We live in an age where all things can seemingly be crafted and styled to look equal on the surface. Perhaps that has always been the case. But now more than ever–with a good smartphone and a few editing tools, you can self-publish a book and make it look like a best seller. You can create a virtual storefront that hardly turns a dime. And you can become an influencer who–at the mere mention of a product, can boost the sales of whomever you wish to name.
This is different from years ago. In years past, you would physically shop at reputable stores, and buy products you could touch and feel with your own hands.
Today though, a pretty picture and a few five-star reviews can almost be more convincing than holding the product itself. We live in an age of sophisticated marketers selling items which could be well-crafted or which could actually be junk. Today, we can buy our products sight unseen. Given this modern mode of marketing, shopping, and decision making, we should be on guard against those who peddle ideas and morality the same way.
Many women I know do not go on social media. If that is you, there is wisdom in that! But for those who use it: for business, or sharing a message, or keeping updated with the PTO, we need to beware of the snake oil that is being peddled to us on every virtual corner. As has always been true for Christ followers, we need to be able to identify fool’s gold.
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.
Woe to those who put darkness for light and light for darkness.
Woe to those who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
This post was inspired by some disturbing trends I have noticed online over the past year and beyond. And while they are the messages of the world, I have been most troubled to see how they are also accepted by some who call themselves Christians. And so this is a reminder to us all that there is always something trending called SIN, it wants to name evil things as good, and good things as evil. So, Woe!
Sin has existed since the fall in Eden, but sin’s trending impact today comes to us instantly and graphically. Set it to music and mix it with emotions… and you have a powerful tool optimized to entice and draw the people of God away from the truth. So, Woe!
I’ve noted three examples in recent months where right was called wrong. I found myself confused for a time in each situation, but after considering what was happening, I saw this trend of sin at work: good being called evil.
1. One woman’s reel went viral on Instagram as she shared how God helped her forgive the very painful sin of infidelity by her husband. The next day she “stepped away from the platform” as she was shaken by the backlash of comments she received. I was curious and confused, but quickly saw the hundreds of commenters who scorned her for forgiving him. “You fool! Once a cheater, always a cheater.” Though there was some mix of encouragement, the majority of responses were from people giving personal accounts of parents who did the same and how they did not deserve forgiveness.
On one hand it is sad that this may be the reality for children whose parents commit infidelity: the outcry against them for being unfaithful. But equal to that was an outcry for the spouse who forgave anyone for such a sin.
Ironically, their own life circumstances were not made righteous by calling forgiveness wrong. They were not vindicated. Instead they seemed to carry their anger on their sleeve. Furthermore, there was a tone of rejecting God’s institution of marriage altogether. Sadly, they seemed happy to settle on rejecting many of God’s ways.
Forgiveness is not wrong. It is good.
2. A bold pastor takes on feminism online by calling women to turn away from the spirit of Jezebel and the feminist ideals which have ostracized them from their husbands and left them feeling overworked, bitter, and angry.
The outcry in the comments (mostly from people who call themselves Christians) is “You have no right to tell us what to do! You are a patriarchal oppressor. Christ loved, not condemned.”
Ephesians 5 has much to say about wives and husbands. Feminism strips away the blessing of God’s design for the home. God’s ways are good, not evil.
3. Some free-range mommy posts call it wrong to train up a child in the way he should go. They instruct that you should not expect immediate obedience because that is cruel. Let your children be wild and free. Let them express their independence and saucy spirits. Let them tell you where they want to go so you can follow them.
But God’s word tells us to teach our children there is a wrong way and a right way (found in God’s word). We are told all throughout the book of Proverbs to require obedience and discipline our children for sin when they are young so they will be spared far graver consequences for their sin when they are older. We cannot dismiss bad behavior as simply a bad day. We are called to parent in faith unto God. This is good.
Alternately just as right is called wrong there are many examples where wrong is called right. There are sadly countless examples online today where wrong is called right and good.
Bear with me for a moment while I describe the online landscape…
Put some flowing music and montessori toys on the ground. Use the dewey filter and the scripting font and you can say anything you want about wrong and right (unless it is God’s truth).
Evil says: “Don’t you see my gorgeous crystals and my flowing long hair and gauzy champagne pink dress blowing in the breeze to classical piano music? It is right and beautiful and good. Join me.”
Wrong says: “Do you like this art exhibit? Colorful lithographs carefully and meticulously placed frame upon frame. Don’t come up too close though, or else you will see the dystopian vibe, the mangled flesh revealing the artist’s deeply troubled soul.”
All things are not equal. They are far from equal. All that glitters is not gold. But do we really know that? This requires discernment. As I posted recently, it requires listening to the shepherd’s voice. God’s Word must be our guide and our filter for what truly is evil and what truly is good. May we steep ourselves and our homes more in the things of God than we do in the aesthetics of the world which truly are leading many astray.
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil,
who put darkness for light and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.