One of the best — and worst — things about life is that it is ever moving, ever progressing. As the Earth twirls around on its axis, following its designed course, us humans run around and complete task after task. And with each second that ticks past, our world progresses more and more.
A quick look in our History books will tell you just how far we’ve come. If we were to compare ourselves to the 1800s, we’d see a different sense of style; different morals and beliefs; prejudices; a lack of sophisticated technology; and so much more.
In the time since, we have made new discoveries; developed new ways of thinking; have new understanding; a different style; sophisticated technology; etc.
And while most of these developments have been positive and integral in our society, other developments present an issue for modern day believers.
Society today believes in, and enforces, things that Christians have maintained is against their beliefs. And these differences have created a tension between the church and society, leaving them to question their faith and the validity of the Bible.
Out of this confusion and questioning has come quarrels within the body, church splits, new doctrines and beliefs, and progressive Christiniaty.
Progressive Christianity accepts things that most of the body believes are contrary to the Word. Their focus is on moralism, instead of salvation; and they maintain a low view of Christ.
Although much of the Christian community would agree that this thinking is absurd, more and more of believers today are falling in line with these progressive beliefs.
People today (from my perspective, at least) are very concerned with “fitting in”. Everyone is quick to jump on the new trends, perfecting the dance moves, sayings, and outfits.
They know that if their beliefs do not match with others, they run the risk of being ostracized, demeaned, or “cancelled”.
This is our reality.
As a young, Christian adult, I’ve found myself surrounded by these conflicting beliefs and confronted with decisions to make: do I stand on the Word of God, or do I adhere to the cultural standard?
These two stances are vastly different, and I’d like to outline the main differences that I have personally seen.
Everything is okay as long as you’re happy and it’s not hurting anyone.
I’m sure you’ve heard this somewhere, and while it sounds nice in theory, it’s not entirely biblically sound.
1 Corinthians 10:23 says this: “You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial.”
As we know, the Bible clearly outlines what is wrong. However, there are many things in modern-day society that are not necessarily mentioned in the Bible; it falls into a gray area. And as so, we often rationalize it as “not wrong” and therefore “okay.”
We think, “The Bible says nothing about this. I don’t feel convicted. This isn’t hurting anyone, and I enjoy it. How bad can it really be?”
I’d like to begin by pointing out that the Bible was written about 3400 years ago, so clearly it won’t mention certain aspects of our current culture.
However, many of the things we say aren’t in the Bible are actually there, just not so plainly. If you were truly looking for it, you might find it.
Which brings me to my second point: you won’t feel convicted if you aren’t open to the Holy Spirit doing a check. In order to really know if something is right or wrong (good or bad for you) you have to be open to a negative answer. You have to be willing to hear what God has to say on the matter, and be ready to take action.
If you’ve mentally decided to keep doing that thing regardless of what the Holy Spirit says, you won’t be hearing from Him. It would be a waste of time. You’ve already made your mind up.
My last point on this matter refers back to 1 Corinthians 10:23. Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean it’s okay. Some things are downright bad for you and will harm you in the long run.
Just because you enjoy something, doesn’t mean it won’t be a regret down the road.
Everything is “normalized” and accepted, including sin.
“Can we just normalize…” Fill in the blank, and this is a phrase I see/hear oh so often. And while I appreciate the normalization of several things, there are others that are contrary to the Word of God, and Christians should not be advocating for it. However, I see so many Christians proclaiming beliefs in things that are clearly in contrast to scripture.
Galatians 5:19-23 says, “Now, the effects of the corrupt nature are obvious: illicit sex, perversion, promiscuity, idolatry, drug use, hatred, rivalry, jealousy, angry outbursts, selfish ambition, conflict, factions, envy, drunkenness, wild partying, and similar things. I’ve told you in the past and I’m telling you again that people who do these kinds of things will not inherit God’s kingdom. But the spiritual nature produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There are no laws against things like that.”
No one is perfect, not even Christians. Don’t misunderstand; I’m not claiming this at all. However, any Christian participating in the aforementioned actions, or even supporting it, “will not inherit God’s kingdom”.
That’s not me being judgemental or rude; that’s scripture — that’s fact. 1 John 3:4 says, “Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.”
Hear me: God doesn’t expect us to be perfect. The Bible says that all have sinned and fall short (Romans 3:23). However, God does expect us to follow His commandments. Here’s proof:
“…our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law…Well then, if we emphasize faith, does this mean that we can forget about the law? Of course not! In fact, only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the law.” (Romans 3:27-31)
“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.” (John 15:10)
“Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.” (Revelation 14:12)
We’re not expected to be perfect, but we are expected to follow His commandments; His Word; and to uplift and uphold the values of our faith. If we’re supporting things contrary to this, we’re failing.
This is my life and I will do what I want.
We are a society that’s very much “I want my way and I want it now”. We’re willing to fight for what we want. Now, this is not necessarily a bad quality to have. In fact, this can be a great asset. However, we are not meant to be the authors of our story. God is.
In Jeremiah 29:11 it says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
The plans have been made. And while to some this way seems like being chained and dragged to a place they don’t want to go to, that’s just not how it is. God will never force you to do something that you don’t want to do. God created you with specific talents and passions. He is the One who gives you desires and places ideas in your mind.
Whatever God has for you, it’s a plan you will want and love, not hate.
And it should be known that we cannot steer a ship at the same time as God. Ultimately it will be chaos and we will get nowhere.
God should be steering; we should be obedient. It’s not our way, right now, or the highway. It’s God’s way, in His timing, and it’s a sure promise.
And remember, 1 Corinthians 10:12 says, “If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall.”
Our wants, needs, and desires come first. God comes second.
This is a big one. We are all guilty of this at some point in our lives, but others live by this. To them, God is not the most important. Sure, we should love God and go to church, but I have other things to do and He just doesn’t fit in my schedule. Sound familiar?
Matthew 6:33 instructs us to seek first the kingdom of God. And when we do, everything we need will be provided for us.
We are commanded to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, and do everything unto Him. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.”
How can we have our way, and still follow scripture? The answer is we can’t.
These are just the main differences between our current culture’s views on Christianity, and what the Bible actually says.
And we’re all faced with a choice: serve the Lord, or fall in line with men.
“Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve…” (Joshua 24:14-15)
Who will you serve?
Christians, we can no longer be lukewarm, back-and-forth, one-foot-in-one-foot-out Christians. We must be firmly planted in the Word of God, rooted in it, and walking in it. We can no longer compromise or adhere to a cultural standard that is contrary to His Word. We must decide.
Today I urge you to ask yourself: have I been compromising my faith? Then, choose this day whom you will serve.
What do you think? Are Christians compromising their faith? Or are we simply adapting to fit in and remain relevant in our culture? Is this wrong?
Comment your thoughts below and share with your friends to see their thoughts!
Maddisen Sauls is the smile and voice behind the Everyday Joy blog as well as the author of the Word of the Week posts and the editor of by leaps and bounds. Throughout her life, Maddisen has worked as a reporter for small town newspapers, a School Age and Preschool teacher, and has acquired her ministerial license.
An avid book reader and lover of the written word, Maddisen is passionate about using her favorite medium to reach the lost and the hurting, and to offer encouragement and hope to those struggling through life.
Following her battle with depression, Maddisen has made it her mission to help other people through this journey and to bring joy to the lives of the people around her.
You can find Maddisen on Instagram @maddisen.paige