This is a repost from an article that I wrote for The Gospel Coalition earlier this week.
My Sunday school teacher once talked about “Christians” vs. “The World” and demonstrated his point by asking a high school senior to stand on a chair and a seventh grader to stand beside the chair. The seventh grader’s task was to try to pull the senior off of the chair. The seventh grader won each battle. My teacher later explained the parable by telling us that that chair represented “being a Christian,” while the ground represented “the world.” Christians were cautioned against trying to pull someone up onto the chair because, as he said, “It is easier for the world to pull us down than for us to pull the world up.” This analogy became a blanket illustration for a practice of avoiding movies rated PG and above, listening to secular music, cussing, drinking beer, and attending high school parties. Subtly, this analogy became the working worldview for how I approached life, culture, and ministry.
Not coincidentally, most of the folks in my Sunday school class also grew up with the chair illustration as their default worldview. Even the ones who lived pagan college years still held to this worldview. They knew that the world is bad and that Christians should not be a part of it. Out of honor, many decided to check out of Christianity. What I came to realize is that the primary struggle for the folks in my Sunday school class is not obedience to God, but how to share the gospel with “people who will pull me down.” They were asking for a helpful paradigm for thinking about Christianity and culture.
You can read mere here.