The consensus morality for most of America's history was based on the virtues found in the Bible. Now, Christian ideas of moral conduct are widely rejected as narrow-minded and constricting. America's post-Christian, postmodern philosophy now provides the basis for morality.
At best, postmodern thought postulates that absolute truth cannot be known. At worst, it rejects the very existence of absolute truth. In either case, a radical relativism is the result.
In a post-Christian, postmodern world, everyone does what is right in his or her eyes. So long as no one is harmed, all behavior is deemed to be equally virtuous. The only unpardonable sin is to judge anything as immoral.
So how are followers of Christ to function in post-Christian, postmodern culture? Do we abandon popular culture and retreat into a protected fortress? One follower of Christ, in recent days, conducted herself in a manner that helps answer these questions.
Natalie Grant, a Christian singer-songwriter, was nominated for two Grammy Awards given annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry.
As result of her nominations, Grant was an invited guest at the 56th edition of what is billed as "Music's Biggest Night." However, the evening turned out to be less about music and more a celebration of debauchery and crass taste. Besides overtly sexually suggestive performances, there was a presentation that even secular reporters described as smacking of the satanic. Additionally, there was a mass homosexual wedding.
At some point Grant had endured enough, and she politely left. While she could have left without saying a word, she chose to tweet an explanation -– perhaps to fans of her music.
"We left the Grammy's early. I've many thoughts, most of which are probably better left inside my head," Grant wrote. "But I'll say this: I've never been more honored to sing about Jesus and for Jesus. And I've never been more sure of the path I've chosen."
However, those dedicated to the gospel of postmodernism do what they do best and jumped to conclusions. In their mind, Grant was guilty of intolerance for leaving the event. Homosexual activists in particular took to social media and accused Grant of bigotry, hate and homophobia.
Grant took to Facebook and graciously responded to her attackers. In part she wrote:
"I'm not going to engage in arguments, but just have a few things I want to say:
"I NEVER said I left during any particular performance. I only said I left early.
"I've judged no one. I hate no one. And I believe that every person has been created in the image of God.... I will continue to pray that my life will be my message. I do have my own personal convictions that I live by, and I will continue to work out my own salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord. (Philippians 2:12)
"My last thought: I am not ashamed to the gospel of Jesus for it is the power of God who brings salvation to ALL who believe. Romans 1:16." Grant's full statement can be viewed on her Facebook page.
The apostle Paul wrote the church at Colossae and said, "Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person" (Colossians 4:5-6).
Jesus said, "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be therefore wise [thoughtful, cautious] as serpents, and harmless [innocent, gentle] as doves" (Matthew 10:16). Jesus also indicated that His followers would be salt and light to the cultures in which they live. Much can be said about the two metaphors but suffice it to say that salt and light impact wherever they are placed.
In post-Christian, postmodern America the follower of Christ must make the most of every opportunity to impact everyone in his or her sphere of influence toward the absolute truth that all are sinners and in need of the Savior, Christ the Lord. Engagement must be prayerful so that it is not only gracious but profound in pointing people to the real difference maker, Jesus.
It seems Natalie Grant sought to do this. I hope I will be as wise and thoughtful as I seek to do the same in America's post-Christian, postmodern culture.
Kelly Boggs is a weekly columnist for BP news.