This week I read two blog posts with thoughts along the same theme. This the same theme I have been harping about for years concerning politics in the church.
The first snippet is from Internet Monk in a post entitled, In The Gay Ol' Summertime The Gay part=homosexuality. Here is the part I want you to note:
Then what about homosexuality in the culture? Here I will contend that American Christians have repeated a strategic error that has plagued their history: the tendency to get involved in moralistic crusades that drown out the clarity and the universality of the Gospel and distort Christians themselves.
The second snippet is from Andre at his blog, Every Square Inch. Here is the part to note in his post, Walmart and the Culture War:
Part of my apprehension stems from the sheer volume of issues pertaining to moral or ethical positions that we are faced with everyday. With the rapid pace of communication today enhanced by email blasts and blogs, information from the front lines of the "culture war" can be absolutely innundating. If you don't believe me, check out sites like the Family Research Council and American Family Association. You'll soon discover that there is a continuous stream of issues pertaining to sanctity of life, media standards, homosexuality, sanctity of marriage, ... the list goes on. The problem isn't with fine groups like FRC but rather how an individual Christian should interact with such information. The subtle danger in responding to every clarion call of the culture war is that we can be distracted from the primary purpose of our lives to proclaim the gospel and live in the good of it everyday. There are going to be critical issues like the pro-life position that require a definitive stand but not every issue carries that weight and importance.
Another consideration is the manner by which we engage the opposing position. Protests or threats of boycotts are acceptable approaches to make our point but not the only ones available to us. They may not even be the most effective ones in every instance. Using phrases like "culture war" is useful in rallying the Christian base but not always helpful in thoughtfully and humbly engaging the opposition. Too often the rhetoric accompanying the approach seems adversarial rather than engaging.
Finally, I believe that looking for opportunities for the gospel is vital. The apostle Paul upon encountering widespread idolatry in Athens is described in Acts 17 as "greatly distressed". His response? "He reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there." (v. 17) He looked for opportunities to present the gospel from the context of the culture. He used the evil practice of idolatry as a window to preach the gospel. (v.22 - v. 31).
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