Challenging the Culture
Government is not our savior. Government policies, while significant, are not the primary drivers of a civilization. The old maxim that in a representative system the government is a reflection of the people who elected it remains true. Our government can only do what the people allow it to do. Right now, we are allowing it to control more of our lives than ever. What does this say about us as a people?
I write often about the necessity of placing the right people in the government, and I spend a lot of time critiquing the policies currently in place. That is important, but even if the right people get elected, and even if they are able to muster enough votes to make better policies, unless there is a fundamental change in thinking in the American electorate as a whole, any changes made now will be temporary. We will eventually revert back to a secularist, totalitarian mentality.
Those principles apply to all areas. Nothing is exempt from God’s truth. The message is going to have to be more unflinching, though, as we face a culture that hates the truth.
Some say we have to adapt the message to the culture. They urge a softening of the gospel message to make it more palatable to modern sensibilities. God will never work that way. His message is unchanging and applicable to all times and places. Yes, we have to use different methods and be creative in ways to communicate His truth, but the truth itself cannot be altered to make people feel better. Sin is still sin. Repentance is still mandatory to receive the mercy God offers. Obedience is not optional; it is a requirement for a disciple of Christ.
So that’s the first step: become bolder with the message and don’t allow it to be watered down. Our societal problems are, at their root, spiritual problems. They will never be solved with a weak—actually, false—gospel.
But even if we take our ambassadorship for Christ seriously, the battle for the mind is going to be difficult. Unlike previous generations, we are constantly inundated with anti-Biblical propaganda masquerading as education and entertainment.
Government controls education. It was never meant to be this way. Early Americans were suspicious of putting the government in charge of education, realizing that it could then enforce a uniformity of thinking. The government can now decide what everyone is supposed to learn.
As our society began to drift from Biblical principles, the drift gained speed when professional educators who were alienated from Biblical truth were placed in positions of authority in the public school systems in every state. Those schools systems today are little more than conduits for the latest false philosophies—Marxism, multiculturalism, radical environmentalism and feminism, etc. They have become laboratories for social diversity with respect to sexual lifestyles. Basic Biblical morality is considered old-fashioned and quaint, relegated to backward people who can’t come to grips with the new reality.
Our young people not only are indoctrinated in the schools, but due to their addiction to entertainment, they are saturated with those same views through the music they have piped into their ears continually, the video games they play incessantly, and the movies and television programs that form their concept of the world. Christians are mocked through these mediums, morality is undermined, and they are schooled in an Obamalike philosophy of life.
My undergraduate degree was in radio, tv, and film production. I know these mediums have tremendous potential for both good and evil. I’m not a Luddite when it comes to technology and the use of it to communicate a message. I’m attracted to well-acted, artistically excellent productions. I’m discriminating; I don’t go to just any movie or watch just any television program. Too many now have the aroma of the new indoctrination, and it now slithers its way into otherwise fine shows.
One example: a couple of years ago, I was watching the Upstairs, Downstairs series on Masterpiece Theater. For historical drama and social commentary, it has few equals. But I finally had to draw the line when a lesbian storyline intruded itself into the plot.
The problem was not the recognition of how this deviation from Biblical morality crops up historically but how it was presented—as a positive development complete with on-screen scenes of passionate kissing between the two women. This has now become the norm. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find any series without at least one homosexual character sympathetically portrayed.
The answer is not to retreat from the culture, but to infiltrate it. Whenever Christians recoil in horror and shut themselves off in a Christian cocoon of some type, sin has a larger field in which to play. We need to confront the lies that have become part of our culture and help people recognize them as destructive of all that is decent and honorable.
I applaud parents who take greater responsibility for their children’s education, whether in alternative Christian schools or via homeschooling. They are refusing to be molded by the culture but are preparing their children to be those who will challenge the unchristian trends.
Parents who have chosen this path are not keeping reality from their children; they’re the ones who are showing them the stark differences and instilling the Biblical principles that are our hope. These children will not grow up timid, but bold. Already they attend college at a higher rate than their peers in the public schools and will take positions of responsibility as they mature.
I welcome those who see their Christian calling in the entertainment media. More movies with solid Biblical themes are being produced now, and their quality is improving. The only way to reclaim a culture immersed in entertainment is to take the uncompromising message to them through that media. Thought-provoking dramas drawn from real-life experiences can connect with their audiences and show the way out of the immoral morass of modernity.
We are a divided people. The Biblical worldview, on the surface, is diminishing. But I’m hoping that is merely a superficial appearance. Perhaps beneath that superficiality a river of life will finally burst through. Jesus said, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’”
May the living water flow.
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