Willohroots


Daddy, were you in the Culture War?
February 19, 2009, 23:37
Filed under: Uncategorized

war02Some of the blogs I read agree with John and Yoko.  The war is over,  not the war in Iraq or Afghanistan [it seems, unfortunately peace is evasive over there] but the war in America, the culture war. 

Not only am I told it is over, the hurtful part is that I am told Christians should not have been a part of the culture war, we should never have been involved in politics, our struggle is in the spiritual world and we should keep our noses out of the business of the country.

Let’s use the Wikipedia definition of Culture war.   “The expression was introduced again by the 1991 publication of Culture Wars: The Struggle to Define America by James Davison Hunter, a sociologist at the University of Virginia. In it, Hunter described what he saw as a dramatic realignment and polarization that had transformed American politics and culture.

He argued that on an increasing number of “hot-button” defining issues — abortion, gun politics, separation of church and state, privacy, recreational drug use, homosexuality, censorship issues — there had come to be two definable polarities” 

I don’t get it.  If I live in the United States, [I do], and the USA is a democracy, [it is, well a democratic republic],  and I care about the future, [which I do], why should I not be involved in the battle?   And  it is a battle.  Do I need to give up social involvement because Jesus saved my soul?  Was that in the fine print?  

Let me give my opinion on the culture war issues, and i would like to hear yours.

  • Abortion,  no Christian can LIKE abortion.  I do not think the government should fund it.  I think churches should be pro adoption, and put their money where their heart is.  Don’t try to tell me youth can not abstain,  some do.  Sex education is health education.  Promiscuous sex is unhealthy.  Teach that. 
  • Gun politics.  I have been raised around guns all my life,  I live in the country.  I have a gun permit to carry concealed.  I will not give up my God given right easily. 
  • Separation of Church and State.  I would like to see separation of atheism and state.  Separation does not mean disintegration.  It surely does not mean the boys on the football team who want to can not pray before the game.  This issue has gone way too far.
  • Privacy.  I am a private person.  If I am on a long distance call talking about bombs,  I would like the FBI to come visit.  Please. 
  • Drug use.  We need to seal our borders.  Seal. Like tupperware.   Prohibition didn’t work with alcohol,  isn’t working with drugs.  Invest in youth,  street programs are cheaper than prison.  Big area for churches to get involved.  
  • Homosexuality.  I feel adults can do what they want.  Have a ba..    never mind,  but when behavior sickens me, don’t say I am a homophobe.  I am not afraid, I am grossed out.  I don’t care if they marry,  marriage in this country is a joke 52% of the time anyway.  [ just my opinion, and not just because of divorce]
  • Censorship.  This is my hardest one.  I hate censorship, but Brittany Spears new song about Amy,  and two live crew, and gratuitous sex scenes.  It is repulsive.  I am not against nudity.  Nudity can be artistic and beautiful, with out lust, but my eyes are bombarded with dung.  Have you tried to see a movie lately?   I appreciate the old jurists comment, “Porn, you know it when you see it.”  Again you can not legislate morality.             

I don’t think Christians can tell everybody what to do.  I also think Christians owe it to the   culture they live in to be salt.

 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.       Thus says the  Savior   

  • What does salt do? My favorite pastor Tom Harmon   teaches this about salt:                                                                                                                 Heals, ask any dentist                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Preserves,  saves from spoiling and rot                                                                                                                                                                                             Melts ice, the world is a cold place                                                                                                                                                                                                 Provides Flavor ,  imagine the country with no Christians!  Tasteless!

So I am going to stay salty.  I’m not ready to give up this war,  I do not want to legislate Christianity, but if we do not add the salt to this country it will fester and rot, freeze over its heart , and have no taste.  Maybe that is what this is all about, are we going to have a tasteless country?

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27 Comments so far
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I’m not sure I agree with everything you say, but that’s because you don’t have room here to accurately delineate everything you believe. At least, I can’t fully express myself in one blog posting.

However, I agree with everything as I understand it. I’m not a “homophobe” because I don’t fear it. It’s disgusting. I want to own guns. I want to pray in public. I want to know my politicians religious views, so I can vote on a moral basis instead of the monetary changes he’ll create in my life.

I don’t think the Culture War is over. I remember an old song, by the Imperial’s, I think. “There will never be any peace until Jesus is seated at the conference table.” The same applies in this war, too.

Comment by Rich

Thanks Rich. 800 words is my limit, I appreciate your understanding. I am going to find that song. Jesus come to the table soon!

