Confronting Cultures of Darkness
The thought processes within a particular group of people control the direction in which that particular group or society continues. Although outside factors may influence one’s thinking, every person has the ability to choose the direction his life will take. His lifestyle is just an outward expression of what resides in his heart.
“For as [man] thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7).
Outward expressions of man’s heart is seen in his artistic, musical, architectural, philosophical, and scholastic tastes and achievements (or lack thereof).
Past societies are known by their cultural achievements. Some societies have given mankind a better way of living than was previously known. Others, however, have left destruction and decay in their aftermath.
In order for mankind to be able to change the culture into a “kinder, gentler” one, mankind must be willing to look into his heart and see the darkness that dwells there. He must be willing to allow the Light of God’s Word to enter in and enlighten him into what is possible when he yields to the precepts set in God’s Word. As he ceases to be conformed to the darkness of this world and yields to the transforming power of God’s Word, he begins to realize that his life has purpose and meaning.
That purpose is to glorify God and influence with godly seed the society or culture of which he is a part. The biblicly-enlightened man is to influence society, but he can only do this if his foundation is firmly established. Otherwise, he will be influenced by the society around him.
A look through the eyes of history will show how societies rise or fall, how their thinking processes dictate their treatment of others, and how their peoples prosper or suffer great cruelty under their governmental leaders.
There are marked differences between those societies and governments who allow the absolutes of God’s Word to influence their decisions and those who turn away from or neglect the absolutes of God’s Word.
How do we confront the culture of darkness for the betterment of mankind?
It may seem like a lost cause for a man to think that he is able to turn a society from the path of darkness and chaos. However, light penetrates the darkness no matter how small that light is.
Individuals with vision have changed the course of history. That course, however, has been determined by those individual’s worldviews. Whether a godly worldview or a humanistic, man-centered worldview, individuals have had great influence on the society around them.
Jesus, as an individual, exerted such a profound influence over His disciples that it was told that they “turned the world upside down.” These men stood strong in their determination to spread the gospel. Although highly persecuted, their stand for the gospel has influenced mankind ever since.
Paul was used mightily by God in confronting the evil in his day. Since his time, many other men and women have had a profound impact on their societies: Jonathan Edwards, George Washington, James Madison, Billy Sunday, Dwight Moody, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Clara Barton, etc.
We also remember others who have had great influence on their societies: Stalin, Lenin, Hitler, Huxley, Kant, Darwin, and Marx.
The above individuals’ influences have continued to impact societies today. Some for good, some for evil.
However, as individuals, we also have an influence for good or evil in our society. So, how, as individuals, can we confront the evil of this world? How can we make an impact that leaves society better for our having existed on this earth?
Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 1:13
Speak with sound words.
First, we must speak with sound words. Those words convey the intent of our hearts. If our minds and hearts are set on glorifying God, we will choose our words carefully and purposefully.
“But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
In meekness, instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”
2 Timothy 2:23-26
Our words can make a deep impression in the lives of others. The way our words are expressed can make a difference in how receptive others are to those words.
Speak with words composed of truth.
Next, our words must be composed of truth.
“These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbor; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates” (Zechariah 8:16).
Our words should be composed of truth whether within our own communities, in the judgment halls, or in conversation with other nations and peoples.
Stand in truth.
“Stand therefore, having your loins gird about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness” (Ephesians 6:14).
Then, we must stand in that truth.
No matter how the tide of opinion may try to sway us from our stance, we must uphold truth. It is truth that will bring liberty to those caught in the lies of deception.
Uphold truth to society.
Finally, we must uphold truth to society. Truth is not based upon man’s opinion but firmly upon the Word of God. The foundation of truth must be firmly established. It is the absolute upon which societies will be judged. It is also the glue that holds a nation together. Without it, all that is left is a society in chaos.
“The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Psalm 9:17).Copyright 2016 Peggy ClarkTo receive future posts by email, see the sidebar for blog subscription. Peggy Clark is the author of So, What's the Latest News? Messages from a Prisoner in Rome. Available from WestBow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson & Zondervan; Amazon; Barnes & Noble; and other retailers.