Are you tired of Drag Queen Story Hours? Are you tired of movies and television shows aimed at children needlessly including homosexual relationships in order to normalize homosexual relationships? Tired of the created order being upended by people who think gender can just be a matter of feeling and isn’t rooted in biology (One’s physical being)? Are you tired of little boys and girls having their genitals mutilated because Timmy likes playing with Barbie dolls and Sally likes monster trucks? Then you’re probably in good company with a lot of people in the church today.
How Christians Have Been Fighting The Culture War
I think the Culture War should be fought! It is indeed the case that the non-Christian world are vying for the minds of your children. Now, I would disagree with what things fall into that category. For example, as a Theistic Evolutionist, I would not think the teaching of the theory of evolution is necessarily turning your kids away from God. Only if you allow your child to buy into the idea that young earth creationists and atheists push (i.e If evolution is true, there is no God, and the Bible is wrong) will that cause them to have a … Continue reading Nevertheless, many ideologies are making their way into the classrooms and pop culture that aren’t in line with what scripture teaches. Sadly, many Christians in the United States have bought into the idea that the way to “win back the culture” and “Save our children from these ungodly ideas” is….to vote. Yes, vote Republican. Those Republicans are the good guys, you know, and Democrats, well, they work for Satan. The Republicans will make sure that same-sex marriage is illegal, they will make abortion illegal, and they will pass laws preventing Critical Race Theory and Gender Fluidity from being taught in schools. And maybe they’ll make it illegal for gay people to kiss on screen in a kid’s movie! If you’re on God’s side, put the elephants in office! If you’re on Satan’s side, make sure the donkeys seize power! You can help either by being a God-fearing man who runs for president or by supporting those who are godly and run for office (e.g campagning for them, arguing with your liberal friends). You can also help by getting in your truck and ranting about it to your phone’s camera and then uploading it to social media. Or you can get on a conservative podcast and complain about “everything wrong with this country”. Maybe if you complain enough, something will change…right?
Before you click off of this article, I am not a liberal. Politically, I consider myself quite conservative. Though ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, I have become disgusted with both sides for different reasons. Liberals think it’s perfectly ok to slaughter babies in utero, and against overwhelming scientific evidence, they stupidly believe that the unborn are not living, breathing human beings, but … Continue reading But this article isn’t about that. The thing is; these well-meaning Christians want to bring about social change, and politics is the chosen avenue to do it.
While it is true that “elections have consequences” and having certain people in power with certain beliefs would affect the legality of certain behaviors and actions, the true “return to God” that politically conservative Christians want will not be achieved through political means.
You Can’t Legislate Morality
I remember fellow Christian Apologist Frank Turek lambasting the phrase “You can’t legislate morality” in his book “I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist”. While I still love that book to this day and do recommend it as a starter for those just getting into Christian Apologetics, this is one of the few areas I’ve come to disagree with. Turek (and his co-author Norman Geisler) seemed to think that the phrase meant that laws have no moral dimension to them. We all know that’s false. Making things legal or illegal seems to reflect our moral beliefs; we believe it’s wrong to murder, so murder is illegal. They write “Think about it. Every law declares one behavior right and its opposite wrong—that’s morality. Whose morality should be legislated on issues such as abortion or euthanasia? These are issues that directly impact the lives and health of real people. If it’s morally wrong to kill innocent people, shouldn’t that truth be legislated? Likewise, whose morality should be legislated on other issues of public policy that may affect your life, health, or finances? The answers we legislate can dramatically affect every citizen’s life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.” Frank Turek, Norman Geisler, “I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist, Page 67, Crossway.
However, I think that like a lot of pithy slogans, this has been misunderstood. What I think was meant by this is that you can’t force people through the law to be moral people. And if this is true, and I believe it is, then making laws against homosexual marriages, abortion, the teachings of gender identity, and so on and so forth, won’t really transform the culture. They may deter behavior to some extent (especially if the penalties are severe), but people will still be the same on the inside. Think about it this way; in some countries, it is illegal to be a Christian and to teach the Bible. We’ve all heard stories about Chinese people meeting underground in the dead of night to have church services or people in Islamic countries hiding their Bibles in the dirt, only to dig them up in the middle of the night to read them. Making Christianity illegal did not stop people from living out their faith. Why think making sinful NON-CHRISTIAN behavior illegal would be any more effective?
