The “Brave New World” of the 21st Century requires a “Brave New Discipleship” strategy.

Three Seductive Cultural Values Every Christian Must Reject

Posted on: May 16, 2017

IDENTIFYING AND REJECTING THREE SEDUCTIVE CULTURAL VALUES

There are three cultural values that are extremely seductive. They appeal to our sense of autonomy and self-sufficiency. They give us the illusion that we are in control of our lives. And our culture offers its members three unwritten, unspoken, and often unrecognized contracts based on these three values.

Seductive Value #1: Embracing self-selected truth

To embrace self-selected truth means that I can choose for myself what I believe, what I decide is true for me.  Therefore, what is true for you (as you self-select truth) might not be true for me. It also allows me to base truth on my feelings rather than on facts. The cultural mantra is, “Follow your heart.”

It is so seductive because it gives me freedom to do what I want to do. I don’t have to do what you or anyone else wants me to. I can choose my own path.  It is the essence of “self.”

The first contract that modern culture offers us is a contract about truth: If you won’t try to tell me what is true, I won’t try to tell you what is true!

Seductive Value #2: Accepting tolerance as the highest value

Building off the first seductive value, if we sign the first cultural contract of self-selected truth, accepting that there is no such thing as absolute truth, which translates into no moral right and wrong, then that leads us to the second seductive cultural value: tolerance as the highest value.

The thinking is this: because everyone’s truth is equally true, we must give equal acceptance to all truth. That leads to three conclusions:

  1. All beliefs and religions are equal
  2. All cultures are equal
  3. All lifestyles are equal

Therefore, if there is no quality difference among any of these, we must tolerate beliefs, cultures and lifestyles that are not the same as our own.

As a result, the second contract that modern culture offers us is a contract for tolerance: If you won’t look down on me, I won’t look down on you.

Seductive Value #3: Permitting self-selected behavior

If there is no such thing as moral right and wrong, and if tolerance is the highest value, then all behavior is acceptable.

This conclusion leads to an acceptance of behavior that has historically been considered unacceptable by those in the mainstream of life, including:

  1. Demonism, witchcraft and the occult
  2.  Expanded sexual freedom and violence
  3. Acceptance of nature worship and the equality of all life forms (a bean is equal to a bug which is equal to a bear which is equal to a boy)

Therefore, he third contract that modern culture offers uses a contract for behavior: If you won’t tell me what to do, I won’t tell you what to do.

Our Response

The motivation for these seductive values goes back to the very early days of creation.  Satan’s original sin was: “I will make myself like the Most High.” (Isaiah 14:12-14)

And that is the seduction with which Satan tempted Adam and Eve, promising that if they would eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, “your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God!” (Genesis 3:5)

The fall and destruction of Satan is that he wanted to be the god of his own life. The fall and destruction of Adam and Eve is that they wanted to be the gods of their own lives. And the cultural seduction that Satan offers each of us is the freedom to be our own god, determining for ourselves what is true, what to tolerate and how to behave.

The problem, of course, is that the results for us are the same as the results were for Satan and for Adam & Eve: self-destruction!

Truth is what God says it is, regardless of what we think.  We should believe only those things that God believes. (John 14:6)  In addition, we should tolerate only those things that God tolerates, regardless of what we feel. (Ephesians 5:3-5)  And finally, we should do only those things that God blesses, regardless of what we may selfishly desire. (James 1:25)

God’s standards do not limit us, as Adam and Eve feared, they protect us. They do not hold us back, they send us forward. They do not demean us, they exalt us. (1 Peter 5:6)

As C. S. Lewis said:

“God made us: invented us as a man invents an engine.  A car is made to run on [gasoline], and will not run properly on anything else.  Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself.  He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on.  There is no other.  That is why it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way.., God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there.”

So we must reject the siren song of the three cultural contracts.  We must rebuff the seductions of Satan to follow the path of self-determination, which is really self-destruction.  If not, we are no wiser than Adam & Eve were, even though we have the advantage of witnessing their example and their consequences.

We must, as Scripture says, “stand firm” in the face of satanic seductions (Ephesians 6:11), safe on the foundation of God’s truth.

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