June 11, 2019
By Steve King
There are so many social issues right now that provide us with opportunities to speak into them: race, sexual orientation, gender identity, reproductive rights, etc. They are all over the news and social media—stories of someone’s rights being violated or someone accusing someone else of being discriminatory or hate-filled.
How do we, as followers of Jesus Christ, wisely and effectively speak into a culture that is opposed to biblical truth and morality? Consider the following guiding principles:
1. Be positively different
Accept that our high calling in Christ requires us to influence our culture by being different from it—not a strange and judgmental kind of different, but a Jesus-like, confident, and humble kind of different; not a “I am morally superior to you” kind of different, but a “I am sinful and have tasted grace and long to demonstrate and share God’s grace with you” kind of different.
Our union with Jesus should shape every aspect of our lives, and this makes us different with regards to how we: determine sexual ethics (1 Thessalonians 4:1-8), use our money (2 Corinthians 8:9), function at work (Colossians 3:23-25), relate to family members (Ephesians 5:22-6:3), parent our children (Eph 6:4; Col 3:21), use our time (Eph 5:16), view singleness (1 Cor 7:8-35), relate to the rich and poor (James 2:1-7), and face death (John 11:25-26). The list is almost endless!
2. Be helpful
Pray for those in authority, consider their heavy responsibility of leadership, demonstrate respect, and obey just laws (1 Timothy 2:1-2; 1 Peter 2:13-17).
Realize that every culture will affirm some biblical values. Discover the biblical values your culture promotes and encourage leaders and others for embracing those values. For example, when your culture treats people with dignity or seeks justice for all, take the time to commend what is being done right (Genesis 1:26-28; Micah 6:8).
Seek to do your part in promoting the common good and seek the welfare of the city you live in (Jeremiah 29:7; Romans 13:1-7).
3. Be persuasive
- In making an appeal to oppose unjust laws and to uphold moral values, do your homework and confirm facts before you speak.
- Consult with “insiders” to broaden your perspective.
- Frame your appeal to the conscience of common humanity to avoid fueling an “us/them” mentality.
- Demonstrate how supporting the values you are appealing for will provide for and protect others and how disregarding them will damage people and society.
- Offer creative alternatives for applying what you are appealing.
- Be persistent in prayer and persuasion as you join forces with others who share your values, even if they do not share your religious or political beliefs.
Save the Date: On Sunday, June 30, at 7:00 pm, we invite you to join us at Cherrydale for a special time devoted to a Christian’s response to these social issues. We will have a time of prayer, informing, and equipping.
In the meantime, continue to pray for our church that we stayed united, particularly during this pastoral transition time.