Living in a rapidly changing culture has prompted many messages by pastors and a number of books on how to maintain our Christian convictions and lifestyle when our culture is becoming more and more anti-Christian. I think of How Should We Live Then? by Francis Schaeffer, How, Then, Shall We live? by Samuel Wells, and How Now Shall We Live? by Charles Colson.
There are also plenty of admonitions in Scripture challenging us to “stand fast” amidst all the ungodliness around us. Solomon, the son of David, wrote: “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching…if sinners entice you, do not consent…do not walk in the way with them. Keep your feet from their path…Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not proceed in the way of evil men…watch the path of your feet, and all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor the left; turn your foot from evil” (Pr. 1:8,10,15; 4:14,26,27). The Apostle Paul wrote: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Ro. 12 2); “Do not be bound together with unbelievers…come out from their midst and be separate, says the Lord” (II Cor. 6:14,17); “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children…do not let immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you…you are children of light in the Lord; walk as children of light” (Eph. 5: 1,3,8); “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world rather than according to Christ” (Col. 2:8).
We need to remember that God and His Word are unchanging. God said, “For I, the LORD, do not change…” (Mal. 3:6a). “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, yes and forever” (Heb. 13:8 cf Psa. 102:25-27). “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever” (Isa. 40:8 cf Mt. 5:18). No matter what trends our culture is following with respect to marriage, sexual orientation, gender identity, abortion, critical race theory, evolution, etc., God’s standards have not changed. His Word is as applicable today as it was when it was written. It never needs “updating.”
In 1964, Bob Dylan published a song that became very popular, “The Times, They Are a-Changin’ “. Well, the times may be changing, but we are not to “adapt” to our changing culture, we are to “adhere” to God’s Word! “Do not be conformed to this world” (Ro. 12:2 NASB), or as it reads in The Living Bible, “Don’t let the world squeeze you into its mold.”
Starting with the scene in the Garden of Eden, Satan has always tried to get us to question what God has said (Gen. 3:1-5). He continues to use that tactic. Don’t fall for his lies. Stand fast! Paul told Timothy to “Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you” (II Tim. 2:13,14). We need to do the same.
Far too many Christians, including many preachers, are afraid of what people may say or think if they don’t cater to and “fit in” to our modern culture, so they compromise and fail to boldly proclaim and live out the truths of Scripture. The times, they may be changing (and, boy are they!), but thank God, He never does, nor does His Word. So, dare to be different. Dare to be a Daniel, a Joseph, an Esther, a Peter, a Paul, a Martin Luther, a John Wycliffe, a William Tyndale, a Dietrich Bonhoeffer… Stand fast on the truths of God’s Word. Don’t compromise. “Therefore my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord” (I Cor. 15:58).