Our culture is changing rapidly. Huge moral shifts that used to take a century or two are now happening in the space of 7 to 10 years. For instance . . .
Western culture has built an idol to homosexuality and is now trying to force us all to celebrate it or face increasing political, cultural and even financial marginalization. The tremendous speed of this development has caught most of us off guard.
This raises an important question. Where do these forces come from? Are they planned? Do they happen spontaneously? Are these changes by accident or design?
The Culture is Not Neutral
The culture in which you and I live in came from somewhere. It’s not neutral. It is being affected by profoundly anti-Christian notions passed off as the truth. To be specific I believe our culture is being shaped by paganism. Here’s why, and I will provide some examples later.
Many people in our world live with unresolved guilt. Often without realizing it, they are linked to consequences by a line of connection to past choices they have made, bringing severe guilt and pain into their lives. Wanting to be free from this guilt, they seek solutions that lie apart from the truth of God’s Word. This makes them vulnerable to lies and fantasy.
Our culture demonstrates an addiction to fantasy, unhinged from God. The fantasy of the lie—joining the opposites—results in a false healing of guilt as it pushes God out. Guilt is thus dealt with through denial. It never helps, though. What would help them, is the same thing that helps all of us: Turning to God through repentance, for forgiveness, healing and cleansing.
Who would have imagined that this proud sophisticated culture of America—based on reason since the enlightenment—would now be seduced by the pagan lie? I believe that’s where we are today as many people are turning away from the so-called optimism of atheism and secular humanism into false spirituality. Secular humanism is on the run. Pagan spirituality is on the rise.
When we exchange God for our most cherish idol—self, we are prone to fall in love with the same sex (Romans 1, exchanging the glory of God for idols). Same-sex attraction is a most dysfunctional form of idolatry. Gay marriage is thus demanded as a legitimizing ritual of this pagan cosmology. Church members who develop a love for the culture (like Demas) begin accepting dysfunctional theological notions.
Here is a group that refers to themselves as SDAGays on Instagram. They claim to be the “Lost youth” of the Church, and set up their Instagram page for the purpose of “living their truth.”
These (presumably young) people see truth as an individualized creation, different for every person because no two people are alike. They live in the shadow of subjectivity, eventually rejecting the elements of objective (external) truth altogether. They find that their demand to be regarded as equal as anyone else in the Church—in spite of their wholesale rejection of biblical morality—to be reinforced in the wider currents of culture.
Here’s another example:
Recently, CNN ran an article showing people how to add a rainbow background to their online profile to show their support for Pride month. This is the sinful culture surrounding us. For some in the Church, this axiological cultural rebellion has already been adopted, such as the associate Communication Director of the NAD who publicly displayed rainbow pride support on his 2016 Facebook page. See the article here.
*This is the same individual who recently used public profanity on his Twitter account to express his partisan disapproval of the President of the United States during the February State of the Union Address.
Another example—this one from Canada—reveals the malevolent spirit of the Prince of this world (or culture).
Pastor David Lynn of Christ Forgiveness Ministries was arrested on June 4, 2019 for preaching the Gospel publicly in Toronto, Canada. The neighborhood he was preaching in was Church-Wellesley Village. This neighborhood is known to be a place where many of the LGBTQ community in Toronto reside. According to one bystander,
“This man’s preaching was some of the most loving and gracious preaching I have ever seen and heard. Which is why it is outrageous that he was arrested. As he shared the Gospel, he also made statements like “We are here to tell you that we hate nobody.” He emphasized God’s love again and again. Throughout the encounter he was very calm and collected, not entering into any disrespectful or condemnatory dialogue.”
He proceeded to ask those protesting him if they would be willing to tolerate him as a Christian. But those listening were unwilling to dialogue, and many asked him to leave the street corner began to form a mob of protest around him. As he tried to walk away from the most adamant protesters, they crowded in on him and would not let him move. All throughout the encounter, as he tried to walk away from them, they pressed in on him and blocked him. At times, they even pressed their bodies against him, which technically is assault.
When the police arrived, rather than dealing with those that were assaulting Pastor David Lynn, the police blamed Lynn for creating a disturbance of the peace. Even upon his request to deal with those who had assaulted him, the police would not listen to him. The officers told him that he needed to preach without amplification. They said this despite him not being in violation of the law. He then proceeded to preach without amplification, but not long after, the officers decided to arrest him for “hate speech.”
We must understand the importance of this event. It is a gross violation against free speech, and it shows us what Christian persecution could look like in the future. Pastor Lynn’s arrest is nothing short of a violation of his right to free speech. He was preaching the Gospel. He was preaching that Jesus Christ loves each person and died specifically for them. In spite of this, he received harsh protest which ended in his arrest. This should concern any Christian, who has a desire to win the world for Christ.
