How You Can Equip to Fight the Spiritual Culture War
If I’m right, and gay activists’ end game is what I’ve called ‘nuclear’ destruction — the end of the nuclear family — then the culture war is a whole lot more serious than many of us have acknowledged. There have already been casualties: people losing jobs, homes, careers. There will be more.
Can we stand strong? Can we defend the truth as God intended it? Can we protect marriage and family?
The answer to that last question appears to be no; at least not in the law; not so far. Same-sex marriage is a fact across the Western world. We’ve lost horrific amounts of moral ground on sex and gender. One result of that: If trends continue, it’s going to become more and more costly for some of us to stand for what’s right.
But the answer to my first two questions can still be yes: We can stand strong. We can defend.
Isn’t It Worth Sacrificing For?
This week here in America we honored those who fought and died for our freedom — freedom of self-government, of speech and of religion, above all else. Two of those freedoms are under threat now. Sexual freedom is taking first place over both speech and religion.
If those freedoms were worth their sacrifice — if they were ever worth fighting and dying for — are they not worth sacrificing for now?
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The battle is not physical, it’s not military; it certainly doesn’t have anything to do with shooting at each other. It still calls for sacrifice from those who care.
The first sacrifice must be the willingness to risk being misunderstood. People will label you “hater,” “bigot,” “homophobe,” and worse. Family members may shun you. Co-workers may give you the silent treatment or worse.
Where to Begin?
- Tom Gilson’s Critical Conversations: A Christian Parents’ Guide to Discussing Homosexuality With Teens (all ages, actually)
- Sean McDowell’s recommended book list on homosexuality
- The New Atlantis issue on Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences
- Ryan Anderson, When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment
- Video (YouTube): How Do You Like Me Now?, from Pure Passion Media
Get Equipped — Even If That’s Sacrifice, Too
The second must be in taking the time to get trained. No one goes to battle without training. This is a battle for hearts and minds, unlike any we’ve seen before in the West. The equipping we need most is spiritual and mental. We have got to be able to explain and defend our ground clearly and persuasively — especially with young people, who think there is no argument, only prejudice, on our side of the debate.
This really does call for sacrifice. The discipline of study is too little practiced in the Church today, but is it any harder than the discipline by which freedom fighters train for battle? Should we sit on our couches and “let someone else take care of it”? Is it “someone else’s” problem? No, it’s our problem, and our responsibility.
Stand Strong in the Lord
Meanwhile, we must be strong in spiritual battle. This goes without saying, except it would be wrong to leave it unsaid. If the attack is severe, our response must be fervent and disciplined in prayer, in pursuing Christian unity, in loving one another, in loving our enemies, in practicing mutual encouragement and in following the Holy Spirit’s direction. In short, we must live the Christian life with all depth and integrity, by God’s grace.
Are we up to this? Most Christians haven’t been. Do you see where that’s gotten us?
An Under-Equipped Church
And finally, we have got to solve the strategic problems that have plagued us. Gay activists have higher education, the arts and the media on their side. What do we have? In purely human terms: a ridiculously massive ground organization, in communities everywhere. With millions of members. With local leaders.With regular meetings of people willing learn what to believe and how to act. It’s called the Church.
But this huge “ground organization” of ours is mostly unequipped for this battle. It’s deployed in many good things, but it’s mostly acting as if we’re better off ignoring this battle. If we’re responding at all, it’s in Bible studies and other small groups where we mutter and bemoan “what’s gone wrong with this culture,” yet are doing next to nothing about it.
That leads to the obvious next question: What should we do? I’ve already told you the first answer: Get equipped. No soldier says, “I won’t bother with the training; I’m not sure they’re even going to find a place to send me.” Maybe you don’t know the second thing you can do to help stop this gay activist onslaught. I get that. It’s not obvious, and it’s not easy. But don’t let that keep you from doing the first thing: getting mentally and spiritually equipped.
So study. Learn the issues. Do that, and chances are good you’ll find out what to do next. You’ll at least be ready to be deployed; maybe even ready to help others prepare. God often leads us a step at a time, after all.
Some people reading this will say that even that’s too hard. Don’t be one of them. Remember, and thank God for all the young men and women who didn’t say that about defending our freedoms in other battles. Let’s learn from their example. We, too, can begin making the right kind of sacrifices for the sake of our freedoms.
Tom Gilson is a senior editor with The Stream, and the author of A Christian Mind: Thoughts on Life and Truth in Jesus Christ. Follow him on Twitter: @TomGilsonAuthor. Follow The Stream at @StreamDotOrg.