Instead, the true danger facing the church is the internal threat that comes from loving and following the world. In terms of halting the progress of the gospel and tarnishing its testimony, persecution has nothing on compromise and corruption. For too long the church has sought to pacify, mimic and attract the world, hewing as closely as possible to its interests, trends and appetites, and inevitably ending in spiritual shipwreck.
But when those trends are overtly sinful and the appetites only for immorality, how does the seeker-friendly church manufacture and maintain its relevance? Sadly, it seems those who prize the cultural relevance of the church are content to continue their pattern of compromise.
Twenty years ago, in his commentary on the book of Titus, John MacArthur described how the church was giving in to the corrupting influence of another worldly movement, and the danger it represented.
As with many worldly influences, the feminist movement has made great inroads in the church, including the evangelical church. In the name of women’s rights, the Word of God is dishonored as being sexist, chauvinistic and unfairly limiting. Some feminists maintain that standards set forth in these and similar passages were culturally oriented to New Testament times or were simply Paul’s personal beliefs. In either case, they are considered irrelevant and non-binding for Christians today.
The God-ordained institutions of marriage and family, which are the primary foundation of a healthy society, are attacked as archaic and outrageous or, at best, unnecessary. Tragically, many unthinking, poorly taught Christians are seduced by feminist rhetoric into believing that traditional roles of women—in the family, in society and in the church—are outdated and oppressive. The phrase “women’s liberation” has an attractive, democratic ring, which, on the surface, seems reasonable and justified.
Those arguments might sound familiar—they’re some of Satan’s oldest lies, simply updated to fit a new immoral cause. The homosexual movement has merely picked up where previous attacks on God’s Word had left off. And you can be sure that another movement will soon come along to deepen and extend those same attacks.
Faced with intense and growing pressure from outside and inside the church, what are believers to do? How do we remain salt and light in a world that has no interest in either? And how do we protect our testimony from a savorless, dim church bent on compromise and capitulation?
In the book of Titus, Paul gives clear instructions to believers on how they should live lives set apart from the world for the sake of adorning the gospel. In the coming days, we’ll consider his practical teaching and how purity is the best response to persecution.
by Jeremiah Johnson
Copyright 2012, Grace to You. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
This article originally appeared here at Grace to You.