Is what we assume “normal” more cultural or more Biblical?
When we do (or don’t do) something because that’s just how it is, our actions or lack thereof come much more naturally. That’s why we as parents are so protective of what our kids consume via screen time and who our kids associate with. That’s why if you have friends who swear like sailors, soon enough you’ll be dropping F bombs too.
This is one of the reasons fellowship is so important, as is community. If you feel like “people do this” because “people do this” and your actions aren’t at all exceptional – they’re easy. When you’re the outlier, the lone wolf, conforming to whatever standard you’ve set for yourself becomes that much more difficult.
We say things like, “Did your mama raise you in a barn?” to people who fail to live up to our basic social expectations. But how do we intelligently question our expectations and align them with the Bible rather than with the surrounding culture – and how do we then support ourselves in said endeavor? And how do we help those around us do the same?
We find ourselves in a transitional time, culturally, especially those of us who are socially conservative. We were raised with certain expectations of behavior – niceness, courtesy, helpfulness… all of which align more-or-less with NT values. It becomes very easy to equate those Biblical values (kindness, gentleness, etc) with conservative values (girls wear pink, boys wear blue). However, equating the two does us a couple of disservices – it pushes away Christians who aren’t of our own culture, and it makes us easy targets for hypocrisy (is it more important that my son not wear nail polish, or is it more important that he obey lawful authority?)
The larger culture is moving rapidly to moral relativism, which is implicitly anti-Christian. So – knowing that we need to have ourselves reinforced by those around us – do we withdraw in order to create community? Do we attempt to create a community within the larger culture? Do we understand the difficulties we’re under and prayerfully dedicate ourselves to going it alone with God?
I can’t answer those questions for anyone except my own family… but I can bring this up, so that we can start questioning the ways we live our lives, checking ourselves against the Bible rather than Little House, and reminding all of us that we were chosen to live in such a time as this.
Question your assumptions. 🙂