This evening, I was down in my basement working out. While I sweated, spinning to nowhere, the CD player was spinning 10-year old music from Jars of Clay. I would never claim Jars of Clay as my favorite band, but there I sat spinning and listening, and enjoying.
I think back some 15 odd years, back to when Shelly and I served in Jamaica with the US Peace Corps. Before landing on that sandy shore, I hadn't given much thought to Jamaican music. Yes, I had a couple of Bob Marley albums, but they never sat at the top of the pile.
Yet, within a few weeks, I found myself drawn toward the Jamaican beat. In a process that was as gradual as definite, I became a fan of the latest Reggae and Dance Hall songs. The Jamaican sounds had replaced my previous favorites.
Back in the states, I slowly began finding the Jamaican tapes near the middle of the pile. Today, they sit in dust, near the bottom of a cluttered box.
The same can be said of Jamaican food. I can no longer taste the patties and coca bread that once filled my pre-lunch daydreams.
What's the lesson here? It's obvious. We have a natural tendency to adopt the sounds, tastes, etc, that are part of our daily lives. This is why the Bible instructs Christians to separate from the world. Yet ...
We send our children to government schools, 180 days a year. And we expect them to somehow remain separate from the culture of the schools. In essence, we ask our children to go to Jamaica for an extended vacation and not enjoy the music or the food.
The question is this: How can Christians remain pure in a sex-saturated world? I ask, "Why does anyone think they can be part of that world and remain pure?"
Putting children and young adults in such a world and asking them to separate is to believe the devil’s lie; a lie that Jesus answered in this manner, "Again it is written, 'You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’"
Look at this statement: "Perhaps what is MORE alarming is the fact that church stats mirror the secular world." As long as the Church remains part of the secular world, expect it to mirror the secular world. You can expect nothing less.