The Culture Wars Rage. How Do We Respond?

The culture wars are certainly alive as we move toward the middle part of 2022. Maybe it is because it is an election year. Cable TV news, social media, political rallies, pop culture, and major corporations are fired up as the culture argues over making transgenderism more mainstream and acceptable. One could not watch the recently ended NCAA basketball tournament, March Madness, without seeing shoe advertisements promoting men who have transitioned to the female identity fighting for their "rights" to play in women's sports. They are loud and proud. Over the last few weeks Florida has passed legislation and the governor signed into law a bill prohibiting sex education in Florida public schools for students who are in kindergarten through the third grade. The new law has been met with a firestorm of opposition ... with extensive media coverage, etc. The Walt Disney Company, Florida's largest employer, has been very vocal in its opposition ... causing many Christians to publicly declare they'll never visit the park again. Last week the Ohio legislature began debate on a similar law that they hope will be enacted across our state. You can be assured that the debate here will be very loud and heated too.

What are some best practices on how we navigate any public discourse we choose to participate in?

The most common way we'll be drawn into any discussion on these matters lies within the realm of social media. First, does the content we are posting cast a positive image of Jesus Christ and His church? How will others be built up and encouraged by my post? How will this post increase the intensity of the light Christ which I reflect? We need to read again the principles in Ephesians 4.29 and Matthew 5.14-16. Second, is what we are posting accurate? Does it misrepresent someone or state half-truths? Misinformation abounds on the internet. Be careful. We need to be honest and fair in what we say (and type). Third, are we posting just to vent our frustrations ... or is there a higher purpose behind it? Sticking it to the liberals is really not the best motivation. In fact the vast majority of the things we post to our social media accounts have never changed one mind of those on the other side of the cultural divide. In fact, we may have inadvertently confirmed their superficial impressions of who Christians are and what Christianity is. We could be guilty of not only building walls, but maintaining them, and even in some cases raising them higher. Each Christian has been given the role of an ambassador, 2 Corinthians 5.18-20. We represent Christ and as people living in a foreign land, everything we say represents Him, His kingdom, and the gospel. Remember, we are in and for the culture as we have been called to provide solutions ... not become or create barriers.

Finally, there have been few issues that have stirred Christians more than the opposition to homosexuality and transgenderism. Generally speaking, most of us are ready to go to war on these issues. But let us be careful not to make these sins something worse than any other sin. Are we as committed to addressing heterosexual sin? Will we speak out on heterosexual lust? Are we committed to preserving our marriage and not viewing divorce as an easy exit out of a bad marriage? The world sees our hypocrisy.

Instead, what the world needs to see is the love of Christ. Yes we have been called to speak out against sin ... but we always do so from the perspective of pointing the way to help. We speak out for the sake of the world. We point the way to healing. We are there to help and show people how to redirect their lives. We have been charged to bring solutions, not condemnation and judgment. Remember, salt preserves all that is good, right, and wholesome, Matthew 5.13. Light acts in a way that always points to its source ... Jesus, Matthew 5.14.

Matthew Allen

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