How To Respond to Today's Culture

Almost daily I hear about situations that leave me incredulous about the moral decline in our culture. A friend shared with me an article that appeared in Glamour magazine last week that showcases the depth of the depravity in our society, and it also rekindled in me the burning desire to rally us as Christians to take a stand and fight against the lies that are pummeling our youth like a tidal wave. Read these excerpts from Glamour’s January 18, 2016 article, “Girl Meets World's Rowan Blanchard's Brave Statement: ‘I Identify as Queer’” that were written by Laurel Pinson:

“Rowan Blanchard, the winning young star of the Disney series Girl Meets World, may be only 14, but she’s already establishing herself as a fresh, outspoken voice for her generation….there’s a reason we chose her to serve as Glamour’s Instagram Ambassador at last year’s Women of the Year Awards….Now, the star is opening up about her sexuality—revealing this weekend on Twitter that she doesn’t want to label herself in any way, and thus identifies more as “queer.”…In a post on Twitter, she wrote "In my life—only ever liked boys … however I personally don't wanna label myself as straight, gay or whateva so I am not gonna give myself labels to stick with - just existing." In penning such a brave admission, Rowan joins the ranks of several other stars who have eschewed labels in regards to their own sexuality. In an interview with Paper, Miley Cyrus said that when it comes to sex, she is “literally open to every single thing that is consenting and doesn't involve an animal and everyone is of age.” Similarly, Kristen Stewart told Nylon that she doesn’t label her sexuality, adding, “I think in three or four years, there are going to be a whole lot more people who don’t think it’s necessary to figure out if you’re gay or straight. It’s like, just do your thing.” These stars aren’t alone: Earlier this year, a study found that nearly a third of Americans age 18 to 29 don’t consider themselves completely straight, and more than half of those surveyed agreed with the statement that “sexuality is a scale.” It's likely that more and more young people will see things like gender and sexuality as increasingly fluid—and here's hoping that there are more articulate voices like Blanchard's to join the chorus.”

WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE?

So what is your reaction as you read this? Are you shocked? Shaking your head in disbelief--   perhaps even in judgment--at these young starlets and their expression of their ‘newfound sexuality’? Are you wondering, ‘How’d we ever get to this place in our culture?’ Or are you wondering how many parents—even Christian parents—allow and are unconcerned that their teenage girls read magazines like Glamour that applaud and herald today’s confused Hollywood stars like Rowan? Or have you become so numb to the moral decline in our society that you read the article, shrugged your shoulders, and thought, ‘That’s so sad, but there’s nothing I can do to change the direction that our culture and world is taking’.

As I read the article, I immediately was reminded of Judges 21:25 “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” Doing what was right in their own eyes led to confusion, chaos, and depravity back then, just as it is doing in America today. Whereas God is a God of order (1st Corinthian 14:33), Satan is the author of confusion (James 3:15-18) and the ‘gender confusion’ highlighted in the article is the fruit of and evidence that Satan is at work in the lives of our youth. Our culture has turned its back on God, the ‘King of Kings’ and people are choosing to do whatever they ‘feel’ is ‘right’ for them to do, without any acknowledgement that God is the Righteous One Who has already and alone can determine what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’. So what’s the big deal? The big deal is that a large number of our youth and young adults are being led down a path that leads to their destruction.

THIS TREND IS ROOTED IN REBELLION AND DANGEROUS

This trend to think that one’s ‘sexuality is a scale’ and ones’ ‘gender and sexuality as increasingly fluid’ grieves me. It grieves me but does not surprise me. The groundwork for this rebellious thinking was laid long ago. In fact, it originated back in the Garden of Eden. Rowan Blanchard, Miley Cyrus, Kristen Stewart, and yes, even you and I, are all too often like Adam and Eve, thinking that we are wiser than God and know what is best for us. There were dire consequences for Adam and Eve because of their disobedience to God’s command, and there will be dire consequences for this generation who choose to listen to Satan’s lies rather than to obey God’s perfect will.

