This is not a blog about air pollution!

But there are times when we notice the air around us more. Like today. It's muggy. Hot and humid. The air seems to cling to you. Be a little harder to draw into your lungs. It hangs around you heavily, bringing sweat to your brow and an unpleasant dampness to your pits!

Most of the time we don't notice the air. We absorb it. Walk through it. It passes around us and through us without us giving it so much as a thought.

Air is very like culture. Most the time we don't notice our culture. It's just the world around us. It's attitudes and actions. We walk through it. It passes around us and through us without us giving it so much as a thought.

But sometimes our culture seems heavier. Closer. More oppressive. We notice it. Mostly when it defies God's good plan on sexuality or gender.

The thing is that our culture is evil all the time. Our culture is the collective expression of the will of a people in rebellion against God. It is the "the dominion of darkness" (Colossians 1:13) and "the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit now at work in those who are disobedient." (Ephesians 2:2) That ruler is the devil. The evil one himself.

The problem is that we don't feel the oppression and influence of our culture all the time. Because we're part of it. It is the ideas we've grown up in. The intellectual assumptions that we breathe. The attitudes that are just taken for granted.

That's why we always need to bring our thinking under the spotlight of God's word. We need to let the Bible inform all of our lives. Because whilst we might still be resisting taking on the attitudes of culture when it comes to sex, I think that we've largely adopted the non-biblical attitudes of our culture when it comes to children, material possessions and comfort....

More on those this week. But now I need to go and have a shower!