This blog is dedicated to faithful leadership for those who are under our influence and care. For me, that would be my children primarily, and so I often write about motherhood, spiritual nurture, and family culture. But there are times when I feel the need to speak to issues that reach beyond the home, although they are relevant for family life as well. Today’s post is just something that is on my heart, and I feel compelled to share. It is a plea to this generation of Christians, really.
Young evangelical friends, may I have a word? It is okay to be conservative. Let me say that another way: Bending to culture does not make you relevant. It makes you weak. Sure, your rainbow profile pic may gain you high fives, and progressive praises, and your pro-choice stance may make you seem more liberated, but none of this will help anyone.
Someone (a young evangelical) once said to me a few months ago that we should simply share Jesus and love others without getting into all of the issues on gay marriage, abortion, etc., because Jesus’ message was love after all. Well, yes, love…and truth. Truth in love…yes. But, let me ask, how does being against what culture is for amount to hate? I am hearing more and more of this. Should we only be friends with those who we agree with? Can we disagree with culture and still invite our unbelieving neighbors over for dinner? It is like we do not know how to live in the world as citizens of another. Rather than be in the world, we choose to be of it as the servant of culture instead of Christ.
Because we want to be cool.
We want the world to see Jesus as hip, current, “with-it”. We are “helping” Jesus with our righteous cause, you see.
SMMH (shaking my millennial head). Friends, we are not in high school anymore.
The crowd is safe. Heaven forbid we are seen as weirdos or bigots. If we follow the popular crowd (culture) then we must be okay. Our message should be sanitized and safe if it is to be accepted by culture, so we just preach love and a permissive Jesus who says, “Aw shucks, poor broken thing, come on over here as you are…it’s okay. I love you and there is no need to change. Just be who you are, and do what makes you feel good. All are welcomed here.” The truth is that all are welcomed to come to Jesus, but when you come He changes you. Some of us don’t want that, though. We choose self over God, and we have done this since the Fall. It’s called sin. We have rebelled against God from the beginning.
The thing is that we do not like black and white. Right and wrong. Absolutes. They are so limiting. We want an accepting Jesus who allows us to do as we want. Sometimes I wonder if we are reading our Bibles. I am not talking to the world here. I am talking to the church who should know better.
We know better.
The world in its current form is passing away, so why are we hanging on to it like it’s a life raft? We are like Peter at Christ’s arrest, “Who? Me? With HIM?! Uh…no…I do not know Him.” The rooster persistently crows today. We say, “I do not know HIM, but let me share with you this other Jesus. This Jesus allows you to do what you want. This Jesus will not disagree with you. He LOVES you.” If that were the real Jesus we would all be lost and there would be no cross. This is no Jesus at all.
Friends, when we bend to culture and try to win them over to Jesus by agreeing with them we are actually leading them astray. Because even Jesus said, “Go and sin no more.” I’m not sure what the woman caught in adultery did following her encounter with Jesus, but knowing that Jesus did not condemn her (he did condemn her sin, though) she had to be changed. Jesus does that. He changes you.
This is the message we need to boldly and earnestly share, friends: When your sin is exposed before a Holy God, and you are met with the Lamb that was slain, you cannot help but be changed. There is true freedom there, and acceptance like none other. Our sins were placed upon Christ, and the very wrath of God was poured out upon Him. So, why then would the church applaud the sin instead of the Savior? It baffles me.
Young evangelical, take down your rainbows, and take up your cross and follow after Christ.
I know I am an anomaly in my generation to be writing such things (shameful), but maybe this plea will be heard by some of you who are on the fence in your faith. I do not think the future of our generation will allow us to be on the fence much longer. We will have to decide where we stand and who we stand with- with Christ, or with the world for which He died.