Have We Really Lost The War?

Is It Time To Surrender?

Is It Time To Surrender?

My attention was recently captivated by an editorial headline in The Washington Post.  It read, The Left Won the Culture War.  Will They Be Merciful?  In the article there was a quote by Dr. Albert Mohler, President of Southern Seminary.  Mohler was quoted as saying,

“We are on the losing side of a massive change that’s not going to be reversed, in all likelihood, in our lifetimes…Christians must adapt to the changed cultural circumstances by finding a way ‘to live faithfully in a world in which we’re going to be a moral exception.’ ”

The editorial went on to claim that

Many [religious social conservatives] have finally given up on the whole idea of a culture war or are willing to admit they lost it. They are determined only to remain who they are and to live as amiably and productively as they can in a culture that doesn’t look like them and doesn’t belong to them.

As I thought about these disturbing statements, I came across another article that gave me further insight into today’s culture.  This article was titled, Why Conservatives Start Culture Wars and Liberals Win Them.  In this article, the author argues that culture wars have always been around since the beginning of our country and he sees them continuing into the future.  However, he claims that conservatives will continue losing the culture wars they start because they are battling over lost causes.  A couple of statements especially caught my attention.  The author wrote [emphasis mine],

What can these past culture wars tell us about the conflicts of 2016?  These, too, shall pass. The culture wars cycle may be eternal, but individual battles end.   To look at our culture wars over the long haul is to see not only how poisonous our politics can get but also how inclusive our nation has become. Conflicts give way to consensus. Causes once labeled “liberal” become “American values,” embraced by liberals and conservatives alike. Same-sex marriage becomes just marriage. Islam is recognized as part of our shared Abrahamic tradition. We cease to view particular immigrant groups as threats — as “drug dealers,” “rapists” and terrorists — and instead appreciate their contributions to our society.

The writer concluded his thoughts with these words.

But no matter how this presidential election turns out, the arc of American history should continue to bend toward tolerance and inclusion.

Next I read an editorial in The New York Times titled, The Liberal Blind Spot.  In this article the author was calling for institutions of higher education to hire more conservative professors.  His rationale was that those who cry for inclusiveness are the same people who discriminate and try to keep conservative viewpoints out of the university classroom.  Even though he calls for more tolerance in the teaching ranks, he goes on to state the following.

I don’t think that a university should hire a nincompoop who disputes evolution, or a racist who preaches inequality.

Finally, I was sent a link to an article from one of my former students.  He wanted my thoughts on this article as he had to write a paper about it for one of his college classes.  It was a PBS article, Global Connections: The Middle East.  This webpage was addressing typical misperceptions and stereotypes that Westerners have about Islam and the Middle East.  As soon as you begin reading the article, you see the “truth claims” that color the rest of the information presented.  One of the first misperceptions that is presented is that Islam is fundamentally different from Christianity.  Here is how the article tries to prove that this is a false stereotype of Westerners.

Muslims respect the same prophets as Jews and Christians including Abraham, Noah, Moses, and Jesus. In fact, Muslims consider Islam to have existed since Abraham, with Judaism and Christianity being intermediate forms of the final religion revealed to Muhammad.  Jews and Christians are specifically protected in the Quran as Peoples of the Book, since Islam considers both the Torah and the New Testament to be revelations from God, though flawed in the process of human transmission. As an example of a difference in interpretation, Muslims do not believe Jesus is the son of God; this acceptance would contradict the Islamic belief in the uniqueness of God’s divinity.

Like Judaism, Islam has a strong legal tradition that describes the rules by which members of the religious community should live. Some of these rules — like the dietary restriction against eating pork — are very similar

These articles all give us a good picture of today’s culture.  It is true that Christians are, and have been for some time, losing the culture war.  However, the real culture war that is being fought is not over such things as gender identity, same sex marriage, bathroom use, or a high school banning students from wearing their National Honor Society stoles at graduation because it offends those who are not a part of the Society.  The war is really a battle over what is truth.

We cannot afford to get consumed by the various day to day battles being fought in today’s culture war.  If we do, we may forget the overall strategy of the war and maybe even why it is being fought.  So what are we supposed to do if we are going to try and reverse these current trends?  We must be committed to living, as Mohler states, faithfully in a world in which we’re going to be a moral exception.  In order to do this, we must understand what it means to live “faithfully.”  It means that we must live as if the Bible is true regardless of the circumstances!  

Finally, we must be determined to provide our children and grandchildren with a biblical worldview education.  If we don’t do so, we will need to wave the white flag of surrender.

Glen Schultz

Author Glen Schultz

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Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Jeff says:

    Thanks again for these great weekly words of wisdom!

  • Thanks, Glen, for pulling this all together. It seems our model de jour is Daniel in Babylon. Here is Exhibit A, when it comes to a man who lived faithfully in a world in which he was the moral exception, even in the occupation of civil service, the last place it would seem possible to live faithfully, yet he did. For some of us, living faithfully will mean being thrown to the lions, as Daniel was, yet not having their mouths stopped.

    Jeremiah 29:6-7 is instructive for all of us in these difficult times, where God gave an important directive for the Children of Israel in babylonian captivity: “Take wives and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters—that you may be increased there, and not diminished. And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace.”

    This is one big reason I’m an advocate for followers of Christ reviving a biblical theology of work in the world. In our everyday workplaces we have a great opportunity to live faithfully as the moral exception. Onward and upward.

    • Glen Schultz says:

      Great points. We cannot get discouraged just because we live in an ever-increasing secular society. These are challenging times but also times of tremendous opportunities to impact the kingdom of God.

  • RIck Yost says:

    Have you heard of the project that Dr. Duane Litfin is working on? He’s called it, “We’re not the Home Team Anymore”. Seminal work about how American law, government, and culture were lost for any kind of vertical relationship almost a century ago. Could not agree with you more, Brother Glen

  • Mark Kennedy says:

    When I was a little boy we sang a late Victorian hymn in our Anglican Sunday school. It’s message wasn’t just for children or for a bygone era.
    “This is my Father’s world. O let me ne’er forget
    That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.
    This is my Father’s world: the battle is not done:
    Jesus Who died shall be satisfied,
    And earth and Heav’n be one!” Maltbie Babcock, 1901

  • Frank Lay says:

    “The men signed with the cross of Christ go gaily in the dark.” G. K. Chesterton

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