TEXT: Topical/Textual, Jeremiah 14:7, Proverbs 3:5
INTRO: As we’ve already discovered, the process of developing a Christian worldview gives us several obstacles to overcome. Today we consider “Peer Pressure.”
I. THE GENERAL PEER PRESSURE OF THE WORLD.
A. Cultural Peer Pressure “pressure created by the direct or indirect influence of a common social group (or groups) to make one feel accepted and respected by that group.” “Is this my position or am I trying to get along?”
B. Biblical caution: I John 2;15-16, “Do not love the world or the things that belong to the world. If anyone loves the world the love of the Father is not in him. For everything that belongs to the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle – is not from the Father, but is from the world.” do not base your core values and motivation on what the world demands to be accepted or successful.
II.THE PEER PRESSURE OF DISAGREEING ALLIES (Frenemies)
Disagreement with people you admire and consider your spiritual allies should not cause you to doubt what you believe is a correct Biblical worldview.
A. Some faith disagreements are not about essentials, but personal growth.
B.In Gen. 12 -13, Abraham and Lot separated over adverse circumstances.
C. In Acts 15, Paul and Barnabas disagreed over taking John Mark on 2nd journey.
Vs.39, “There was such a sharp disagreement that they parted company.”
D. Disagreements, to some extent, have always been in the church.
New Testament epistles / Church history (Luther and Calvin / it was out of disagreements in some matters that accounts for the existence of denominations.
Nonessentials: baptism; the type of government the church should have, the exact meaning of the elements in the Lord’s Supper, the form repentance should take, and so on.
Essentials: God/ Christ / Salvation/ Holy Spirit / second coming/ Bible is true.
St Augustine, “In essentials, unity, in nonessentials, liberty, in all things, charity.
III. THE PEER PRESSURE OF GROWING MODERN SECULAR HUMANISM IN THE CHURCH.
A. Jude on “apostates”(people who have renounced or abandoned religious beliefs they once claimed to hold) vs.16, 18-19, “These people are discontented grumblers, walking according to their desires; their mouths utter arrogant words, flattering people for their own advantage . . . .
In the end time there will be scoffers, walking according to their own desires. These people create divisions and are unbelievers, not having the Spirit.”
B.What secular humanism does to the Christian religion. 1.It centers on people rather than God. It disregards anything supernatural (miracles, spiritual renewal, God’s kingdom is in heaven not of this earth, etc.) for the natural, which can be influenced by the actions of people instead of God, to make a better world here and now.
C. R.C. Sproul: “The social gospel extrapolated the ethical teachings of Jesus from the supernatural background of the biblical documents. Those who accepted the social gospel said, ‘We don’t believe in the supernatural, . . , but we still believe in the value and ethics of the New Testament.’”(Lifeviews, Sproul, 67-68).
2020 “State of Theology” survey by Ligonier Ministries and Lifeway Research
1.) Some (once-Christian) churches: all people are saved; all religions acceptable; major goal is betterment of mankind.
2.) Only 28% Catholics, and 26% mainline Protestants believe in God of the Bible although they believe in a Higher Power.
3.) 48% say Bible is helpful, but not literally true. Some churches no longer believe the Bible is from God, but from men.
4.) Some believe the Bible needs to be “updated” to account for differences it has with modern culture.
5.) 54% believe truth is relative (can be different for different people/situations.
6.) 30% reject the divinity of Christ. – Though He is a great teacher.
7.) 22% believe gender is a matter of personal choice.
8.) 42% say God accepts all religions.
D. Fifty years ago, no one who believed themselves to be real Christians would have believed in these things.
Acts 15, there is a relevant story. Paul and Barnabas fought Judaizers who demanded that the new believers should be circumcised to be true believers. Gentiles were accepted by faith Galatians 2:11-14, “When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face because he stood condemned. For he regularly ate with the Gentiles before certain men came from James. However, when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, because he feared those of the circumcision party. Then the rest of the Jews joined his hypocrisy. But when I saw that they were deviating from the truth of the gospel, I told Peter in front of everyone, “If you, who are a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel Gentiles to live like Jews?”
A Christian worldview always defends the truth of the gospel – regardless of who stands on the other side!