Sunday, November 8, 2020

The 7 Mountains of Influence in Society: Education, Religion, & Media

I’d like to talk with you today about the 7 mountains of influence in society.  I’m super excited about going through this teaching with you, it’s a great biblical teaching, it originates with teachers like Francis Schaeffer and Bill Bright. And we’re gonna look at the seven key areas of society and how to influence them as Christians.

So what are the seven mountains of influence in society? I don’t know if you’ve read this, but many great cities across the world existed on seven hills. The most famous of course being Rome, but also include Lisbon in Portugal, Providence Rhode Island, Washington D. C.  and the ancient city of Constantinople.

The idea of the seven hills is that society is expressed in certain key areas which include: Education, religion, the media, the arts, business, government and family. We as Christians are called to influence these areas of society for good, and toward faith in Christ, and moral uprightness.  On these seven hills there is a constant battle going on between the forces of the church and the forces of evil.  And our call as Christians is to engage on these seven hills to influence the world for Jesus, and be salt and light to the world, uplifting and upholding righteousness.

So today we’re going to look at the first three hills of influence, which include education, religion, and the media. 

Let’s talk a little bit about the realm of education. So you have these seven hills in society and one of them is education.  This would include areas like the public education system in the United States, it would also include Christian schools, the universities, as well as younger children’s education, and home schooling. Here we see Christians fighting against a public education system where God is not welcome, and Christianity is scorned unfortunately. 

 The public education system is extremely secular in the united states.  I’ve heard it said that there is only one state sanctioned religion pushed in public schools, the religion of naturalism.  This is the idea that everything can be broken down to nature, and there is no supernatural realm. That is really what is taught in public schools, the religion of naturalism, the religion of evolutionary biology.  It’s unfounded and based on unprovable presuppositions.  But it’s still taught as the state mandated religion.  So Christians are losing this battle on the hill of education.  There is of course the charter school movement, which seeks to provide another option other than public education, which include some Christian education.  There are many Christian primary schools, Catholic schools, protestant schools, and tons of the education done in the 3rd world is done by Christians, particularly The Salvation Army has a lot of schools overseas in 3rd world nations.  And I’m so grateful for that. There is also the home school movement, which is a great blessing for Christians.

So how can we fight on this hill of education? Well, we can teach our children about God and the Bible, and about following Jesus.  And if you work in a school, you can be a prayer warrior, praying for the children in the class rooms, and working to help change the system to allow for more free expression of religious thought.  You can speak out and raise your voice for children.  And you can help get children involved in after school programs that teach biblical truth.  Is God calling you to fight the battle on the hill of education?  There is a lot work that needs to be done on this hill. And right now most children in this country are taught an anti-christian worldview in public education. Children are indoctrinated to reject God and embrace naturalistic ideology.  And that’s very sad.  So please pray.

Let’s talk about the second hill, the hill of religion.  So the hill of religion is where we find the church. We find catholic churches, mainline protestant churches, evangelical churches, and cults, Judaism, Hinduism, and other religions as well.  The battle on this hill is fought in many ways. We fight to make sure our churches aren’t becoming all about dead religion.  We fight to make sure our churches remain biblical and don’t fall off the cliff of false teachings and liberal theology. We fight the battle to make sure that biblical Christianity is available everywhere and reaching people who are lost in sin. 

How are we doing? Well, we see a lot of churches in virtually every city in the United States, at least in small and medium sized cities. But unfortunately we’re increasingly losing ground in big cities. 

We see much of the church is staunchly biblical and standing up for Jesus. But we also see churches that have gone apostate, they’ve rejected biblical theology and have embraced progressive ideology.  We’ve seen entire church movements go apostate over the marriage issue.  We’ve seen church movements shift toward prosperity gospel teachings. So the battle is pretty fierce on this hill as well.  And we always want to make sure that we’re teaching true, spirit filled Christianity, not dead religion. 

How can you impact this hill? One of the best ways is to practice what you preach.  Really live out your Christian faith in all areas of your life.  Be that example.  Another way is to make sure you’re praying and studying that Bible. Because there are a lot of false teachings out there in the world today.  There are a lot of churches out there that no longer endure sound doctrine, but instead they find teachers who teach what their itching ears want to hear, about marriage, about the sanctity of life, about sin, and about heaven and hell.   

But I think on this hill we’re holding the line.  There is still a strong biblical Christian movement in our society, fighting against false teaching and apostate denominations. But the battle is fierce, and false teachings are always attempting to sneak into our midst. It’s insidious and dangerous.  So always be on guard. 

The third hill of influence I’d like to talk about today is the media.  The media would include television news networks like CNN, Fox, NBC, ABC, and CBS just to name a few.  Also newspapers like The New York times, The Washington Post, and the Wallstreet Journal.  This would include many radio networks and radio shows like Talk Radio, NPR, and so on. This would include magazines like Time, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and Vogue.  And this would include more broadly the internet, and all the various website, blogs, and groups that exist there.

Christians were increasingly crushed and defeated completely on the hill of media since the 1950s and 1960s. Virtually all the news networks and newspapers were very secular, very non-Christian, and into the 90s and 2000s, even anti-Christian, portraying Christians as backwards and bigoted. 

But then came about the advent of the internet.  And finally, many hundreds of thousands of Christians found themselves with a voice.  I would compare it to the impact of the printing press or the radio or television in it’s massive change to the landscape.  Those who had good access through TV and radio have lamented the advent of the internet but many others have celebrated it.

There are hundred and thousands of new Christian blogs, websites, news networks, Facebook groups, online magazines, and forums thanks to the internet.  The internet gave everyone a voice. 

Which in some ways was a bad thing, we got a lot more confusion and bad information and so on. But it’s also a great thing, because Christians once again had a public square that they could engage in, to share the gospel and get the word of Christ out there.  

 We see all sorts of Christian websites and news networks and blogs out there.  Just to name a few: CBN, the Christian broadcasting network, Cross Examined, The Christian Post, Bible Gateway dot com, Crosswalk, Christianbook.com, Christianaudio.com, and so many more.  So we’re starting to find our voice on this hill of influence, and we’re starting to slowly retake influence on this hill. But unfortunately the television and newspaper news is still very powerful and able to actively distort the public’s perception of Christianity and portray Christians as mean, hateful, bigoted, and backwards. So we have to raise our voices and fight the good fight on this hill.

So how can you fight on this hill? Maybe God is calling you to start a Christian blog.  Or to start a Christian youtube channel.  Maybe God is calling you post about Jesus on your social media accounts like facebook, twitter, pinterest, and so on.  Maybe God is calling you to start a newspaper or new website, or provide some service or product online to reach people for Jesus. Pray about it.  We can all stand up for Jesus somehow through media. 

So in conclusion today, we’re going to continue to go through these areas of influence in society, and through this I want you to be thinking about: How can I influence Jesus in these areas in my personal life?  That is the ultimate question. How can we fight and win these battles to be holy soldiers of Jesus Christ, called to holy warfare?  Think about it, and pray, then take action.

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