According to Solomon, there’s “nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). But that was thousands of years ago. What about our own modern world, with its constantly outdated clothing styles and technology?
It’s easy to think that our own struggles and sinful pressures are unique — if not to us personally, at least to our generation. That’s a dangerous trap, especially for teens. The worst possible outcome is that they can see Scripture as irrelevant to their own lives.
Now, I’m not encouraging a dishonest, pop-culture remake of the Bible; instead, I’d like to encourage an honest look at the sugar-coated flannel graph or animated version often portrayed to our kids.
Yes, there can be too much information, or too much, too soon. While biblical accounts of sexual sin and morbid violence are inappropriate for small children, it’s probably best to wait to introduce them when kids are older than to retell them beyond recognition.
For instance, the Veggie Tales version of King David’s sin with Bathsheba has him coveting someone else’s rubber ducky — a not-so-subtle but admittedly age-appropriate and entertaining bow to Bathsheba’s public bathing. While the reworked story addresses some of the sin issues involved, I’m afraid it might not give the proper respect to the true story — or the reality of timeless sexual temptation.
In addition to David’s adultery, sensitive issues are addressed in accounts such as Noah’s drunkenness and nudity (Genesis 9), Judah’s incest (Genesis 38), and mass infanticides (Exodus 1, Matthew 2).
For your information, even a cursory reading of the Scripture passages above makes it clear that the atrocities of infidelity and abortion are not unique to our society. Yet we hear so many complain of today’s rampant immorality — and the related temptations — as being unique.
Clearly, it was far worse in Noah’s society, in which “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). And there was only one exception: Noah (Genesis 6:8, 9).
While those dedicated to God and His Word may not be in the majority today, there’s certainly more than just one family standing against the ungodliness in our culture and for Christian principles.
In my opinion, we’re better off than those in earlier generations. Sure, we have more access to sinful temptations; but I think that modern mobility and technology allow for many benefits as well, more than balancing out those increased opportunities for sin.
In addition to the benefit of many fellow believers in countless local churches and other Christian organizations that can help us, we have an abundance of resources at our fingertips. From Christian music to Bible study tools, modern technology and communication provide countless possibilities for biblical instruction and edification.
We also have the completed canon of Scripture — something Noah and David and even John and Paul did not have at their disposal.
Instead of letting ignorance of Bible accounts give our young people an excuse to give in to temptation, we need to remind them of their responsibility before God (2 Timothy 2:22, Ecclesiastes 12:1).
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