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SINGAPORE, 23 NOVEMBER 2008 — IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN a lunch time session, but there was a deeper hunger amongst the delegates in Singapore Expo’s Hall 7 to sink into the spiritual and intellectual feast presented by Dr AR Bernard, Senior Pastor of New York’s Christian Cultural Center.

Dr Bernard explained that that culture, not the devil, is the greatest competitor for the hearts and souls of man. Therefore, if culture views the church as irrelevant, the church will be unable to fulfill Christ’s mandate for it to be salt and light in the marketplace.

“If the culture can isolate us, the world will continue the way it is,” cautioned Dr Bernard, who reminded the audience that insulation against the temptations in the world, rather than isolation from the world, is the key to culturally-relevant Christianity.

The delegates clung on to the words of Dr Bernard as he prepared the audience to stand against the attractiveness of worldliness, while engaging the marketplace by having the right values. He zoomed in on the way money, power and fame are perceived.

“The people of the world believe (these three things) are ends to be achieved. But to Christians, these three things are a means to an end to glorify God.” He added that these right values will lead to high standards of behavior, telling the attendees to guard against having worldly values that lead to low standards of behavior, which guarantee destruction.

Dr Bernard challenged the members of the audience to become trained, educated and excellent in secular fields, to be well-equipped to navigate the prevalent culture while being diligent with spiritual disciplines, just like Daniel and Joseph.

Only then can the life of God impact the lost in each’s Christian’s sphere of influence.

Liang Meiyan, in her 20s, commented, “As Christians, we spend so much time in the marketplace. It is important to enforce our spiritual disciplines and keep the right values so that we can create maximum impact as we redeem culture while loving God wholeheartedly.”

The audience left the hall filled with a vision coupled with a strong framework to impact their world.