Today, the war on culture heated up to a frenzy. Sadly, their were casualties on both sides.
Gay rights activists suffered a crushing defeat as Chick-Fil-A recorded record turn outs of people willing to stand up against homosexuality. On the other hand, many Christians have brought shame to the gospel by making this about homosexuals and not freedom of speech.
Just today I heard someone mention that we have an opportunity to share the gospel with homosexuals by handing them a Chick-Fil-A sandwich and showing them the love of Christ. That’s more like taunting than witnessing.
Is eating a fried chicken sandwich really the best way to represent our religious views?
I submit that the problem with society is that we are involved in a war over culture. It’s a very subtle mindset which may have drastic ramifications.
There seems to be a war on just about everything these days: a war on terror, drugs, diabetes, etc. It fits well within our American sensibilities that if there is something wrong with society, you approach it with a war like mentality. In many ways, Christians have adapted this mindset when approaching the moral degradation of our day.
But there is a problem with this. How can you ever think of making a convert when you see others as an opponent or enemy? Can you expect sinners to act like anything other than sinners? Fighting them to fit within our morals is a losing battle, and both sides suffer.
The ‘take no prisoners’ mentality has greatly affected the churches witness in the world. Many Christians are concerned that the principles of Scripture are being lost in an every increasing secular society, but the actions they are taking to defend ‘God’s standards’ come with the peril of poorly representing ‘Christ’s example.’
There is a mentality in American society where we have to fight to get to the top of the hill where we can be in control of everything and call all of the shots for everyone else. The process to get to the top is very bloody. Christians and non-Christians alike are elbowing, kicking, biting, and scratching, all to get to a position where they can make their demands. Some will justify their actions by suggesting that the gospel is offensive, but nowhere does it say that we have to go out of the way of God’s Word to tick off society.
The Bible does teach us some very important lessons that we should not lose sight of in light of the cultural war.
#1. We don’t have a land — we have a Church. We have to be very careful how we apply the mentality of the Old Testament where God was working with a nation. We need to function more like nomads than soldiers. We were never given the command to purge the land of unbelievers. We were called to make disciples not victims.
#2. God will come back and judge the world. There is no specific biblical precedent to suggest that God will destroy America if it is allowed to get any worse, but the day will come when God will judge the whole world. Until then, we are to preach the good news of Christ and the forgiveness He came to bring.
#3. We were called to be light and salt. As Christians we are to bare witness to the truth. This involves shedding light on good and evil. But Light is not a physical barrier. We cannot prevent the world from doing what they want to do. There are only two ways to accomplish compliance with our beliefs: by force or evangelism. One creates corpses, the other converts. We are called to have a physical impact on society, but as salt, not stones. In order to make a difference, it must be through close proximity and our preserving qualities. We will not change the world by attacking it head on.
#4. Historically, America has provided a common ground where all mankind is created equal. That’s not the America we have today. Instead, we are divided by principles and pitted against each other based on values and prejudices. The first Baptists of Rhode Island saw the propensity of American protestants to create a religious society. In those days you could not be a functioning member in politics unless you were a good standing member in the local church. As you can guess, this developed into a corrupt religiosity that poisoned the church and society. Essentially, it was no different than the oppression the pilgrims fled from when they left England. Thanks to the Baptist then, we have the principle of separation of Church and State.
Sadly, the idea that we have a free society has been lost in our culture today. You don’t believe me? Why is it even an issue that Romney is a Mormon? Or why would Christians attempt to slander Obama by suggesting he is a Muslim? Why would that even matter in a free society? We live by the same sinful mentalities that plagued the original colonies. We want ‘our’ views upheld in the presidential office, when we should be concerned that the originally founding father’s views are being honored. (Which neither of the previously mentioned candidates qualify for that.)
I can stand by Atheists, Catholics, Mormons, Muslims, Homosexuals, and witches on this unifying principle: Everyone has the liberty to live their life as they please in a free society. I don’t have to agree with what they do or approve of their lifestyles. I don’t expect a government to punish people who disagree with my sensibilities. I’m a big boy. I would appreciate the government to defend my rights to free speech, but how can we expect them to do that when we’ve limited the rights of others?
If I had the opportunity to participate in Chick-Fil-A appreciation day, it would be to defend the liberty and the freedom of speech. But I would do the same thing if the statements were contrary to my personal beliefs. Would you?