Our modern 21st century society is in a dangerous downward moral spiral. The definition of what is right and what is wrong has become a situational and individual decision. Sadly, this is true of not only our general society, but agonizingly true of so many Christians. Unfortunately, otherwise Godly Christian leaders have fallen prey to believe in situational ethics by supporting lifestyle choices that are diametrically opposed to what God’s Word teaches.
Man has always tried to tell God what to do with lifestyle choices. In nearly every case this has led to disaster (i.e., the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the great flood, the Babylonian captivity, etc.). Man seems to think that he knows better than God what is right, what is wrong, and how he is supposed to act. In effect, man has determined his own set of rules and his own definition of sin. So, never mind that God gave man the Bible as His guide for men’s lives.
Absolutely nothing regarding the definition of sin is left out of the Bible and little is subject to misinterpretation if a born again Christian seeks the leadership of the Holy Spirit for His understanding. But man has insisted on making his own set of rules, many of which contradict God’s rules. For example:
- The Bible teaches purity in our speech, yet I regularly observe Christians acting like society in general by using profanity, passing along lewd jokes, and profaning the name of God. Our movies, radio and TV are full of cursing and the FCC even allows seven acceptable curse words. What are we teaching our youngsters? James 3:9-12 (NIV) 9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
- The Bible has so much to say about drinking alcohol in verse after verse. I believe that the Bible teaches that abstinence is the proper way for a Christian to handle alcohol. I realize that I am going against what a lot of even many of my devoted Christian friends believe. But I would ask you to consider the impact that drinking alcohol has on our children and our society in general. I will spend more time on alcohol and the use of illegal drugs in a future post. That is not the primary point of this article. For now refer to Proverbs 23:29-35 for significant Biblical advice from Solomon on the subject by clicking the following link. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs%2023:29-35&version=NIV
- The Bible teaches purity in our sexual relationships. Hebrews 13:4 (ESV) Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Society in general and even some misguided Christians accept premarital sex and co-habitation prior to marriage as normal behavior. More than 50% of “couples” now live together and engage in sex prior to wedlock. In addition, the family unit is falling apart as marriage partners are not faithful to each other and engage in adulterous acts. Proverbs 6:32 (ESV) He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself. Children suffer economic, social and spiritual deprivation in single parent homes because of the infidelity of their parents.
- The Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin, yet USA law says that homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle that should not be discriminated against in any way form or fashion. Man says it is a lifestyle choice. It has become an acceptable way of life even to many Christians. 1 Timothy 1:8-11(NIV) 8 We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 9 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.
- The Bible teaches that abortion is a sin and that the sanctity of life (including that of the unborn child) is precious, yet man has decided that abortion is not a sin and has legalized the genocide of countless millions. On the one hand, man has agreed with God that murder is a sin and a punishable crime even unto death here on earth . Yet man has also decided that aborting (in my opinion murdering) an unborn child is not murder and thus not a sin and is legal (see my article on sanctity of life at this link for additional discussion – https://jimdavenport.wordpress.com/2011/01/25/on-the-sanctity-of-life-and-abortion/).
The Bible speaks very specifically to those who reject its Truth and lean on their own preferences and understanding with regard to lifestyle choices. Consider these representative scriptural passages which condemn wrong choices and encourage Christians to stand firm against the persecution they will receive for choosing to do what is right:
- Proverbs 14:11 (NASB) – There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
- Jude 1:17-25 (NASB) – “But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh. Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”
- 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NASB) – Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Those who stand for what is right in the sight of God are often ridiculed and persecuted for holding to their convictions and what the Bible teaches. Have you observed the outcry when churches and other Christian based institutions take a stand for what is right and speak out against non-Biblical lifestyle choices? The opposition unites and moves into high gear and loudly and collectively attacks the character of those standing for right living. At times, even well-meaning Christians fall into the trap of ridicule as they condemn the stand in order to support their friends and family members to “keep the peace” or “not rock the boat” or elevate their idea of morality above that taught by Bible. In every case, ignoring or passively supporting man’s poor lifestyle choices over what God’s Word teaches eventually leads to the general decay of our morals and the degeneration of our society.
I believe the Bible is indeed God’s inerrant and infallible Word and that it provides the blueprint for how man should make his lifestyle choices. Man will surely suffer the consequences when he disobeys God’s Word. Christians should set the example by standing firm on God’s Word and by doing what is right to the glory of God before their family, their church, and their community regardless of the opposition and public opinion. Rest assured that the persecution of the Christian will come, but God will provide the strength to withstand ALL of the opposition.
As Christians, we should point people to Jesus whenever we are given the chance. We should not use profanity. We should avoid the snares of alcohol and drugs. We should remain sexually pure, oppose homosexuality, and oppose abortion. We should seek to glorify God in all of our lifestyle choices.