Christianity is a culture, it is a Biblical culture. All that Jesus lived, and taught showed us the kind of culture that is acceptable to God. Godly culture is what we read about in our Bibles. From Genesis to Revelation the God’s culture is revealed. The sermon on the mount is a microcosm of this godly culture. “Christian Culture”, is found in those that follow the teachings of Jesus, they are a particular society, with particular beliefs, way of life, way of thinking, behaving, and working. Not a sub-culture, but a culture.
Jesus intent in his example, and teaching was to show the world a godly culture, the way intended for man to live from the beginning. Jesus wasn’t teaching anything new, he was living out the principles written in God’s word.
Christian culture began as soon as the church began, the Apostles began to impart to those newly baptized the teaching of Jesus. And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47 (ESV)
Immediately this godly culture takes shape in Jerusalem, the heart of Judaism, “Christian” culture begins to take shape. All who believed were together and had all things in common. The teachings of the Apostles reaches more, and more people and the number of believers grows day by day. A new culture flourishes and begins to influence all those around them. But like most cultures, those that are apart of this goldy culture are cloistering together within Jerusalem. As they begin to reach critical mass, the community around them begins to react to their growth. After Stephen is stoned to death for his preaching persecution against the Christians begins in earnest. And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him. But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison. Acts 8:1-3 (ESV)
This new culture had become a threat to the Jewish culture that had been in place for centuries. These new practices, and teachings would not be tolerated. The believers are scattered. The persecutors of the Way unintentionally help to spread this godly culture.
© 2015 Leo J. Woodman