Recently, I found a fascinating article from the Wall Street Journal which was published in August (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121944811327665223.html). In it, the author writes about Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in southern California. Here is an excerpt:
"In Africa, (Rick Warren's) plan has been to use churches to promote literacy, economic growth and public health. Short-term visits from American churchgoers serve to train church leaders. But there are also less tangible tasks--cultural problems--which Mr. Warren believes churches can address better than governments or nongovernmental organizations. For instance, we need 'to teach men and boys to respect women and children.' No amount of AIDS education is going to help if women are being raped by men in their villages. 'And that is my job as a pastor. No government can do that.'"
I was reminded of Paul's instructions to Titus. "You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance...Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us" (Titus 2:1-2, 6-8).
When we take the teachings of the Lord seriously, we can make a positive impact on our social environment. Our challenge is to embrace sound doctrine, allow it to shape our thinking so that we have sound minds, and then to live sound lives of faith in Christ.