I recently read an article that said the church should not be involved in the culture wars that abound in our society, and should stick to its mission of loving everyone and being “good news” people. To quote the author of the article:
“How is it that the very people Jesus died to establish as models of forgiveness, gentleness, peace, and mercy have become a people generally perceived as mean, judgmental, and merciless? We have become identified with political agendas, culture wars, and religious demands that leave non-Christians shaking their heads and dismissing Christianity altogether. Along the way many Christians have become known more for what we are against than what we are for. That is bad news”.
It seems like the author is telling Christians to divorce themselves from what is going on around them and just be syrupy sweet people who don’t offend anyone.
The reality is that there is an epic spiritual battle raging around us, and that battle strikes at the very heart of Christianity. The “culture wars” that abound today are aimed at the moral absolutes God has established for all people, and thus, aimed at the very person of God. If left unchecked, a lesser God and a counterfeit gospel will replace the truth, and myriads of people will be led astray.
In the last few years there has been a seismic shift in the strategy of those who oppose God. There seems to be an all out attack on Christianity, the Bible, and God Himself. The rhetoric of the new athiests and others who oppose Christianity is filled with disgust and hatred. Tolerance for Christianity is all but gone. How do we combat this? Not with physical weapons, civil disobedience, or empty protests. But by presenting a clear, bold, irrefutable case for the truth.
When Christians take a stand for biblical truth on marriage, sexuality, the sanctity of life, honesty, integrity, and family we are not abandoning our mission as the church of Jesus Christ. On the contrary, we who have truth must communicate it to the world. If we remain silent, who will speak up for God’s moral absolutes? Who will present a biblical world view on the hot bed issues of the day?
It is pretty naive to think that we can impact culture with the truth of Jesus by ignoring the culture’s beliefs. Now I agree that some Christians can be obnoxious, mean-spirited, and self-righteous as they confront the evils of our world. That is counterproductive. However, we can be uncompromising, bold, and fearless while still being respectful, and we should strive to do so. However, many who are afraid of coming off as mean-spirited have gone too far in the other direction and turned into spineless jellyfish.
I get pretty tired hearing the phrase “Christians are known too much for what they are against than what they are for”. This is just wrong-headed logic. Tell me what you are against and, in essence, you are telling me what you are for. For example, if you say you are against abortion you are telling me you believe that life begins at conception and that all life is sacred. If you tell me you are against gay marriage you are telling me you are for God’s definition of marriage and His design for sexuality.
Yes, the main mission of the church is spiritual, but included in this is being unashamed of the truth of God’s moral absolutes, and to love people enough to tell them the truth. If we hide our heads in the sand because we are afraid of offending people or because we want the world to like us we are not fulfilling the mission we have been given. We need Christians of grit and backbone to stand in the gap for the truth in a society that has rejected God and His commands. We desperately need followers of Jesus who know what they believe and why they believe it, and who are courageous enough to face the opposition that they may experience when they stand for truth. We need Christians who are so in love with Jesus and who are so devoted to Him that they are willing to risk everything for Him.
Should Christians be engaged in culture wars? I believe so because, at the core of these wars is a battle for truth, which, if not confronted, will eventually undermine the theological and practical truth God has given us. This will lead to a God that we create in our image, a Jesus who is a role model but not the divine Messiah, a gospel that is void of the cross, and a compromised holiness that is an abomination to God. And that is not good news.