Changing with society

In a New York Times article I read that there is a road that crosses Nevada that just raised the speed limit to 80 mph.  For me that brings back memories of driving from Montana to Utah in 2012.  We traveled on roads with the 80 mph speed limit.  And of course people (including me) still drove 5-10 miles an hour over the limit.  That meant you could be driving 87 mph and of course there were still people who would zoom past you.  The speed limits have risen with the advance of auto technology.  As cars, tires, brakes, and roads have become safer, the speed limits have risen.  The article says in the 1960s the national traffic fatality rate was above five per 100 million miles driven. In 2014, it hit the lowest level ever recorded, 1.08 per 100 million miles.  It also talks about speed limits for horse drawn carriages back in the 1800’s, but it was difficult to monitor without speedometers.  Times have certainly changed.

I know I am getting to be what I once considered “an old man”.  I understand things change, have seen many changes, and know we have to change with them.  I held on to a flip phone as long as I could, and I’ve had my first smartphone, the iPhone 5c, for going on 4 years.  Usually resisting change is seen as a bad thing.  But can resisting change ever be a good thing?  The Apostle Paul wrote that sometimes we must resist change.

Paul warned Timothy nearly 2,000 years ago, and perhaps the warning was as much for us as for Timothy.  I believe God surely preserved it for me and others as an encouragement as a pastor in the early 2000’s.  To paraphrase Paul in 2 Timothy 4:15, we must be faithful in preaching the Word of God, lovingly and patiently confronting and correcting people who do not wish to be confronted and corrected.  The difficulty today, as other times in the history of the church, is we have two sides who both think that God is leading them to confront and correct the other side.  One side thinks times are changing and the church must change with them, and they see their mission as a social justice issue of which God approves.  The other side thinks this is exactly the type of thing Paul was talking about when he said people will “turn their backs on the truth and turn to myths” not willing to hear sound teaching/doctrine.

And both sides will even say “there is be a price to pay for doing the right thing”.  American society has definitely changed much in the last 50 years.  A good question to ask yourself is this one: Is this a society drawing closer to God or drifting further away?  Another way to ask the same question is this: Is God doing something new and better or are many simply being deceived?  And once you have answered that, you should patiently and lovingly live your life accordingly.

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