Knowing we are simply called to be a faithful “next link” in this unbroken and obedient chain of Gospel-believers whose lives have been radically changed by Christ away from the former pagan ways of the culture, what do we do? Ah, so glad you asked!
1. Love rightly. It is not harsh, mean, intolerant, cruel, discriminatory, or hateful to clarify the right and wrong ways to love people. For instance, sex is one of the ways a married man expresses his love to his wife (and her to him). But he shouldn’t use sex to express love to his secretary to whom he is not married. Or boss. Or anyone else for that matter. That’s adultery. And its not wrong to say that. It’s actually very right to call people to love others correctly and biblically. After all, incorrect, unbiblical love is really disguised harm. Sexual sin and impurity, whether of a heterosexual or homosexual kind, is simply soul terrorism (1 Cor. 6:18).
You see, what we have now learned in Christ is how to love people correctly. So our former ways of using people selfishly for our own gratification has ended, and now we serve people selflessly for God’s glory and their good. This means, at the very least, that we no longer use sex wrongly. Instead, we understand it and embrace it rightly and biblically. As we do, we display with great clarity what is perhaps the greatest distinction between those who belong to Christ and those who are bound to the culture: Sexual purity.
2. Submit gladly. This precedes #1, so maybe I should have placed it first. Nevertheless, we dare not adopt the role of rule maker or rule changer. This is exactly what pagan cultures have done and continue to do (Romans 1). Remember — no culture has no rules. That absurd statement is, in and of itself, a rule. So the “below the water line” goal of pagan peoples isn’t really about getting rid of rules, but rather replacing God’s authority. This is the danger zone, for when we start down that road (and we have culturally), we make ourselves god. The end of that? Self worship! The end of that? Self deception! The end of that? Self destruction!
Instead, submission to, not replacement of, God’s authority is the best response, for it is in the bent knee that we discover the lifted head. (James 4:10).
3. Endure patiently. Expect misinterpretation. Mistreatment. Ridicule. Scorn. Even persecution. And when it comes, continue to love Christ and love as Christ. How? Value his Word and value people. In holding up both of these priorities you’ll find the supernatural ability to be consistent and compassionate at the same time.
4. Speak clearly. In the middle of courageous obedience, commit to also verbalizing why you act — and don’t act — the way you do. A clear, thoughtful answer is too often missing in the fray of protests and marches. Granted — not everyone listens to reason, and this in no way discounts the old adage that “actions speak louder than words.” All I’m saying is that words have an effect, and learning to use them logically and lovingly to bring credence to what you do is a good idea.