God’s people remain levelheaded in all circumstances. We do not allow ourselves to get all worked up just because the world is doing what the world does. The world’s going to be illogical, irrational, and sometimes incapable of civil discourse. We expect that of people in darkness. Because they can’t see clearly, they bump into things. Don’t be confused or surprised when the world is being the world. Expect it.
Something has to change.
It’s time to make a shift. Blending into the world around us is no longer an option for the church. The culture rejects the Christian worldview and won’t be appeased by anything short of total ideological surrender, so it’s time for us to get counter-cultural.
When I think about living a counter-cultural life, Jesus comes to mind. When the Pharisees asked if paying taxes to Rome was lawful, Jesus said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Mk. 12:17).
According to Jesus, some things do belong to Caesar (though not everything Caesar thinks is his belongs to him). So render to Caesar what is properly his. But, more importantly, render to God the things that are God’s.
What belongs to God? We do. Rendering to God means continuing to be faithful in all areas of life, even when we live in a distinctly anti-Christian culture. How do we do that? Here’s what I suggest.
First, God’s people don’t seek the world’s approval. Instead, we seek the approval of One. When we try to curry the favor of the world, we’re rendering to Caesar what belongs to God.
James reminds us, “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (Jas. 4:4).