Understanding First Culture Christianity
Our culture has subconsciously conditioned us to accept three things when it comes to viewing life. First, the culture we are born into is the lens through which we must interpret life. Second, the culture of the world is the second one we must embrace in order to make sense of the one we are born into. And last but not least, the culture of our faith—Christianity—should be little more than an accent to the first two cultures. The majority of people live like this, operating according to those first two cultures and only seeing their faith culture as an afterthought. And we have fallen in line with the majority mind-set, even though the majority is walking in sin.
We need to understand that our first culture is not one of race, economics, or national origin—it’s one of Christ. In fact, maybe we should refer to that culture not as Christianity, but as CHRISTianity. The term CHRISTianity is an intentionally new one, but one rooted in faith. It emphasizes CHRIST instead of the religious system we have created, exploring the timeless truth of Scripture highlighted through the Great Commission of Christ, Peter’s statements about being a chosen race, and a smattering of other verses. Pulled together, we find a new—but also very old—ideology that can radically change the way we view and live life. First culture CHRISTianity breaks the mold of the American paradigm that has so adamantly and predominantly pressed its way into the body of Christ.
Just as our culture has ingrained the three above qualities in us, to live out first culture CHRISTianity we must do three different things. First, we must accept CHRISTianity as a literal race. Second, we must come to believe that race has its own and primary culture. Then third, we must view each other through the lens of Christ.
So whether you are African American, Hispanic, European American, Asian, or another of the world’s many races, you are primarily defined by the chosen race of CHRISTianity. Everything else becomes secondary. Why? Because Christ—through His life, death, resurrection, and Word—says so. Last time I checked, our generational disobedience to this truth didn’t leave the world marveling at the love we have for one another saying, “Man, they must be Christ’s disciples.”
The revolution is happening. People are waking up to the reality that we have yet to live out the gospel truths concerning race. Race and culture have been our gods for too long, even within the body of Christ, and consequently, our lives have not changed in the ways they are supposed to. God has not called us to individuality while we wait for heaven, where we will be united as one. He has called us to see those who do the will of the Father as mother, brothers, and sisters (Matthew 12:49-50). Our cultural history has forged in us a dormant racism, an ethnocentric, separate but equal mentality, that is accepted and lived among Christ followers. This implicit separation is the furthest thing from biblical community and the exaltation of Jesus Christ.
Red Revolution ultimately calls you to question your allegiances. Are they to a flag, a country, a race, a culture, an ideology—or is your allegiance solely (like the title of the Derek Webb song) to “a king and a kingdom”? Are you ready to enlist in a revolution that is Spirit-led, biblically based, and challenges you to see the world through the blood-stained lens of Christ? The revolution is rising, and it starts with you.
About the Author
Adam grew up in Detroit, Michigan, before moving to Savannah, Georgia, to attend Savannah College of Art and Design, where he received a bachelor’s degree of fine arts in fashion design. The Lord then allowed Adam to attend Dallas Theological Seminary. Adam is one of the associate pastors of The Village Church at the Dallas Northway campus. He is also the director and vision-caster for Red Revolution and the author of the Threads small group study, Red Revolution. Adam resides in Dallas, Texas, where he lives out his calling of infiltrating Christ in the culture with his wife, Dawntoya, and daughter, Zipporah.