Is It Really So Bad to Be “Old-Fashioned?”

The Christian worldview is constantly being called too “old-fashioned.” But is that really such a bad thing?

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Last Monday, I was sitting among some Christians in a church. These Christians hold very different views of dating than I do— mainly they succumb to the lie that dating is pretty meaningless, casual, and “just for fun.” I shared my views, the opposite of theirs, and they laughed.

A bunch of Christian teenagers laughed at me for having old-fashioned views of purity. That one stung a bit. This whole situation begs the question, is it really so bad to be a little “old-fashioned?” Spoiler alert: no, it’s not.

These days Christians are laughed at by the secular world for holding such “antiquated” views, like our views on the value of life, the sanctity of marriage, and the like. Our way of thinking is dubbed evil and— pretty much my least favorite word of all time— “bigoted.” These people act like truth is found only in modern times, like those who came before us weren’t as “woke” as we are and their knowledge is useless to us. Here’s what the Bible says about that—

“Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching.” (Proverbs 4:1-2)

There is wisdom in the teaching of those that come before us, and just because a moral belief comes from those before us doesn’t mean that it is useless to us. Truth is truth, no matter the age. Sure, those who came before us were imperfect, but so are we. We act like we are more “woke” to the world’s problems than they were, but we’re still failing at the same things as our forefathers. No people group is ever perfect, and that’s for one reason— they’re all groups of imperfect people. Beings that have done all they can to separate themselves from God through sinning.

For all have fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)

Finally, God’s truth is unchanging. While what is morally acceptable to humanity becomes less and less strict as time goes on, what is right and wrong in God’s eyes never changes. In His eyes, sin is always sin.

God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that He should change His mind. (Numbers 23:19)

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)

… the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like the shifting shadows. (James 1:17)

If being a Christian means that my values are “old-fashioned” in the modern world’s eyes, then I’m happy to be old-fashioned. In an age where “truth” is claimed to be relative to each individual, it’s important to make sure that your foundation is on the mighty rock of God’s eternal, unchanging truth instead of the shifting sands of relative truth.

Marriage Sanctity Straight From the Pages of Genesis

God had just finished creating the earth and everything in it, and it was good. Except for one thing— God saw that it was not good for the man He’d created to be alone.

In the beginning, Adam was alone.

God had just finished creating the earth and everything in it, and it was good. Except for one thing— God saw that it was not good for the man He'd created to be alone. Genesis 2:18 tells us:

The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."

So, God called the animals He'd created to Adam. Adam named them, but after all that, it was obvious that God hadn't yet found what He was looking for. So, he decided to put Adam to sleep. Genesis 2:21-24 says:

So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

Of course, it all went downhill from there with the whole fall of man thing, but that's not the point. In Genesis, God pointed out to us a foundational principle of our souls: it's not good for us to be alone. That could also apply to surrounding ourselves with Godly people, but that's not the point of what I'm writing to you either. In the beginning, God established the idea of marriage. He also established its sanctity, because if two people become one flesh, you can't separate them. That's why marriage is so important. One man, one woman, for life. Today, however, marriage has been devalued to the point where it's almost comical. With this suddenly popular idea of gender fluidity and self-defined truth, God's original purpose for marriage has been lost to us. God's Word is eternal and unchanging, but we have foolishly thought that we could redefine marriage. That's not our place. God set it up, and we can't knock down a foundation that God built. That's foolish. If I told you, "Hey bro, try and push over the Empire State Building by yourself with your bare hands," you probably would laugh. That's what we're doing. We, in comparison to God, are gnats. In fact, we're lower than gnats. We are powerless; we only have the fleeting power that He allows us to have.

Marriage is God's idea, and he didn't design something that foundational as a fluid idea. That's a human fallacy. Marriage is between one man and one woman. Not a whole lot of leeway there.

One man. One woman. For life. That's how God designed it. Even basic anatomy cries out to this fact. Gender fluidity and homosexual marriage are just perversions of God's initial plan. That's just how it is.

Retaliation, Vengeance and VeggieTales

How do we respond to those who mistreat us? With vengeance? With love?

I posted recently about my experiences with bullying and why Christians should build each other up instead of tearing each other down. I stand by that post still, but there's one part of the story I mentioned, but I feel deserves an extended look. Today, I'd like to talk about retaliation (or taking revenge). 

I'd like to direct your attention to an episode of VeggieTales. I can't help seeing the comparison here— I grew up basically addicted to the show (though not understanding the lessons until much later). The episode I'd like to refer to today is Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Samson's Hairbrush

This episode was a parody of Indiana Jones (obviously) and it even had a theme song performed by THE CHARLIE DANIELS. No joke. https://youtu.be/CVoIkzGMnwM

In the episode, Larry (or Minnesota, I guess) tries to get back at his jerk nemesis, Professor Rattan, by bullying him back. He learns that if you bully a bully, that makes you a bully. When you say something mean back or hurt them back, you're stooping down to that level. You're now no better than them. It's the same reason Batman refuses to kill— it's crossing a line, and it means you're just as bad as those persecuting you. It's pretty meaty stuff for a VeggieTales episode, and I recommend you watch it.

When we're on the receiving end of abuse, our instinctive reaction is to retaliate. We start shooting back. When kids would pick on me, I'd pick back harder, and then I would get in trouble. Granted, the teachers weren't doing anything to help the issue (just perpetuating more by turning a blind eye to the cause of the issue), but they were right to get onto me for what I did. I can't remember where I heard it from, but I learned recently that we can't control our surroundings or what happens to us. The only thing we can control is how we react to those things. I'm not victimizing myself here— wrong was done to me, but I'll be the first to admit I wasn't innocent in the situation, either.

Back when I was being bullied, my hands weren't clean. I had even been a bully to others who didn't attack me first. Once you have a mindset of vengeance and retaliation, you begin to just attack everybody. Lines are blurred, and eventually you're picking fights with people who didn't really do anything  to you. Going back to the Batman analogy, it's a line you cross. Once you cross the line one time, it gets easier to cross the next time. And then easier the next time. And the next time. You get the picture. 

I read recently in Bob Goff's book Love Does that it's much easier to get defensive if you live with clenched fists. He offers that we instead lives with our palms up, because it's much harder to get defensive with your palms up. As Christians, we are supposed to be a light in the darkness. If we use Satan's tactics and try to get vengeance on those who wrong us, we're no better than them. What should we do instead, you ask? Kill them with kindness. Proverbs 25:21-22 says:

If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you. 

If you react lovingly and nonviolently, your enemies will see that there's something different about you. Jesus commanded us to love our enemies. How about we start now? Two wrongs never make a right, but if you choose to do right to those who do you wrong, Christ's love and light shines through you.