’s direction. Even in our leading, we still need to be followers first.

Published in: on September 22, 2010 at 5:36 pm  Comments Off on Examples And Patterns  
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