How do you regard the culture of the time argument when it comes to biblical matters? (Part 2)


On, we read a typical repudiation of the order that God has set in the Church. Here is a brief extract:

“Another context we need to take into consideration was the cultural background of the time and proximity. The church of Corinth is not a congregation that was born two weeks ago. It was a church built by people of a different time and a different culture all together. What may mean something to us will mean something completely different to the people of that time.

“What was ancient Corinth like? It existed in a day and age and in a culture where it was more beneficial and secure for women to refuse certain cultural and societal roles — and leadership was one of them.

“But today, that’s no longer the case. It’s now safe and beneficial for women to lead. That gives all women just as much right to spiritually and strategically lead as men.”

What a flimsy argument that is, to be able to negate clear Scriptural instruction in order for women to do what they want to – and this article was written by a man!

1 Corinthians 14:37 is clear.  The apostle Paul wrote: 

“If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord.”

He did not state his own opinion and he did not repeat the thoughts and ideas of another human being – but he proclaimed “the commandments of the Lord.” 

On, Joseph Hamrick in June 2019 wrote an excellent article about the “Argument from Culture.” Below are a few selected comments from this presentation.

“There is an argument, not exactly new, that has been making its way through the church today. The argument from culture, let’s call it the argumentam ad culturam, is an attempt to undermine the legitimacy and primacy of Scripture for Christian living, while claiming to honor the Scripture for what ‘it really says.’ It is the basic hermeneutical assumption of the culturalists.

“This argument states that since Christ (or Peter, or John, or Paul, etc.) addressed people bound by a certain place, time, and culture, the message’s proscriptions and prescriptions are likewise bound by a certain place, time, and culture.  Scripture does not utter statements once and for all authoritative; rather, it records statements held to be authoritative once upon a time. Following proper and sometimes extensive adjustments, some authority may still hold for us (e.g., support orphans and widows); largely, however, that authority is now gone with the wind–as are the place, time, and culture in which they were uttered.

“The problem with argumentum ad culturum is those who use it miss the scriptural context they try to gloss. For them, misapprehension of the scripture hinges on a failure to understand a preposition.  That is, they are blind to the difference between making an argument to a culture and arguing from one. Christ, Paul, and others took the former route. Progressive Christians take the latter.

“As has been argued, Paul’s words, and Christ’s, are not merely cultural arguments, they are more. They are the very word of God, which cannot change.

“Culture cannot, and must not, dictate the word of God.”

The points made by Mr Hamrick are very well taken when he states that culture cannot “dictate the word of God.”

In a speech in 2022 to the Oxford Union debate on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, in opposition against “This House Supports Same-Sex Marriage in Church,” Calvin Robinson, an Anglican deacon, and Dr Ian Paul went up against the Bishop of Buckingham, the Bishop of Dudley and the Bishop of Worcester.   Again, we will quote excerpts from this presentation.

Mr Robinson said: “We are up against the authorities – three bishops from the Established Church. That means either I am wrong – and Christians have been teaching incorrectly on marriage for 2,000 years – or we have Church leaders attempting to drag the Church into apostasy.

“Suffice to say we lost the debate: 186 for, 41 against. I would like to thank those 41 sound students at Oxford who braved the lion’s den. It must be a very lonely place for them. 

“… Paul describes marriage as, ‘Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh,’ in which he is mirroring the language of Genesis, where God tells man and wife to ‘Be fruitful and multiply’.

“People will argue, ‘we know more about homosexuality now than we did then,’ maybe so. But are you then suggesting God knew less than we do now? For either all Scripture is God-breathed, or it isn’t. Either we believe Christ, or we don’t.

“Are we looking to alter the catechism of just the Anglican Church, or should the Catholic Church ‘get with the times’, too? 2,000 years of Christian doctrine and 4,000 years of Jewish doctrine cannot be altered at the whim of a few liberal bishops. What is God-ordained cannot be adjusted to suit our liberal progressive worldviews. Marriage is heterosexual and monogamous and should be open to the possibility of children.

“… Jesus talks of marriage in Mark and Matthew, both in the context of heterosexual union.

“So my question to the bishops would be, do we not believe in the authority of the Scriptures any more? Can we pick and choose which parts of the Gospel we adhere to?

“We are directly talking about undermining God’s plan as he has revealed it to us. We are replacing his authority with our own.

“Another one, we’ll hear plenty of is ‘inclusivity’. Shouldn’t the Church be more inclusive?

“Again, it’s a play on words people use to virtue signal. To appear good rather than being good.

“As Christians, we are called to be in the world but not of the world.”

Mr Robinson has also opposed the ordination of women.  His ordination in the Church of England was blocked after several bishops had expressed concerns about his outspoken views.  In essence, as his views were from the Bible and not politically correct in today’s permissive woke culture, he was “cancelled”.

On, we read: “After all, we are all influenced by the values of the times in which we live. A quick note, though. If we are rejecting the time-bound values of the Bible because we now have new values, how do we know that ours aren’t time-bound? In fact, how do we know that our culture’s values are not even worse? These are questions worth pondering.

“But to claim that the Bible simply reflects the viewpoints of its time is to misunderstand the Bible entirely. Far from simply being a product of its time, the teachings of the Bible consistently confront readers with counter-cultural messages. Even the creation narrative itself stands in contrasts to other ancient creation myths.”

One person wrote that “Many things in the Bible are unacceptable to modern Christians. Why? Because they do not sit right with contemporary moral sensibilities.”  

In 2021, a report headed “Social media manipulation by political actors an industrial scale problem” offered these findings:

“Oxford Internet Institute team warns the level of social media manipulation has soared, with governments and political parties spending millions on private sector ‘cyber troops’, who drown out other voices on social media. Citizen influencers are used to spread manipulated messages. These include volunteers, youth groups and civil society organisations, who support their ideologies. This activity has become professionalised, with private firms offering disinformation-for-hire services.”

In other words, the manipulating of people’s views and understanding on many issues can be shaped and activated to lead many down the path of the loudest and most influential voice.   It is almost inevitable that this will be against the clear teachings from the Word of God which is derided, dismissed, disparaged and ridiculed as being of non-effect in such an “enlightened” society.   Conformity is usually required.

It can be seen from even “Christian” sources that, allegedly, “many things in the Bible are unacceptable to modern Christians. Why? Because they do not sit right with contemporary moral sensibilities.”   In other words, in order for Christianity to be relevant to some/many people today, the Way of God has to be moulded and shaped to the requirements of contemporary society.

In conclusion, it seems that counterfeit Christianity is determined to be the arbiter of what is right and wrong—not the great Creator God (the Father) who created all things through Jesus Christ. The extraordinary arrogance and ego of man who thinks that he knows best is truly amazing!

Lead Writer: Brian Gale (United Kingdom)

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