"Religion. Jesus turned the religious world on its head when He challenged the dark powers of the false deities, worshipped in Roman-Greco culture. As we see in Matthew 16:16-19, Jesus said He was building His church upon the rock that was next to the goat god, Pan, which was connected to the cave or pit called the gates of hell (into which people were alleged to be thrown alive if they did not appease the goat god Pan in their immoral rituals and worship).
We also see Paul challenging polytheism and witchcraft in Acts chapters 14 and 19 in his gospel messages." -- Joseph Mattera
That's odd. The cited Matthew verses make no mention of Pan. That aside, the times Paul challenged false religion was always in the context of the Gospel. This is the point Mattera and the NAR keep missing. It is not about this world beloved. It is about saving people out from this world.
'Art. Paul recharacterized art and poetry by renaming and reframing their statue to the unknown God and giving meaning to popular Greek poetry (see Acts 17). A new genre of music was created for the Gentile world. Ephesians 5:18-19 says: "Do not be drunk with wine, for that is reckless living. But be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord." "Music. Paul taught the church to make use of the Hebrew Psalms, as well as the creation of new hymns and spontaneous spiritual songs of the heart, which created a new genre of music for the Gentile world." -- Joseph Mattera
Ugh. Paul did not "reframe and rename" the statue to the unknown god. He presented the true God through the Gospel. Even his reference to new music is unfounded as Psalms were used by the Jewish people for songs long before the New Testament. Remember these are the reasons given for a Christian responsibility to change culture. That because the bible implores believers to speak to believers using Psalms and hymns that this must mean we should conquer the cultural mountain of entertainment. When we really think about it, what has the NAR attempts at conquering this mountain wrought? Jesus Culture, Hillsong, and a me-centric form of self-worship. In a matter of years we have gone from How Great Thou Art to Oh How He Loves Me. You cannot dabble in the world and not be polluted by it. We have created a new genre of music for the world that teaches a false christ and theology that will not save anyone. Consider Healer was written by someone hiding a pornography addiction by faking cancer. Consider that I am a Friend of God was written while Israel Houghton was having an affair on is wife. Consider the Gungors and all the "Christian" artists who have left the church to pursue the wealth and fame of that mountain.
"All of the above demonstrated that the church--as a new nation--was not focused merely on going to heaven but rather introduced a new vision for life on the earth related to family, politics, business, music, art and philosophy as the "new man" (see Eph. 2). The church was called to envision and walk out a new creation (see 2 Cor. 5:21) that began at the resurrection and ascension of the true King of kings and Lord of all--Jesus Christ. As they modeled the kingdom of God in their own subculture, they were able to export it to every aspect of the communal life of the city they were immersed in." -- Joseph Mattera
This conclusion is factually ridiculous. Mattera has proven nothing. He has made assertion after assertion that seem to come from only his deceitfully wicked heart and certainly not from scripture. First of all the church is not a "new nation." That is made to fit the NAR narrative. Don't you just love the downplaying of heaven? Beloved THAT is the NAR. This world over heaven. This world needs revival. The notion that the church was not "merely" focused on heaven is blasphemous. It was entirely focused on heaven and the mechanism for getting people there -- the Gospel. The new man referred to in Ephesians 2 has to do with salvation and reconciling us back to God through Christ and His work on the cross! 2Corinthians 5:21 summarizes our new roles as ambassadors for Christ in bringing the Gospel. Are you sensing a theme yet Joseph? The notion that the early church exported their subculture to affect every aspect of communal life is asinine. The church was largely persecuted in the early going. They were not trying to influence culture as much as they were trying to survive it.
"In light of this article, we need to ask ourselves some questions: Do we embody and celebrate biblical values or the values of the secular humanistic worldview? Are we a disciple of Christ who integrates our faith in the workplace, or merely a Sunday church attender? Should churches empower disciples for the workplace, or only the church place?" -- Joseph Mattera