5 questions about building culture
Mark 3: 1-6 “Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. 2 Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. 3 Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.” 4 Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent. 5 He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. 6 Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.”
Jesus had said he was Lord of the Sabbath. Now they wanted to test this lordship; will he continue to break the laws that have stood for generations and can be supported Scripturally or will his lordship comply with their beliefs and practices? Some of them believed that Jesus couldn’t resist seeing a sick person; he just had to get involved. Maybe they planted the man with the withered hand? Maybe they went looking for a diseased man and told him to go to the synagogue and they did all this to trap Jesus?
In recent years there has been much talk about building culture. Books, seminars and conference speakers have done well in bringing such an important aspect to our attention. Our church culture is very important and a quick google search will help you in ‘how to define a healthy church culture’, ‘7 steps to a great church culture’ and the ‘8 dangers of church culture’ etc.
This passage today raises some important questions for the culture we want to build:
Does the culture trap Jesus to be a Jesus that complies to the culture; does it create a Jesus that is acceptable to those within it?
Does the culture create new behaviours for people to obey and are these behaviours difficult or easy?
Does the culture use or manipulate people or does it seek to heal people?
Does the culture create inflexibility in the people’s lives, stubbornness against change, a fear for anything new?
Does the culture mean that the ‘drawbridge’ goes up and silence is commanded when it is questioned and challenged?
If yes, maybe you want to offend that culture by being Christ-like. If you do, then that culture will break from you.