The culture is a funny thing. One may be the best and biggest thing going one minute and be nothing the next. Worse still, one may become anathema to culture because they said something that is considered reprehensible to them. Even if it is true and said for their ultimate good and benefit. That does not matter because what they said has gone against the cultural norms and what culture deems as correct and right.
We have seen this happen time and time again around this world, and through the centuries, hence the title of this blog Lately, we are seeing this happening in Finland with a Christian named Paivi Rasanen. She is a Finnish lawmaker but now she is going to court because culture has said she committed a hate crime by using hate speech. She is being charged with felonies over this.
All she did was post on social media questions about the Evangelical Lutheran church’s position on homosexuality. She was critiquing churches that supported homosexuality. This and posted a photo of Romans 1:24-27 that condemns homosexuality. She is being put on trial for hate speech because she stood with Scripture and did not waver.
This is what culture will do to one who is against them, even if they like them and would rather not turn against them. They will turn because the god of culture is bigger than anything they want to face. They will go with the flow because they fear what the world will think of them. We see this very same thing with Herod and John the Baptist.
We see in Mark 6:14-29 the story of Herod arresting John the Baptist because he spoke out against Herod’s unlawful marriage of his brother’s wife (Mark 6:18). Herodias, Herod’s wife, wanted John killed for this (6:19). Herod would not do so. After all, he feared John and the people because he was a holy man and the people held him to be a prophet (Mark 6:20; c.f. Matt. 14:5).
But even more, Herod liked John in a roundabout way. The text said John perplexed Herod but he still heard him gladly (6:20). This seems to indicate that he liked him and wanted to continue to hear what he said. But he was being pressured by his wife to kill him.
Finally, Herodias had a chance. It was on Herod’s birthday. Herodias’ daughter danced and pleased the king and he promised her whatever she wanted because of it (6:21-23). She went and told her mother and she told her to ask for John’s head on a platter (6:24-25). She asked and this caused the king to be in a conundrum.
He was sorry then for his oaths not because he could not break that one because he was king but because of his guests who heard (6:26). We see here that the king was swayed by the culture and wanted to look good and big before them. He could have broken this oath, even though one was not to break them (Num. 30:2). But he could have shifted it around where he could have kept his oath and not killed John but he let those around him sway him.
That is what is happening in culture now. If you are a Christian who stands with the truth of Scripture you may very well receive the same treatment soon as the lawmaker in Finland and John the Baptist. Even if this happens we must continue in the faith. We must “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” (2 Tim. 4:2). But we also must fight “the good fight” finish “the race” keep “the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7). Because the one we seek to please is far more important than anything and anyone in this world.
So go forth and seek to please God in all you do today. Do not let the weight of the world and the fear of culture stop you. Go and proclaim Christ loud and proud because your Father in heaven will be well pleased by this. Just remember when the culture and the rest of the world get so oppressive you can hardly stand that “he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).