There are so many culture war expressions in modern society. It touches on everything from abortion, to the homosexual marriage debate, to the issues surrounding the concept of social justice, to how conscience rights are allowed to be expressed in society, to the interaction of religion and politics, and the list could go on. In modern society, the people on various sides of these issues are becoming more and more strident, and the result is not only a lot more noise regarding these issues, but an incredible amount of conflict, as well.
To understand this more fully, it is helpful to realize that the root of the various culture war conflicts rest in competing worldviews. Different worldview foundations lead to different values. And as the intensity of people’s beliefs increase, the lengths they will go to promote their own, and fight against others, also increases.
Let’s look at the abortion issue as one example. A Christian worldview considers human life to be valuable because human beings are special creations of God – created in his image. As such, abortion is seen to be murder – the taking of an innocent life. A Naturalistic worldview, on the other hand, sees things quite differently. To a Naturalist, a human being is simply another animal creature – no better and no worse than any other animal. Beyond that, the emergence of life, itself, is believed to be merely a chance natural occurrence with no intrinsic meaning whatsoever. The only meaning it has is the meaning assigned to it by creatures which have the capability to think about meaning – human beings. And even the meaning various humans assign to life can change if the situation changes. Regarding the particular topic we are considering here, Naturalists believe it can legitimately be judged by a culture that a preborn baby is harmful, rather than helpful, to society and is, thus, expendable. For many Naturalists, abortion is a viable remedy to the inconvenience of a pregnancy.
What we see here are different worldview positions which express themselves based on different values and result in different actions. The root of it all is the worldview beliefs.
But for Christians, understanding the root of the problem is not enough. We must grasp one more concept. We need to look at the means by which the culture wars ought to be addressed. As it relates to how we deal with conflicting worldviews, there are two matters which we ought to consider. Both are important and neither should be neglected. That being said, one is more critical than the other.
This first matter relates to taking action to actually counter the activity of those who oppose a Christian worldview. Continuing with the example above, Christians ought to be advocating for an end to abortion. There are many ways to do this, and individuals need to find their appropriate means – whether it is giving money to anti-abortion groups, volunteering to help at pregnancy centers, or working to change the laws of the land.
But there is a second matter that is even more critical. The reason anti-Christian positions exist in the first place is that there are people who hold worldview beliefs which oppose our Christian worldview. Ultimately, the only way it is possible to completely resolve culture war issues in our favor is to create a situation where the objective truth about the nature of reality can win the day. This requires that those opposing the Christian worldview be led to a different point of view. And the means God has provided to accomplish that is for those opponents to enter into a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Non-believers are looking in some other place for their salvation (ultimate meaning for their lives). But in truth, the only place authentic salvation can be found is in authentic truth – a relationship with Jesus Christ.
I have tried to make my point as simply as I possibly can. The root of every battle in the culture war has to do with opposing worldviews fighting against one another. We cannot avoid fighting the various battles in the war. But the ultimate goal is not to win battles, it is to win the war. And the only way the war can be won is to bring the masses to our side. And how do we do that? By leading the world to Jesus Christ!
God has clearly revealed that he desires “his will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” He has also clearly commissioned all believers to “go into all the world and make disciples.” As Christians, we must get serious about fulfilling the task God has called us to. We must become proficient at building a worldview bridge so that people can understand the gospel message, then we must actually build a gospel bridge so they can specifically come to Christ. Only when we, as the body of Christ, get serious about doing both of these tasks, can we win the culture war. This will not be done simply by participating in church activities week after week. We must become serious students of our faith (true disciples), learn the skills for doing the work of God in the world, and actively involve ourselves in building His kingdom.
© 2012 Freddy Davis