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It’s Time We Refuse To Let The Culture Tell Us How To Raise Our Kids Or Live Our Lives

Skip Heitzig

On my first day of college, a professor found out I was a believer, and he stood in front of the class and announced, “My aim is to dismantle your belief system.” Sadly, that’s the aim of much of the world today: to marginalize us as fools if we believe in the Bible and teach our children its truths. They basically want us to shut up and go away, or to conform and do what they say.

But the apostle Paul said, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). How do we do that? How can we stand up to the giant of conformity?

In Daniel 1, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had conquered the Middle East and had taken the Jewish people back to Babylon, including Daniel and his friends. The king gave them three years of training, so they could serve him. The training included isolating them, indoctrinating them with a Babylonian worldview, and even giving them new names that honored pagan deities.

They were also given the same food the king ate, but it was first offered to Babylonian gods, then brought to the king’s table. Daniel saw this as defilement and “purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies” (Dan. 1:8). He made the decision not to conform.

You probably remember the story. After a month of a veggie diet abstaining from the king’s food, Daniel and his friends were healthier and wiser than those who ate the king’s food. So God honored their commitment.

Now, let’s look at it this way: What could be defiling you? There are all sorts of things that can contaminate you: movies or TV shows you binge, websites you visit, relationships you’re in, or places you frequent. But when you close the door to defilement, you open the door to development. God will do great things in and through you.

It begins with a belief system, a mindset, that no matter where you are, God is always there. “For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and He ponders all of his paths” (Proverbs 5:21).

Get this: Babylon did not change because of Daniel’s ministry there. They continued in their pagan practices, and God eventually judged them. But that’s not what this is about. This is about Daniel not letting Babylon change him, about not bowing to cultural conformity.

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And I think it’s the same today. It’s not about trying to get our nation back to where it was—it’s about the church standing strong. It’s time we refuse to conform to the culture. It’s time we refuse to let the culture tell us how to raise our kids or how to live our lives.

I believe with all my heart that we are living in a Daniel moment. We have unprecedented pressure all around us, so we need to pray for the same kind of wisdom Daniel possessed. There are certain things in this culture I will refuse, but I’ll do it respectfully, with tact.

Here’s the takeaway: go against the flow. It’s not easy, but stand up for Christ. Don’t be ashamed of the gospel.

In these last days, remember that God is with you. He watches you as an involved Father. His evaluation of you is far weightier than what anybody else might think of you. This will set you free to be bold and courageous and to live a life that is not conformed to this world.

Skip Heitzig is an author, the host of the nationwide radio program “Connect with Skip Heitzig,” the senior pastor of Calvary Church in Albuquerque, and serves on several boards, including Samaritan’s Purse.

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