How will the Christian family survive? The changing cultural norms in Western society concern many Christians. It doesn’t take a trained sociologist to recognize that our changing culture is becoming increasingly hostile to the ethics we promote and practice as Christian families. Our understanding of marriage, parenting philosophy, and ethics in the home are increasingly under assault. Let’s be honest: the voice of our culture is loud, and at times it feels threatening. Yet, we must know that the Christian family will continue to survive in the Western world if it will listen to a still louder voice.
In 1521, nearly five hundred years ago, Martin Luther was brought before the Diet of Worms and asked to recant his writings. Standing before this council of Roman Catholic scholars and priests and the Holy Roman emperor, Luther responded:
I consider myself convicted by the testimony of Holy Scripture, which is my basis; my conscience is captive to the Word of God. Thus I cannot and will not recant, because acting against one’s conscience is neither safe nor sound. Here I stand, I can do no other. God help me. Amen.
Luther stood before an emperor—an emperor! Talk about a threatening culture. Yet, Luther heard the louder voice, the voice of God through and in His Word.
Dear Christians, as we think about the survival of Christian families in this culture, the one necessary thing is that our families be dominated by the truths of the Bible, no matter the repercussions. We are Christian families and this is our truth book. This is the voice that we hear and respond to. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me,” declares the Lord (John 10:27).
Does this seem naive? The Christian family is under assault and the solution is to dive into our Bibles? What about relying upon the courts? What about taking over the universities? What about electing the right politicians? The answer shines from Christian history. Two thousand years ago, Jesus sent a small band of disciples into a hostile world dominated by false religions, pagan worship, cruelty, and barbarity. And how did He send them out? Not with weapons of iron, nor with worldly wealth, nor with political schemes, but with His Word and His Spirit. That was how they were to survive, but even more than simply survive, that was how they were to thrive. And what was the outcome of such a seemingly foolish charge with such seemingly weak weapons? The Christian faith spread from a handful of Jewish pilgrims in Jerusalem across the Middle East, through the deserts of North Africa, into the fertile plains of Europe, throughout Asia, across the Atlantic, around the Pacific, and over the face of the earth.
What is the answer in our day? How does the Christian family survive this culture? It survives by believing and practicing this Word.