When Roe V Wade was overturned, there was much celebration. Yet, I wasn’t too excited. I told people “This is only a Band-Aid on a severe wound.” What did I mean by that? I meant that a very sizeable portion of Americans still believe it is a woman’s right to kill her child in the womb. Those same people don’t even believe fetuses are living humans, but only potential humans! Unless you change peoples’ minds, making something illegal might, at best, limit the damage a bit, but the culture is still the same. Moreover, because the culture is still the same, there’s a possibility that some day Roe V Wade might be reinstated! I don’t technically disagree with Turek and Geisler, but their argument against the slogan “You can’t legislate morality” is most likely a straw man.
The Answer Is The Gospel
If you’ve ever wondered why Cerebral Faith is so devoid of political content; this is the main reason why. Jesus said that his kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36). And moreover Christians are not to be of this world (John 17:11, 16, 1 John 2:15-17). Nevertheless, while Christians are not of the world, we are in it. The way to win “the culture war” is to spread the gospel. Jesus said to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). Of course, if you’re a Christian, you already know this. But do you know what kind of an impact this would have on the culture?
Former professor of sociology Dr. Alvin Schmidt notes Elwood Cubberly’s observation that the biblical teachings of Jesus Christ challenged “almost everything for which the Roman world had stood” “How Christianity Changed the World”, Schmidt, p. 44. Dr. James Kennedy writes, “Life was expendable prior to Christianity’s influence… In those days abortion was rampant. Abandonment was commonplace: It was common for infirm babies or unwanted little ones to be taken out into the forest or the mountainside, to be consumed by wild animals or to starve… They often abandoned female babies because women were considered inferior” Dr. James Kenndy, “What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?”, pp. 9–11. The Romans promoted brutal gladiatorial contests where thousands of slaves, condemned criminals, and prisoners of war mauled and slaughtered each other in order to entertain the masses. Roman authors indicate that “sexual activity between men and women had become highly promiscuous and essentially depraved before and during the time that Christians appeared in Roman society” and that pedophilia was rampant. Men having relations with young boys was not uncommon or even looked down upon! “How Christianity Changed The World”, Schmidt, pp. 79–86. Women were very lowly regarded. They were given very miniscule amounts of education and weren’t even allowed to speak publicly. ibid. pages 97-98 But as Christianity spread and more and more of the world became followers of Jesus, gradually society began to change. The Bible teaches that all people are made in God’s image (see Genesis 1:26-27) and are ergo, equal. “God created mankind in His image. Male AND female, He created them”. Genesis 9:6 teaches that because mankind is made in God’s image, anyone who murders another human being is to be put to death. The imago dei is a major reason why murder is a capital offense.
If you want to change the culture, then create a cultural milleu where certain ideologies and behaviors are condemned, not celebrated. In the book of Acts 19:17-20, we read “When this [a demon having been exorcized in the name of Jesus] became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor. Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed what they had done. A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.”
Boom! Idolatry in Ephesus is gone! Paul didn’t get in his truck and go on a thirty-minute rant about how evil idolatry is and how “The pagans are coming after your children to turn them away from Yahweh! We must appeal to the Emperor to put laws into place against teaching about Artemus and Zeus!” No, he spread the gospel. Then when people turned to Jesus, they put away their idols. I’ll say more about the idea of calling non-Christians out on specific sins a little more below. For now, notice why Ephesus threw away thousands of witchcraft texts and burned all their idols.
Look, if you’re not advancing the kingdom of God, you’re advancing the kingdom of darkness. To win people to the gospel, you will inevitably transform the culture as a result. Just as the idol makers suffered in their business because people weren’t worshipping their pathetic gods anymore, if Americans turned back to God in great enough numbers, you’d see things change. Schools would throw out textbooks promoting the so-called gender fluidity movement, you wouldn’t see bakers getting sued for not baking cakes in celebration of homosexual unions, and heck, you might even see prayer back in school. You might also see school shootings drop.
It’s just a natural consequence. MY main concern isn’t about winning the culture war though. My main concern is the salvation of peoples’ souls. But if reforming society is something the Christian wants to see, then this is how he needs to go about doing it. Rather than getting on some conservative podcast or TV show and complaining, rather than making nasty memes and crying for boycotts, rather than make 20-minute video ranting in their pickup truck, get people to Jesus!