Father Ordered Not to Refer to His Daughter As a Girl
Canada has been going in the wrong direction for a long time. Consider this outrageous case. Last month, the Supreme Court of British Columbia issued an order that a father may not refer to his 14-year-old daughter as a girl or by her original name, whether in public or IN PRIVATE. Doing so has been ruled to constitute ‘family violence’ because the daughter now identifies as a boy. According to a protection order, police may immediately ARREST Clark (the father) if they suspect he violated this Orwellian order. This is the culture surrounding our Church today.
For now, the North American Division (NAD) gives lip service to our Church’s biblical teaching on sexuality. However, certain leaders of the NAD are on record saying that the Church needs a '“Posture shift” in our relation to the LGBTQ problem. In like manner, Dan Jackson is on record saying that “Social Justice IS the gospel.” Such statements, now almost one year old, testify that culture is having a significant impact on Adventist self-identity. Under Jackson’s leadership, this Division is slowly replacing the Everlasting Gospel with Social Justice ideology as the epitome and inspiration of our Adventist Mission. Does this shift herald a lessening of religion among us? Not at all. It heralds a migration from genuine religion toward false religion. And false religion persecutes genuine religion in the time of the end.
America is still a very religious culture, but it is changing religion. And the religion that is now the basis of America is a pagan cosmology. It is pagan romanticism—the worship of nature.
In the last two weeks, we have seen a significant shift in the language of the Climate Change agenda. Apparently the goal is to ignite panic over “global warming.” The new name is Climate Crisis.” The Pope is fully on board with this agenda, pledging that the Roman Catholic church is in full support of the new crisis rhetoric, and will do what it can to lead the world away from fossil fuels—towards alternative energy. Though he is claiming to support science, Pope Francis is manipulating this issue with almost inquisitorial religious fervor.
The pontiff said the ecological crisis "threatens the very future of the human family". He implicitly criticised those who, like the US President, question if climate change (WEATHER) is mostly caused by human activity.
"For too long, we have collectively failed to listen to the fruits of scientific analysis, and doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain," he said.
Discussion of how to accomplish a speedy energy transition must be rooted in "the best scientific research available today", said the pope.
Pope Francis, who in 2015 wrote an encyclical (a significant document about Catholic Church teaching) on protection of the environment, said time was running out to meet the goals of the Paris accord.
"Faced with a climate emergency, we must take action accordingly, in order to avoid perpetrating a brutal act of injustice toward the poor and future generations," he said.
In true social justice form, the Pope and his green minions are trying to blame seasonal severe weather on humans. We watched as Global Warming became Climate Change, and now “Climate Crisis.” As of March 2019, Pope Francis and Islam are both steeped in Sustainable Development and green technocracy. The merger solidifies the movement toward a one world religion, and there is apparently no straw that the green globalists are above grasping.
Last week on CNN it was stated that in order to save the oceans we must empower women. Huh? You heard me. Notice how spirituality, feminism and environmentalism are being blended. Where does THAT come from? It comes from paganism. World Oceans Day is celebrated annually on June 8, and the United Nations has identified the theme of this year's celebration as "Gender and the Ocean." It’s called Ecofeminism.
Let’s sum up.
Culture is changing rapidly.
Culture is not neutral. It comes from somewhere.
Western culture is currently in a massive shift from secular to pagan.
This pagan takeover of western culture is intrinsically religious.
Many people in our world seek solutions apart from the truth of God’s Word. This makes them vulnerable to lies and fantasy.
The Church is surrounded by confusion, moral lawlessness, and anti-biblical paganism.
Western culture has built an idol to homosexuality and is now trying to force us all to celebrate it or face increasing political, cultural and even financial marginalization.
Church members who develop a love for the culture (like Demas, 2 Timothy 4:10) begin accepting dysfunctional theological notions.
This has led to the importation of unbiblical but cultural notions of morality and environmentalism into the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
What to do when our house is surrounded by enemies of the gospel? We must return to God’s priorities.
Our great needs are a return to the Word of God and a gift of the Holy Spirit. Through these mighty helpers we will say no to unbiblical culture, and yes to Christian courage. Then comes repentance, and repentance starts with me, and you. Father, forgive us for being distracted by the lies of culture. Restore unto us the joy and beauty of the Everlasting Gospel. I close with the verse of a song:
Give us ears to hear that still, small voice,
And give us lips, forever willing to rejoice.
And may our eyes be lit with wisdom,
May we know the path that's true,
And we'll march with hearts courageous after You.
We're marching on... with hearts courageous,
We'll follow where you want us to.
And should you lead us where the battle rages,
Let us march with hearts courageous, after You.
And when sorrow dims the light along our way,
Help us to see each time of darkness through eyes of faith,
A time for hope, a time for courage,
Knowing you will lead us through.
And let us march with hearts courageous, after You.