I am leading the devotional on Wednesday in my Studies in Hebrews class. Here is the starts of what I am going to be talking about. It is based on some thoughts I had after a conversation that Luke and I had. Any notes that I make for clarification for your sake will be in [italicized brackets].
So [the Sanhedrin] called [Peter and John] and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:18-20 ESV)
American culture says: “Abortion is perfectly acceptable in any and all cases.” The Bible says: “This is unacceptable” (Leviticus 20:1-5).
American culture says: “Kick all ‘illegal’ immigrants out; give them nothing.” The Bible says: “Treat immigrants as native citizens” (Leviticus 19:33-34).
American culture says: “All people are born with certain rights, one of which is ‘life.'” The Bible says: “All people are born dead and have a right to nothing other than the wrath of God” (Ephesians 2:1-3).
American church culture says: “Don’t have sex before marriage.” The Bible says: “Sex is marriage” (Leviticus 22:28-29; 1 Corinthians 6:16).
American church culture celebrates Easter with eggs and bunnies (symbols of the Fertility Goddess. The Bible says: “Don’t practice the religious practices of the pagan nations around you” (Deuteronomy 18:9-13).
[I am going to come up with 3-6 more of these so that I have 7-10 statements to make that show how American culture and Biblical ideas don’t quite line up.]
What is the Christian to do? It would appear that many things in our culture, both our country’s and our church’s, are in opposition to truths presented in the Bible. So I ask again: What is the Christian to do?
Do we submit to the governing authorities (Romans 13:1-7) without question or opposition. Or, do we stand for the truth of the Messiah in direct defiance to what those in authority tell us is right?
Do we follow Peter and John’s example in Acts 4 [quoted above]? Or do we follow the example of the church in the time of Constantine [a blending of the church and state with little to no church opposition]?
I am not going to give an answer. I know what my answer is. But I only pose the question[s] to you. Are we called, as Christians in America, to preach cultural imperatives or Biblical imperatives?