The U. The current crisis is a tale of these two revolutions.
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If this is correct, the challenges are plain. The question before us as Christians: How do we live and speak so faithfully that we honor our Lord and his ways in response to one of the greatest apologetic challenges and one of the greatest cultural challenges in all history? This leads to the abortion mentality that ignores the infinite worth and irreplaceable value all life holds.
The number among Catholics was higher, but when you consider that Gallup has reported that 52 percent of women having an abortion self-identify as Christian and Lifeway research put that number closer to 70 percent, clearly Christians are not doing enough to teach and support a culture of life. This lack of a unified voice coupled with so many departing from biblical fidelity hinders efforts to model a different path to a culture in desperate need of clarity, civility, and leadership.
Faithful believers must learn to live, work, and speak in the tension between grace and truth in a compassionate, loving manner. We must care for the woman considering an abortion or the elderly facing the end of life. And, yes, it also requires engaging in the public policy process; meaning that in the elections, we must purpose to stand for foundational principles in a winsome and loving way. Cathi Herrod leads the Center for Arizona Policy azpolicy. Our pressing issues in , therefore, will remain centered on how we understand our freedom—regardless of the particular regimes under which we may live—including both its temporal and eternal implications.
Christians understand that, biblically, not all things are beneficial, and freedom is not license. Perhaps the Western medievals transcending particular cultures, actually had it most right: pursuing synergies within and across Truth, Beauty, and Goodness—which describe God and His loving, gracious sovereignty fully and succinctly—defines our best cultural work; issues that arise in furthering that orientation, then, are always the most pressing.
Under this are subsumed the ever-present challenges of justice and right eous ness in our societies: from poverty to sexuality to identity to community. By properly defining humanity Himself, Jesus properly resolves all. In a universe that came from nothing and was caused by nothing, human beings—whatever their stage of development—are cosmic accidents.
So, what gives us equal value in the first place? Those humans with limited cognitive ability—embryos, fetuses, and the mentally disabled—are fair game. Christians must persuasively challenge this destructive view of human equality.
First, personhood theory asserts, but never justifies, why greater cognitive ability is correlated with greater moral status. Why is greater cognitive ability value-giving in the first place? Second, personhood theory results in savage inequality.
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Finally, the idea that a human becomes a person only after some degree of cognitive development is absurd. Some high-profile court cases are pending in regard to religious liberty.
But even if the Supreme Court rules favorably, cultural pressures will continue to mount. There will be a greater cost to living faithfully to Scripture in our increasingly secular culture. While Christians must engage culture at every level i. And grandparents are close behind.
by Tull, Justin W
But this only happens if we are intentional in our efforts. Do you talk with your kids about pop culture? Do you intentionally engage them in conversation to help them think Biblically? Or are you too busy? Our culture is hitting a tipping point in its rejection of biblical truth, and Christian parents and grandparents must not retreat or live in denial, but use this as an opportunity to equip young people.
And perhaps no issue is more important than biblical authority.
I am convinced that the debate today is over authority—is it feelings and personal autonomy? We must help the next generation see that real freedom comes through Christ. This question takes on new importance heading into the mid-term elections. Polling consistently shows that evangelicals supported President Trump in his bid for the White House, despite revelations during the campaign that he was anything but a poster boy for the Moral Majority.
The dilemma facing Christians ahead of a Congressional election is this: Do we continue rewarding candidates who campaign using anger and insults, who play on fear of outsiders and opponents, and whose personal lives contradict the values we profess? Our public witness and right to be taken seriously by a watching world may depend on our answer. They increasingly embrace postmodernism and Marxism instead of a biblical worldview. We need a gut check. Sin distorts things, but in Jesus we can know the truth and the truth will set us free John Fortunately, the generational divide is mainly a communication divide.
Young believers want our help in articulating a biblical worldview in a humane, thoughtful fashion. But we must do better: platitudes that sound good from the pulpit ring hollow with younger generations. Let me illustrate. If we said something like that at work, we would be shunned and never taken seriously again. The Washington Post tells the story of a prominent pastor who was not only was credibly accused of assaulting a teenage girl in the youth group he led, he admitted the essential truth of the allegations. A twenty-second standing ovation. Granted, stoning may be have been a bit much, but a standing ovation tells the victims of sexual assault volumes about how little this group of Christians care about what happened to them.
A month ago, 80 percent of white Evangelicals voted for a man who was also credibly accused of similar conduct. The Evangelical governor of the state said that while she believed the allegations, electing the right kind of senator, i. We have ceded the moral ground on this and other issues to Hollywood and the mainstream media. Until we make credible efforts to take it back, we have no business asking them to care about our issues. I believe he is right.
The Christian church faces a crisis today because it has forgotten important parts of its own story, and it has forgotten how to tell its story to a skeptical world. Non-Christians and nominal Christians are now telling the story of the world, and the result is a false witness, a false narrative, a false — or, at best, an incomplete — understanding of both reality and the biblical narrative. By this I mean, the struggle in allowing worldly goals and objectives to crowd out or dilute our mission for the kingdom of Jesus. In , we witnessed our Christian public image take a beating, often from times when professed believers allowed some competing objective to become their driving focus.
Such reprioritization, even when portrayed as Christian, compromises kingdom mission by injecting political or social identity. This always damages our witness, unnecessarily placing obstacles between Christians and their neighbors. Now, promises to be more divisive as culture trends towards greater social, economic, and political polarization. As the volume increases, Christians will face mounting pressure to join the cycles of outrage in favor of causes we believe are important.
This presents a challenge to the church to fight against allowing these divisions into our community and gospel proclamation. Christian faithfulness in light of these issues begins from a reevaluation of how well we are living out our mission in the midst of our neighbors. While we should not shrink from engaging in the political world, when we are defined within our community or workplace by these peripheral identities, we reveal that some other mission has diluted the kingdom mission to which Jesus has called us.
Ed Stetzer, Ph. Underneath those waves, however, are the deep cultural shifts that have changed the way we experience life and the world. In other words, we face so many incredibly important issues right now with no coherent sense of what it means to be human. As a result, ours is a culture of contradiction: one that fights sexual harassment after celebrating the legacy of Hugh Hefner, one that cries out for human dignity while actively working to eliminate both the costly elderly and children with disabilities in utero, one that simultaneously proclaims certainty that sexual orientation is immutable and that sexual biology is up for grabs.
Christian faithfulness in this cultural moment will not be possible unless we ground our thinking on a clear biblical sense of who we are as humans in light of our relationship with God and others.
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Moral proclamation isolated from the rich vision of every human as bearer of the imago dei will—to the world around us—sound only judgmental and cruel. And only if we are willing to endure the brutal, inevitable backlash.