What do some people mean when they say they want messages to go deeper?
Number Four: Cultural Depth
Cultural depth is about providing biblical insight to current cultural issues. I could really improve on this one. Ironically, it's an area of great interest to me and I have devoted a lot of time and study to it over the years. But addressing current cultural issues is really tricky these days. Here are just some of the subjects I need to address more from a biblical and theological perspective:
- Sexual, marriage and family ethics
- The sanctity of human life
- Justice and compassion for the poor and vulnerable (locally and globally)
- War and peace
- Caring for God's creation
- Racial justice
- Issues around ethnicity, nationalism and patriotism
- Domestic and sexual abuse
- Mental illness
- Political involvement
What makes it so difficult, you ask? Just look at that list! Aside from the shere number of issues to discuss and so little time (about 30 minutes out of a 10,080 minute week!), here are some of the other reasons I find it hard to speak to cultural issues in my weekend messages:
- Complexity- most of these subjects are huge and need extended treatment in order not to be misunderstood. They need a firm balance of truth and grace.
- Misunderstandings - these topics are so emotionally and politically charged that it's almost impossible to be truly heard by both Christians and seekers who lack any semblance of a biblical world view. I think it's very important to be heard and I take my responsibility seriously because so much is at stake every week I preach.
- Misrepresentations - to be quite frank, sometimes I don't know what makes matters worse--how Christian positions are portrayed in the mainstream media or the poor examples of Christian thinking I often see in Christian and other alternative media. This makes being heard and getting the message of grace that much harder when speaking on controversial issues.
Okay, enough with the excuses. It's hard, but it's not impossible. It's risky, but it's essential. I've got to work on this kind of depth in my messages.