The Christian in Society: Mirror or Leaven?
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Is the society in which we live a shaper of our lives? Are we really just the products of our environments? Is it true, as we often hear, that since society molds us and makes us what we are, we should not be held responsible for what we do?
Much of modern sociology is concerned with these and similar questions. And the answers which sociologists offer are based upon their evolutionary view of the world. But what does the Bible say about these things?
1. In 1 Corinthians 15:33 we read of one source of corruption in our lives. What is it?
Now read verse 34. Is someone responsible for the corruption which is talked about here? Who? What is the context of these comments in 1 Corinthians 15? What kind of corruption is St. Paul discussing here?
Can a Christian argue that he or she is not responsible for believing things contrary to Scripture because his or her church teaches the wrong thing? So, can a person avoid responsibility for their actions by blaming their environment? Compare 1 Corinthians 5:6 with what we learn here.
2. In Genesis 18:16 through chapter 19:26 we have the record of Lot in Sodom. Here we have a very clear case of a believer living in a bad environment. Was there a lot of pressure on Lot to condone or join in the sins of the Sodomites? Does anything in these verses indicate such pressure?
Is today's world much different, even as far as the specifics go? Read 2 Peter 2:7-8. What was Lot's reaction to the Sodomites, according to this verse?
Is this an appropriate response (at least to start with) for the Christian today? Would God have excused Lot because of his bad environment if Lot decided to behave as the people of Sodom?
3. Modern sociologists tell us that right and wrong is not based upon absolutes, but on what the majority of people think is right. For example, if the majority of people think that homosexualiy is simply an "alternate lifestyle", then there is nothing wrong with it. How does that opinion compare with the Bible?
What if children who are taught this at school never hear the biblical side of the issue? In what other issues is the argument used that since society condones something, it is moral?
4. Many Christians will be vexed, as was Lot, as a result of the humanistic basis of present-day sociology which denies the absolutes of Scripture. So on this count, too, we must conclude that modern humanistic sociology is leading society away from the truth, and actively opposing Christianity.
5. What does Romans 12:2 tell us about this situation? How does this compare with modern sociology which tells us that we have no choice but to be shaped by our world?
What is the general topic of the verses we have looked at? Does modern sociology speak to the same topic? Therefore, is sociology science or an alternate religious viewpoint to God's?
6. Romans 12:2 goes on to show us that we are not stranded in the evil of society around us, nor are we stranded in our own evil! In Jesus Christ we have the forgiveness of sins and cleansing. We are given new minds so that in Christ we can seek the ultimate will of God. Sociology cannot offer this power as long as it is based on humanism instead of Scripture.
7. Christians need not be stranded with the present "science" of sociology which is based on the pre-scientific and pre-Christian pagan religion of evolution. If we are going to take the Great Commission seriously, we Christians need to understand the religious options which evolutionary religion is offering to people and address those options.
You may close this Bible study with a prayerful reading of Psalm 28.
Copyright Â© 1988 Bible Science Newsletter, Pastor Paul A. Bartz. Creation Moments, Inc. PO Box 839, Foley, MN 56329 800-422-4253 www.creationmoments.com