As I was thinking of this challenge to be God copiers, something came to mind. Like a soundtrack. Actually, it kept playing right through this sermon. When I was in the Boys Brigade there were a couple of hymns we used to belt out. Really make a noise. I remember being told to sing quieter and slower. Imagine that.
Who is on the Lord’s side? Who will serve the king?
Who will leave the worlds side? Who will face the foe?
By thy call of mercy, by thy grace divine, We are on the Lord’s side – Saviour we are Thine.
Some of you may know these and probably sang them in a more gentle way. But none of this is gentle. It's fighting talk. Fierce may be the conflict, strong may be the foe, but the King’s own army none can overthrow.
And this hymn gets major things right. And one major thing wrong, What it get right is there are two sides. Only two. And they clash. They are in conflict. Who will face the foe. Our church young people at the moment are studying the clash between God’s culture and the world’s culture. And that’s a good way of describing the contrast. Culture is a way of describing our habits, ideas, customs, social organization, values… what we think, believe, do… the whole bundle of our thoughts and behaviours. And the challenge is – which culture are we copying? That's the challenge for God copiers.
Look deeper and the changes are profound. One of my books is called The Death of Christian Britain. Sounds dramatic it’s a study of secularization in Britain 1800-2000. We don’t need a book to tell us how things have changed. In the 19th century, Britain was called a Christian county, People took God seriously, the Bible seriously, Christian code of behaviour seriously. For the great majority of people the Christian story was known and taken seriously.