“The Times They Are A-Changin’” is a song written by Bob Dylan and released as the title track of his 1964 album of the same name. reported-ly, Dylan intended for the song to be an anthem of change for the mo-ment. These are the final words of the song: Come mothers and fathers throughout the land, and don’t criticize what you can’t understand. Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command. Your old road is rapidly agin’. Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand, for the times they are a-changin’. Depending on your point of view, the changes alluded to in the song represented either a period of human decline or one of social “maturity.”
Unfortunately, this song could be the anthem for many who are at-tempting to bring the Lord’s church into “maturity”. The body of Christ is being influenced by denominational and humanistic approach-es to worship, inclusion and even techniques for church growth. The Israelites embraced a similar attitude at the end of Samuel’s tenure as their judge (1 Samuel 8). As Samuel became old, he named his sons judges. However, they did not walk in his ways, took bribes and per-verted justice. So, the people asked Samuel to appoint a king to judge them like all the nations around them. After all, they were progressing toward “maturity”. This request displeased Samuel and he prayed to the LORD. God told him to obey the people. God said, “They have rejected me from being King over them” (1 Sam. 8:7). The Israelites’ push for change was viewed as rejection by Jehovah. It led to their demise.
Yes, even today “the times they are a-changin’.” Those who call for changes in the Lord’s church which are contrary to His will are quite likely those spoken of in 1 Tim. 4:1ff and 2 Pet. 2:1ff. We must strive to adhere to the teachings of the Scriptures and steer clear of vain spec-ulations and philosophies of men. We must not be so anxious to hear something new and pleasing that we are willing to change what God wants to remain unchanged!