Responding to the culture wars with love
by Don Morris
I’ve thought a lot over the past few weeks about all the changes happening in our culture. Many of these changes seem to be directed against our long-held values and conservative way of living here in America. I talk with many people who are amazed at how quickly some things have changed. It’s almost as if there’s a hope and plan by some that, if they can help it, no part of our society will be left untouched by dramatic change.
Many of us have read online articles about some of these changes and have even dared to then read the comment sections following the articles. In many cases, comment threads take a rather negative response toward those who desire to cling to more conservative viewpoints. If the Bible or Christianity is inserted into the discussion, that is often met with vitriol and condescension. Espousing a biblical or Christian-based worldview is not widely tolerated in mainstream blogs, publications or online comment sections. Long ago I determined to stay out of these online discussions because I would sometimes get angry and write things I shouldn’t.
I’m not suggesting that comment sections that follow controversy-laden articles are the means by which we completely form our opinions of the state of America. However, perhaps they do give us a glimpse into the mindset of loads of people in our culture who simply do not have any use for the Bible or for Christian thinking and wish we would merely go away.
Now, more often than not, I come away from observing our culture wars with ever-increasing sadness. I’m sad that so many people have such a negative view of evangelical Christianity. I’m sad that our culture seems to want to be more and more “liberal” in how we look at life, often counter to God’s way as expressed in his Word. I’m sad that it appears more intense conflict rather than less is ahead of us. I’m sad that we as Christians haven’t been better advocates for our Lord and thus are seen instead as hating and condemning.
Yet, I don’t think God wants us to remain sad and melancholy about the state of our world. When I am able to look at it all through his lens, I realize this is an era of tremendous opportunity. People are still coming to know Jesus. In fact, in many regions of the world the response to Jesus is awe-inspiring. The King of Kings is still transforming people. And proclaiming Jesus is what we must be about—as long as we have breath.
I’m coming more and more to the conclusion that even if there is bitter persecution coming, we must truly love people, even our greatest adversaries, better than we ever have before. If we’re labeled as intolerant and narrow-minded, we’ll strive to be peaceful and forgiving. If we’re told we can no longer preach God’s Word, we’ll still pursue righteousness. When we’re faced with blatant attacks against Christianity, we’ll respond with grace. Even if we are met with flagrant confrontation, we’ll never, ever stop benevolently proclaiming the gospel—not ever. It’s the most important message this ever-changing world needs above all else. THAT I can choose to make a comment about!
Don Morris is the Mission USA director and interim USMB executive director.
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