Rediscovering Lost Values: Convictions in a Tolerant World
Aim: To help people understand that the basis for our convictions is the Word of God
Text: Daniel 1:8
This week we’re looking at the subject of convictions. As we look at the world today, it feels like our world is shifting. The pillars of our culture have been changing ever so slightly that we haven’t even noticed.
Look at the movies, TV shows, media today. Look at the things we are accepting as normal today that many years ago we didn’t. The Bible said this would happen.
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—-having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them” (1 Tim 3:1-5).
Today, God is looking for people who, like Daniel, will take a stand against values that will destroy our society. Once upon a time, it was clear what was right and what was wrong.
Today, what’s right has been replaced by words like political correctness and tolerance. If you have convictions and believe in such a thing as absolute truth, then you are the one that culture has no tolerance for.
So how do we know what is right and what is wrong?
Most people say that:
- We can determine what’s right and wrong is through a philosophy called moral relativism.Moral relativism is the view that ethical standards, morality, and positions of right or wrong are culturally based and therefore subject to a person’s individual choice. According to this perspective, there are no universal rights and wrongs. Basically people develop their own standards based on their own opinions and beliefs.
- We can determine right from wrong is through situational ethics.Situational Ethics says there are no absolutes, there are no universal right and wrongs. Everything depends on the situation at hand. The danger is people make different judgements in different times and situations with no logic or foundation.
- Naturalism, that says that there is no absolute outside of ourselves.There is no final authority because space, time and energy are all that is. The theory of evolution is based on this philosophy. Naturalism says there is no free choice, that all our behaviours and beliefs are driven by our genes.
- Another way to determine what’s right and wrong is by the majority. If the majority say yes, then it’s acceptable. If the majority say no, then it’s not ok. But just because the majority doesn’t accept something as true doesn’t make it any less true.
- We can be guided is by how we feel. This is not unlike relativism, but its focus is centered around how we feel about certain things… if it feels good then it must be right.The Bible says, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Gal. 6:7-8).
- Some say the determinants for what is right and wrong is wired up inside of us… “Let your conscience be your guide.” The conscience is another way of guidance.The truth is that depending on our knowledge, our conscience can either direct us in the right direction or not. The Bible talks about people whose, “…conscience has been seared as with a hot iron” (1 Tim. 4:2). In other words, their internal compass has become so hard that they can’t tell what’s right and wrong.
This is why we need a sound, fixed, and constant way of guidance, and we find it in God’s Word. God has given us a compass—the Bible—that helps us to answer what is right and wrong.
David said, “Your word is a lamp to my feet, and light to my path” (Ps. 119:105).
But why do we need to hold true to the teachings of God’s Word?
God said these words to Joshua, “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful” (Jos. 1:7-8).
The greatest manual in life is God’s Word. God’s Word is truth.
How can we fix the moral pillars in our society that are starting to move?
A) We need to be aware of what is happening in the world today
B) We need to understand our inclination to be influenced by the world
C) We need to study the truth of the Word of God
D) We need to resolve to obey God
E) We need to stand for what we believe
If we are going to make a difference in our generation, it’s time we begin to draw some lines in the sand.
The truth is that some 2000 years ago God came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ. This truth isn’t based on feeling, situation, opinion or majority vote. It is anchored to a person who claimed to be the way, the truth, and the life. In this shifty world, it’s good to know that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
My prayer is that you would decide to anchor your life to that truth so that you could live with deep, loving convictions in this intolerant world.
This sermon was preached by Pastor Elio Marrocco on March 15, 2020 at New Life Christian Church