We are tempted to think that the time in which we live is the worst time in the history of civilization. That’s nonsense. The Bible speaks of a time when “every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25). What is new, however, is the way in which Christians have succumbed to social pressure during such a time. I believe some Christians’ lack of indignation at what we see in our world today is not a sign of their spirituality but of their indifference.
A major part of being a Christian is to square with reality. Christianity requires us to accept the terms that God has handed down. If we don’t, we’ll reject the world He has made or the ways that He is working in it.
The primary way that Christians engage the world is with truth. Spiritual warfare is not primarily a battle for power or culture; it is a battle for truth—the truth about God, about ourselves, and about sin. In our cultural moment, we are told there is no such thing as absolute truth. Truth is a buffet, we are told, you eat what you want. In fact, the highest character quality, in our culture, is that you must be true to whatever your truth is—whatever that means.
Much of what we are facing today may be relatively new by way of terminology or policy, but it is actually not new. From the very beginning Satan’s strategy has been to get people to disregard the truth (John 8:44; Genesis 3). What is new in our time, is the full-fledged push to normalize and require everyone to affirm untruth.
This is where Christians must draw the line. We will not affirm untruths. In order for us to engage in this war for truth we can start with the following principles:
CULTIVATE A SCRIPTURE-CENTERED MINDSET
We need to immerse ourselves into the Word of God. More than anything else, the Scriptures give us the discernment that we need to navigate the world in which we find ourselves. Jesus affirmed to the Father, “Thy word is truth” (John 17:17). Spend time every day in the Word of God. Search the Scriptures to see what God has to say about whatever positions or philosophies or theories are being paraded today.
REFRAME OUR PERSPECTIVE AWAY FROM OURSELVES
If we only focus on ourselves and our circumstances, We are going to fall into despair. For Christians, constant anxiety and hopeless despair are sin. All of us slip into these seasons at times, but when we find ourselves there we must repent of those feelings and ask the Lord for forgiveness. Then we must look up by reminding ourselves that this world is not all that there is. We are, as Peter said, “A chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).
BE WILLING TO EMBRACE DIFFICULTIES
I am not suggesting that we should treat difficulties as if they are good, but rather that we should recognize that difficulty is here to stay. The world in which we live is fallen. So we need to square with that reality. Many Christians think that if we just wish bad, harmful things away, they will vanish. It is true sometimes difficulties go away, but sometimes they don’t. It is more likely that God will use difficulty to grow us.
LIVE EACH DAY WITH DISCERNMENT
We cannot allow ourselves to simply become undiscerning consumers of the culture. Every thought must be made subservient to the Word of God. “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4–5). We must be aware of the ways in which the world is trying to shape our thinking. This includes being aware of the content you are watching, reading, or enjoying.
MAKE AND KEEP CHRIST-HONORING FRIENDSHIPS
In these days of increasing public discord, we should be intentional about developing new friendships and keeping old ones. Sometimes the best thing we can do is simply be kind to each other, befriend one another, stand together. As John said, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7). When you find a Christ-honoring friend, hold on tight.
We are in a spiritual war. The stakes are not a series of political wins or losses; they are larger than that—if Christians will recognize truth and boldly lift up the Truth. This requires that we immerse ourselves in God’s Word, delight in Christ, and willingly share our faith. “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31–32).