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living faithfully in rapidly changing times

Updated: May 30

This past Sunday I celebrated Easter in my local church, a fantastic time of worship and celebration of the single most important historical event in the history of mankind.  The resurrection defines the true meaning of faith and transformation.


Like most Christians, the weekend was interrupted by news stories, explaining how the President declared Easter Sunday “Transgender Day of Visibility” (TDOV).  It immediately outraged devout Christians across America, while others were quick to point out that March 31 has been designated this way for over a decade. 


I have no desire to add to the debate, but would simply point out that in America we now have at least a couple dozen days/months set aside to recognize the growing list of sexual identifications and categories, and it will grow as some in our culture continue to insist we gain our identity through sexual orientation and preferences.


Our desire here at Biblically Resilient is to help Christians understand how to navigate our culture respectfully and faithfully.  To grasp the real significance of TDOV, we have to realize how many people in culture expect others to approach their ideology.  We find ourselves living in the age of participation.  Let me explain.


rapidly changing times


In an excellent book titled Male & Female, there is a chapter by Paul Huyghebart that sheds light on the ever-changing shifts in societal behavior and expectations (remember that word) around LGBTQ+ issues.  It starts with the idea that each generation is increasingly identifying as LGBTQ+, and cites a recent Gallup poll that illustrates this with statistics showing how the percentages are growing.  Here are the numbers:


·      Generation Z: 20.8 %

·      Millennials: 10.5%

·      Generation X: 4.2%

·      Baby Boomers: 2.6%

·      Traditionalists: 0.8%[i]


As we can see, the numbers are rising to a staggering percentage today.  Some studies, including one by the Barna group, put the number today even higher – somewhere around 30-40%![ii]  Like most people, I had no idea the numbers were so high.  Huyghebart astutely points out that to make sense of the rising numbers, we need to understand the expectations behind them, and traces them to the way each age, going back to the 1980’s, has framed the dominant cultural attitudes around LGBTQ+ issues.  He believes there are five of them:[iii]


The Age of Condemnation (1980’s and before): Before the 80’s, the heterosexual lifestyle was seen by most groups, with a few exceptions, as normative.  Deviations were condemned, often harshly.


The Age of Toleration (1990’s):  Attitudes rightly shifted away from condemnation to a new space, one where the lifestyles of others with whom we don’t agree are tolerated, so long as they are not imposed on me – “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”


The Age of Affirmation (2000’s):  This represented a huge shift!  As Hollywood and media began to highlight the LGBTQ+ lifestyle in movies, sitcoms and advertisements, expectations began to emerge around affirmation becoming the normative response.


The Age of Celebration (2010’s): The next logical step from affirmation is celebration, to show visible support toward lifestyles that we now accepted as normal.  There was an explosion of holidays and rainbow flags, except now some churches were joining in.


The Age of Participation (2020’s):  Everything has changed.  There is constant pressure, especially among younger people, governmental agencies and corporations to not only affirm and celebrate, but participate.  Publicly stand with those who identify as LGBTQ+.  Oftentimes, if one doesn’t, it is seen as offensive, even hostile. 


a common example


I recently spoke to a Christian man who serves in upper level management at a bank.  For gay pride month, his boss sent out a memo urging (felt like requiring?) all managers to block out a day where they could march with the community.  When she peeked into his office and asked if he was planning to come, he politely but nervously told her although he loves and respects all people, his faith would not allow him to participate. 


She was visibly upset with him, and left his office quietly.  For a week or so he worried if he might be fired.  He wasn’t, but has felt the relational withdrawal ever since.  He respectfully stood his ground, but it was not easy, and honestly it was risky.  I’ve heard quite a few of these types of stories.  Such is the burden for sincere Christians in the age of participation.  There is no middle ground, we are expected to stand with people and their ideology, or risk being persecuted or cancelled, and Christians increasingly find themselves in these crosshairs (Matt. 5:10-12, 2 Tim. 3:12).


what does faithful living look like?


Our role as Christians is not to change culture, but lovingly and faithfully engage it for Christ.  I would like to offer three simple but important pieces of advice.


First, love and respect all people as image-bearers of God (Gen. 1:26-27).  Let it never be said that Christians treat people with a lack of dignity based on their life choices.  Remember who we were before we allowed Jesus to be the Lord of our lives.  Let’s love deeply, sincerely – all people (Rom. 13:8).  When we love people based on what scripture tells us, while not succumbing to the demands of a secular society, we offer them visibility that has its origins in the wisdom of God, not man (James 3:13-18).



Second, parents and churches need to be much more intentional in teaching a wholistic Biblical worldview (Deut. 6:1-18, 2 Tim. 3:14-17).  One reason young Christians struggle with the messages of culture is that they lack a foundational Christian worldview.  God’s word and its narrative of meaning consistently provides security for individuals as they navigate a world so confused about personal identity (Jer. 17:7-9).  A mind grounded in God’s word guards against Satan’s attacks when morality becomes relative or something unbiblical clashes with God’s values (2 Tim. 4:1-5).


Third, commit to living as a cultural minority in a fallen society – individually and in our local churches.  We are called to be set apart and holy, which means we live by Kingdom values in a world that is increasingly insisting that we submit to the prevailing wisdom of the day (Rom. 12:2, 1 Peter 1:15-16, 2:9).  It is so tempting to strive to be culturally relevant or simply to capitulate, but in reality that is the opposite of what people need or want from their church. 


Let’s allow the Gospel of Jesus to speak loudly through our lives and actions (Matt. 5:14-16, Eph. 5:8).  When we can build bridges with people who disagree, let’s do that.  However, we should stand strong in allowing the Bible to be the standard for our lives, actions, and for what we affirm.  Most importantly, let’s model the right balance and conviction for our children, who find it ever more difficult to stand strong in this age of participation.


Daren Overstreet


Daren Overstreet is a Senior Leader at

Anchor Point Church in Tampa, Florida.  He has

Been in ministry for nearly 30 years, and holds a Master’s Degree in Missional Theology

You can contact him at


[i] Sproles, Renee.  Male & Female: A Biblical Look at Gender,, 2023, pp. 255-257.

[ii] Bond, Paul. “Nearly 40 Percent of U.S. Gen Zs, 30 Percent of Young Christians Identify as LGBTQ, Poll Shows.” Newsweek, 22 February 2022,

[iii] Sproles, 255-260.


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