Christians, we must be wise and understand the times in which we live. The Apostle Paul instructs the church, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of time, because the days are evil.” (Eph. 5:15-16).
The America of today is not the America of yesterday. It is not the America of our parents, our grandparents, or our great-grandparents. It is a country in transition. A country rejecting itself.
In many ways, you might say that America is in the midst of its own gender transition. Rejecting what it is, claiming to be something it is not.
Added to this cultural transformation is the pressure of Covid. Masks, social distancing, vaccines, mandates, lockdowns, and more. These things have awakened in many the feeling of resistance. Our American instincts tell us, “This isn’t right!” “This is a violation of my constitutional rights!”
And let’s be honest. Our American constitutional rights have been violated. The government has overstepped its bounds. These are unprecedented days. But that’s not my point.
I am not writing to Americans writ large. I am writing to Christians living in America right now. Not only are we faced with a culture in transition, but we are faced with the task of thinking through it biblically. And this takes time and effort.
-The Wrong kind of Violation.
Christians, we must understand what is worth standing for and what is not. We must be able to discern what is really worth the fight and what is not. We must be able to discern the difference between a violation of our temporary earthly rights granted under a human form of government, and violations of biblical truths that we must never abide.
Early on in the pandemic, we were tempted to rebel against the mask. Now, the discussion is dominated by the vaccine with more and more companies handing down mandates. But, for Christians, we must understand that the Bible grants us no special earthly privileges when it comes to suffering in the world. We’re going to walk hard, difficult roads. And biblical discernment will help us tell the difference between our earthly rights being violated (which the Bible says will happen) and violations of God’s Word.
-Understanding the Times.
While, for many of us, the masks, the vaccine, and the mandates first felt like first tier violations, we must see it through the lens of Scripture.
The mask mandate is NOT the government violating our religious commitments.
The vaccine mandate is NOT the government violating our religious commitments.
But, these mandates do open doors for more to come. It is a tragedy of Western culture that personal liberty continues to erode. And while the Government is guilty of overreach in many ways, they have not yet demanded that we violate the Word of God either through active or passive means. The door to such has been opened, and dangerous precedents have been set...but we must see things for what they are.
Christians CAN faithfully love and obey God while wearing a mask.
Christians CAN faithfully love God and obey His Word and take the vaccine.
But, as the country continues its “transition,” more and more pressure will be placed on Christians to conform to ungodly and disobedient positions. For example, there will come a time, and in some cases, the time has already come, where employees of large companies will be required to pledge their support for gay and transgender rights or face loss of employment.
This is one such example where Christians CANNOT go along with the pressure.
-An Example to Follow.
We have some instruction here from 3 men named Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Faced with death for not conforming to the idolatrous practices of a pagan government, the men state, “Our God is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of your hand...But if not, be it known to you, o King, we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image you have set up.”
Like these three, there will likely come a time when Christians in America are called upon to bow down to the idols of our time. It may be the idols of gay and transgender rights, pro-abortion rights, the powerful march of progressive liberalism’s overreach, or something yet unforeseen. The reality seems to be that such a time is on its way.
Christian, we must be ready now. We must be thinking clearly and biblically now. The world is a difficult place to live. And we must be careful to think biblically and thoroughly.
When they strip away our earthly rights, we can grieve, and then we can move on. We have a better city waiting for us.
But when they come for our Bibles, when they call upon us to compromise the Scriptures and disobey our Savior, we must be ready to stand firm with a heart full of faith and eyes set upon Jesus.
May we be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. (Matthew 10:16)
For a more extended treatment of the subject, see here.