Comment by willohroots

Will,
Good post. I just heard this quote again the other day and it fits here.
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” – John Adams
Much of the ill that has fallen our country has been due to the fact that separation of church and state has been misconstrued. It was always intended to protect churches from the government and not the other way around.

Comment by jeofurry

Will,

I have to completely echo Jeofurry. He’s right on the money.

Additionally, the problem seems to me that Christians are just laying down and taking it. We seem to have lost our will to fight for the truth. Some of this, I fear, is due to the hypocrisy that people see from our Christian leaders. Some of it is due to the church being “of the world” that we (and I include myself) have caused the enemies of God to blaspheme.

So, unless–as Jeofurry pointed out–we have a moral and religious base, then the Constitution is going to be “wholly inadequate to the government.” I fear that this is what is happening before our eyes.

Just my $0.02.

Great post.

Joe.

Comment by Joe

If we can be salt and light to the people of this country…one at a time…the Lord will do what He will do.

I’m not worried so much about Christianity being removed from government…as long as we Christians don’t remove ourselves from the lives of our fellow citizens.

Comment by theoldadam

I think I’m jiving with you on the overall message. I do think Christians have a role to influence culture; I have long liked the idea of a cultural mandate in Genesis.

However, I was wondering if I could hone in on one aspect of your post that perhaps you could illuminate me on. Why are gun rights so closely linked to Christian ideals that we might describe them as “God-given”?

I don’t have a particularly strong stance about guns either way, and I was under the impression that scripture is relatively quiet about them (at least explicitly speaking). So, why have American Christians somewhat claimed gun rights as anything related to Jesus?

To be honest, it kind of weirds me out. I don’t care that people (Christian or not) have an opinion that they should be able to carry a weapon, but I do get confused about why it would be considered some sort of Christian ideal to get to carry a weapon.

And is there really any such thing as a “God-given” right anyway? I wonder if any rights we may have thought ourselves to have before were nullified when we were bought by the blood of Christ and become servants/slaves (douloi) of God.

Anyway, I want to ask as respectfully as possible, as it is mostly a viewpoint I know little about.

Chris

Comment by Chris Sweigart

Good question, all our rights, and this is what makes America so different, were considered God Given by the founding fathers. I echo that here. Not saying it is a Christian ideal, not at all Chris. If I take my wifes puppies out at night for a relief run and a bobcat grabs one, I am going to have a sad woman on my hands. In the last three years I have taken out 3 animals that sure looked and acted rabid to me.
There are many situations I am sure the Holy Spirit would not give me peace while packing!
yeah, I sound like a Wacko from Waco on that, sorry/ But a country boy can survive. Also it takes an hour and a half for State Police to get here if the locals [part time cops] are off duty. I was NRA before I was SBC.
Anyway, echoing the founding fathers, thanks for the very respectful comment, and keep your powder dry.
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were convinced man’s rights cam from the Creator. I agree.
I grew up in a rural setting. 12 year old boys went “plinking” with 22 cal. rifles. Most men hunted, I gave up hunting years ago.
the blood of Christ is empowering! We have the right to come before the throne of the very God because of it. We have all the right of an adopted son of God. We have the “right” to call God Abba. That honestly blows my mind.
I grew up in a gun culture. Funny, I really do not think it was violent in any way. A few isolated instances. Praise band has a gig at a coffee house…..Thanks Chris!

Comment by willohroots

Excellent post. I love how you are saying some things that so many do not have the courage to say anymore, frankly. There used to be a time when you could be a patriot and a Christian…now, it seems that you must choose between the two, at least when it comes to morals.

Personally, I’d rather the US not change the definition of marriage. The thing is, I think God can be honored or dishonored by individuals and by nations/cultures. While I agree we cannot legislate morality, neither do I want to see our government (a representative republic) unfairly represent the desires of the people, especially if that choice would dishonor God.

So, in the case of marriage, it’s bad enough that the minority is trying to force the government to enact laws that are not desired by the majority…it’s worse still that these laws call God a liar when He said marriage was to be between a man and a woman.

Comment by johndreeves

Please do not confuse my frustration with courage. I don’t want to get anyone mad, I just want to push back hard enough so as not to be a pushover.

Comment by willohroots

Will,
If you have seen my “other” blog then you know that I am a fierce culture warrior. It has its place.
You also know that I just don’t care about tome things such as who marries who. Why should gay people get off without suffering. (Just a joke, Dear.)
However, I think that the point that many critics of the church being so deeply immersed in “culture wars” is that we came at it from the wrong direction.
We went after the behavior and attacked people. When it should have been:
Gospel first.
Behavior will follow.
Salt is something that goes into a larger thing such as bread to give it flavor and make it right. It is not the bread itself.
Jesus told us two basic things.
1. Love God. With all of your being.
2. Treat others good. Like you want to be treated.
If we can do these things in order the culture will follow in droves.
Lot’s of things and people are disgusting including me as late as Friday night. (spoke in an unkind way to my wife.)
I know I am still loved by God but don’t feel very lovable.
Imagine what our culture “enemies” must feel.

