Are You Part Of the Cultural Battle?
With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.” Genesis 19:15
Cultural battles are far more extensive than whether or not your child’s teacher embraces gender fluidity or if parents should be notified when a teenager requests contraceptives from a clinic.
The battle over culture began in the Garden of Eden when a husband and wife had to decide whether they listened to the voice of God or chose to put their backs to Him and do what they pleased. When Adam and Eve made the decision that forever altered humanity, the playing field was level. Today, however, when you are confronted with a choice, the choice is simply up to you. What is right for you, is the standard of the world. You’d be hard pressed to find many places today where God’s Word and His plan is the benchmark for human behavior.
The entire history of humanity is really a centuries old story of cultural conflict. Does Noah listen to the voice of his culture laughing at the thought of a flood, or quietly set out to build an ark that would save his family? Did Abram ponder the difficulty of the journey when God said it was time to leave for a land He would give to Him, or did he simply obey? And then could not Lot, living in Sodom, have rationalized the moral behavior of fellow citizens and ignored the pleading of the angelic messengers who said God was about to destroy the wicked city?
No sooner had God given deliverance to the 3 million descendents of Abraham who found themselves slaves in Egypt, than they began to say, “It would have been better to stay in Egypt than to come out here and die.”
Should you visit London, take the City Road bus to a cemetery known as Bunhill Fields, and there you will find a tomb with the remains of a 17th century man, the son of a tinker or a welder in today’s terminology, by the name of John Bunyan. In his youth he was a rebel, living a wicked life—but certainly no worse than most people in his day. Then Bunyan was converted and began preaching without a license. For this he was arrested and spent the next 12 years of his life in the jail at Bedford where he lived. There Bunyan had plenty of time to think through both history and life, and during that time he wrote the most widely printed and distributed book in the English language (with the exception of the Bible) known as Pilgrim’s Progress.
It’s an allegorical story of the pilgrim who journeys through life constantly battling forces that would destroy him. That, friend, is a picture of the person who strives to listen to the voice of God, obey the counsel of His Word the Bible, and defy the voices of culture and our sinful natures in doing the will of God.
Take time to read Hebrews 11 in your New Testament, and there you read biographical sketches of the lives of large numbers of people who fought cultural battles, often being isolated and persecuted, and, at times became martyrs, but never gave in or capitulated, choosing rather to walk alone with God than to walk in the light with men.
Most of the time the challenges come in small things, and we are often prone to say, “Well, this doesn’t really matter,” but the small compromises then form the foundation for the major ones. It is better by far to walk the lonely path with integrity and a clear conscience than to embrace the good life which leaves you empty and shallow and spiritually bankrupt. The cultural is a battle for your soul, for your family, and your very life. Never forget it.
Resource reading: Hebrews 11:4-39