I am grieved because the consequences of believing the lies our youth and young adults are being taught about their sexual identity will never lead to their experiencing the joy, peace, and true love they were created to enjoy and that can be found only in a life of obedience to God. I am grieved because God loves the world so much that He gave His Son’s precious life for humanity (John 3:16), and it’s His desire that ‘all would come to know Him’ (1st Timothy 2:4)—which certainly includes Hollywood stars and today’s youth and young adults. And I am especially grieved because we as the Church have allowed these lies to be promulgated in our schools, in the media, and even in some churches -- on ‘our watch’-- and all too often we as the Church have remained silent instead of taking action to counter the destructive lies of Satan. We know that ‘people perish for lack of knowledge,’ and yet too often we say nothing instead of sharing the knowledge of Christ and His truth in love with them.

OUR YOUTH ARE BEING LED INTO A MINEFIELD

What’s going on in our society can be compared to sending our youth and young adults into a field laced with mines that are camouflaged and covered by gorgeous flowers, luscious trees, extravagant water fountains, and other beautiful objects strategically placed and designed to entice them. Our youth have been encouraged to go and play in the minefield without being forewarned that underneath the beautiful objects lie bombs that will blow up on them and cause serious harm to their bodies, to their souls, and can lead to eternal suffering as well. Importantly, a path runs through the field, and if taken and stayed upon, will keep them from ever having to encounter any of the bombs. However, the vast majority of those who influence our youth and young adults are telling them that the path of safety is boring and will keep them from truly enjoying the beauty to be found in the field, so instead of encouraging them to get on the safe path they are encouraging them to go where the mines are.

Lee-Garden-path

The mines, or bombs, are the lies that have been developed and strategically placed by Satan to entice our youth to follow his ways and their own selfish desires. The Path is Jesus-- also known as the Way, the Truth, and the Source of all Life, and He alone can overcome the destruction and death that Satan ‘the Deceiver’ and ‘Father of Lies’ seeks to bring upon all of God’s creation. The influencers are educators, the social media and journalists, Hollywood, politicians, and their peers, among others.

So, ‘What are YOU going to do to intervene in this tragic situation?’ Are you going to let today’s youth and young adults go into the minefield without warning them about the destructive mines, even if they may resist your warning? Are you going to tell them there’s a path they can take that will not only keep them safe from the devil’s lies and destructive power, but is also the only path that will lead to their experiencing true joy, peace, and true love? Are you willing to do whatever God asks you to do to help steer them onto the ‘path of righteousness’ that alone can protect them and that leads to the truly abundant life?

SPECIFIC SUGGESTIONS FOR WHAT YOU CAN DO TO IMPACT OUR CULTURE FOR CHRIST

Below are just some of the things that you can-- and I believe the Church must—do to safeguard our youth and young adults.

1) Pray! This is the most critical thing we all can do, and something we must do to stop the onslaught of the Enemy and to help return this generation to the path of righteousness. Pray for yourself, that God would give you a love for this next generation that would cause you to overcome any fear, unbelief, or passivity so that you will be found faithful to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:1-18) and fulfill the call to ’fight the good fight of faith’ (1st Timothy 6:12). Pray for boldness and courage to take a stand in this ‘wicked and perverse generation’. Pray that the Holy Spirit would give wisdom and discernment to your children; to your grandchildren; to teenagers, youth and young adults that you know (and also those who are known only to God!); Hollywood stars; the media; educators; political leaders, and all those who influence our culture so that they would turn to God, realize His love for them, follow His commands, and turn their back on Satan and his lies. Pray that we as the Church would rise up and proclaim the truth of God’s Word in love to a generation that is being deceived and is desperately in need of knowing the life-giving Word and love of God! Pray for this generation which is being swept up in the lies of ‘tolerance’ that is leading us further down the road of judgment against a Holy God Who created us to be ‘male and female’ and gave us the gift of sex to be used in the context of marriage between a husband and wife. Consider starting a prayer group with other like-minded women to pray together for your children and grandchildren and for ‘God’s children’ in your community, the state, our nation, and the world. Pray that they would be consumed by the ‘fear the Lord’, ‘walk in the truth’, and stand firmly upon His Word. Another way that you can ‘war’ for this generation is to prayer walk: in your neighborhood, around schools, around other public and private buildings, either alone or with others.

