"These are the things you shall do: Speak each man the truth to his neighbor..."
Zech. 8:16 (NKJV)
How do we relate to a culture that opposes Biblical values?
Daniel, a citizen of Jerusalem and exiled to Babylon, learned the language and the literature of the Babylonians (Dan. 1:4); yet, he did not compromise his values. Daniel was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent (Dan. 6: 4 NIV). He continued his holy habit praying three times a day, even when it was "illegal" (Dan. 6: 6-12). As a result, Daniel was thrown into a lions' den (Dan. 6: 16). God spared Daniel, and he was removed from the den (Dan. 6: 19-23). The king acknowledged Daniel's God (Dan. 6: 25-27).
Speaking to Grace Community Church, Jim Garlow (pastor, author, historian) exhorted the congregation to learn the language (the thinking) and the literature (the values) of the society. Unbelievers are not commanded to come to us, we are commanded to "go" (Matt. 16: 15). Pastor Garlow shared personal examples of drawing others with differing values into conversation. He speaks the truth in love, with kindness and respect, and without becoming angry. Often, those with differing values are not as hostile as we expect.
We relate to the culture by engaging, yet transcending the culture, without compromising our values. We have the moral authority to speak truth. Pastor Garlow said, "It's not my opinion; it's the Word of God. His truth is worth explaining."
Pray that the LORD will give each of us opportunities to engage the culture without compromising our values.