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Most people try to avoid conflict as much as possible. It is unpleasant on so many levels. This is true whether it applies to war, family arguments, and even disputes between friends.
But the tendency toward avoidance can only go so far. There almost always comes a time when people must stand up for what they know to be true and right.
As we look at what is happening in society these days, there is a type of conflict that is all around us, and we can’t escape it. It is a clash of beliefs and ideology. Traditionally, in American society, we have been able to work through this kind of friction, at the very least, by agreeing to disagree. We were able to openly state our case, but at the same time have enough respect for others to remain friends. These days, however, that is becoming increasingly difficult.
The reason we have traditionally been able to agree to disagree is that biblical worldview beliefs dominated society. This does not mean, in any respect, that everyone was a Christian, but the societal rules that governed people’s behavior emerged from the teachings of the Bible.
The specific biblical beliefs that informed that mindset are found in several areas:
- The priority of the individual - God’s primary focus is on interacting with individuals to engage a relationship.
- A high view of man - Human beings are persons created in the image of God, and are of higher value than any other part of His creation.
- Freedom of conscience - Every person has free-will and must choose their own path in life.
- Personal responsibility - Every person is responsible for the choices they make in life.
- Respect for other people - Every human being is a person created in the image of God, so we should value them to the same degree God does, and treat them with respect.
The beliefs we now see dominating society are based on a different foundation – a naturalistic worldview. Naturalism is the belief that the natural universe, operating by natural laws, is all that exists. This belief foundation is atheistic, and its values have no objective foundation. Thus, those in power make the rules. As such, it has an entirely different set of priorities. These priorities result in:
- The precedence of the collective - The survival of the species is the highest priority, and those in power decide how best to achieve that.
- A naturalistic view of man - Human beings are understood to be merely one species of natural animal among many. As mere animals, human beings hold no intrinsic value.
- Demand for conformity - Since the collective is more important than the individual, individuals must conform their behavior to what society considers to be in the best interest of the collective.
- Collective responsibility - Since the collective has priority, individuals must conform their will to that of society.
- Respect for the collective - Since the collective has priority, loyalty to it takes priority over human relationships.
Looking at what is going on in society as it is increasingly dominated by naturalistic worldview beliefs, we see that those in power are increasingly choosing to steamroll those who disagree.
Recently, in England, a Christian college fired a teacher for posting a tweet calling homosexuality a sin. This is a supposedly evangelical college that is run by the Methodists.
But it is not just in England. A school teacher in California was fired for refusing to agree to hide students’ “gender transitions” from their parents. An in another case, radical students at a college in New York crashed a speech on “free speech on college campuses.” These agitators ate up the group’s pizza, tore up a student’s Bible, and caused such a ruckus that the attendees had to be escorted by police to a different venue to hold their event.
Christians certainly should never resort to unchristian tactics to push back against this kind of tyranny. But there does need to be push back. We can no longer afford to tippy-toe around the evil that is going on.
So what should that push-back look like?
It should consist of Christians standing strong in the face of evil ways. That standing strong means being willing to tell the truth and not back down in the face of opposition. Telling the truth involves several things:
- It involves sharing the gospel message. Persecution or not, we must share the core basics of a biblical worldview – the gospel – and not back down. Life change only happens when people’s lives are changed by a relationship with God.
- It involves speaking the truth about science. Changing genders is not possible. Homosexual behavior is not natural. Marriage consists only of the union of one man and one woman. Abortion is murder.
- It involves telling the truth about moral values. Lying is not moral. Cheating is not moral. Sex outside of marriage is not moral. Political tyranny is not moral.
- It involves treating others with respect. This does not mean giving in to evil, but involves recognizing that even opponents are persons made in the image of God – persons whom He loves. We can oppose people without having hate in our hearts.
There is no doubt, overtly standing for the truth will inevitably involve a certain amount of unpleasantness – especially given the evil values that dominate so much of modern society. But Christians have a stewardship responsibility from God to promote the coming of His kingdom and the implementation of His will (“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”). And that is done by changing hearts and minds. No more tippy-toeing around.
Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books entitled The Truth Mirage, Rules for Christians Radicals, Liberalism vs. Conservatism, and his latest book Shattering the Truth Mirage and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication, and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah.
You may also contact Freddy at Leadership Speakers Bureau to schedule him for speaking or leadership engagements.
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