Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Following the Crowd

A quote from the Puritan George Petter, which I read on my friend the very Reverend Peter Butler's website, pointed me to Exodus 23:2, "Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil." This verse is a part of a section of the Torah focusing on laws of human relations. Funny how you can read the Bible over and over again and still miss the good stuff!

We tend to think of peer pressure as something exclusive to the teenage years, but adults and institutions are just as prone to the temptation to follow the multitude. Our fear of appearing to be "odd" or "out of step" allows Satan an opportunity to lead us away from God's Word and the commandments of Christ. We begin to resemble the world more and more, and our values become indistinguishable from that of secular society. How else do we explain the statistics which show Christians divorce as often as non-Christians? How else do we explain our comfort level regarding pornography in our society, fornication and obscenity on television or in movies? When we follow the crowd, we abandon Jesus, and embark upon that broad road with leads to destruction (Mt 7:13).

I have been reading this week, with acute sense of heartache, how two once godly institutions have allowed the world's values to corrupt their communion. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) has decided to promote alternative descriptions of the Holy Trinity. So instead of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, they would have their congregations say, "Mother, Child, and Womb," and "Rock, Redeemer, and Friend," amongst several others. Then there is the agony of the Episcopal Church, which has elected a bishop who believes God creates homosexuals to love other homosexuals, and that this is no sin. Clearly, non-biblical values are in control of these institutions, and threaten to undermine our own godliness and mission. Paul wrote, "And be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:2). And John wrote, "Whoever claims to live in Him [Christ] must walk as Jesus did" (1 John 2:6). Jesus did not follow the crowd, the crowd followed him, and so should we, completely, and without reservation or accommodation to the spiritual forces of wickedness at work in the world.


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