Pastor, Macedonia Baptist Church, Kenton
Football is here. Friday night lights. Saturdays teeming with gridiron action. Sunday NFL ticket. No, I am not obsessed with football. We use a Roku and subscribe to Netflix. No live TV. Before I digress, this is not about football. The stakes are much, much higher.
In football there are many actions that are penalized. One of those actions is offsides. This occurs when a defensive player crosses the plane established by the nose of the football, before the ball is snapped to the quarterback. Yes, for you football aficionados, a player can jump across that plane without touching an offensive player and jump back before the ball is snapped and not be offsides. Keeping this analogy in mind, let’s switch gears.
Society, the world, is offsides against the church and biblical truth. By society, we mean the moral mindset within society opposed to biblical truth. Yes, the secular world carries a moral mindset, a worldview that governs its actions and reactions, its policies and procedures. That worldview will be relativistic and progressive. It will be governed by political correctness, ideas of diversity, tolerance, and religious pluralism. In other words, no religion holds a monopoly on truth. Current society wrongly believes she possesses the moral high ground in many moral arenas. What arenas you ask? Family, marriage, gender, and human origin for starters. Let’s survey the lay of the land.
So, why choose to say society is offsides? Allow me to employ the use of two terms. The first term is encroach. To encroach means to trespass or intrude on or upon the rights or property of another, especially in a gradual or sneaking way. Where have you seen instances of this recently?
Let me give you an instance I learned recently. A popular Disney show that appeals to young kids recently aired an episode where its main character treats and helps two “mommies” — which are actually baby dolls — reunite with their children after a toy dragon caused an earthquake. The president and CEO of GLAAD — an LGBTQ advocacy group — gave glowing reviews in a blog post, using words like positive and beautiful for this episode (Yahoo News, Aug. 8, 2017, Disney’s ‘Doc McStuffins’ Sends A Great Message With A Two-Mom Family, article originally appeared on HuffPost, Aug. 7, 2017, by Curtis M. Wong). What did we mention about a subtle, gradual, sneaky way of encroaching?
Additionally, we need to be informed how photographers, bakers, businesses, schools, universities, the military, etc., have faced this measured approach to silence Christian voices in these societal arenas. Media can be a powerful weapon. And it is being wielded strategically against sound biblical truth.
All the labeling and name calling serves a larger purpose. Society is encroaching upon the church, and getting deeper behind the line each time. That leads us to our second term, “enculturate.” This means to cause to adapt to the prevailing cultural patterns of one’s society. In other words, society wants to enter the huddle of the church and change the plays from within. Some Christian denominations have succumbed to the prevailing cultural pattern of society on issues of gender and marriage. Some have capitulated on the issue of creation. You will hear buzz words like “love” and “acceptance.” You will hear about the need to stick to the “red letters” in the Bible. That is code for Jesus never “directly” spoke against it, so He must be for it. The church is meant to be the pillar and support of the truth! This is real, folks, and we need to wake up, so that we do not resemble sleeping Sardis that had a name that she was alive, but was in fact dead.
In review, there is a gradual encroachment upon and enculturation of the church in America. The world, meaning the prevailing mindset of the evil system locked in battle against the church and truth of God, seeks to advance its agenda further each day. Society is patient, to a degree. If it loses one court case, it regroups and floods the courts with tons of litigation. Eventually, a case is won. A precedent has been set. Ground has been gained. Or a church changes its stance on marriage and gender. Another church follows suit, seeing the so-called wisdom of the other church. Soon, an entire denomination changes its stance, or is left to grapple with so many encroaching voices. Gradually and surreptitiously the churchs’ line is encroached upon. Enculturation begins, and rottenness ensues. Truth is compromised. Hope is dimmed.
This leads us to some much needed soul searching. We will do well to remember that Scripture states that Christ came to destroy the works of the devil. That Jesus pronounced that He would build His church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. Society is offside. We need to throw the flag and call a penalty against societal encroachment upon and enculturation of the church of Jesus Christ.