America is already much inclined toward a relativistic worldview foundation. Secular Humanism and Postmodernism are now as much a part of the American value system as the Christian faith. Oh sure, most people still call themselves Christians, but the label is not nearly as important as the mindset. And the predominant mindset in American culture now solidly embraces moral relativism. The result of this is evident in the culture and is playing out in every aspect of our society.
We are seeing more and more judges in high positions who make their decisions based on their own value system rather than on the constitutional documents they are supposed to interpret. This ends up turning traditional morality on its head by redefining the meaning of the very words of our language. If a word can mean anything, then people can use those words to legitimize any behavior.
We are electing people to executive offices who hold values which are contrary to the Christian faith. The most high profile person right now is our president elect who has already promised to support homosexual marriage and abortion to the highest degree possible. He is already putting people in place who will make these policies pervasive at every level of society.
We are electing people to legislative offices who hold values which are contrary to our Christian faith. In both the US Senate and House of Representatives, the party which most strongly supports anti-Christian values holds very strong majorities. They will enact legislation which promotes policies and activities that run contrary to our Christian beliefs.
Already for many years people, with anti-Christian beliefs have dominated our news media, our educational institutions, and our entertainment industry. These people have thoroughly indoctrinated our children and pacified those who have tried to speak out against them.
So, what are we to conclude from this? If you are a Christian who truly holds to a Christian worldview, you have been dominated. Not just that, but most Christians don’t even know how to deal with those who would put them down.
With that as a starting point, what choices do Christians have? There are actually several possibilities. We can tuck our tail between our legs and run away. We can express an uninformed point of view and legitimately be humiliated by our opponents. Or, we can decide that we have been wimps long enough, learn the things we need to know and get ourselves into positions of influence.
The fact is, the Christian point of view is very powerful. It is 100% defensible. Even more than that, it is capable of overcoming the arguments of every other point of view. But no argument is any good if you don’t know how to make it. No position is viable if you are not willing to stand up for it.
The reality is that we Christians, as a whole, simply have not put ourselves in a position to make our case. That is the bad news. But there is good news. The good news is that we can turn this around. It will not be easy and it will not happen overnight, but we can do it. So, what do we need to do to fight this culture war from the position we find ourselves in – where the odds are heavily stacked against us?
1. Recognize Where We Are
We are very blessed to live in America. We often hear this sentiment expressed and have perhaps even said it ourselves. But it is true in some very tangible ways. You can actually be put in jail by the government for becoming a Christian if you live in Iran or Saudi Arabia. If you become a Christian in some parts of India you are very likely to be hunted down by a mob, beaten, and your house burned down. If you live in China you can be hunted down and put into reeducation camps if you meet with other Christians outside of the officially sanctioned church. And this is only a small sampling of the places where Christians are severely persecuted. Yes, we are blessed in America.
That being said, there is a huge attack going on even right here in America. There have been numerous cases where Christians have been arrested or threatened by government or law enforcement officials for sharing their faith on public sidewalks. Some communities have passed laws which do not allow Christian professionals or business people to decline serving and working with people they disagree with on moral grounds. There are places where Christian social service networks have literally been shut down because they would not place children in homosexual homes.
As good as we have it, Christians are being pinched more and more and the prospect for the future is grim. There is virtually no doubt that it is going to become increasingly more difficult for Christians to live out their faith in the marketplace. This is a reality and we must face up to it.
2. Figure Out What We Need to Do
On a macro level, it would sure be good if Christians could speak with one voice to influence the direction of the moral flow in our country. But to do that requires a significant amount of organization on a massive level. Certainly there are organizations which we, as Christians, can rally around to support our values. There are some very good parachurch organizations, such as MarketFaith Ministries, which try to speak for Christians. And many Christian denominations try to speak out for their constituencies. But the fact is, Christianity is so divided organizationally that it is virtually impossible to totally depend on this kind of approach. We ought to use the organizational structures we have as best we can. But ultimately we must depend on our own personal understanding and involvement to accomplish the things God has for our lives.
