Church as counterculture

The church has always been a counterculture of sorts. It serves a very useful function when it goes against the grain, when it challenges the assumptions of the culture. The church is strongly periodic in this respect. It sort of gravitates to the countercultural pole and then moves away for a while.

Regardless, the church needs to present a challenge to the culture. Just as a Christian understanding of metaphysics presents a challenge to Plato and other dualistic systems, just as a Christian understanding of morality presents a challenge to a world that doesn’t want to see anything as evil, just as a Christian understanding of mortality and the afterlife presents a challenge to the existing paradigm of temporality and meaninglessness, the church also presents a challenge to the culture’s view of sexuality.

Jesus challenges a rich young man with the prospect of losing his identity, of giving away all his money. The young man can’t do this, because he is defined in the first instance defined by his desire for wealth. If you can’t submit your money to the will of Christ, you can’t enter the kingdom. If you can’t part with who you are and what you want to do, you can’t enter the kingdom.

Jesus also challenges a culture that believes you are defined in the first instance by your sexuality. If you can’t submit your sexuality to the will of Christ, you can’t enter the kingdom. As Jesus says, “Go and sin no more”.

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