In case you missed it, we Christians are involved in the Culture Wars. If you haven’t yet, you’ll probably get your draft notice soon. You’re not allowed to remain neutral.
So what the heck are these Culture Wars?
The enemy is anyone who stands against biblical values. The heated battle of the moment – thanks in part to the “news” of Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy’s views on the subject – is the issue of same-sex marriage. The weapons of our warfare are outraged words, political wrangling, boycotts, legislative maneuvering. What’s at stake – as the name suggests – is American culture.
In this war over the culture, biblical values appear to be steadily losing ground. Is it because we’re not wielding our weapons well? Is our strategy at fault? As I mulled this over, at first I thought that perhaps we’re using the wrong weapons. That’s part of it, but the full truth is much worse.
We are using the wrong weapons against the wrong enemy in the wrong war. The right weapon is the Gospel. The real enemy is Satan. We fight for the souls of men and women who are oppressed.
The Wrong War
Why shouldn’t we fight for the culture? Well, what is culture? One definition on Merriam-Webster.com is “the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization.” The culture is not some concrete object or place that we can fight over. It is a set of ideas and values that finds its origin in the people. In order for the culture to change, the people must change.
That’s how we got here, remember? Americans used to hold different values. Now they hold these values. Therefore, the culture is what it is.
And the people. All of us – every man, woman, and child on Earth – are oppressed, enslaved by sin. (Romans 6:20)
Let’s fight the right war – to free the slaves from sin.
The Wrong Weapons
Our only hope of salvation is the Risen Savior who died to free us from the very thing that enslaves us. (John 14:6) Therefore, our words hold no sway over the souls of men and women. Only the Gospel does. In fact, our words just get in the way. (1 Corinthians 1:17) We cannot change the values of the people by fighting over them, shouting, making laws, or buying a chicken sandwich.
The Wrong Enemy
Imagine the United States Army during World War II. The soldiers enter France to liberate the land. They begin gunning down terrified men, women, and children in the streets. Meanwhile, Hitler’s forces march ever forward, conquering all the peoples of Europe. In every moment of the Culture Wars this is what we do.
We are using the wrong weapons to fight against people who are oppressed, and it is their oppression that that has led the culture to dismiss biblical values. Our true enemy is their oppressor – Satan. (1 Peter 5:8)
The people are so deceived by his lies that they believe God’s hatred of sin to be bigotry. They are intolerant of the truth, but it’s because they are enslaved. We can’t expect them to know and love the ways of God until their chains are broken and He remakes them into His likeness.
Let’s stop all the shouting and political maneuvering. Instead, let’s pick up the Gospel and fight Satan for all we’re worth to free these slaves.