What I am about to write does not have the goal of making us discouraged. If anything, it is to drive us to the Word of God and before His throne in prayer as we take a look at what is happening in the world around us, including the church.
The “Theology And Culture” (T&C) blog was started to draw attention to things happening in the world and the church with the idea of giving a Biblical approach to how we should respond. As we share some things in general, please keep that in mind and hang with us until the end of this edition. So, let’s get started.
Years ago there was a group that called themselves “The Army of God”, among others, who thought that their mission in the world was to destroy abortion clinics in any way possible. Needless to say, many Christians, myself included, who also oppose abortion, did not approve of these tactics.
Of course, Christians have always been marginalized and people claiming to do things in the name of God have been around for centuries. Now, as we look at 2022, we see a flipside approach
happening. Since the leaking of a SCOTUS memo regarding the possibility of overturning Roe vs. Wade, things have ramped up.
There have been at least three Crisis Pregnancy type centers that have been vandalized, badly damaged, and churches are being targeted as well for being pro-life. There were politicians who
encouraged pro-abortion supporters to protest at the homes of Supreme Court Justices “peacefully”, specifically of those who were on the conservative side of this historical decision. Some political talking heads, like Chuck Schumer, made statements to incite the situation. This is unacceptable.
The government has basically remained silent on this happening because, after all, they are as
radical in their stance on abortion as we have ever seen. In fact, little has been said about the man who had a goal to kill Justice Brett Kavanaugh, as if it wasn’t news. At least the Senate passed a bill to provide extra security for the Supreme Court Justices. We are so out of control in so many areas of our culture and society.
It is amazing that those with a radical, socialist agenda act as they do and then excuse and accept it as part of their plan for our country. Drag Queens reading books to young children. The promotion of radical ideologies, some we have covered in other “T&C” editions. And it does not just stop with the world that opposes God’s standards.
In the church at large, we see things happening that cannot help grieve us. The Southern Baptist are battling sexual abuse issues, and many other leaders in churches have been called on the
carpet for their bullying tactics at churches, in some cases costing them their jobs over the last few years (an example would be James MacDonald).
There was a church in Texas that on a recent Sunday morning sang songs referring to God as a “Good, good, mother” and spent the morning speaking of God in that manner. Without getting into a theological debate, God is referred to as “He” or “Father” throughout the pages of Scripture.
Another church leader in a Baptist church said in a recent message that all homosexuals should be lined up and shot. What idiocy. Denominations are splitting over many issues, and the growth of false and questionable teaching continues to grow.
And as I shared in a recent message at Oakridge, only about half of evangelical pastors (that would include myself and others who believe the Bible to be the Word of God) hold to a Biblical worldview. This obviously affects what is taught in churches if we do not hold to the Scriptures as our guide when it comes to how we live and think.
Of course, the Bible warned that some in the church would drift, and along with a world system gone crazy, would fulfill Biblical prophecy as seen in 1 Timothy 4:1 where we read that people, in the last days, would depart from the faith. 2 Timothy 3:1-9 gives a list of some of the things that will be
evident as the world winds down before the return of the Lord.
Some of the things noted by Paul include people being “lovers of self and money”, “proud”, “unholy”, “heartless”, “slanderous.” The list includes a number of characteristics of people who choose to not follow the way of God.
But we must not be disheartened as followers of Jesus. We are here for a purpose and we have the tools to help us in handling the stuff happening in the world and must focus on that. In fact, the Apostle Paul’s instructions to Timothy in the two letters he penned give us insights as we face both a broken world and a church-at-large that is drifting from God’s truth.
First, don’t listen to everything we hear. We are not talking about the obvious false values and wrong doctrine that we are aware of. Paul told Timothy not to listen to any “irreverent silly myths” (1 Tim. 4:7). It is easy to get sidetracked from our mission because we are bombarded on every side by teachings that may sound good but do not pass the test of truth.
Second, pursue godliness. Pursue holiness, a life of moral rightness. We choose to do this but now it seems, more than ever, we need it in our world. The values and beliefs that Christians hold to regarding everything from gender identity to the Person of God, is questioned. We need to show the world around us that God’s Word transforms lives. Speak up and live out a life that honors God. Paul encouraged Timothy to do this in 1 Tim. 4:7-9.
Third, be prepared to share the Word of God at all times. Though Christians are being
marginalized in our culture, almost to the extreme, we must be prepared to speak up and share the hope the world needs. People are seeking answers, but they are looking in the wrong places. They are confused over so many things. If we believe the Bible holds the answers, then we need to be prepared and willing to share this with others. This is what Paul told Timothy in 2 Tim. 4:2.
Fourth, be wise, and do not be led by emotions or opinions. In 2 Tim. 4:5 Paul told Timothy to be sober-minded. He was to have a mind that was under control. The reason this point is important is that so many things that we hear can emotionally fire us up, get us discouraged, or want to just give up. We cannot allow those alternatives to guide us.
Wisdom comes from being in God’s Word and then applying it to our life and to the situations that we face. For example, the Bible is clear on issues such as gender (Gen. 1; Mt. 19). It is clear that life begins at conception (Ps. 51; Ps. 139; Jer. 1). What we must do is use wisdom in explaining why we believe certain doctrinal truths and why we hold to certain values and beliefs as we interact with people in our culture.