Confronting the Culture with Truth, Courage and Hope
by Tim Hill
Published on February 11, 2024

Confronting the Culture with Truth, Courage and Hope

A Culture That Must Be Confronted

The spirit of Babylon is a force in the earth that has always stood against the kingdom of God. From the founding of Babylon (Genesis 11), it stood for rebellion against God and defiance against God and His people. Babylon stood for occult practices and was a hotbed of demonic activity. The book of Daniel makes it clear the Babylonian spirit aims to change the mind and thinking of even the most dedicated of people. The book of Revelation describes Babylon as a kingdom that has defiled the entire earth and we are strongly commanded by God Himself in Revelation 18: 4 “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”

Space for this article will not permit a full study or discourse about the history and the evil impact of Babylon. It can be said however, that much like the system spawned by Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon, there is an ungodly presence in this world that is coming against the Church and its families with a vengeance. It is determined to cancel faith, change our posture on values, and hijack our purpose. It is a spirit of Antichrist that saturates our civilization and seeks to eliminate all biblical truth and Christian values from society. This modern-day culture of Babylon is not interested in the purpose of the Church and couldn’t care less about our mandate to carry the good news of Jesus Christ throughout the earth.

It’s as if the spirit operating in this age is saying, “If I can bully and intimidate you enough, if I can inflict profuse pressure against you through life’s circumstances and situations, I’ll cause you to bow to the world system and give up on the timeless truths of Scripture you’ve held to so tightly all your life.”

In the very least, this diabolical spirit is working tirelessly to neutralize our stance on gender, marriage, sex, and the value of life. It wants us to dilute the message of the gospel to where sin becomes acceptable in any form. “Compromise and acquiesce! Adapt and give in!” These have become the clarion call of the day. The temperature that comes with the flame of intimidation is at an all-time high; and now in some nations, ministers are threatened with incarceration if they dare speak against the sin of homosexuality. Churches are in jeopardy of losing freedoms and privileges if they do not “play along.”

Addressing Immorality

We have long been on a path in America reflective of the days of Sodom and Gomorrah and we are losing more of our freedoms every day. We are suffering from a collapse of morals and a disintegration of the home. We’re in the highest crime rate of all time and the bloodiest century of all time. We’re in this place because America has forgotten God and is suffering from a complacent, apathetic attitude. It’s not just a deterioration of the outside, but more so from the inside. War has been declared on Christian values and human decency and we’re seldom embarrassed anymore. The things that used to make us blush are now laughed at, and what used to shock us, now amuses us. Once you laugh at the moral decay of this world, you can never take it seriously anymore.

In Luke 17:26-30, Jesus foretold a time to be compared to the times of Noah and Lot when people would live in a riotous, wicked and sinfully reckless way. Jesus referenced the day that Lot went out of Sodom as it was raining fire and brimstone from Heaven. In 2 Timothy 3:1-5, Paul used the term “perilous times” to describe an age of seeking pleasure, ceaseless immorality, violence and the blatant rejection of God.

Addressing sexual immorality, the apostle Jude said that Sodom and Gomorrah, “having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 1:7 NKJV).

Jude used a very distinct phrase to depict unnatural lust. He called it “strange flesh.” In this modern age we live in, it may be referred to as “alternative lifestyles,” a terminology that may appear to some as innocent. But make no mistake, it denotes sexual behavior that is offensive to God and unnatural.

The story of Sodom and Gomorrah found in Genesis 19:1-8, is what both Paul and Jude must have had in mind. Sodom’s society was steeped in widespread sexual immorality, including homosexual acts and vicious rapes. The residents of Sodom had become so evil that God could not find even 10 righteous people among them.

In his book Slouching Towards Gomorrah, former U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Robert H. Bork explained the roots of American cultural decline and degeneracy. He cited increased violence in and sexualization of mass media, the legalization of abortion, and the decline of religion, among other factors. These societal ills are contrary to God’s laws that bring peace, success, and strength to any nation.

