‘Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when He judges the world.’ 1 Peter 2: 11-12
For over 200 years, biblical values were the accepted moral standard for the majority of Americans. Of course, that didn’t mean that people always lived up to them. They didn’t and still don’t – because no one is perfect – but it was the accepted standard. Today things are very different. And while this causes fear among many Christians who have watched society radically change, God isn’t surprised. In fact, God’s Word speaks straight to the heart of the morality battle in our country and around the world.
Don’t forget, God reminds us: You are aliens. You are strangers. You are foreigners in the nations in which you live (My paraphrase). For followers of Jesus, our primary citizenship is in the kingdom of God. This world is but a short stop on the way to heaven.
And because of that, we will not always agree with everything culture has to offer. We will not always be in-sync with the majority of popular worldviews. And that’s ok – because our eternal citizenship is not in this world.
So how do we navigate the tension created when popular culture contradicts our Biblical values? We focus on living a life that pleases God rather than others. This doesn’t mean we judge, condemn, and hate, but we live lives of purity, goodness, and love according to the teachings of the Word of God. In doing so, our lives will reflect Jesus. And who knows? Some may recognize genuine goodness in us and want to have what we have. With that big picture in mind, even this short, temporary passing through of this life takes on an eternal purpose and meaning.