WHEN THE CULTURE SAYS
Rom.12: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
One of the most difficult but crucial aspects of being a devoted follower of Jesus is the challenge to wash away almost everything you have been told or taught by the culture in which you live. Even those things that are espoused by the culture that seem to be in agreement with Biblical truth are Trojan Horses designed to bring in falsehoods and even damnable heresies.
I have two dogs and I am one of those embarrassingly open dog lovers. And when I say “Treat!” both dogs come running and will consume anything I feed them. They have come to trust my voice and that word, and even though I have wrapped medicine inside lunch meat they still will eat whatever I hand them. If I fed them poison they would still eat it because they have learned to trust me and the word “treat”. They have nothing to fear because I would never do any harm to my pets.
But such a claim cannot be said for the fallen culture which surrounds us and openly and subtly demands and imprisons all its subjects. We have forgotten that the culture is fallen in thought, word, and deed. It is profoundly working against the purposes of Christ and His kingdom even if sometimes it seems as if it is in agreement with some issues. But when the church, which should have Jesus as the only Lord, begins to trust the culture in some ways it begins to slip into trusting it in all ways. And when the culture says “Treat!” the church comes for that which the culture offers. The problem is that even when the culture says “Do not lie” it still is part of a grand scheme to deceived the people and defraud the Savior. How does that operate?
First you must suggest some morals which seem Biblical, and then you begin to elicit some level of trust and even fondness from those who should know better. A child molester offers real candy while attempting to achieve his sinister motives. In chess it is called a “gambit” as you allow a piece to be captured so you can leverage a better position which can ultimately provide a path to victory. And so it is with that fallen culture which provides a clandestine forum for the evil one to achieve his sinister goals. The devil has had centuries to hone his deceptive skills and he knows how to manipulate the human race. He does use open evil but his forte is using a mixture of good and evil while emphasizing the good and hiding the evil.
And although the culture does not use the word “treat” it does have words and phrases that accomplish the same things. These are some of those words:
And when believers embrace these treats they embrace evil that seeks to undermine the Word of God and the kingdom of Jesus. Once you receive from the hand of the fallen you cannot just receive that which seems to please God. No, you receive everything connected with the kingdom of darkness. You may not see it or understand it, but this process has emasculated the church and has formed a powerless collection of religious hedonists. And all this has come about even while the church believes it is standing for truth. That kind of deception is very sophisticated.
When the church pays attention to the ebbs and flows of the culture and does battle with carnal weapons it compromises on a grand scale. Eventually what you have is an amalgam of religion and culture and that cannot be considered the faith that follows Jesus. To be sure the culture will give treats with moral positions and fairy tales about the Christian formation of America. And inside those narratives lives a clandestine power which continues to lead the visible church deeper and deeper into the abyss of apostasy. And yet it feels so good to be morally righteous and faithfully patriotic and enjoying the fruits of a decadent culture which thrives on money and self pleasure. And here is the church calling that which is completely against the teachings of Jesus the “blessings of God”. And how can this happen?
It happens by the transitive process. If you receive a genuine piece of truth from the fallen culture it gains some level of trust in your mind. Would you buy a book from Charles Manson even if everything he wrote was moral? Why not? Is it because his fallen nature is more open and pronounced than is that of the culture? And even if much of the culture is openly against Christ morally, you still can soothe your conscience by suggesting we can return to the former days when we embraced the “Judeo-Christian ethic”. There is no such thing. It is a man made concept which joins the morals of the Old Testament with the morals of Jesus. And even assuming that for a moment it is obvious this nation or any other has never been moral at all. It is all an imaginary tale.
The process of deception moves from unwise to compromise all the way to out and out idolatry. And the ingenuous evil is that that same church incorporates the dictates and mores of the culture right into its beliefs and practices and with the deftness of a magician it crafts a divine relationship with the church and the culture. And yet it remains a diabolical illusion. And the illusion becomes reality in the minds and hearts of professing believers. The congregation now lives and breathes and participates in a fallen culture with no struggle to resist, much less to undergo a constant transformation of the mind.
And when the conservative wing of the fallen culture is pro-life or pro-traditional marriage and yells “Treat!” the church comes and embraces that brief and hollow morsel. And so grows the relationship that legitimatizes the fallen and poisons the Bride. It is oh so tragic. The deception has such deep roots that even suggesting a comprehensive spiritual reevaluation many times places you as a radical and a trouble maker. The ecclesiastical princess is quite comfortable and vehemently resists any entrance of the slightest pea under her pleasure stuffed mattress.
But make no mistake, the culture is an enemy of Christ. Liberal, conservative, and all the rest is a scam and appeals to the fleshly desires of men. Capitalism and war and democracy and the entire landscape have no place inside the kingdom of Christ our Lord. Is it that cut and dry, you ask. What fellowship has light with darkness? Can a room be light and dark at the same time? But that is exactly what the western church is attempting to suggest. We have lost the concept of how completely fallen is this present world. Can a rotting corpse be good for food? Can arsenic be used to prepare a healthy meal?
Is this the way of Jesus? Let a follower of Christ have one vote and let a Satan worshiper have one vote. Is that God’s way? That is democracy at its core. Win by organizing, money, propaganda, and joining forces with whoever is on your temporal side. The whole world lies in the wicked one. Can the Lord Christ and Satan join hands? If that is the way of Jesus then the gospels are a lie. But it gets the competitive juices flowing and it makes us feel so moral. Humility? Meekness? Those are for wimps. Hatred is now boldness. Pride is now patriotic. Having way more than you need is now showers of blessings. The church now grows through strategies. And professing believers are willing to die for the flag but not willing to deny themselves for Christ.
But perk up your ears and listen closely. The world will still call out “Treat!” almost every single day. If Jesus wants you to feed from that fallen hand then go ahead. But I suggest that is not Jesus at all.
I Jn.2: 15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.