A reflection on the intersection of theology, ideology and culture
I don’t want to see you go the way of Jars of Clay’s Dan Haseltine.
And may I say, I’m not here to vilify Mr. Haseltine, who somewhat shockingly embraced the ways of the LGBT (at the expense of his own career). We all must choose our own way, knowing that the wrong way is always just one false turn away. We sacrifice one attribute of God at the expense of them all. This was never about right vs. left, but rather right vs. wrong, in terms of natural theology vs. Christian orthodoxy.
“We must realize that love is not the end of the matter. It [our approach to life and ministry] rests upon the character of God, and God is the God who is Holy and the God who is Love. We would not choose between love and holiness, for to forget either is equally vicious… It is not that we do one and then the other, like keeping a ball in the air between two ping-pong paddles. Both God’s holiness and his love must be exhibited simultaneously, or we have fallen off one cliff or the other. – Francis Schaeffer (The God Who Is There)
I know charitable, biblically astute, and widely successful artists like Lecrae and Switchfoot’s Jon Foreman do much good and represent their art from a Christian point of view that is sincere and pure. I know they are being true to themselves. Yet, I think we -Christianity as a whole and especially they of the high profile variety- are at a crossroads and that we must do even better.
We must get a little uncomfortable. We have to make others uncomfortable. We have to be fearless. Not just in doing good but in speaking truth.
No, God doesn’t need a lawyer, an advocate, or a salesman, but he does need a faithful witness. And no, we don’t want to risk being smeared. We don’t want to be unfairly disparaged or called things we ourselves despise. But we also know the enemy to be a liar who doesn’t play fair. We mustn’t be conned into dancing with the devil.
Hold onto your principles and values. Don’t become a “Bono,” who personally deemed the act of abortion ‘a woman’s right to choose. Absolutely.’ With such sentiments are all the good humanitarian works done in the name of Christ forsaken.
“I told myself I can’t be a leader and a figure of integrity and wisdom until I become whole and not have to always be the one with answers.” – Lecrae (the undisputed king of Christian rap)
We don’t need to have all the answers, but are we seeking the right questions? Do we ever bother to follow the money trail? Have we done our due diligence? Are we testing the spirits?
I implore fine men like Foreman and Lecrae to see through the propaganda and understand how nefarious men of great power and influence are fanning the flames and stoking the fire in an effort to unilaterally highlight, exaggerate, and even fabricate racial tensions and cultural divides, placing folks unnecessarily on the defensive and ultimately at risk.
The controlled media should report the news, rather than preconceive the narrative. They needn’t sensationalize the news in a way in which they incessantly emphasize only those narratives that will achieve a favored form of social engineering. There’s enough blame and bigotry to go around on all sides without politicizing it.
The true sign of love and unity, peace and reconciliation, is not the lifting of one at the expense and vilification of the other, but rather, the need to understand that all bias and hatred is born of the depravity that dwells within us all. We need to grow closer (not further apart) and come to true understanding with regard for our neighbor, regardless of their color or complexion.
Why are white globalists like George Soros funding BLM protests? Are white leftists so beyond reproach that they may freely place themselves upon moral high ground? Are they the ones shaping nationwide narratives while in the process using a whole race of people (and their almost inherent sensitivities) to obtain a political advantage? How truly shameful. Police brutality, violent criminality, and blind, senseless targeting and profiling are regretful realities. If we truly care we should address these issues soundly and proportionally. We shouldn’t seek to blindly uproot the status quo overnight, nor should we allow violent radicals to lead such crusades in an attempt to do so. Jesus would have none of it.
Foreman, who has a regular opinion column at the Huffington Post, and mostly shies away from hard Christian sentiments, was the inspiration for the following diatribe (which I admit to be more a general declaration on how I perceive things rather than a true response specific to the content of his most recent piece – linked here.
“I see evil sold as good. I see peace in silence and relativism. I see atrocity right under our noses and nobody giving a damn. I see people afraid to free the suffering, sexually exploiting children because that would mean exposing their favorite politician. I see the human condition revealing itself in real time and Christians too sold out to stand against the lies and the oppressors because they are afraid of the opinions of men and the natural theology of the apostate.
I just hope i don’t have to trade living well for remaining silent. I’m uncomfortable, I’m awkward, however, when I look into my daughter’s eyes, my biggest fear is not that she will be bullied or mistreated by our secular world, it’s that she will be devoured. And that although I knew what was happening and had an opportunity to speak out and tell it straight, I remained silent. We are blind and depraved and are headed straight to hell. But we are too comfortable to speak out and sound the alarm for fear of losing everything in the here and now. I may be too broken to care about all of that but maybe that’s not such a bad thing. I’m blessed, but I’m sober. Light exposes the darkness, in the world and in ourselves. I don’t fear a man like Trump, for he reveals exactly who he is. My fear is reserved for those of power and influence whose most deplorable acts are hidden, but we will all be found out eventually.”
Thankfully, like him or not, Trump has provided the American Christian somewhat of a reprieve from the growing cultural degradation, at least in terms of policy and emphasis of political force, and actually defends a few of the issues we truly care about.
Just imagine if every Christian with a platform truly stood up and spoke for the things that truly matter and against the things that truly threaten Christian vitality and real hope. That’s the anthem we need to sing. We need to tell the whole story, not cryptically, but loudly and proudly. We don’t need more culture warriors, we just need more truth tellers. Maybe it’s time to truly get out of our comfort zone and allow God’s word to truly speak
….all of it!
* Interesting insights from Jon Foreman’s own parents…
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