By CLICKING HERE, you can read more about the intentional, countercultural living I'm recommending. (Or, you can also listen to the podcast on the same subject. I'll be putting out a podcast episode on this post in a day or two.)
The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines counterculture as…
a culture with values and mores that run counter to those of established society
I was always taught that you should not define a word by using the word you're attempting to define in the definition... but there you have it. A counterculture is a culture with values and mores, (customs) that run counter to those of established society.
If that definition is meaningful, one we can work with, then an obvious question remains, at least for me: Can you think of any group or culture more "countercultural” than men pursuing godliness?
Several years ago, the men’s ministry at our church did a fantastic study entitled, Stepping Up. The whole title is, Stepping Up to Courageous Manhood. It’s a 10-week study that basically asks and seeks to answer what it means to be a godly man. (As an aside, I heartily recommend it.)
One of the things that seemed to connect with the men, over and over again throughout the ten weeks, was just how counter to our culture godly or biblical manhood really is. From basic values and priorities, to how God calls us to love and serve our families, to God-honoring ways to lead and bless our communities, it became clear to the men in the study who the real counterculture in our wider culture actually is.
Watch Out for Drifting
Going along with the world, like drifting downstream, is fairly easy and uncontroversial. Any old piece of dead wood can drift downstream. The problem with aimlessly drifting downstream is that you may not like where you end up. Certainly, Jesus gave us not only commands for how to live abundant and fulfilling lives as men, but he also provided the perfect model for how to do so. The instruction of the rest of biblical revelation also provides detailed commands and general principles for how to live the life to which God created, redeemed, and continues to call us. (We also learn much from the lives illustrated throughout Scripture... both how to live and how not to live... but in both cases there is much we can learn.)
To be sure, within the wider culture there are many subcultures, of which godly manhood is only one. And yet I wonder which of these subcultures is truly countercultural. Perhaps there’s more than one, but undoubtedly men pursuing authentic godliness must rank near the top.
If you want to join the real counterculture, then give yourself to Christ, follow him, worship him with others, get connected with those who study his word and pray together, who watch over one another in love, who together with other such men serve others in need and distress. These and a thousand other things have distinguished God’s people for thousands of years and will continue to do so. Let me encourage you to join the real counterculture of men pursuing godliness.
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Listen, my son, and be wise, and set your heart on the right path: (Proverbs 23:19)
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.