Preach Against Sin, Not Sins
For the most part, Non-Christians don’t care about biblical morality. If someone does not love Jesus, he isn’t going to care if He’s disobeying him. “Preach against sin, not sins” as I like to put it. Once a person is saved, then they’ll care about whether their specific behaviors are sinful in the eyes of God. Or let me put it this way, it does little good to tell a gay atheist that The Bible says not to have gay sex. You’d be better off talking about natural theology Natural Theology is a philosophical discipline which uses arguments for the existence of God using only reason and (sometimes) science. Examples would include The Kalam Cosmological Argument, which … Continue reading or the case for the resurrection of Jesus I have defended the resurrection in two different ways. I use The Minimal Facts Method invented by Dr. Gary Habermas in my book “My Redeemer Lives: Evidence For The Resurrection Of Jesus”, but I … Continue reading or just telling him how much God loves him than picking at individual faults. Get him to embrace Jesus first. Get the pagan to embrace Jesus first, then she’ll get rid of her magic talismans. Get the sexually promiscuous person to embrace Jesus first. Then he’ll stop jumping from woman to woman. Get the adulterer to embrace Jesus first. Then tell him to stop cheating on his wife.
Now, one objection I have received to this point is that non-Christians do care about morality. They don’t want to hurt people generally, and if they ever killed an innocent person, they’d be plagued with guilt for the rest of their lives. However, I am not claiming that non-Christians don’t have a moral compass whatsoever. Indeed, if that’s what I was saying, then I’d be contradicting The Bible which says “Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.” (Romans 2:14-15). The Bible teaches that God has written the moral law on our hearts, and therefore, we intuitively know right from wrong. However, not everything can be read off the moral law. We know that we should be kind, not cruel, we should love, not hate. We know that killing innocent people is wrong, as is stealing, cheating on your spouse, and so on. But I can personally testify that I would not know homosexual behavior was sinful were it not for biblical passages like Romans 1:26-28 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. The first time I learned homosexuality was even a thing was when I was a small child, and although I found the idea of two men being together romantically a little strange, I didn’t recoil in moral outrage. The Apostle Paul himself seems to indicate that he wouldn’t know coveting was wrong if the Tenth Commandment didn’t forbid it (Exodus 20:17 cf. Romans 7:7). When I gave my life to Christ, there were several behaviors I was previously engaged in that I previously had no idea were sinful. So, this objector’s counter just doesn’t hold up. He may agree that it’s wrong to kill, steal, commit adultery, rape, torture, et. al. but He isn’t going to agree with God’s word on every last bit of morality. Because not everything can be read off the moral law written on our hearts.
Another objection is that Christians should speak out against sins because Jesus did. However, first, notice who Jesus’ audience was; Jews (specifically the Pharisees and Sadducees). You know, people who believed and tried to follow the Old Testament? Secondly, 1 Corinthians 15:12-13 says “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. ‘Expel the wicked person from among you.'” So, according to Paul, we don’t have any business telling those outside the church how to conduct their lives. We are to judge those inside the church, not outside. Jesus said “If you love me, you will obey my commandments” (John 14:15). The implication, then, is that those who don’t obey Jesus’ commandments, don’t love Jesus. If you do love Jesus, you will do what he says (cf. 1 John 5:3)! Now, this sounds great to the non-Christian because it sounds like we’ll finally stop judging them for this and that. The Caveat, however, is that while we shouldn’t be pointing out non-Christians’ individual transgressions, we are to call them to accept Jesus! And when we do, that will bring with it the call to give up certain behaviors. It feels like smuggling in a call to repent of individual sins through the back door, but that’s how it is.
And here’s the thing; most people realize they’re not perfect. I’m sure we’ve all heard someone say, “Nobody’s perfect”. We all intuitively realize that we have moral flaws. Now, the nonbeliever may disagree that those moral flaws merit eternal damnation, but they’re not going to tell you that they’re a perfect person. Now, occasionally, you will find a person who says, “I don’t need to embrace Jesus. I’m a pretty good person.” Notice “pretty good” is not perfect. At that point, it’s good to point out that pretty good is not good enough, and that God’s moral standard is perfection (see Romans 3:23).
Sometimes I employ a tactic that I picked up from Ray Comfort, in which I walk people through the Ten Commandments, and I ask, “Have you ever done this at least once in your life? If so, you’re a sinner. Ergo, you need Jesus.” But I rarely find myself needing to do that. Sometimes I have to do it. Sometimes I don’t have to do it. More often than not, I don’t have to do it. Often it’s enough to just point out that God’s moral standard is perfection, and everyone’s going to realize they haven’t met that standard.
