Culture, according to the dictionary is a : the integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations : the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group; See Merriam-Webster
So then, culture is basically all the beliefs, values, standards, norms, and typical practices of a group of people. And Christians are a group of people, we are identified with Christ, as in CHRISTian, and we have a bedrock of beliefs and convictions about the Creator, the Creation, and even the purpose and meaning of life. What sustains faith among Christians is our culture, although the subject of preserving a Christian culture is as neglected as the subject of the theology of nations. But culture is important, it transmits truth and beliefs not only to the next generation, but to the greater world around us, Additionally, culture edifies and support the practitioner of the Christian faith and helps them avoid temptations or pressure to compromise.
We have a neglected but real need to preserve a Christian culture. Indeed, we have moral obligation and a human right to preserve a Christian culture among ourselves. To strip away our own culture, and our ability or determination to maintain that culture, is to place ourselves in constant temptation of to make us vulnerable to coercive influences.
I envision a fraternal society based on a specific, but Christian, sociocultural identity, a nation of people, united around a shared lifestyle and governance discipline, a shared purpose (to live missionally and to help Christian refugees), and shared convictions. It is an intentional nationhood not based on race or bloodlines. This is just one idea, one single approach, but I think Christians in general must avail themselves of this valuable, and powerful, tool for preserving our own
A Christian fraternal society can provide a legally recognized framework for preserving a Christian culture among Believers of similar convictions, which would necessarily go beyond Christian universals. Through the structure of a fraternal society, certain goods and services of particular importance to culture, such as products and services related to marriage, can be provided exclusively to members of a fraternal society. Such services would not then be considered in the public space, they are designed for members only. What is more, fraternal societies have a long set of legal precedents which explicitly allow them to be exclusive. In fact, one of the chief requirements for being a fraternal society is that you cater to an exclusive and homogeneous group, whether it a trade, and ethnicity, a religion, or even a philosophy. The identity must be specific, homogeneous, and easily distinguishable.
Fraternal societies don't say "everyone EXCEPT FOR this group" can be a member, they say "everyone in THIS SPECIFIC GROUP can be a member." So, a society could say "every traditional Christian who has these shared convictions and shares this way of life is welcome." It is simply a fraternal community for people LIKE THAT. So, if a fraternal society had member services, such as health care or wedding services, that are exclusively for its members, then such services could be rendered in a manner totally in keeping with the cultural convictions and values of their members.
Spiritually speaking, we are a city on a hill, a People set apart. We should be standing out, life a physical fortress on a mountain surrounded by the rest of the community, although we are speaking in spiritual and cultural terms. We should be witnessing TO this culture, we should not fall under its control, we must rise above it But do we live that out, do we take positive and practical measures to live that out in deed, as well as in word?
While it is true, such services as I have described, which has a cultural impact and basis, could only be offered to members, a larger society could support many providers, profitably, for this purpose. These providers would not be forced to choose between their faith and the libertine culture that predominates the powerful in this present society. Truly the Trojan Horse of a world-as-spoil anti-culture has been the rethinking of sexuality, marriage, and the family in ways that run afoul of Christian moral and ethical orthodoxy. While it is not our duty to impose our orthodoxy, neither is it right to expect of us that we compromise our convictions to suit this libertine culture.
Through the structure of a fraternal society, Christians can develop their own culture-bearing institutions and services which are outside the domain of the worldlings. This does not require withdrawal of our whole lives from the society in which we live as witnesses, It is not an either-or choice,
But as Scripture shows us, it is better to cut out your eye then to enter into hell. In other words, if the current society gets to a point where every act of commerce and social interaction is predicated on your violating your moral and ethical convictions, then separation is preferable to being lured into sin and damming your soul. On the other hand, very few acts of commerce or social interaction are so organized as to involve our convictions being "tested", therefore there is no reason to withdraw from this society totally. And even if we had to materially provide for ourselves mostly outside this society's structures, we would still be present enough to bear witness for Jesus to the people around us.
The preservation of a Christian culture is our right and duty, it serves our progeny, it shields us from temptation and ungodly influences, and it is itself a powerful witness to the world around us.
Every movement of every kind, whether for good or evil, that has ever had a major impact on society has this foundation of internal cultural autonomy and some form of mutual self-reliance. The early Believers in the 1st century were far more materially separated from the society around themselves than we are, and yet had a far greater witness and impact on the society around them than we do today.
I have a vision for a specific Christian fraternal society. But I envision of league or federations of multiple Christian societies which is based on Christian universals which are the bedrock for any Christian society of "nation of people whose God is the Lord", and which could act to unify the whole Body of Christ. I would propose that Communities For Christ could be a vehicle for such a meta-society, a federation of Christian societies all united around the same universals and dedicated to advancing the Kingdom of God among men.
We cannot continue to let the ungodly dictate what culture will govern our lives, choices, relationships, and associations, We have a means of staking out our own cultural space, the fraternal society, and we should avail ourselves of that.