“The one constant in this world is change.” Not sure that is the exact quote and not sure who said it “first” but that it is a true statement. All of life is constantly in flux. Clothing styles, shoe styles, automobile’s popularity, the most photographed rock or film stars, the athlete of the season, and the latest in trendy places to see or be seen.
The reason for so many changes in life is because people’s tastes change so rapidly. We tire of fads and jump at something new that is more appealing. What we liked 10 years ago in styles makes us laugh at the photos of us “then”. Changes come and go so quickly. We don’t realize how much until we see something from a previous time and realize how different things are now.
One area of seismic changes is in the realm of what Christians now accept as “acceptable” versus what our grandparents and parents would have rejected as “not permissible”. My dad would not have believed that American Christians would become accepting about drinking, abortion, pedophilia, homosexuality, pornography, unmarried couples openly living together, gambling, and the like. And, so much of what is being discarded by the Christians regarding Christian practices in daily living that is now labeled as “irrelevant” or “legalistic” is not being replaced with choices that are spiritually edifying.
I don’t hear conferences, sermons, or series of lessons in SS today focused on personal holiness and accountability or Christian living that is “authentic” and holy. Churches advertise that their worship is “authentic” which I have always found rather odd since only God knows the hearts of men and would be the only One to know if that is true. Christians and the unchurched reject that which is “phony” but only when it is in a prominent Christian leader. If the ordinary individual compromises moral uprightness or holiness, that is seen as a “common” person’s struggle and others should not be judgmental. Not much offends the average Christian anymore. We have been “numbed” down in the bombardment of sinful behavior to the point most of us no longer even flinch in sin’s presence much less feel grieved because God’s Spirit is grieved by sin.
John Wesley, founder of the Methodist church, was so concerned with building a righteous fellowship that he devised a series of questions for his followers to ask each other every week. Some found this rigorous system of inquiry too demanding and left. Today, the very idea of such a procedure would horrify many churchgoers. Yet some wisely follow just such a practice. Chuck Swindoll, for example, has seven questions that he and a group of fellow pastors challenge each other with periodically:
1. Have you been with a woman anywhere this past week that might be seen as compromising?
2. Have any of your financial dealings lacked integrity?
3. Have you exposed yourself to any sexually explicit material?
4. Have you spent adequate time in Bible study and prayer?
5. Have you given priority time to your family?
6. Have you fulfilled the mandates of your calling?
7. Have you just lied to me? Chuck Colson, The Body.
“As the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, “Be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15-16). That is God’s Standard. It has never changed!