Smart phones. Drones that deliver packages. Cars that drive themselves. Family Radio’s new logo. Times, they are a-changing! And like all change, it gets met with mixed reviews. Some change is great, and let’s face it: who doesn’t like the idea of not having to parallel park for themselves? On the other hand, some change requires a little getting used to (why, oh, WHY do smart phones keep getting bigger? Mine struggles to fit in my jeans pocket without falling out nowadays, and I don’t even have the biggest model). And some change is just flat-out hard to deal with, like when Chick-fil-A takes peppermint milkshakes off their menu after the Christmas season.
All joking aside, one change that’s been particularly difficult for me to deal with is our culture’s ever-changing definition of what’s socially acceptable. The rules keep getting stricter and stricter, yet further and further from the Bible. It reminds me of the Pharisees adding law after law to God’s law, worried about the risk of offending God and yet completely missing the point that they couldn’t uphold any of it without Him.
It’s no longer socially acceptable to disagree with other people. If I do, I’d better keep it hush-hush unless I want to distance a friendship or cause an ugly skirmish on social media where tactlessness reigns king. Even within the body of Christ, it’s no longer acceptable to speak openly about certain behavior or actions that contradict the Bible. Even merely quoting what God says in His Word causes controversy and offense.
“Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division.” Luke 12:51
“But wait,” you may say, “that’s not new. The Bible’s been causing controversy for thousands of years.” Indeed, it has. What’s changed is not being allowed to even speak the Word of God with confidence. Boldly proclaiming the Bible with confidence is seen as arrogance. Somehow being a “nice person” or “well-liked” in the eyes of the world – or even in the eyes of believers – has become more important than fulfilling the Great Commission.
Somehow being a “nice person” or “well-liked” in the eyes of the world – or even in the eyes of believers – has become more important than fulfilling the Great Commission.Click to tweet
Jesus was so well-liked that He got crucified, and He never even made a mistake.
OBEYING GOD’S WORD
Don’t get me wrong; I don’t want to offend anyone, and I hate conflict. And the Bible makes it clear that striving to live in peace is better than causing controversy, but not at the expense of disobeying God’s commands. Conflict is going to happen whether I go looking for it or not, because try as I might, even a people-pleaser like me can’t keep everyone happy. It’s impossible. What IS possible is seeking to please God by obeying His Word. And His Word tells me to not be ashamed of the Gospel. “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10).
If I say I believe the Bible, I need to own it. Not just possess it, but confess it in its entirety and “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh with meekness and fear” (I Peter 3:15). The tone and attitude of gentleness and respect are equally as important as boldness and confidence. I’ve realized lately that even some of us as believers are becoming guilty of looking at the Bible through a worldly lens instead of looking at the world through a biblical lens. How can we be confident in our faith without that solid foundation of absolute truth?
Thankfully, while social standards change at a rapid pace, God and His Word never change. Let’s live out our faith, confidently proclaiming the Gospel with meekness and fear to please God, not man.
“I am ready to preach the gospel to you…For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.” Romans 1:15-16
Family Radio Staff