In the matter of the "culture wars," evangelical Christians are asking, "what do we do now?" The question is being raised in the aftermath of the
The "culture wars," while well-intentioned, were a mistake from the beginning. Evangelical Christians, whose Leader said, "
Conservative Christians wanted to be liked and respected by the world. Republican politicians saw them as a reliable voting bloc and were happy to have them in the party, but party leaders and elected officials did little to advance their agenda. Leaders gave them lip service, saying what Christians wanted to hear and in some cases even quoted a Bible verse, but in reality most party leaders were embarrassed, even offended, by people many regarded as throwbacks, if not to the Dark Ages, then to the rural South.
Fundraisers and TV evangelists were happy to promote this "kingdom of the world" mentality because it brought them the illusion of influence, money and a place at the table. Few minds were changed, and culture became more deformed than reformed. The country grows increasingly secular in part because conservative evangelicals gave the impression that being born again means instant adoption into the
As a longtime fan of
A recent letter to the editor posted on TwinCities.com got it right:
"The Apostle Peter pleaded with the church, 'Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.' Those who have resisted the acceptance of sin have done well in living out Peter's admonition, but acceptance of our standing as outsiders remains a point of struggle.
"Christians, as aliens and strangers in this world, should not be surprised when a world separated from God lives out its faith. It is, however, our duty to act in unity with God by sacrificing our time and risking friendships, academic performance and professional standing -- all idols in this world -- to display the unrivaled confidence and hope we have in Christ.
"We cannot change a fallen world, but we can be God's instrument in saving people from it. Eternally speaking, there is nothing to lose and everything to gain." --
Lest someone misinterpret what Mr. Wheeler and I are saying, this isn't about surrender; it is about enlisting in a different "army," using more powerful nonpolitical weapons.
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Cal Thomas, America's most-syndicated columnist, is the author of 10 books.