Comment by Rob

I think you are a model to follow, separation over church, and the fight over the state of America’s affairs.

Comment by willohroots

i understand what youre saying but for me its the idea that christians can vote without being active in solutions that pisses me off.

for example: all these people are gainst abortion but in reality they are only against it at the polls. they arent against it in their daily lives bc they arent doing squat about it there. they arent volunteering at the crisis prego center or stirring their churches to start one for the community.

stuff like that says to me they arent serious and that their vote is coming from somewhere other than genuine christlike concern for the welfare of others.

thats just one example..

Comment by graceshaker

Well, it is a good example. i know there are cases of the good deacon taking his daughter across state lines because she”got in trouble” , but I figured out a good while back I am only in charge of me. sometimes the solution is to vote.
Hopefuly we are all doing something to light a candle in ur little area of darkness.

Comment by willohroots

i guess i just dont trust our government or political system to bring the change in peoples minds and hearts that only jesus can.

if we really cared about the abortion issue (or any other issues we vote on regularly) we would be well involved in the daily efforts to spread the gospel in word and deed that can actually bring a change in the lives of those making such decisions.

Comment by graceshaker

“i guess i just dont trust our government or political system to bring the change in peoples minds and hearts that only jesus can.”

Amen!!

Comment by theoldadam

I agree the govt cannot and will not bring the change that only Jesus can…absolutely! And I agree that there are alot of people that vote for social reasons, and not for spiritual or logical reasons. And, I also agree that all I can do is all I can do.

My blog is pretty new, but the primary reason for starting it was to call out exactly these issues…that in general, the visible church today hardly exemplifies the Kingdom. And yet, there is a remnant (a ‘core’) that really gets it. They genuinely seek and follow Christ. Trouble is, this ‘core’ is relatively distributed and somewhat diluted.

Bottom line is that I think there is something we can do…something we should do. It is not to get more people to vote, nor is it to try to setup a theocratic government. The solution I’m proposing is pretty simple in concept…organize this distributed ‘core’ and get it moving forward in a “chaordic” (think flock of birds) so that it is helping grow and birth new believers. I think that by doing this, God can use us to transform individual people…and, as he transforms individual people, he transforms cultures.

Comment by John

John, I would like your permission to link your blog here at Willohroots. You are a real resource.
I am convicted that there is a revival of sorts, that “flock ” that gets it. It could be good the core is distributed. Salt needs to be sprinkled or spread. I am reading blogs of varied denominations that would fit into your description. Could it really be Revival?

Comment by willohroots

Sure, Will…would be honored to have you link to my blog. 🙂

As for revival, that is a good question…I don’t know. Do you mind sharing some of the blogs you are reading that make you think this might be going on?

The thing about the internet (and now web 2.0) is that it grants us visibility. It’s hard to know if this is a “unique in history” move of God, or if it’s been stewing and we just have not had the technology or social drivers to see it.

Regardless, I pray that if something is going on, I can be a part of it. One of my favorite passages of Scripture is Esther 4:13-17. Verse 14 says, “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your fathers house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this.” None of us are jewish queens of Persia, but two things are true: a) God can take care of his Church with or without us; and b) but who knows what He can/will do with a physically distributed yet faithful band of believers brought together by a relativly new technology?

I suggest we find out. 🙂

Comment by John

“alot of people that vote for social reasons, and not for spiritual or logical reasons.”

This is another problem with the modern church: compartmentalism. We are told religion is a private matter, and we believe it. We rarely discuss it in public. Everyone cries out “separation.”

What many of them mean is that they feel guilty when we bring Christ into the room with us. While I agree morality cannot be legislated, it can be modeled.

First, I must win the cultural war in Jerusalem (my heart) then Judea (my home) and then the whole world. My very life will be an affront to them, because we are different.

I grew up hearing about “Lifestyle Evangelism.” My very lifestyle will lead them to Christ. Its a fallacy. The Gospel must be shared verbally, otherwise they only see a difference, and not the underlying reason I am different. If we are to win this cultural war, the underlying Power needs to be openly displayed to the world. And to my friends.

Comment by Rich

Will: you rock, Sir! My sentiments to a “T”!

