Saturday, February 4, 2012

God and Culture

"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..."
Romans 12:2 (NAS)

Culture is defined as "the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group." In our lifetime, behaviors and beliefs regarding marriage have changed drastically. The media contributes to cultural shifts.

In New Testament times, a Jewish couple participated in a betrothal (engagement) ceremony in the presence of witnesses. After the ceremony, the young woman was called a "wife." During the betrothal period, she could be widowed, divorced, or even put to death for adultery. The marriage might take place up to a year later.

A sharp contrast exists in the American culture. Engagements can be broken, and marriages quickly terminated. In 2011, a reality star divorced her husband 72 days after their wedding. Many couples choose to live together, rather than marry. The media presents television programs not aligned with God's precepts. Infidelity and divorce among celebrities, politicians, and professional athletes make big news stories. God's people who choose abstinence until marriage may suffer ridicule.

According to  a report published December 14, 2011 by the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan group that provides information on the issues, attitudes, and trends shaping America and the world, barely half of all adults in the U.S. - a record low- are currently married. Pew reported, "In 1960, 72% of all adults ages 18 and older were married; today just 51% are. If current trends continue, the share of adults who are currently married will drop to below half within a few years. Other adult living arrangements- including cohabitation, single-person households and single parenthood - have all grown more prevalent in recent decades."

Cultures change; but God does not (Psalm 102: 27; Malachi 3: 6; James 1: 17). His Word is eternal (Psalm 119: 89; Isaiah 40: 8). He calls us to live in purity and holiness (1 Peter 1: 15-16; 1 Thessalonians 4: 3; 1 Timothy 4: 12), and instructs us not to be conformed to this world...not be shaped by the culture, but to be changed into another form - as a caterpillar turns (morphs) into a butterfly. The Father desires to conform us to Christ's image (Romans 8:29). God's truth renews our minds.

Join us as we pray for our descendants and the world they live in. Pray for the media to present truth and morality (Proverbs 12:22; Matthew 12: 36-37; Philippians 4: 8), young people to choose abstinence until marriage, purity, provision of godly spouses (Genesis 2: 18, 21- 24; Ephesians 5: 22- 33), healing and stability for those affected by divorce (Psalm 147: 3) strong God-centered marriages, and fidelity (Exodus 20: 14).

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