Countering the Culture

Former Secretary of Education William J. Bennett has written, “There is a coarseness, a callousness and a cynicism to our era. The worst of it has to do with our children.  Our culture seems almost dedicated to the corruption of the young” (Reader’s Digest, August 1995, 37).

Examples could be multiplied to illustrate Bennett’s premise. The media is one of the worst offenders.

Passing it on

Can we parents afford to abdicate our responsibility to teach our children the ways of God? The Bible has much to say about parents’ training their children to know God and obey Him (Genesis 18:19; Exodus 10:2; 12:24-27; 13:7-8, 14-15; Deuteronomy 4:9-10; 6:4-7, 20-23; Joshua 4:1-3, 6-7, 21-22; Psalm 78:6-7; Ephesians 6:4; 2 Timothy 1:5; 3:14-17).

As James Burton Coffman has written, “The silliest and most satanic attitude we have ever encountered in Christian parents is this, ‘Oh, well, we are going to let Johnny make up his own mind.’

“Indeed, indeed, that is exactly what the devil would have Christian parents do. If only Satan would be so neutral! The Evil One will exert every pressure possible to persuade children to forsake the Faith and wallow in licentiousness” (Commentary on Psalms 73-150, ACU Press, 48).

Making a difference

My dad used to tell me Bible stories on the way to school. It’s amazing how much teaching we can do by using a few minutes here, a few moments there. But for my dad to be able to drive and tell Bible stories he had to know those stories well. Can we do that?

What can we as individuals do to save this great nation of ours? We can pray. We can be the best citizens we can be. We can be faithful Christians and win souls for Christ—especially the souls of our own children!

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Responding to the Evils Around Us

 

All around us are all kinds of bizarre behavior, sinful lifestyles, and strange ideas that currently trouble our land. How shall we respond?

Responses that do not help

Some Christians, sad to say, gaze at the evil and are drawn into it. How easy it is to find our resistance gradually being lowered by the constant exposure to sins that once shocked us!  God’s people in the Old Testament were vulnerable to being swallowed up by the sins of their neighbors.  It can so easily happen to us too! (1 Corinthians 10:12; Ephesians 4:17-24; 2 Timothy 4:10).

On the other hand, while we may never indulge in the blatant sins of our society, we may be tempted to look down on those who do. We may forget that we too are in need of the grace of God and that we have something positive to offer those who are mired in sinful lifestyles (Luke 15:1-2, 25-32; 18:9-14).

A third reaction is thinking that the situation is so far gone that there’s little we can do to make a difference. It’s been well said that the darker the world, the brighter our light is.  Let it shine! (Philippians 2:15).

A better way

So how shall we respond to the evils of our day? Not by participating in them, not by reacting self-righteously, and not by withdrawing into inactivity.

So what shall we do?  The letter we call First Peter has much to offer us.  Christians then were struggling to maintain their integrity in a dark world in much the same way we do today.  Peter urges his readers to maintain holy lives (1:14-16; 4:1-4) and live in such a way that unbelievers can’t help but notice the difference (2:11-12; 3:1-2, 16).

By the grace of God let’s hate sin but have enough concern for sinners so that they too will be drawn out of darkness  into God’s marvelous light!

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The Counter-Culture Christ

Jesus was a misfit

“The world . . . hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil” (John 7:7).

He was slandered. He was rejected. He was executed.

Jesus was a misfit. “The world . . . hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil” (John 7:7).

He was slandered. He was rejected. He was executed.

He is still counter-culture. His teaching on greed (Luke 12:13-21) confronts the materialism of our day.

His welcoming children (Mark 10:13-16) stands in sharp contrast to the neglect and abuse of little ones—and the termination of so many pre-born.

His claim to be the only way to God (John 14:6) is politically incorrect.

We also must decide Do we want to be popular with the world or pleasing to God?

Following Him, we too will know what it means to be out of step and out of favor with the world.

But we will hear His “Well done” at the end of the road.

And isn’t that enough?

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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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