Friday, November 22, 2013

Is the Cultural War a Lost Cause?

I think it’s safe to say that most Christians believe the Bible is true and is inspired by God. But, sometimes I think when we read it; we just gloss over it and don’t really look at what it means. Sure, we might think, that’s nice or that’s interesting, however: we move on to the next verse. Case in point, Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.”

Interesting scripture isn’t it? Have you ever thought what it really means? It suggests that we are fighting a war, but one that we cannot see which is fought in a different realm than the physical world we live in. How do we apply this in light of the cultural war that Christians have been fighting for the past two generations? Who is our enemy? And who is the battle against?

Are we fighting against Hollywood? Intellectuals, Democrats? Republicans? Homosexuals? Socialists? Humanists? Atheists? Pick any other group that you care to add to my list. I think we have been approaching this issue from the wrong angle. In fact, I believe the cultural war is a lost cause. To go a step further, I don’t believe it was ever winnable in the first place. We are fighting a spiritual battle, not against people in Hollywood or any other place for that matter.

Here’s where I think we have gone off course. First, we want sinners to act like saints. The last time I checked, sinners are sinners. So why are we surprised when they do things that are in violation of God’s laws? I think that many Christians are committed to a course of action where they want to force their will on nonbelievers to conform to our standards. God gave everyone a free will to make that decision on their own. Let me be clear. I am not endorsing sin. But we cannot obtain the results we want through political, social, or any other means. To accept Jesus as Lord and Savior is a spiritual decision that must be made by each individual. That decision is the kind of change that will be reflected in people’s behaviors, beliefs and attitudes.

Second, many Christians see the world as they want it to be, not as the world is in reality. I hate to break the news, but we no longer live in a Christian society or a Christian nation. If we want to be brutally honest, we live in a secular society or what some people call a post-Christian society. There will never be a heaven on earth no matter how much we desire it. So let’s move on. When you start to see the world as it is, your entire perspective will change. We are foreigners in a strange land with customs, rituals, and beliefs that are in direct contract to ours. In other words, you and I are missionaries. Our goal should be to build trust, relationships and friendships with the inhabitants of this strange land that we find ourselves in. We should be building bridges not burning them.

Finally, we as Americans are not the new chosen people. There’s a fair amount of Christians that believe that America’s purpose is to disperse justice and judgment. I do not see one Biblical reference to support this belief. We are way off course when we incorporate patriotism, love of country, the flag, conservative values, and party politics into the Gospel. In essence, we’re creating a new religion or a new gospel. Jesus was not a nationalist. He saw everybody in every country as his brother.

There is just nothing to gain in continuing to fight the cultural war. It’s time to see it for what it is—a spiritual war, not a physical war. Here’s the best strategy: Love people into the Kingdom of God. Don’t be scared of people who look different, think different, or believe different than you. Engage them in conversation and dialogue. And, as you do, demonstrate the love of God and your willingness to submit to His authority. That will defeat the devil at every turn and will fulfill the one commandment Jesus left us with.—love one another. 

No comments:

Post a Comment