Influenced by the Culture – Part 1
“For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?” (2 Corinthians 6:14 NIV)
The Old Testament prophets warned God’s people of impending judgment because of their disobedience to God in following after false gods. Eventually, they would be led into captivity because of their sin. Instead of worshiping the true God who had delivered them from slavery in Egypt and brought them into the land he had promised them, instead of having gratitude and keeping God as their focus, Israel adopted the gods of the society around them—false gods such as Molech, who, it was thought, required that children be sacrificed in the fire to him. The people of God had either mixed the worship of idols with the worship of the true God, or they had just devoted themselves to false gods and turned away from the invisible God who had told them not to make “an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below” (Exodus 20:4). How could this be?
Unfortunately, God’s people had been negatively influenced by the people around them; and that’s something that is found throughout Scripture. In the Old Testament, it was the idolatry and the immorality that was actually connected to the worship of the false deities of the Canaanites. They had temple prostitutes and all kinds of horrible practices attached to idol worship. The same is found in the New Testament. In Corinth, a city in Greece, the culture was a danger to the church that met in that city because of the cults of the false idols of Rome and Greece and the loose living associated with these cults.
This may sound foreign to us in our day and age, but the fact is that we are all influenced by what we take in through the ear gate and the eye gate. If you take enough in with your eyes and your ears, then the music, the culture, the rhythms, the values of the culture surrounding you, become stronger in your life than what God says. You easily become more involved in secular music than in sacred music. You end up adopting secular values rather than eternal values. That’s something all human beings battle against, and it can pose a threat to the well-being of God's people and their communion with the Lord. No wonder the apostle Paul challenged the believers in Corinth by asking, “What do righteousness and wickedness have in common?”
To be continued…
Read 2 Corinthians 6:14-16.