Comment by Disrnr

I think Christians, and I hate to call them that, are involved in the so called culture war. They, however, are fighting for all the wrong things. A professor in the West may loose her job for teaching human sexuality classes. The people waging that war, a war they claim will help the American people as a whole, call themselves Christian.

So called Christians wage war against gay people, denying them the right to marry. As if marriage is a religious institution. If it is, why did I have to pay the state fifty dollars to get a license to marry? Why do states require blood testing? Arguing that marriage is anything other than a state/federal institution is nothing but stupid.

Christians are fighting a culture war but they are fighting for all the wrong things. They fight to make abortion illegal. Why not fight for better sexual counseling for adolescents? Why not fight for less stringent birth control rules (and they are pretty stringent)? Why not fight to have counseling available to the poor girls who have made that unfortunate choice?

Christians should fight for love and they don’t. They fight for anything but love. They act in ways that have nothing to do with being kind and good. The culture war is being waged, just not in the way that sane Christians want to admit.

Comment by TabithaWynne

Tabitha,
You bring up an excellent point:

So called Christians wage war against gay people, denying them the right to marry. As if marriage is a religious institution. If it is, why did I have to pay the state fifty dollars to get a license to marry? Why do states require blood testing? Arguing that marriage is anything other than a state/federal institution is nothing but stupid.

The state co opted marriage in a bid for power over people. Marriage is a religious institution through and through as it dates to Adam and Eve.

Jesus replied. 6″But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ 7’For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, 8and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. 9Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” (Mark 9:6-9)

If you go back in this country’s history, you will find that the state didn’t see the need to “sanction” marriages until after the Civil War:

The marriage license as we know it didn’t come into existence until after the Civil War and didn’t become standard practice in all the states until after 1900, becoming firmly established by 1920. In effect, the states or governments appropriated or usurped control of marriages in secular form and in the process declared Common Law applicable to marriages “abrogated.”

Marriage was not a state invention, but a state and federal grab at control over people’s lives. They are the bully in the room and as Christians we try to practice what the Bible teaches, which is to give them due respect until they try to force us to violate God’s Laws which are higher than man’s laws

Comment by jeofurry

No matter where the practice of marriage began, or how (and I completely agree with you, by the way), it is what it is today.

Marriage is not a religious institution today. One does not need a church, a pastor, a religion or any kind of spirituality to marry.

God designed marriage but also gave man free will. Man deemed it necessary to give the state power of who marries and how and how they end that marriage. It is no longer a religious institution.

If marriages were strictly under the auspices of the church, any church, then many people would not be married who are. It is silly to argue that marriage is still under the control or approval of religion.

It is a personal decision whether to get married in a religious setting or not. The state made a ploy for power and they won. Try to marry anyone without the approval of the state. God’s approval may be all that matters but in the real world, in real practice, the state matters more.

Following the commandments of the soul and the practice of living do not match up all the time. Since marriage is now a state institution it follows that people, if they are of legal age, should be able to marry each other no matter their gender.

Comment by TabithaWynne

Could we limit it to people? and can we keep it to two?

Comment by willohroots

Certainly allowing only homosapiens, and only two of them, to marry would be a good start. I think chimps, chairs, children…those are bad. And more than two would just get confusing.

Comment by TabithaWynne

Excellent post!

On the question of a “pure” church, there is no visible church that is perfect; every individual congregation is populated entirely with sinners (“we see through a glass, darkly”).

There are differences among denominations in the soundness of their doctrine. If you want a church that does a good job of saying what God says, I’d go LCMS or WELS (or Orthodox).

As for our unalienable rights, they do come from God Himself. God has made all men free, so Liberty belongs to all. God has given us Life, so who has the right to murder? God forbids stealing and lying; all deserve the protection of their property and reputation.

As for the right to bear arms, Christ told His Apostles before His crucifixion, “let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one” Luke 22:36).

On the Culture Wars, the Salt and Light passage says it best, I think. There is also Ephesians 5:11 : “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”

When you look at the Prophets, John the Baptist, the Apostles, Stephen, and Christ, they spoke out forcefully against evil and for the Truth even to kings, though often it cost them their lives.

And Martin Luther said:

“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion [of] the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at the moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ.

“Where the battle rages there the loyalty of the soldier is proved. And to be steady on all the battlefield besides is merely flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”

Peace,

Amillennialist

Comment by Amillennialist

If Christians and other decent, Liberty-loving people in America do not wake up and change the direction our political, academic, and media “elites” are taking us, the end result will be full socialism or shari’a.

Or, as Bernardo from West Side Story would say, “First one, then the other.”

Comment by Amillennialist




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