It was noted by Scottish historian and professor, Alexander Tytler in the eighteenth century that there is a series of nine cycles that a society embarks upon toward spiritual decline. Cultures have been observed to start out in bondage and advance to spiritual faith. Then, they go from spiritual faith to courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; then, abundance to selfishness; selfishness to complacency; complacency to apathy; apathy to dependence, and finally, dependence back to bondage.

The Importance of Moral Values

Not long ago, I found a video segment from my early days of ministry and posted it on social media. Along with my youthful exuberance, I was intrigued by my examples and references to the societal changes that were taking place in the early 1990s. I was especially captured by the concluding statement I made. My verbiage was a little brash and maturity had not seasoned me at that point, but the content was certainly applicable and remains relevant today . . .

There’s not one thing in America today that can’t be fixed by preachers that will stand up in the pulpits of our churches and proclaim, ‘Thus saith the Lord!’ There is not one thing in America today that can’t be fixed if churches would stop being focused on things that don’t make a difference in eternity and hit their knees and get on their face and do spiritual warfare against the Enemy that is ravaging our country. It can be turned around and the foundations can be built again!

How precarious the times were then and how perilous the times are now. Yet, even in the middle of the insidious mess in which we find ourselves, we have this extraordinary promise from God: “ . . . Though sin is shown to be wide and deep, thank God his grace is wider and deeper still!” (Romans 5:20 J.B. Phillips). The Message version of this verse says, “…When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down.”

Author, Dr. C. J. Moen noted that before God destroyed Judah for following the same pattern as Sodom and Gomorrah, He warned His people that they were becoming boastful and unashamed of their blatant sins. God said, “They declare their sin as Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to their soul! For they have brought evil upon themselves” (Isaiah 3:9 NKJV). This is clearly a sign of our time. Our Western societies today are following this same trend of flaunting sin openly and publicly. God spoke about Judah’s moral decline, asking, “‘Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No! They were not at all ashamed; nor did they know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time I punish them, they shall be cast down,’ says the LORD” (Jeremiah 6:15 NKJV).

Being Salt and Light

Dr. Billy Graham once said, “Our society strives to avoid any possibility of offending anyone except God. Yet, the farther we get from God, the more the world spirals out of control. My heart aches for America and it’s deceived people.”

But God has a remnant. A people that still stand between wrath and mercy. As believers, our purpose has been and will always be, to be the people of God. We have been called out of darkness into the kingdom of light to be Christ’s ambassadors—His witnesses—to the people around us. We are to be salt and light to the lost world. As salt, we are to bring a preserving power and add flavor to a tasteless culture. As light, may we shine in the darkness, illuminating the path and giving clear direction on the right way to live through Jesus Christ.

Most assuredly, the only cure for a culture far from God is found in 2 Chronicles 7:14. “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Always remember that Jesus came to seek and save that which is lost. The hope of America and any other nation is found in Him. The hope for your family and your loved ones affected by the lure of today’s cultural is found in the freedom and true life that only comes from Jesus. Through many prayerful and even tearful seasons, Paula and I have seen and witnessed the intervening hand of God move in behalf of our loved ones. Even when disappointing relapses came, we have had to hold to the unchanging promises of God’s Word and believe for breakthrough. Never forget that Christ will always triumph over culture.

 

Bishop Tim Hill is General Overseer for the Church of God, leading the ministries of approximately 8 million members of nearly 42,000 churches in 191 countries and territories worldwide.

Bishop Hill previously served as a member of the Executive Committee (secretary general and assistant general overseer) and has been an administrative bishop in two states. He is the author of nine books, and 150 gospel songs. At the core of Bishop Hill’s ministry is his passion for revival and completing the Great Commission.

Bishop Hill is married to Paula, and they have three daughters and five grandchildren.

Featured Image by Pieter Brueghel the Elder, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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