2) Daily read and carefully study God’s word so that you will be equipped and able to discern the difference between truth and the lies of the enemy. Consider the minefield analogy: a mine expert knows the importance of remaining on the safe path, and he also knows that where to look for mines, what they look like, and how to detonate them if he does get off the path. Studying the Word of God will train you to be ‘an expert’ who knows God and the importance of obeying His perfect commands. It will enable you to identify and overcome Satan’s lies if you or a loved one disobeys God and gets off the path, and it also will instruct you on how to get back on the ‘path of life’.

3) Teach and instruct your family in the truth of God’s word so that they too will ‘know the truth that will set them free’. (John 8:32) We have been commanded to instruct our children in the truth (Deuteronomy 6); many of the youth and adults who believe the lies of the enemy are doing so because parents have abdicated their responsibility to instruct their children in God’s word. Determine to make bible reading and instruction part of your family’s daily routine, applying God’s word to the issues of daily living and current events. Make sure to joyously share with your children and grandchildren that they are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ (Psalm 139:14) by God Who is perfect in all of His ways (Psalm 145:17) and Who intentionally created them to be male or female for their good and His glory (Genesis 5:2). Let them know that sex is a wonderful gift, but a gift that God in His wisdom has reserved for marriage between a man and a woman. Live out God’s word by modeling what a godly life and marriage looks like; wives respecting your husbands, and husbands loving your wives as they love themselves, both husband and wife submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:21-33).

4) Teach and disciple non-family members in the truth of God’s Word. We have been commanded both ‘to love God’ and ‘to love others as God has loved us’ (Luke 10:27), and if we love God and others we will be faithful to share the ‘good news’ of the gospel with them, ‘going and making disciples’. (Matthew 28:19) There are many ways in which you can obey these commands, such as: teach a Sunday school class; lead a Bible study in your neighborhood or in your church for Moms where you teach them God’s Word and encourage them to instruct their own families in the truth of God’s Word; lead a Bible study for teenage girls/young adults in your neighborhood, church, or school district; mentor a teenage girl or young adult from your church, neighborhood, or school district; get involved with the Boys/Girl Clubs of America, Girl Scouts, your local juvenile detention facility, or other organizations where there is the opportunity to develop a relationship with youth/young adults and share and model the truth of God’s love to them.

5) Get educated regarding what is being taught in your local elementary, middle, and high school(s) as well as your universities, whether or not your kids or grandkids attend them (and especially if they do!) God is concerned about the souls of these precious students and knows the importance of training up a child (Proverbs 22:6) and that what we think will direct the course of our lives (Proverbs 23:7). We as Christians should be concerned about what children, teenagers and young adults are being taught; it matters to God and it should matter to us! Do not assume that just because your child is in a Christian school or even home schooled that this doesn’t concern you; the people who are being led astray are dear to God, and as His child you have a responsibility to reach out to and help them. Remember, your children will be impacted by what is elevated in our culture: they’ll either succumb to or influencer it.

6) Contact your school board members as well as your state education personnel if you determine that what is being taught in your public schools does not line up with God’s Word (most likely it does not) and work to change the curriculum. Organize with other parents who are concerned about our education system and seek to make changes in the curriculum, such as removing/altering sex education and other programs that undermine God’s Word and your God-ordained parental authority. Prayerfully consider running for your school board or other public office, and make sure to actively support elected and appointed officials at all levels of the government who (at least most closely!) hold to a biblical worldview.

7) If after attempting to change an anti-Biblical curriculum at your child’s school be prayerful and willing to remove your child from the school—no matter how affordable, convenient, or prestigious it is in the world’s eyes-- if that is how the Lord leads you.

So what is God leading you to do to stand up for truth and to extend God’s love to this generation that is so precious to Him?

 

 

Written by Julie Van Gorp