“I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world.” John 17:15-18 (NLT) 
In the world, but not of the world. Throughout history the church has struggled to be in the world but not participating in the evil in the world.
The church finds itself embracing part of the culture, and resisting part of the culture. Within the church, there is disagreement about what part of the culture we should embrace and what part we should resist.
Do we participate in Christmas, or Halloween? Do we have TV’s in our homes? Do we boycott movies? Should we stand outside the culture on these holidays? If we participate, how far should we go?
Part of the Church’s answer has been to completely separate from the culture and live in closed, Christian communities. They take Paul’s admonition in 2 Corinthians 6:17 "Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord." as meaning that the church should separate itself from the world.
But that stance fails to address Jesus’ prayer that we should not be taken from the world. The scriptures also say we are to be salt and light. It is a paradox; in the world but not of the world.
So, guided by the Spirit of Christ, we must love the world as God does and resist its influence in our lives. Jesus did it. Let us then commit ourselves to follow him as He leads, wherever He leads.
-Pastor Dino Griffin