In a day when defending not just Christian truth but the concept of truth itself is controversial and dangerous, it will be tempting for Christians to retreat from the “culture wars” and thus from secular culture. This despite the fact that we are commissioned to “go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19) as Jesus’ “witnesses” (the Greek word can also be translated “martyrs”) where we live and around the world (Acts 1:8).
On this day of Holy Week, Jesus wanted silence. The gospels record no activities on this Wednesday. As best we can tell, he spent the day with his disciples at the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus in Bethany, a village two miles east of Jerusalem. Solitude with his Father was Jesus’ consistent pattern, from early in the morning (Mark 1:35) to evening (Matthew 14:23) and through the night (Luke 6:12).
Today is Tuesday of Holy Week. On this day, Jesus faced his critics in a daylong series of debates (cf. Matthew 21-23). Perhaps their most famous exchange came when his opponents asked our Lord, “Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” (Matthew 22:17). This was a very hot cultural button in the day.
A USA Today writer condemned the NCAA for allowing Oral Roberts University's team to play in the NCAA Basketball tournament because of the school's biblical views on marriage. Over the weekend, the university’s president responded by sharing that the school simply believes in biblical morality and always has. He added that the school considers such morality to be best for all its students, faculty, and alumni. In other words, ORU embraces biblical morality because such morality promotes "the basic values of human decency."
Are you paying a price to follow Jesus in our fallen world? If not, why not? We don’t need to encourage persecution, of course, but we should not be surprised when it comes. Jesus told us, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account” (Matthew 5:11). Notice that he said when, not if.
The consequences of breaking God’s word are all around us today, from the public health crisis that is our pornography epidemic, to the threat of rising sexually transmitted infections as the coronavirus pandemic lessens, to the explosion of child pornography on the internet. Once again, God’s word is right. As I have noted in the past, human nature does not change, which means that we still face the same issues our ancestors faced in biblical times.
According to a former roommate of the alleged Atlanta mass shooter, the man struggled with sexual sins he committed in the establishments he attacked. The New York Times responded with an article calling the suspect’s “fixation on sex” a “familiar thorn for evangelicals.”
Comic books normalizing and glorifying gay characters are strategically intended to persuade our children and grandchildren in intuitive and emotive ways. Polyamory proponents want a world in which children are brought up in polyamorous families and thus accept such relationships as normal and healthy. Courts that threaten parents who oppose their children’s gender transitions send signals far beyond the parents themselves.
Just as proponents of the sexual revolution intend to impact future generations with their version of sexual morality, so we must do the same. Such thinking is not only strategic for God’s people—it is biblical.