Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Cultural Warfare

Sometimes I hear a lot of complaining and "hand wringing" about our society - our American culture. As Christians, we have a delicate balance. God commands us to not "love this world" yet He also directs us to be a light and reach it.

1John 2:15 "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."
Matthew 5:16 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
So where is that balance found?  It is important to take a stand for what's right, even though doing so opens a person up to being accused of 'judging' others. For the sake of our children, and our country, we must be willing to be secure and confident in our God and our beliefs and decide where our lines will be drawn. Taking a stand might make you unpopular, but it is the only way to please God and pass on a Godly heritage to your children.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” 
~ Edmund Burke

Recently, we again had the privilege to hear Bro Duane Motley, the founder of New York Family Research Foundation and New Yorker's For Constitutional Freedoms. He preached a message on Cultural Warfare that was SO relevant to helping Christians and families decide how to be involved in influencing our world.  I took careful notes and wanted to share the main points here, because I think it is so important for Christians to let God use them to influence our culture and see people get saved.

New Yorker's for Constitutional Freedoms
The law is a powerful shaper of the culture. Whatever a governmental jurisdiction legislates, future generations believe is morally correct. –Rev. Jason J. McGuire
Many Christians also think that it is not their duty to be involved in politics. Some adopt a very laidback, hands-off belief that since God is in control, we can't really do anything to influence our government. This is simply not true. I believe God wants us to do everything in our power, including seeing Godly Christians running for office, to perpetuate our American way and Christian morals.

While being moral doesn't make someone a Christian, there is obviously a benefit to having a sense of morality in society, where the Bible and Christian ethics are supported, embraced, and sought after. One deep look at the founding of this nation supports that statement.

So what exactly is cultural warfare?

First, it is spiritual.
Ephesians 6:10-18  "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;"
 image taken from the website God's Pure Love For You

There are Seven Spheres of Influence on our culture:
  1. The home
  2. The church
  3. Business
  4. Government
  5. Education
  6. Media
  7. Entertainment Industry
All of these influence us as individuals. Some are optional, others are not. (You can choose to not have a TV and eliminate much of the modern entertainment industry, but you really cannot choose to not have government influence you)

All of these also influence families, some to the extent that we allow. They also are the ways that our society is influenced.

It used to be that the church had a much greater influence on the culture, but Christians have really allowed that sphere to be weakened, through apathy, hypocrisy, or carnality - embracing as much of the world as they think they can get away with, rather than being sold out to God.

We must get back to the point, as Christians, that we take back some of the sphere of influence that we can have on society.

It will first start with individuals, being truly saved and submitted to God in their own lives, and allowing God to do a work in and through them. Then, strong individuals will naturally make strong families, working together to have an atmosphere of Godliness in the home, and raising children who know and love God with all their hearts, and wish to perpetuate that as they grow up. Strong families bond together to make strong churches.

Good Christians would make good and honest businessmen. They would make wonderful pastors, teachers, government officials, etc.  We have even seen a sharp uptick in good Christian media being produced. We need to support those types of endeavors as much as we can, with our voice and our money.

In order to fight this war, we need a few things:
  1. Christian soldiers
  2. Christians who know their weapons!
  3. Preparation!
What are our weapons?
  1. The Word of God - the foundation of the Christian life.
  2. Words - Use the power of words to influence ideas and actions in public policy
  3. The armor of God - see Ephesians 6:10-18 and remember that this is a spiritual war!
Our enemy will take advantage of us when we are not prepared.  We will not win any battles in this war if our preparation is haphazard. We must be in our Bibles, studying them everyday! We must study other aspects of society as well, such as history. If we don't know history, we are doomed to repeat it. We must be in a constant state of prayer - spiritual warfare is serious business! We must be attached to a church that is fervently working to spread the Gospel, and be part of an organized effort to minister in this society.

Cultural war is focused on Christianity and what it stands for. If the influence of Christianity can be removed from our culture, then there will be little chance for people to be saved or know God. That is the goal our enemy, the devil, is seeking after. He does not want to lose ANY of his children! If we have any heart at all for the lost, then we MUST fight this cultural war, just to keep the opportunities of Gospel ministry open and available to reach the lost!

Here's what Christian soldiers need to do:
  1. Know your enemy - Satan will use anything he can to wage war against us - be it discouragement, temptation, government oppression, media - the list is pretty endless!
  2. Know your equipment - We have a two-edged Sword - the Word of God. We must know it and use it!
  3. Know your mission - To defeat Satan's army.
  4. Put on your armor daily and take a stand!
It is important for us to do all we can to do our part in waging this cultural warfare. We cannot lose heart when a battle is lost here or there. It IS worth every effort! Lost souls hang in the balance, and we must do all we can to reach them, including influencing our culture and getting involved!

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