Monday, July 7, 2014

Is It Really Possible?

By David Anguish

     What a tough place for a person with principles to live! There are people here from everywhere. All have brought their beliefs, values, and vices. Some endorse higher standards, in some cases even belief in the Judeo-Christian God. But, their voices are hard to hear in the clatter of a culture immersed in pluralism. 
     A Christian seeking to win people to Christ faces a daunting task that must begin with education before it can attempt persuasion. When meeting someone who doesn’t follow Jesus, he must learn to which of some fifty or sixty worldviews he will need to respond. 
     Teaching people in this society to correctly worship God is yet another daunting task. It is a world in which it is not at all uncommon to hear of religious ceremonies that are more wild party than homage to the holy. For instance, one group is known to feature wild dancing, free flowing adult beverages, and music that comes closer to that of some of our chart-topping bands in its style than to “Holy, Holy, Holy.” Some of its rites are also compatible with an active red-light district. That’s not hard to find either, thriving as it does, not in a specially zoned part of town, but on the main thoroughfare.
     Assuming a disciple can get a hearing, persuade others to follow Jesus, and get a church going, helping it become spiritually mature is yet another challenge. The beliefs, values, and virtues taught by Jesus are just so different. Libertine habits are part of the converts’ cultural DNA. The anything-goes way of life they recently have left pulls at them to return. How can one possibly think he will succeed in leading them to seek the purity called for by Christ?
     Family values are a special problem. This is a world where husbands do as they want, when they want. Wives need a man for pragmatic reasons, but respect him? You can’t be serious. And then there’s the challenge of getting through to the young people who are coming of age in a world where so many voices advocate more liberty than they’re going to hear endorsed at church.
     What’s a believer to do? Keep the faith, trusting God to help him live up to his holy calling even in a world like this. Will it work? Well, Paul thought so — in first century Ephesus (Eph. 4:1-6:9). Because, you see, that is the place I’ve just described. Think about it.     

- David Anguish preaches for Church of Christ at Southwind, Memphis, TN.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website:

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