He who convinces you that getting angry at evil is wrong or undesirable, has already conquered you without firing a shot. — Unknown

Announcing Big Changes

October 9, 2012   ·   By   ·   0 Comments

abandonedAs most of you are no doubt aware, I haven’t published a commentary for some time. The reasons for this are several. First, my son, who is a US Marine, has been fighting in Afghanistan for the last six months. This has taken a far greater toll on my family and me than I ever imagined possible; I personally found myself struggling to focus on anything other than his day-to-day safety.

Thankfully and by God’s good grace he has left the battle zone and is safe and doing well. You can probably imagine my relief! Suffice it to say, the Lord has shown me many things during these difficult days as I have struggled with doubt, fear, and anxiety unlike ever before. These insights will surely strengthen my work.

Additionally, as I discussed last November, the Lord has led me to focus more on the intentional task of whole-life discipleship. This was and remains the impetus for launching the TRUTH@Work Roundtable program last year, which has become a significant outreach of this ministry.

This emphasis on discipleship has had a dramatic impact on the ministry choices I now make. As a result, I no longer accept invitations to speak at large events, opting instead for smaller, more interactive settings. In essence, I am committed to teaching and speaking opportunities that offer a setting more conducive to disciple making. With increased attention given to these much more relational settings, I have chosen not to write and publish with my former frequency.

However—and more significantly—this summer has been one of tremendous change within the ministry itself, as we have seen the need to better clarify our identity and mission in light of this new emphasis. To begin with, we are changing the name of the ministry from the Center for Christ & Culture to Battle for Truth.

Allow me to explain. Since our inception more than eleven years ago, we have gone from the Center for Decency to being a part of theNational Coalition for the Protection of Children & Families to the Center for Christ & Culture. Subsequently we have created various expressions and programs such as “Cultural Apologetics,” “Kingdom Project,” and now “TRUTH@Work.” Add to this the fact that our website was www.BattleForTruth.org and frankly, I think it just became confusing to most folks.

After much consideration, we chose Battle for Truth for several reasons. Our web address was one of the most recognized aspects of the ministry, which made the choice easy. But perhaps more important is the fact that the name goes to the heart of what we’re about and the times in which we live.

Clearly, there is a desperate battle raging to redefine “truth” in this country. The context of this struggle ranges from the truth about family, sexuality, and personhood to economics, the role of government, and essential aspects of the Christian faith itself. There is scarcely any concept or virtue common to our culture that isn’t being radically assaulted, redefined, or destroyed. And the God who is the Truth is increasingly being obscured by pernicious error, cultural accommodations, and theological ignorance.

It is to this battle—the battle for TRUTH—that I have always been devoted and to which we as a ministry will continue to work, encourage, and equip others.

As I have emphasized repeatedly over the years and as the Bible so clearly states, “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 in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12, NIV). As such, this battle is neither aimed at persons nor one characterized by strife and militancy but by courageous love, self-sacrifice and faithful reliance upon God.

This is not a political battle between liberals and conservatives, it isn’t a cultural battle between secular elites and Middle America, and it isn’t even an ideological battle between the religious and irreligious. Our social experience may involve these aspects but it is first and foremost a spiritual battle for the heart, soul, and strength of Christianity in America.

Contrary to what we may think, the evidence suggests our culture is not so much the result of a secular occupation as it is the Christian evacuation. There is not one area of our country’s current social and cultural life that the church did not long ago abandon physically, surrender intellectually, or both. It is the Christian church—alive in Christ and dead to self—that holds the keys to the kingdom and the power to transform people and the world. This is the mission into which Jesus invites us and it is the mission to which we must return.

Finally, I am pleased to announce the appointment of David Porter to our staff as executive director.  David is a longtime friend and colleague for whom I have great respect and who shares my passion for the church and her witness. David holds a master of arts in theology as well as an advanced master of divinity from Criswell College. David’s years of experience within the church as an executive pastor and various other ministry positions will bring unique insights into the issues and challenges facing today’s church. David is a gifted teacher and thinker who will greatly enhance the mission and work of this ministry.

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S. Michael Craven is the President of the Center for Christ & Culture. Michael is the author of Uncompromised Faith (Navpress).The Center for Christ & Culture is dedicated to renewal within the Church and works to equip Christians with an intelligent and thoroughly Christian approach to matters of culture in order to demonstrate the relevance of Christianity to all of life. For more information on the Center for Christ & Culture, the teaching ministry of S. Michael Craven, visit the Center for Christ & Culture.
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