As individuals, we are called by God to be stewards, or managers, of his world. As such, we need to discover our personal calling and move forward to accomplish that for our own lives. Normally we use the word stewardship in Christian circles when we are talking about financial matters. But the concept actually has a much broader application.
As it relates to interacting with our culture, God has called us to promote his agenda in the world. He has designed the world to work a certain way and operate by values which reflect his character. Unfortunately, there are other value systems which have become prominent, and which literally go against his purposes. Our primary focus is not to fight culture wars, it is to build the Kingdom of God. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of promoting his kingdom puts us right in the middle of the wars. As such, we must be willing to stand up for kingdom values as we engage in the activities which are primary – bringing people into relationship with God. If we don’t do this, the culture will develop in ways which literally hinder the progress of God’s purposes.
There is not just one single plan that can be laid out which every Christian can follow. God has a calling for each of our lives which we must individually discern. But there are some general categories that we can distinguish. We certainly need to be active in sharing our faith with others. We also need to be aware of the trends in society which are working against God’s purposes and do what we can to stand against them. This may involve staying informed politically and sharing our views with those in political power. It may also mean becoming personally involved with our church or some parachurch organization to promote Christian values. Whatever the specifics, we need to sit down and make a precise plan as to how we are going to individually plug into building God’s kingdom.
3. Take Steps to Equip Ourselves to Move Forward
Anyone can engage the culture by standing up for what they believe – this includes you. You can get away with being uneducated regarding worldview matters if the people you are dealing with are also uneducated and are at least somewhat sympathetic to your position.
But in our day there are many people who are deeply committed to a non-Christian approach to matters which Christians find offensive and contrary to God’s revelation. And these non-Christian positions are becoming more and more prominent in society.
If you are serious about standing up for a Biblical worldview, it is absolutely necessary for you to become equipped to make the arguments. The Christian position is not some fly-by-night point of view which is strictly based on personal preference. There are solid, objective reasons why society ought to operate based on Biblical principles rather than on other worldview positions. These other worldviews promote lifestyles which degrade individuals and society. They create an environment which destroys families and harms the development of children. They promote an ideology which degrades life itself.
The day is past when we can just argue from our gut. We must understand how worldviews filter information, then learn the arguments which promote a culture that matches up with the way reality is actually structured. If you are not able to make these arguments, the train of societal degradation will continue its rampage through the culture.
Equipping yourself involves reading all you can on worldview. It means taking classes about how to deal with the issues which are destroying our families and our culture. It means learning how to share your faith with diverse individuals. It means taking the initiative to make yourself capable of operating in the arena of ideas to promote a culture which is consistent with the ways of God.
4. Enter the Fray
There is one more step that is necessary. Gaining knowledge has no purpose whatsoever if you don’t use it. The culture is rapidly going down hill. It is going in that direction because the people who want to promote the degradation are more vocal and more determined than those who don’t want to see it happen. They are backing politicians who support their views, they are entering the political arena in areas which allow them to influence the direction of society, they are spending great sums of money to promote their beliefs, they are talking up their position to everyone they come in contact with on every occasion, and they are flooding the media with their beliefs.
If we are serious about promoting our views, we are going to have to do the same thing with the same tenacity. Nothing less will do. Certainly, there will be high profile individuals who take the lead, but it cannot be left completely up to them. The average rank and file Christian is also going to have to enter the fray. You are going to have to do your part.
We are facing a period of time when the Christian voice is in the minority. As a result, promoting a Christian worldview is going to be much more difficult in every way. We will find our views ridiculed, our moral beliefs turned on their head and our ability to influence the direction of society minimized. This does not mean that Christians are in the minority. It is just that we are in a position where people with other worldview beliefs hold the reigns of power and influence. This has happened because Christians have become silent in the arenas of influence.
There is only one cure for this – for Christians to become educated, equipped and active in promoting our worldview position. This means learning to effectively share Christ in a way which can speak to every contrary worldview. Of course, even if we don’t do this, we will still be in a position to share our faith and faithfully serve our Lord. We will just be doing it in an environment which degrades life and persecutes those who hold a Christian point of view. But if Christians, in large numbers, do what God has called us to do, we can become the mighty force that God intends us to be.
© 2008 Freddy Davis