Introduction to this Bible study: We are influenced by our culture and bad role models more than we realize. This Bible study gives advice on living in an ungodly culture and choosing positive role models. Ask God to help you evaluate what influences you and then declare independence from an impure culture.

Introduction: Bible study on how we are influenced by our culture and bad role models.

Doug Britton Books

Practical • Biblical • Cross-Cultural

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Watch Out for Cultural Contamination

Stay Alert — Don’t be Controlled by the Culture Around You

Doug Britton, MFT

Picture of person with drugs, not mindful of cultural contamination (or pollution)

Let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit. (2 Corinthians 7:1)

Cultural contamination (or “cultural pollution”)

(This printable online Bible study is adapted from Defeating Temptation: Biblical Secrets to Self-Control

Many people worry about pollution that impacts our environment. Although we should be concerned about this, we should be more alarmed by the way we are polluted by our culture.

Throughout the Bible, we are cautioned about the way ungodly cultures tempt us to sin. In the Old Testament, the Israelites were warned not to adopt the practices of those around them (Leviticus 18:1-5 and Deuteronomy 18:9-14). In the New Testament, James wrote that we should avoid “being polluted by the world” (James 1:27).

Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. (2 Corinthians 7:1)

We are more influenced by our culture than we realize. We embrace the world’s propaganda and become ineffective as God’s ambassadors. We accept lies and compromise our witness without knowing it. We try to fit into our culture instead of influencing our culture.

As you read this Bible study, ask God to show you any changes you should make. You are a branch in Christ’s tree and God is the gardener. Let him prune you of any ways the world has corrupted you.

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. (John 15:1-2)

 

Evaluate what influences you

We are assaulted by non-Christian opinions and often adopt them as our own without realizing it. Learn to carefully evaluate everything you see, read, or hear.

 

Ask yourself these questions when evaluating a specific activity:

  1. How does it match up to the Bible?
  2. Would Jesus be pleased by it?
  3. Does it encourage me to draw closer to God?
  4. Is it possible it might lead to sinful thoughts or actions?
  5. Does it push me away from God?

 

Personal application

What are the major non-Christian influences in your life?

Evaluate their effect on you using the above five questions.

 

Declare independence from an impure culture

It’s hard not to be influenced by ungodly voices in our culture, since they are always around us. To break free, we must realize that our citizenship is in heaven, and that God’s values and truths are all that matter.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)

Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. (2 Corinthians 6:17)

Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Philippians 3:19-20)

Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. (1 Peter 2:11)

The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. (1 John 2:17)

 

Personal application

What are some ways your culture pollutes you?

Write a prayer asking God to help you be aware of the way your culture influences you negatively. Also ask him to help you be free from these influences.

 

Choose godly role models

Rock stars, famous athletes, movie actors and TV personalities often are our heroes or role models, yet many of them provide poor examples of morals, ethics and faith. We should follow, instead, the examples of people of genuine faith and of Christ himself.

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1)

Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. (Philippians 3:17)

To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. (1 Peter 2:21)

 

Personal application

Write the names of your heroes or role models.

  • Draw lines through any who you think are bad influences.
  • Now write the names of people whose examples you would like to follow.

First Things First

Learning about God's nature, becoming a disciple

Defeating Temptation

Bible-based steps to take when you are tempted

Breaking Free from Drugs and Alcohol

Bible-based steps to freedom from drugs and alcohol

Who Do You Think You Are?

Enjoying God's love and discovering your purpose in life

In the Bookstore

First Things First

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Understanding God’s nature

Defeating Temptation

13.99

Overcoming sin in your life

Breaking Free (from Drugs and Alcohol)

6.99

Overcoming drugs and alcohol

Who Do You Think You Are?

12.99

See yourself as God sees you
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Copyright © 2004, 2016 Doug Britton. (Permission granted to print for personal use.)

Unless otherwise noted, all Bible verses are from the 1984 New International Version.

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