Did you know that the Bible teaches about aliens? No, we’re talking about men from Mars, nor about immigrating from another country, nor about Lady Gaga. Instead I’m talking about what Peter said, “Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11 ); we’re talking about you and me—if you’re a Christian. We’re talking about feeling at home—or not.
When you’re at home, you’re comfortable, feel loved and accepted, and that things are as they should be. When you’re an alien, on the other hand, you aren’t especially comfortable; the culture seems strange and sometimes even hostile; and we aren’t entirely sure that we’re really accepted.
So, do you feel at home in this world—or alien?
How comfortable are you with today’s sexual standards? Living together without marriage has become very common and in many cases, expected. Homosexuality seems to be practiced commonly, so that there’s not even a hint of blushing even among our politicians and religious leaders. Adultery has become such a comfortable practice that we’ve lost outrage about it. It may be worth a moment to stop and evaluate our hearts in comparison with the Bible’s teachings: “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity… because these are improper for God’s holy people” (Ephesians 5:3, NIV). Are we at home here, or are we aliens.
How comfortable are you with today’s family values and standards? Are you embarrassed to voice support of or practice of traditional marriage, of the father being the head of his house, of the wife submitting to her husband, of children obeying their parents, of the appropriate disciplining of children, or of the tragedy of divorce? Do we need to reflect a moment or two on where we’ve been led in belief and practice (especially in view of Ephesians 5:22—6:4)? Are we at home here or are we aliens?
How comfortable have you become with modern language? If you’re over the age of 30, you are surely aware of the large number of words that used to be considered inappropriate, which are now used without hesitation. Vulgar references to bodily functions, vulgar references to body parts, and profane usage of God’s and His Son’s names are no cause for blushing anymore. Gossip, bitterness, and hyper-criticism have likewise become commonplace and even “delicious”. The inspired apostle Paul taught, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29, NIV). Do we need to stop, evaluate, and consider what words we’ve allowed ourselves to become accustomed to?
And what do you feel comfortable about watching these days? Granted, these days inappropriate entertainment can be found in surprising places—entertainment that would have had “X” ratings just a few years ago, but now is considered mainstream. Think of the TV situations that people were in (in bed), the subjects the talk shows discussed, or the jokes the comedians told (and you laughed at). Remember, the Scripture teaches us, “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8, NIV). There is truth in the statement, “Garbage in, garbage out.”
We cannot completely escape exposure to many of these things; but we can be aliens to them. We can stand against worldly sexual morals, refuse modern family standards, spurn unwholesome language, and decline polluted entertainments. We are citizens of God’s kingdom (Php. 3:20). Are we acting like it?