We can often read the Bible, especially the Old Testament with a bit of arrogance. Think on how we often read the book of Judges - and will think, "How can they keep falling?" We'll read 1 Sam and think, "How can they clamor for a king?" Here is what we forget. We spend 10 minutes reading a passage, but that passage might describe years, or even generations passing.
In that meantime, in that actual span of time that passes in between verses, lives are lived just as they are lived in our day. People will fall away and want to be like everyone else - but what we forget is that as Christians we aren't called to be like everyone else - we are called out of darkness into His marvelous light.
But the Church in every day and age has been confronted with the temptation to fit in with the way of the world.
I am becoming more and more convinced that the greatest danger the Church faces today is from the desire to fit in with the world - to look cool - to be hip. It's a desire to fit in - and it even hits us today.
IF you are interested, Father Hollywood has been all over a modern example. The Texas District Youth Gathering is trying to be hip - and we've got tons of non-Lutherans leading the thing. A gal was the "lead worshipper" - and did we mention she's a pastor at a non-Lutheran congregation? Well, now she's just the song leader. . . but still. Why are we pulling in non-Lutherans to teach our youth, to lead the worship?
And we wonder why kids grow up and leave the church - we teach them that it is okay at the youth gatherings!
Be different from the rest of the world. Don't look to fads, don't look to what is "cool", don't base your judgments on what feels good. Look to Christ, focus on what He does. . . and let everything else fall by the wayside.
Lord have mercy upon us all!