Do you remember reading or being told the story of the
three little pigs and the big bad wolf? While driving to a meeting
I began thinking about this story. Actually, I was driving past a
barbeque restaurant and thinking about how great it would be to stop
and get a pork sandwich - inside chopped, oozing with sauce, a side
of potato salad and baked beans and....well, you get the picture.
Barbeque pork naturally leads one to think about pigs, which can
lead to reminiscing about those most famous of pigs - the three
little pigs (or, perhaps, Porky the Pig for some readers). But, I
Anyway, you know how the story goes: the three pigs
each built a house to protect them from the big bad wolf; one built
with straw, one with sticks, and one chose brick. Those made of
straw and sticks were quickly disposed of by the strong winds blown
by said wolf, as he "huffed and puffed and blew the house
down"; however, the one of brick withstood the winds and
protected the little pig that constructed it. The moral, of course,
is to build with strong materials that will withstand the attack
and protect you from that which would harm you.
In other words, the building materials we use in life are
important, as is the foundation that we build upon. Long before the
story of the three little pigs, Jesus had taught this lesson to
those who would follow him. He didn't speak of three pigs, but of
real life situations. Here is how he put it:
"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts
them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the
rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and
beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its
foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine
and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built
his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the
winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great
crash." MT 7:24-27 (NIV)
Realizing that we live in a day when many are building their lives
on hay and stubble, Crosswinds Foundation was established, to help
others recognize that the cultural winds are blowing and to provide
a resource for those interested in helping to build our faith and
culture with the best materials and on the right foundation - Jesus
Christ - the one who is the "Foundation" of Crosswinds.
The cultural crosswinds we face are sometimes so subtle they are
barely perceptible, slowly shaking us from our foundation and
gradually altering our course in life. At other times they stand in
such contrast to prevailing practices they cannot be missed. Both
should be taken seriously.
Following are just a few of the statistical indicators
reflecting the changing cultural footprints of Americans in the
area of faith and spirituality:*
92% believe in God, but only 56% believe that religion
is very important
25% Believe God is an impersonal force (a basic tenet
of eastern religions such as Hinduism)
70% believe many religions can lead to eternal life
40% see a conflict in religion and modern society
34% believe religion causes more problems in society
than it solves
45% seldom, or never, read Scripture outside religious
52% say the best determiner of right and wrong is
practical experience and common sense
47% seldom or never share their faith with others
Were you aware of these culture shifts? As with the
big bad wolf, it is not a question of whether the rains and winds
will come; the question is: will the faith, beliefs, values and
practices we hold dear, and pass on to our children and
grandchildren, be able to withstand the cultural winds that blow
against them? The answer depends on the foundation upon which we
are building and the materials that we are using.
Jesus words are clear; believers are not simply to rest on the
foundation but to build on it by living out his words in the
culture. We should not fear the cultural winds but stand firm in
their midst. And, while the winds can be quite strong, let us not
forget that the foundation is stronger and will secure us in the
midst of the storm and will allow us to prevail. The third little
pig learned that lesson and so should we.
The big bad wolf huffed and he puffed but he could not
blow the house down. Why? Because the foundation and building
materials were too strong. Should our faith be any different?
Our forefathers established the "foundation for faith and
culture" of this country on Christ and His teachings, so much
so that we have long referred to ours as being a Christian Nation.
I think most would agree this is no longer the case.
For decades now, cultural winds have been blowing a new course -
shifting the very foundation and fabric of our society. Beliefs and
practices that forty years ago would never have been part of who we
are, as a people, have now been mainstreamed into our society. One
of the reasons for this is, somewhere along the way, the voice of
the Church was lost to the discussion; thus, in many instances,
these social, political, spiritual, and philosophical changes went
As believers, it is essential that we turn this around and again
become intentional in shaping the conversation in the marketplace
and to become the influencers of culture that Christ intends us to
be. Jesus was very clear on this:
"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its
saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for
anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. "You
are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead
they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the
house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they
may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. MT 5:
We cannot be salt unless we are engaging the world. We cannot be
light unless we are where there is darkness. We cannot secure our
culture unless we learn the lesson of the three little pigs and
build on a sure foundation.
And he huffed .... "And the rains came down"
And he puffed .... "And the winds blew"
But he could not blow the house down ... "Yet it
did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock."
I ain't afraid of no big bad wolf...are you?
No? Then let's join together in the marketplace and
live the truth of our faith.
*Statistical data from Pew Forum, June 2008 (See "Culture Tracks"
in this issue for more)