Author: Paul A. Bartz
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Is the society in which we live a shaper of our lives? Is it true that we are products of our environments? Is it true, as we often hear, that since society molds us and makes us what we are, we should not be held responsible for what we do? Much of modern sociology is concerned with these and similar questions. And the answers, which sociologists offer, are based upon their evolutionary view of the world. But what does the Bible say about these things?
1 Corinthians 15:33 agrees that “Bad company corrupts good morals.” But note in this text that the fault is not society’s, nor the bad company’s, but the person who allows himself to be corrupted. This text is saying that a person who is trying to follow the Lord should not make friends of people who are not concerned about the Lord. Their morality will become his morality, as Scripture says, “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.” (1 Corinthians 5:6). Our conclusion is that while the people around us will have an influence upon us, we cannot shift the blame for our wrongs to them. We remain responsible, despite what sociologists say.
In Genesis 18:16 through chapter 19:26 we have the record of Lot in Sodom. This must have been a very difficult place for Lot, who wanted to follow the Lord, to live and raise a family. In 2 Peter 2:7 we read that the evil of the city did indeed vex Lot. He was greatly disturbed by the perversions around him. But his environment did not shape him into the kind of person like those evil people who lived in those cities. Modern sociologists tell us that right and wrong is not based upon absolutes, but on what the majority of people think is right.
For example, if the majority of people think that homosexuality is simply an “alternative lifestyle,” then there is nothing wrong with it. Today many states, including Minnesota, are considering legislation, which would make it a violation of homosexual civil rights to point out that homosexuality is a perversion of the God-given order. Christians who rent rooms would be required to rent to homosexual “couples” whether they want to or not. To the sociologist this makes homosexuality moral, since it shows that society now accepts it.
Many Christians will be vexed, as was Lot, as a result of the humanistic basis of present-day sociology, which denies the absolutes of Scripture. So on this count, too, we must conclude that modern humanistic sociology is leading society away from the truth, and actively opposing Christianity.
Romans 12:2 tells us not to be conformed to this world. If modern sociology is correct, this statement would make no sense. Sociology says that we have no choice but to be shaped by our world. Scripture says don’t be shaped by the world. This difference of opinion clearly shows us that modern sociology is really an alternative religion to Christianity. But Christianity offers much more help for modern man than sociology. Our verse goes on to say “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” We are not stranded in the evil of society around us, nor are we stranded in our own evil! In Jesus Christ we have the forgiveness of sins and cleansing. We are given new minds so that in Christ we can seek the ultimate will of God. Sociology cannot offer this power as long as it is based on humanism instead of Scripture. So sociology simply denies that there is any ultimate right or wrong.
Christians need not be stranded with the present “science” of sociology, which is based on the pre-scientific, and pre-Christian pagan religion of evolution. There is a great need for more Christians to work in the study of society within the framework of the Biblical worldview. This kind of study will glorify God, and lead people to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior from sin, death, and the devil!
Copyright © 1983 Bible Science Newsletter, Pastor Paul A. Bartz. Creation Moments, Inc. PO Box 839 Foley, MN 56329