You may remember the popular Bob Dylan tune, “The Times They Are A-Changin’.” The song rings with truth today just as it did in 1964 when it was first released. Popular culture is constantly changing. Sometimes the change is for the better, while other times, for the worse. However, our perspective on change has much do with our individual world-views.
From a Christian world-view, many changes in our culture over the past 15 years or so have caught us off guard. Why? Because there are many things that, in times past, seemed so foundational to the human experience that are now being put to the test. For instance, a brief perusal of current news outlets shows questions we once all knew the answer to, but now… not so much. Questions like, “What is the family?”, “What is marriage?”, or “What is male and female?” At one time, a simple answer would suffice. However, many people now disagree with these simple answers.
How do we respond to this current landscape filled with many opposing views? Let me start by stating what I think we should not do. We should not use our disagreements as an excuse to destroy one another. All too often, various groups on either side of the political and ideological aisle have forgotten basic human kindness when wrestling through current topics. This is to our shame. When did we become so hateful? Now, let me be clear what I mean when I use the word “hateful”. The word hateful cannot be used to describe someone who simply has an opposing view to yours. Our culture has fostered such self-centeredness that many people believe people with a different view are “mean, bigoted, and hateful.” No, hateful is when we disagree with an idea and then hurl personal insults, slandering another person with the intention of tearing them down.
So, what should we do? King David asks the same question in Psalm 11. “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” As Christians, we see so many things that are foundational, things God instituted for the good and flourishing of mankind, being changed.
I believe there are 3 things we should keep in mind as we address current these.
1) We should listen.
Are we truly listening to those with whom we disagree? We need to be more intentional to listen and come to understand them even if we remain opposed to their ideas.
2) We should love.
As followers of Christ we are called to be known for our love; whether our neighbor or enemy, Jesus calls us to love. Those with whom we disagree remain image bearers of God and have inherent worth and value. Let us disagree in a way that shows this.
3) We should proclaim the Gospel.
Our political aspirations or humanitarian efforts are futile if we are not preaching the Gospel. We must remember that our only hope for change is through Christ.
“As the present now will later be past, the order is rapidly fadin’. And the first one now will later be last, for the times they are a-changin’.” -Bob Dylan
By Pastor Nick Jones
Maranatha Baptist Church
1320 E. Saguaro Dr. Globe, AZ