How should I respond to the culture's influence on my family?

July 18, 2016

Article By: Generations

Chad Roach: So I've got a one-year-old son and it struck me the other day that the question in modern parenting is a little different then when I was growing up. When you're raising a one-year-old son today, you're not sure if he's gonna learn how to work your iPhone first, or he's gonna be eating solid food. Things have changed a lot over 20 or 30 years. The entertainment, the culture around, is not what it was even when I was growing up, much less when my parents were growing up. And I think every parent has to ask the question at some point in time, "What's happening to the culture around us today?" And you wrote the book, The Tattooed Jesus: What Would The Real Jesus Do With Pop Culture? Was that the question you were trying to answer with that book?

Kevin Swanson: Yes, it's huge. The influence of pop culture, way, way more significant today than it was when Laura Ingalls Wilder was on the Little House in the Prairie. She was not tuned in to top 40 stations, she had no iPods, she didn't understand Hollywood, she never went to see a movie. It was just Pa and Ma and the pastors that had the influence on their lives. And that's the way it worked for 5,930 years, until the modern day. And so this massive cultural revolution has created a tremendous challenge for parents in the 21st century. That's why I wrote the book.

Chad Roach: And oftentimes parents, it's like they're fighting King Kong to be able to define the culture of their home. It used to be that parents defined the culture of their home, but hardly anymore, hardly anymore.

Daniel Craig: Because it's coming in through the ear buds. It's coming in through pretty much any form of media that... And frankly, I think it's hard for parents to detect. That was one of the things I appreciated about my dad, is he had this... I don't know what it was, but he could pick that cultural influence up and he was very sensitive to those cultural influences. And I think one of the reasons that was important for us as kids, was because it shaped our appetites. And those appetites that get shaped in a young man or young woman's life early on in age really form and determines what they feed themselves for the rest of their lives. So I was grateful for that.

Kevin Swanson: It's crucial to bring a family culture into bear, and that's the encouragement here. Be sure that the word of God is forming the culture in your home and it's not Hollywood, it's not Nashville, it's not the pop music and pop movies that are doing it to you. Let's be sure that we're discerning. A lot of what's happening is that people are getting sucked in by the mode, by the method, by the medium itself. They don't realize the medium is forming their entire culture, their whole world view, their social systems. Let's be sure we understand what's happening to us, let's discern properly. We're not saying, "Don't listen to music, don't watch movies." We're saying, "Discern it. Understand what's going on."

Chad Roach: And one of the things the title of the book, The Tattooed Jesus, implies is that there's many different approaches to this, even within Christianity today. And not all of them are going to be equally consistent with the Jesus Christ that we actually find in the word and the biblical approach.

Kevin Swanson: That's right. You have to apply biblical approach. Modern world is moving more and more towards paganism, that's why The Tattooed Jesus. We got asked the question, "Is it right for Christians to engage in tattooing, body mutilation, cannibalism, etcetera?" All these are modern forms of culture. But our question is, "Is this a Christian form? And what are the signs and symbols that are used in our present day? And how are we dragging those into our own lifestyles, our own culture, and seeing our own culture turn pagan versus Christian?"

About Generations

The vision of Generations (formerly Generations with Vision) is to pass on the faith to the next generation through the biblical family, discipleship, and education. We equip families and churches around the world through our daily radio programs, discipleship resources, the Christian Curriculum Project, and discipleship events and retreats.

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