Know Your Bible
April 1999

Living In A Paganistic Society

Our nation is often referred to as a "Christian nation." Though it has never been such, there was a time when it was a nation where decency, personal responsibility, moral up- rightness, and respect for authority were upheld. Not so anymore. Today our nation can best be described as a secular, "paganistic" society, meaning a society that has no regard for truth (the Word of God), and has left the defining of truth to each person's own definition of it. A society that places the emphasis on the "here and now". A society that, for the most part, has rejected Christian values and is becoming more and more like the Roman Empire described in Romans 1:21-32. The secularists today will tell you there is no "objective" truth concerning right and wrong. It also emphasizes that man is the measure of all things. Secularism says that morals are "man-centered, not God centered, and no one has the right to say anything is wrong". Our society also has adapted to what is called "Pluralism", which advocates the acceptance of all beliefs, and the toleration of any kind of action. The results......

A moral crisis exist in our country today. A crisis that has been brought about by many social changes. Changes which have all but removed the word "sin" from our vocabulary, and which have given, to some degree, respectability to gross sexual misconduct like homosexuality and lesbianism. Changes which have brought about the stamp of approval upon abortions and teaches "safe sex" instead of abstinence until marriage. Changes that challenge the role of man and woman as God would have it. Changes which place "self' as all important. Marriage as God designed it is mocked by husbands and wives who think nothing of divorcing and remarrying for any reason. Lying, immodest dress, greed, profanity and vulgarity, all are glorified, not only by the entertainment media, but also by society itself.. The Roman Empire fell because of such internal problems as these. Should America not expect the same?

In Proverbs 14:34, the wise man Solomon wrote, "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people." What does this say about our nation today?

It is right in the middle of such a society, that the Christian man/woman finds himself/herself today. The question is, how do they handle the pressures that such a society places upon them? It is certain that we cannot hide from the problems that perplex our times. The threat is very real to our faith. The Christian is admonished to always be careful and not allow himself to become conformed to the "secular world " in which he lives, but always pattern his life after the word of God. (Romans 12:1-2). 1 Cor. 16:13 say, "Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong." 1 Thess. 5:6 states "Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober." 2 Corinthians 6:17 teaches we are to be "separate from the world." (In it, yes, but not of it).

What has caused our society to become the society it is today? As stated in the beginning, I believe it all stems from the fact that men and women are turning from the teaching of God's Word. Take for instance, "The Feminist Movement". God had a plan for women, and He placed it in force at the creation. (Genesis 2:18). He put the woman in the center of the home. He made her a helpmeet for man, not to be used by him, but as his compliment, to be a wife, and mother. God's will is that "younger women marry, bear children, guide the house..." (1 Timothy 5:14) Now, The Feminist Movement undermines this role.

1. It pressures the Christian woman to abandon the role God assigned her in the home of being a homemaker. Many, having married, leave the home and the duties and responsibilities she has in that realm to work outside the home. Mother are leaving their children in the hands of someone else, during the most formative years of their life.
2. The pressure is on to look at the submissive role she has in regard to her husband as old fashioned. Young women today are taught that such a role is demeaning, and they need to be more assertive.
3. The Feminist movement wants to eradicate, wherever possible, differences between men and women and abolish the traditional family. The results of such teachings are same sex marriages and one parent families.
4. The Feminist movement encourages the woman to take a leadership role in the church. They argue the Bible, especially passages dealing with roles of women in the family and church, are culturally conditioned and not binding on individuals today.

What does the Christian woman do in light of all such pressure? She must adhere to the will of God.
1. Ephesians 5:22 - "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord."
2. Titus 2:5 - "...homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed."
3. Genesis 1:27 - "...male and female created He them", and that his arrangement for the family - one man for one woman. (Genesis 2:24)
4. 1 Cor. 7:2 -"let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband."
5. 1 Cor. 14:34 - "Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says." She will not usurp authority over a man. (I Tim. 2:12).
6. As for God's word not being bound on individuals today, John 17:17, says His word is truth. Truth is not "relative." It is absolute. Peter wrote that it endures forever. (1 Peter 1:25)

Then there are the pressures of a "secular society" in general, to succumb to worldliness. If we are not careful, little by little, we will begin to think that what the world thinks is O.K. Whether we want to admit it or not, we become accustomed to the ideas of the world, and the fact that "everybody is doing it" in time desensitizes us to the point that our attitude has changed to match the world around us. This is seen in what is accepted today, that was not accepted years before. Take for instance, what we wear. The world puts pressure on us:
1. To dress as the world dresses. Too many who profess to be children of God have conformed to the world's code of dress. And I don't just mean women. Men have too. Many Christian parents are letting their children dress in the attire of the world. What you wear reflects what you are! (this is indicated in the language of Solomon, as he spoke of the attire of an harlot - Prov. 7:10) Our dress is a good indicator of whether we are Godly, or ungodly. The way we dress should indicate a sense of modesty, propriety and moderation, (1 Tim. 2:9)
2. Sexual Immorality: We live in a sex-oriented society. Young people are constantly bombarded by messages that encourage them to act on their natural impulses without regard for God's moral standard. Society tells us: "relax about sex", "sex is fun", "do what gives pleasure", "don't rob yourself of the joy of sex by focusing on old-fashioned ideas, such as saving yourself for marriage. Such is promoted in the words of songs, the movies we watch, the television sitcoms, (Survey: 86% of all sex presented on prime time programming on ABC, CBS and NBC, is depicted as outside marriage). Even in our school, the emphasis is put on "safe sex" and not abstinence. Right along with these things that encourage such behavior, is the attire one wears. In a conversation with some of my tenth grade students, they said one of the things that promotes sexual activity is the sexually provocative attire worn by many girls and boys. Hence the need is seen even more for dressing as God would have one dress.

What does the young Christian boy or girl do under such pressure? They adhere to the Word of God. To the Christians living in the wicked environment at Corinth, Paul wrote,"Flee from sexual immorality" (1 Cor. 6:18). The young Christian boy or girl today will not deliberately place themselves in situations that will excite sexual feelings and exploit them. Pornography, petting, movies that encourage such, will have no place in the life of a young man or woman who is attempting to maintain purity. Purity is not the absence or denial of passion, it is the proper directing and ordering of that passion. He/she knows that sexual misconduct is an offense against God, and that their bodies are pledged to God as instruments of righteousness. (Romans 6:18). They realize and know that their bodies belong to God and must only be used as He directs. "What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." (1 Cor. 6:19-20). They will take that which can be given only once in a lifetime, and give it in that which is to be held honorable in the sight of all: marriage. (Heb. 13:4), and they will dress in a manner that becometh Godliness in their life.

---Bobby Ray Hudson

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