Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The 'No' and 'Yes' to Culture Wars

By John Sykes

The three bullet points I would make about the Culture Wars, about Christian involvement in the politics of America, are as follows:

 

  • We shouldn’t want a theocracy.
  • We should want freedom for all religions.
  • Most of all, we should want a return to governance strongly influenced by Judeo/Christian morality!

Please be sure to read the four excerpts below and then Dr. James Emery White’s whole post at crosswalk.com :

1.        It is the responsibility of Christ followers to be salt and light in a fallen world, and this includes politics. We should use our freedom to vote in any way possible to bring the Kingdom of God to greater reality. And yes, the Kingdom of God includes the biblical understandings of marriage and family. 

2.         It is one thing to denounce “culture wars” in the name of the failure of the Moral Majority of thirty years ago; it is another to abdicate our responsibility to be salt and light on today’s contemporary moral issues.  Yes, social justice matters, but so does moral order.  Lovelessness toward anyone, including homosexuals, must be repented from (as I have written about – see below), but that does not mean we should not continue to speak out on sexual ethics. As Martin Luther is reported to have proclaimed,

3.         Same-sex marriage is not exactly a fringe issue that propels Christians into the backwaters of culture. Lest we forget, North Carolina was the 30th state to pass such an amendment. That is not just Christians speaking, but by necessity involves the majority of Americans (e.g., one of the major groups supporting Amendment One in North Carolina were African-American Democrats). Could it be that we live under such pressure to be politically correct that polls show a majority in favor of same-sex marriage, but when faced with the opportunity to vote their conscience in private, a different perspective emerges? Whether that is the impetus or not, whenever such an amendment has been presented, it has passed without fail. Thirty for 30. 

4.         Refraining to speak out on a particular issue because you fear alienating a particular community or sub-group for Christ is specious at best, heretical at worst. The gospel is offensive. Jesus offended the Pharisees (Mt. 15:12), He offended those in His hometown (Mt. 13:55-57), He offended His family members (Mk. 3:21, 31-35). He offended His closest followers (John 6:60-61, 66) and closest friends (John 11:6).  As Peter wrote, Jesus as the living Stone is precious to those who believe, but to those who do not believe, He is the “stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall” (I Peter 2:8, NIV). Or as it says in the NKJV, “a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.” 

Please be sure to read it all here …