Previously I outlined the dangerous times we live in based upon a quote from Tom Nichols in his book The Death of Expertise (You can read part one of this article by clicking here). In that book he states the following:
These are dangerous times. Never have so many people had so much access to so much knowledge and yet have been so resistant to learn anything.
(You can read that previous article here). The truth of such a statement comes from a society who lacks attention, contention, and contradiction. Instead, the majority of people define what they believe and then seek out only the sources and people who will confirm those beliefs with little regard to alternative views. As a result, we are a society built upon ignorance, irrationalization, and discord.
As Christians, such an ongoing condition is no surprise. In fact, Paul warns of these attitudes several times in his writings. Romans 1 is a chapter that sheds light on the condition of people. From there we learn that men and women are content to go apart from God and in doing so slip into unrighteousness with little regard for God, and thus little regard for truth (since he is after all truth). Furthermore, Paul warns Timothy that a “time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (2 Timothy 4:3-4). It is almost nearly impossible to read those words and not think about how our society meets Paul’s description here.
However despairing the condition appears though, there is no need for it to create a despondent Christian. Instead, Christians should respond with three characteristics:
- Be Formed: Before anything else, it is important that the Christian be formed by the very Word of God. This formation by the Word creates a Christian that is stable in an unstable culture because the Word is unchangeable.
- Be Transformed: Second is for the Christian to be transformed. First, this means not allowing the world to conform us to its standards and instead, by the work of the Spirit be transformed.
- Be Informed: Finally, as we are shaped by our God through his powerful word and powerful spirit, we must use that to interpret the events around us. That means we must be informed about what is taking place so that we can respond with godly character and godly action.
The Lord is not surprised by the direction of our society and neither should we be. In fact, he has offered repeated warnings to us about it. We cannot alter the course of humanity, but neither should be complacent. Instead, we can respond according to God’s will by exemplifying Him to others through are activities and attributes. In doing so, perhaps we can be privileged to see others turn to him as a result.
Photo “Obscured View” courtesy of user Per Goshe and Flickr.