“Dear friends, I warn you as ‘temporary residents and foreigners’ to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.” — 1 Peter 2:11 (NLT)
The Pull of the Culture
Every college and pro athlete faces a decision when they join a new team — who they will seek to please in their new environment. Each decision has several factors: consequences, respect and personal compromise. Ultimately, it is a decision to either be an influence in their surroundings or to be influenced by their surroundings.
Christians pledged their allegiance to a new King and Kingdom when they gave their lives to Christ. Therefore, in the passage above, Peter identifies Christ-followers as aliens on earth. He warns them to live here as temporary residents since Heaven has become their real home. Our earthly culture stands in contrast to the truths and values of Scripture.
There is power in the pull of the culture. Most people fear being viewed as out of step with co-workers, teammates or friends, whether it be fashion, beliefs or values. No one likes being the one who doesn’t fit in.
C.S. Lewis writes, “I believe that in all men’s lives at certain periods, and in many men’s lives at all periods between infancy and extreme old age, one of the most dominant elements is the desire to be inside the local Ring and the terror of being left outside. … Of all the passions, the passion for the Inner Ring is most skillful in making a man who is not yet a very bad man do very bad things.”
We live in a world that is generally committed to human-centered values instead of God-centered values. That means Christ-followers will have a battle with the culture until they leave earth for their home in Heaven.
— Tom Petersburg, catapultministries.org
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