I think winning the culture war is important. But I have come to realize that it’s not going to be through political means. You aren’t going to reform the country by voting a Republican in. You’re not gonna reform it by voting a Democrat in. It doesn’t matter who is president. It doesn’t matter who’s in Congress. This is why you will not hear me get political on my podcast or on my blog very often. It isn’t that I am avoiding these issues or that I consider them unimportant. Rather, I think that the way to win the culture war is to win the culture for Christ. In other words, the answer is to spread the gospel. All you need to do is read Tom Holland’s work “Dominion: How The Christian Revolution Remade The World” to see how the spread of Christianity totally changed society. Some societies were absolutely barbaric before Christianity came in and told them that they ought not be leaving their children in the wild to be devoured by wolves simply because they were unwanted. this is how we win the culture war; by getting people to repent and confess Jesus Christ as Lord.
Albert Einstein is attributed as saying “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting to get different results.” Christians, what we’ve been doing for the last 50-60 years is not working! Let’s change our strategy. If you want to see a nation that values marriage, life, and the created order, get the people of that nation to value God!
|↑1||Only if you allow your child to buy into the idea that young earth creationists and atheists push (i.e If evolution is true, there is no God, and the Bible is wrong) will that cause them to have a crisis of faith and abandon Christianity. See my articles “Genesis 1: Functional Origins, Temple Inaguration, and Anti-Pagan Polemics” and “Genesis 2-3: Adam and Eve as Archetypes, Priests In The Garden Of Eden, and The Fall” in order to see how you can have a high view of scripture, reading Genesis 1-3 as Moses intended, and still affirm evolution|
|↑2||Liberals think it’s perfectly ok to slaughter babies in utero, and against overwhelming scientific evidence, they stupidly believe that the unborn are not living, breathing human beings, but “clumps of cells.” Conservatives, on the other hand, are largely anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, and would come up with all sorts of half-baked conspiracy theories regarding the COVID-19 vaccines. Liberals think if you feel like a girl, you must be a girl, and it doesn’t matter if your genitals and chromosomes say otherwise. Both parties believe in science when it’s convenient for their agendas, and deny it when it’s inconvenient for them. Moreover, they both treat their presidential candidate like he’s going to usher in Utopia while, if the other guy wins, we’ll be living in some sort of dystopian Hell! I will never forget Dinesh D’ Souza’s film “Obama’s America” which came out in 2012 and made it seem like if Obama won the election, it would be this horrible apocalyptic scenario. And then when Trump ran, Liberals made more or less the same type of claims. So yeah, I’m pretty fed up with both sides.|
|↑3||Frank Turek, Norman Geisler, “I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist, Page 67, Crossway|
|↑4||“How Christianity Changed the World”, Schmidt, p. 44.|
|↑5||Dr. James Kenndy, “What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?”, pp. 9–11.|
|↑6||“How Christianity Changed The World”, Schmidt, pp. 79–86.|
|↑7||ibid. pages 97-98|
|↑8||Natural Theology is a philosophical discipline which uses arguments for the existence of God using only reason and (sometimes) science. Examples would include The Kalam Cosmological Argument, which uses the law of causality and the scientific evidence of big bang cosmology and the second law of thermodynamics to argue for a trancendent Creator of the universe. Or The Fine-Tuning Argument which uses the fantastically improbable odds of having the laws of physics take just the right values to permit a life permitting universe, in order to argue for an Intelligent Designer. Other examples include The Moral Argument, which uses atheism’s implications with the fact that objective morality does exist, to argue modus tollens to God’s existence, and The Ontological Argument which is a heady argument that employs modal logic to argue that the existence of a Maximally Great Being logically follows from the logical possibility of a Maximally Great Being. I have defended all of these arguments in great detail in my former book; “The Case For The One True God: A Scientific, Philosophical, and Historical Case For The God Of Christianity”, available in paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com. I also go into some of these arguments here on this blog.|
|↑9||I have defended the resurrection in two different ways. I use The Minimal Facts Method invented by Dr. Gary Habermas in my book “My Redeemer Lives: Evidence For The Resurrection Of Jesus”, but I use what Dr. Lydia McGrew has called “A Maximal Data Approach” in an 11 part blog series here on CerebralFaith.net. This blog post series is very in-depth, and each article is as lengthy and heavily cited as a book chapter. The Maximal Data Approach defends the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection on the basis that the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) are eyewitness documents that are historically reliable. In my opinion, I think both methods work. I disagree with someone like Dr. McGrew that The Minimal Facts Argument is a bad argument. That said, I won’t deny that The Maximal Data Argument is much, much stronger. I recommend the interested reader to check out both methods, and to master using both.|