“Are the 7 Sanctities of God Under Attack?”
“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” Romans 12: 2 (The Message)
The examination of society or culture is called sociology. “Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations, and societies, and how people interact within these contexts.” (https://sociology.case.ed)
It wouldn’t take much people-watching to recognize that our American culture is changing – and quickly. As the United States readjusts its values and beliefs, so does the western world. Of course, other countries influence our culture as well.
As Christians, it is important to view God’s Word as the grid of truth, so there can be a rock-solid foundation for our beliefs, values, and actions. In that foundation, some things are sacred, determined by Almighty God – the authority for followers of Jesus Christ.
But these 7 sanctities are under assault in today’s culture:
1) The sanctity of absolute truth. Many now dismiss the need for one established code of behavior, as established by the church or even the Founding Fathers who created the US Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Many believe the idea of “truth” is fluid and can be modified as personally desired or as ideas morph into new insights.
2) The sanctity of creation. The concept of God, as the creator of all things on earth and in the heavens, is now denied by many Americans. “59% of those who do not identify with any religion believe in evolution without any intervention from God.” (https://news.gallup.com/poll/261680/americans-believe-creationism.aspx)
3) The sanctity of life. As of January 7, 2022, “63,459,781 babies have been killed in abortions since Roe v. Wade in 1973.” (www.lifenews.com) Additionally there is an increase in euthanasia supporters. “Euthanasia is when a doctor gives someone who is dying medication that will end their life. Some use the terms assisted suicide, physician-assisted death, physician-assisted suicide, and mercy killing as synonyms for euthanasia… In a poll of 1,024 Americans, 72% of people said doctors should be able to help someone with an incurable disease end their life if they wish to.” (www.verywellhealth.com)
4) The sanctity of marriage. The mass marketing of contraceptives in the 1970s ushered in “free love” resulting in the “marriage is optional” concept. “The marriage rate in the United States is continuing its decades-long downward slide, with fewer American women than ever getting married and others waiting longer to wed, according to a new report. The marriage rate has fluctuated in the past, with dips in the 1930s and 1960s, but it has been in steady decline since the 1970s.” (www.livescience.com)
5) The sanctity of family. The concept of family has recently been altered to include a variety of configurations of people who may or may not be related. In contrast to God’s definition of marriage as one man and one woman, the website, cyberparent.com states: “Families today are often a mix of stepparents, half siblings, same sex parents, extended family members, etc. Additionally (and beyond the biology), many people consider their family to be people in their lives who are not even related to them; they define family based on factors such as loyalty, respect, love, and responsibility.”
6) The sanctity of the church. The church, as defined in the Bible, was established by Jesus after His death and resurrection. “The church began on the Day of Pentecost , fifty days after the Passover when Jesus died and rose again… The word is used throughout the Bible to refer to all those who have been born again (John 3:3) through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus (Romans 10:9-10)… The word church first appears in Matthew 16:18 when Jesus tells Peter, ‘On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.’” (http://www.gotquestions.org) Sadly, today, the term “church” is often applied to any group of people gathering for religious reasons.
7) The sanctity of gender. In the creation account in Genesis – the first book of the Bible – God created two beings, and they were male and female. However, currently a more culturally “woke” definition of gender is “either the male or female division of a species, especially as differentiated by social and cultural roles and behavior.” (www.dictionary.com) So, disturbingly, gender is now considered by some people to be fluid and not determined at birth by sexual “parts”.
What western culture understood for centuries as “natural law” given by God is being dismantled and replaced by “positive law”, determined by popular thought. Customs change and resulting laws and attitudes then adapt to the new definitions. Many in our culture no longer view the Bible as the standard. Are God’s sanctities in jeopardy of evaporating?
So how can we help teens become media-savvy about the culture that surrounds them?
God’s Word must be the basis for the discussion of these topics. Without the understanding of God’s plan, people living today in our current culture just “go with the flow”, floating along like corks in the ocean. Without a rudder and a north star, arriving at a chosen destination is impossible. Everything just ebbs and flows in any – and all – directions.
Consider these questions to start meaningful discussions with teens. Stir curiosity and avoid confrontations. Use the Scriptures as the foundation for discussions.
1) The sanctity of absolute truth.
“Is there such a thing as Truth, or is everything relative based on circumstance?”
“Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32 NIV)
2) The sanctity of creation.
“Is there a Creator who designed and created all things on earth and in the heavens or are we the result of evolution?”
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)
3) The sanctity of life.
“Is life sacred? Should humans have the right to end life whenever someone considers it appropriate?”
“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!” (Deuteronomy 30:19 NLT)
4) The sanctity of marriage.
“Does marriage matter? What is the result for children when their parents are not married or together?”
“For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So, they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Matthew 19:5-6 NIV)
5) The sanctity of family.
“What’s your definition of family?”
“Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift? – the fruit of the womb his generous legacy?” (Psalm 127:3)
6) The sanctity of the church.
“The church is a gathering of Christ-centered like-minded people who desire to worship and work in service to God. Is this still important in today’s world?”
In Matthew 16:18, Jesus tells Peter, “On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”
7) The sanctity of gender.
“Gender is a topic that is very much in the news. Do you think that there are many genders or that one can alter one’s gender if desired?”
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27 NIV)
Note: Share this blog with your church’s youth pastor as a lesson for youth group gatherings.
Sue Summers is a Christian media analyst, teacher, author, and speaker. She is the Director of Media Alert!
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