Friday, April 8, 2022

Confronting the Culture - Martin Wiles

They had followed the practices of the pagan nations the Lord had driven from the land ahead of them. 2 Kings 17:8 NLT

Things were quite different then than now. At least in the South.

Growing up in the 1960s and 1970s differed radically from the 2000s. Culture pandered to Christianity, even if the persons themselves didn’t claim to be Christian. The example that protrudes the most in my mind was the Christian “Sabbath.” Blue Laws controlled what did and did not take place on Sunday.

Sunday was a day of rest. Other than factories, hardly anything opened. Pharmacies opened, but with a limit of two employees. A few gas stations opened for tourists traveling, but not for local folks who had forgotten to fill up during the week.

Giant retailers, such as Wal-Mart that sold groceries and other goods didn’t exist. If folks needed groceries and staple items, they bought them during the week or on Saturday when most people didn’t have to work. Nine-to-five Monday through Friday jobs were the norm.

Nor did folks work in their yards on Sunday. If they didn’t go to church, they stayed inside and respected the beliefs of those who did. They may not have followed the Christian God, but they respected Him nevertheless.

But culture has radically changed in the twenty-first century. Christians are persecuted in various subtle ways. Sunday is just another day where folks can do the same things they do during the week. Lifestyles that would have stayed in the closet out of respect for the cultures’ prevailing beliefs now wag openly. Where all this will lead remains to be seen.

Such shenanigans took God’s people of old into captivity where they experienced God’s judgment. Because they chose to worship pagan gods, in addition to the one true God, God sent them into captivity where they remained for many years. Sin has consequences. 

When confronting our culture, some things are certain. Culture will continue changing—for the worse. Perhaps a pessimistic statement, but one supported by Jesus’ teachings. Those who oppose Christian beliefs will grow in number.

Yet, hope exists. As believers, we can shine the light of God’s love into the darkness of sin. Our lives provide the good examples others need to experience. Our hope is that many will turn to our God.

In the meantime, we must resist the pull of culture to take us into lifestyles God doesn’t approve of. Through prayer, spiritual disciplines, and the power of God’s Spirit in us, we can resist.

What are some ways you can confront the culture where you live?

Prayer: Father, give us the courage to confront our culture with the message of Your love. 

Tweetable: In what ways, are you confronting culture? 

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