We hear lots of talk today about living “counter-culturally.” To live counter-culturally means that you have a set of values and norms of behavior that are different than the mainstream of society. Those who pride themselves in living counter-culturally see themselves as unique among the sea of humanity. They’re committed to doing things differently than the rest of society. They abhor business-as-usual when it comes to living life. There are scores of “sects” or groups that fall under the heading counter-culture. Our society embraces individuality so we’re more than comfortable in allowing people to pursue their own path. That is unless you are a bona fide, passionate, no compromise follower of Jesus and believe that God’s Word is true. Jesus’ counter-cultural followers aren’t nearly as embraced and applauded as others.
Things haven’t changed since the day Paul sat down at a table in Ephesus, took up his pen, and wrote a letter to the brothers and sisters in Corinth. Paul said, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” You wonder, how can something, “the message of the cross,” be viewed as foolish by some and precious by others?
Those who cling to the message of the cross know that the cross was and remains God’s means of saving those who are lost. The message of the cross points to the One who hung on the cross in the place of those who deserved to die, but were granted life and salvation through Him.
Those who view the message of the cross as foolish dismiss God’s assessment of humanity’s terminal condition, they have no need of anyone to “save them, and they see Jesus’ followers as weak whereas they are strong and self-reliant. Those who have determined that the message of the cross is foolish have rejected what can be learned from the Word of God. God’s Word is quite clear that there is no hope for you and me apart from the cross of Jesus, but if you don’t read and believe God’s Word then you can make up your own truth. Let society snicker and laugh. Call me foolish. Call me a fool. I’d rather cling to the cross as the power of God that saved me than to try and fit into the sea of deceived.
This is no common book. It is not the sayings of the sages of Greece; here are not the utterances of philosophers of past ages. If these words were written by a man, we might reject them; but O let me think the solemn thought, that this book is God’s handwriting—that these words are God’s! (Charles Haddon Spurgeon. The Bible. March 18, 1885)
1 Corinthians 1:18