Today, most of us live in a highly pluralistic society. Our next-door neighbor could well be Chinese, Ethiopian, or European. And, in the name of harmony, we're told to respect differing views and opinions. But when voices of culture state that homosexuality, abortion, and cohabitation are acceptable lifestyle choices, what should believers in Jesus do? When God's truth is replaced by "tolerance," how do we live out our faith?
The prophet Jeremiah lived during a time when truth was spurned. In chapter 42, we find a group of Judean "guerrillas" and the people they had rescued coming to Jeremiah with what sounded like a sincere request for guidance (vv.1-5). At that time, Jerusalem had been destroyed and Egypt was applying great pressure on the kingdom of Judah to cast their lot with them. After receiving a message from God, Jeremiah delivered God's pronouncement to the people. The substance of God's reply was that they should not go down into Egypt, and that if they did they would be destroyed. The people were intent, however, on going to Egypt, and they rejected Jeremiah's warning (43:4). They called the prophet a liar and added insult to injury by forcing him to accompany them (vv.2,6). Jeremiah knew his message wasn't what the people wanted to hear. Yet he spoke forth God's Word boldly, instead of trying to make it more palatable for the people.
Today, while we need to be discerning about how to present God's truth to diverse audiences, we should never change what it says. When issues strike at the heart of biblical teaching, we must take a stand and winsomely continue to be God's salt and light to people lost in a declining culture. Let's speak His truth in love. , Poh Fang Chia
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