STOVER: Have Christians lost the culture war?

Published 10:32 pm Saturday, September 23, 2017

By LARRY STOVER | Praise Park Ministries Church of the Nazarene 

Christians in America today are being tossed to and fro with a plethora of belief systems that border chaos. People don’t know what to believe anymore. There seems to be a real lack of direction coming from anywhere. An hour or two of our present news media leaves the novice viewer scratching their head. What happened to those absolute truths that were our guiding lights 50 years ago?

There are so many systems of truth present in our nation today that it seems we have more armchair philosophers and theologians than their football counterparts. Just about everyone has a conclusion about anything. I suppose the real question of the hour is this, “Who or what is shaping our thoughts in 2017?”

People today are changing. Even Christians are being squeezed into the mold of society. They are being desensitized by mindless diversions resulting in a faith that has little or no impact on people seeking truth around them. Have Christians lost the battle with culture? Have they surrendered to the spiritual insanity of the new order of “beliefism” that is so relative as to deny and destroy the absolutes that were our strength and fortitude in my youth?

I’m a “baby boomer!” We were a generation of hope. Our parents gave us a sense of optimism. We had the best of everything because our parents sacrificed. As our system of truth emerged, we became influenced by politics, fads, cultural fantasies and “feel good” religious icons that taught us to believe in them rather than seeking the truth from God’s word ourselves. Between contradictory illusions of Biblical truth and the rise of relativism, something has gone terribly wrong,

The “Millennial Generation” has become a disheartened group that tend to find themselves in survival mode. We baby boomers believed we could save the world, but young people today don’t believe they can even save themselves. We live in an age of indifference dominated by the word, “whatever.”

They tend to not read, vote or even like network news. Too many have become politically indifferent. Truth has become so relative that they have no regard for traditional Judeo-Christian standards of right and wrong. Their moral compass resembles that of the “free love” movement of the 1960’s.

People across our area are looking for something to hold on to. Where is our hope? I find it in a revival of Biblical truth.

This cultural and spiritual battle has been creeping up on us for decades now.

Ephesians 6:12 reminds us of the real nature of this conflict. It reads,” For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil.”

There are many who would like to see the end of the church and Christians in general. We are seen as the problem and not the solution. Don’t lose heart believers, we ARE the solution and always will be.

Paul also used his letter to the Ephesians to give us hope and challenge Christians everywhere to be a reflection of Jesus Christ and his life changing message of truth.

Ephesians 4:11-14 reads, “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.”

Pastors and teachers have been called by God to convey the truth to their parishioners. Laymen in the church have been called by God to commit the time necessary to learn his truth.

So, let’s resist the temptation to buy into the perversion of truth that is so prevalent today. Jesus Christ is still “the way, the truth, and the life.” A revival of Biblical truth in 2017 will make our Christian life “Simply Beautiful.”