Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

Index by Subject

Going Along with the Crowd

Our young people are constantly being pressured to go along with the often illicit and inappropriate behavior that characterizes their peers. Dancing, drinking, drug use, immodesty, profanity, and promiscuity are the norm rather than the exception, and teenage Christians are often ridiculed for abstaining from such activities.

It is easy to be overcome by such temptations, and when our youth are willing and able to withstand such pressure, we should praise them highly. It takes strength and virtue to be a young Christian in an increasingly hostile and evil world.

The Bible records example after example of individuals who were too week to say no to the pressure of peers. From Adam’s acceptance of the fruit at his wife’s insistence, to Pilate’s acquiescence to the Jews, to Demas’ love of the present world, so many have been influence by the ungodliness of this present world. However, everybody has someone who, in the midst of such pressure, is a voice encouraging them to do what is right. To stand up and be counted. To, as Paul said, “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13). It may be a father, mother, teacher or friend. With their help it is possible to go against the crowd and the evil they do.

Among those Bible examples of one who went “against the crowd” is the young king Josiah. Josiah’s grandfather (Manasseh), and father (Amon) were wicked kings, who “served the idols” and “worshiped them” (cf. 1 Kings 21:21). The people were corrupt, and when Josiah became king of Judah when he was eight years old, all the pieces were in place for him to be a wicked king. However, w are told, “And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.” (1 Kings 21:2).

Each of us has to determine whether we will take the path of least resistance, going along with the crowd to evil; or, stemming the tide, staying true to our convictions regarding what is right and wrong. It is a matter of strength, of character, and the way we go will largely be determined by whether our will is strong enough to go against the present trend toward evil.

The apostle Peter instructed Christians, “giving all diligence, add to your faith, virtue…” (2 Peter 1:5). The word virtue is simply defined as moral courage. It is the courage to take what you know to be true (faith), and apply it always in your life. It may be uncomfortable, unpopular and difficult. It is, nevertheless, what God reasonably requires of us.

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2).