Our Culture and Life
Someone wrote, “The culture around us has declared war on all biblical standards. . . . Some Christians unwittingly began following suit several years ago. That has opened the door for a whole generation in the churches to embrace postmodern relativism openly and deliberately.” No one will deny that our culture lacks a biblical basis and has a secular basis. To understand the “war on all biblical standards,” we mean there is no right and wrong, no true and false, no good and bad but only shades of gray. This is not the proper way of understanding God’s truth. Stated above is what is called postmodern relativism. The confusion of the above concerning our culture is troubling. We believe the following observation is correct: “The United States is entering a post-Christian era and is rapidly becoming a foreign nation to committed believers” (Charisma Magazine). The question is: “How can we instill in our society a love for God’s truths?” Consider the following:
God Is Unchanging
Society must understand that God and His truth is unchanging. “For I am the Lord, I do not change” (Malachi 4:6). God is sovereign, that is, God rules. “You, O Lord, remain forever; Your throne is from generation to generation. . . . Turn us back to You, O Lord, and we will be restored; renew our days as of old. Unless You have utterly rejected us, and are very angry with us” (Lamentations 5:19, 21-22). God does not change. When man forsakes God, God is very angry. We correct matters that displease God when, and only when, we restore God’s truths as our way of life. How much comfort do you receive knowing God is unchanging?
Men Must Repent and Embrace God’s Way
Jeremiah asks, “Why do You forget us forever, and forsake us for so long a time?” We can turn this question around and ask our culture, “Why have we as a people forgotten God?” When Israel sinned, the responsibility of change (repentance) rested on the actions of the Jews. “If you will return, O Israel, says the Lord, return to Me; and if you will put away your abominations out of My sight, then you shall not be moved. And you shall swear, the Lord lives, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness” (Jeremiah 4:1-2). The emphasis is on people to repent, change, and live in truth and righteousness.
Men Must Understand the Times
Christians cannot put their proverbial “head in the sand” and act as if all is fine in our society. We must not. You know we must not do so. But we are too concerned with being politically correct even though we are all troubled by various wrongs within our society. Time has come for Christians to engage the problems of society. After all, Christians know God’s truth and ought to be practicing it. We ought to be on the offensive and not sit by wringing our hands. If we properly prepare ourselves for the battle, God promises victory. Wrong will not go away if rights sits idly by and does nothing. I do not know a Bible verse teaching that Christians may sit back and do nothing. When we act, then truth will be victorious. Christians must be as the men of Issachar “who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do” (1 Chronicles 12:32, emp. added). Support fellow Christians who have an understanding of the times because they are prepared.
Men Must Live and Love the Truth
Jeremiah said, “Renew our days as of old” (Lamentations 5:21). Someone objects by reasoning, “You are advocating we live in the past. After all, this is the 21st century. Do you really want to go back to . . . ?” This is not Jeremiah’s nor my point. Allow me to make an assessment that I believe is unanswerable. Neither politics, education, science, philosophy, world religions, or whatever, is able to address our cultural issues correctly. This is a strong statement, but it is correct. The answer to man’s cultural issues is simple—a spiritual renewal of God’s truths which are eternal and never grow old or outdated.
Here are some examples in the area of morality and ethics. I believe you will agree. Let us return the days when: (1) men and women stayed married for life; (2) marriage is defined only between a man and a woman; (3) integrity and honesty governed our actions, not only in leadership but in daily life; (4) politicians told the truth without deceit; (5) human life was held in high esteem; (6) truth, compassion, and the needs of our fellowman were considered more important than one’s personal success; (7) God, Jesus, the Bible, and Christianity were held in the highest esteem and defended fervently and effectively against the forces of the anti-Christ in society and government.
Christians Must Advocate Cultural Change
Yes, I am for cultural change. I agree with the Bible, “Return to Me; and . . . put away your abominations out of My sight” (Jeremiah 4:1). Benjamin Franklin sent the delegates of the First Continental Congress on a three-day recess to pray and invoke God’s blessings before forging one of the greatest uninspired documents known ever to govern man. We could not do that today, because we do not want to do it because we must be politically correct. Our government, and we as individuals, need and must pray seeking God’s favor.
As Christians we ought to be in the lead and accept, without shame, the criticism toward us from the unbeliever. Jonah preached repentance to the great city of Nineveh and gave them 40 days to repent (John 3:4) and they did (Jonah 3:10). Will it work in our society? Well, it would not hurt to try, but it is not politically correct, so we will not do it. As Jonah was displeased with Nineveh’s repentance (John 4:1), so we should have those in our nation who would be displeased IF we turn to God, fell down in prayer and worshipped. Our culture needs corrected and so does our life. God help us. He will—IF we allow Him.
W. Terry Varner