Daniel 7:13-14 I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.
Throughout history there has been a conflict between culture and Christianity. And the debate, over the years, has been framed in this way – do Christians accommodate the culture, that is do we make concessions in order to fit in, or fit with the times – or – do we seek to transform our culture, bringing it to our Savior, that He might make it a new creation? That is the question!
Today we celebrate the feast of Christ the King. And just the title brings us into conflict with our culture. Our culture says all kings are tyrants, and should be overthrown, and the people shall rule. Our culture says that the only thing we should serve, are our own interests. While our language might talk about democracy and freedom – the practical application has everyone as a king, each with our own domain. How else do you explain the saying, "A Man’s home is his castle?" For men have also come to know, that the kitchen is often in someone else’s domain.
Our culture would like us to accommodate our faith, forget all this talk about kingdoms and who is LORD, and focus instead on what a friend we have in Jesus, we can still talk about him as our Savior and as the Good Shepherd. Isn’t that enough? If we take the lordship language seriously, people will be offended, its almost as bad as trying to argue that slavery is good. Everyone knows that slavery cannot be good, otherwise why did we fight the civil war?
The problem with accommodating culture, is that, in the process, we cover up our own slavery to sin. In the John’s gospel, the Jews argued that they had never been slaves to anyone – Jesus response is that anyone who commits sin, is a slave to sin – that is, if you sin, you are not free, even if you imagine that you are. Jesus makes a remarkable claim, only He can set us free.
There is however a paradox, for while Christ can free us from sin death and the devil, he also calls all who believe to follow him, to acknowledge Jesus is my Lord, who rules over my entire life. So, while he offers us freedom – it is a freedom that is quite different, than what our culture speaks of, when it speaks of freedom.