David Platt’s new book Counter Culture: A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography was released this week. David Burnett says it’s “a call for Christians to respond to many of the critical social issues of our day with gospel compassion, conviction, and courage.”
David Platt writes, “On popular issues like poverty and slavery, where Christians are likely to be applauded for our social action, we are quick to stand up and speak out. Yet on controversial issues like homosexuality and abortion, where Christians are likely to be criticized for our involvement, we are content to sit down and stay quiet.”
Here’s more about the book:
Ask a group of Christians what they think about poverty, sex trafficking, or the orphan crisis, and you’ll probably get a pretty quick response. But ask that same group about gay marriage or abortion, and you’ll most likely be faced with a lot of nervous hesitancy or fuzzy answers. In this day when social issues are creating clear dividing lines in society, moral or political neutrality is no longer an option for those who believe the gospel. It’s simply not enough to focus on only those issues that are most comfortable—and least costly—to us.
But what if the main issue is not poverty or homosexuality or abortion? What if the main issue is God? What if the same God who moves us to war against sex trafficking also moves us to war against sexual immorality? What if the same gospel that compels us to combat poverty also compels us to defend traditional marriage? What if all of these cultural hot-button issues are all connected to our understanding of who God is and how he relates to everything around us? Join David Platt as he invites us to fix our gaze on the holiness, love, goodness, truth, justice, authority, and mercy of God revealed in the gospel and to walk boldly right into the middle of today’s culture wars.
I’m grateful for David Platt and voices like his, who are calling the church to be faithful to God’s Word and extend both the grace and truth of Jesus in the midst of an increasingly hostile culture.
True Christians do not mindlessly parrot whatever society happens to be saying (or what their own favorite group prefers). They go back to the Scriptures to see what God says, and they believe it even when it’s unpopular. They realize that one day they’ll stand before Christ, the Judge of All, and in that day God’s position on these issues will be the standard by which all others are judged.
Martin Luther King, Jr., like many leaders, had his flaws. Yet he saw social evils with unusual insight and faced them with uncommon courage. He said, “Cowardice asks the question: is it safe? Expediency asks the question: is it politic? Vanity asks the question: is it popular? But conscience asks the question: is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular—but one must take it simply because it is right.”
The Bible commands us to do what is right not only when convenient, but when costly.
God has called us to be His children and ambassadors, not His speech writers or PR team attempting to airbrush His image so His polling will go up. We’ve become accustomed to pleasing ourselves, and pleasing others, whether that’s our culture or our Christian subculture. But Scripture teaches we should seek to please God, the Audience of One. We should live for His applause, His “Well done,” not for the approval of others.
If we fail to speak the truth in love—either by not speaking the truth or not doing it in love—we fail to represent God (Ephesians 4:15). If we choose between grace and truth we misrepresent Jesus, who is full of both grace and truth (John 1:14).
How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? —Jesus, John 5:44
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. —Paul, Galatians 1:10
Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries.