How to fight culture wars
The people who write your favorite sitcom disagree with you. The news disagrees with you, the movies, your neighbors, the school board, politicians—many of them disagree with you. The area where they disagree is a big one that affects everything else down stream.
You believe that Jesus is God and that He is the designer, creator and sustainer of all things good. Those who disagree with you think this story is nothing but a silly fairy tale.
There are several ways you can deal with this belief gap, and most of them are unhealthy. We could isolate ourselves from those who disagree; we could argue and yell; or we could dehumanize the other side and mock them for their lack of faith.
Those sound like awful ways to proceed, but they happen far too often. How should Christians deal with the vicious rhetoric in this current culture war? Allow me to give you a few foundations that you can build on.
First, know that, whatever divisive issue is before you, it is not the end of the world. This pattern of rebellion is as old as humanity. Issues like abortion and transgender rights can seem like the beginning of a full-on war, but in the larger scope of history, these issues have been around in one form or another for a very long time. These issues are merely the symptoms of a fallen world.
When we feel like these issues are so big and devastating, we can panic, and that’s when we respond out of fear not love.
God is still in control, and none of this is a surprise to Him. Therefore, we should respond as those who have already won the victory, not as those who are fighting for our lives. Yes, these are big issues, but on our own, we are powerless to stop them. It is only with God that we win these battles.
Secondly, lost people will always act like lost people. We should not be shocked when an unbeliever does something that goes against the desires of God. This is their nature, and they have no other choice but to chase sin. Instead of thinking that these people are the enemy, recognize that they are simply prisoners of the enemy. We don’t shoot prisoners of war; we set them free. It takes humility to see yourself in every lost person you come across, but we must remember that if it wasn’t for the grace of God we would be slaves to sin, just as they are.
Lastly, know that the victory does not depend on you. Jesus has already won the culture war. It’s over in the future sense but still playing out in our present reality. This has some similarity to your own journey. In the future sense, you are perfect and holy. You have been made righteous by the blood of Jesus, but you still stumble. That’s because the victory has been won, but you are just learning to live out the truths that Jesus made possible.
I want to encourage you to not get caught up in the worldly drama. Have a presence about you that is calm and hopeful, so that you can love people regardless of their rebellion.
Jesus knew that the world He created would demand His life, yet he managed to still love those around him. This verse has always helped me maintain my composure when the venom of the world seems too big to defeat:
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Gal. 6:9).