Thursday, October 10, 2019

Christian: Stop Yielding To The Culture god


I learned to drive in a rural place. That context didn't allow for some of the scenarios that require a truly heightened awareness, like switching lanes on the interstate or dealing with traffic jams. As I grew up and moved to an actual big city (Kansas City), I encountered those previously unfamiliar situations, as well as the inner-city crosswalk. And I've still not truly familiarized myself with it.

It seems so dangerous and counter-intuitive to encourage and instruct groups of people to walk across a busy city street. Vehicles, with their horns, lights, and accelerating engines are dipping and diving all over the place, and yet, the white rectangles running perpendicular to the stream of traffic are a safe space for those who desire to imitate the chicken and make it to the other side. Of course, most often, there are alerts in place to signal to the drivers of said vehicles that they should yield.

But often, even today, I will miss those signs until the last moment. I'm just never expecting it. I frequently find myself being thankful to God that no one was crossing the street as I realize, after I turn left and drive over a crosswalk, that I just turned left and drove over a crosswalk. Surely this is some sort of treatable mental condition.

Aside from my inability to consistently engage with crosswalks in a mindful manner, there is another interesting characteristic about these street features. It seems to me that those seeking to cross streets do so with a variety of approaches.

There are the scaredy cats -- people who are extremely aware that they are engaging in a life-threatening activity because there are drivers like me on the road. They're cautious and uncomfortable.

There are the casual crossers -- people who do this all the time. They understand the dangers of hoofing it on a street where drivers like me exist, but this activity is old hat and their heart rate stays level.

Then there are the strutters -- people who know that walking across the street is their absolute right and everyone else, at least in this moment, must yield to them. They don't look left; they don't look right; they have their eyes fixed straight ahead. If you come close to them in your vehicle (regardless of whether it's a Ford Super Duty or a Geo Metro), they will likely give you a look, utter a phrase, and continue strutting to the other side. They don't care about you -- they only care about where they're going and what their priorities are. Stay out of the way.

And this brings me to the real point. The god of the culture is strutting across the street and Christians are, by and large, restricted to the cab of their vehicle, watching it all happen right in front of them. The vehicle, by the way, is no Geo Metro and it's not a Ford Super Duty. It's more powerful and awesome than the most dynamic vehicle the U.S. Military could conjure. It's the Batmobile times infinity.

But we're yielding.

Watching Her Strut

What is the god of the culture? Is it even possible to define it? Well, let's try.

The culture god is grumpy. There are endless examples of how the god of our secular culture is angry. For instance, the god watches our every move, scolds us, and accuses us of wrongdoing. It blames us for the bad things in the world. It makes an emotional plea, paints the future as bleak, and says it's all our fault. But have no fear, the grumpy god is going to jump in and fix all of our mistakes -- whether we like it or not. Don't believe me? Just listen to this little girl.

If you want to see the god get really grumpy, just simply respond that there is another authority to which we should all pledge allegiance and obey. In his anger, the grumpy god will inspire his followers to mock, parade, and display pure rage. University professors who have earned doctorate degrees will behave like children, making demands and pointing their fingers, imitating the grumpy god they serve.

The culture god is morally confused. Recently there was national recognition of sorts of the absolutely morally perplexed variety. Bi-Visibility Day happened upon us, and perhaps you're unaware because there wasn't a local parade in your area. But just wait, the parades in small town America will come soon enough.

Bi-Visibility Day exists to give more attention to the people who want more attention about the fact that they think they don't get enough attention. "What virtue do they possess?", you may be asking. Well, to be frank, they are open about the fact that they like to use their genitals in immoral ways.

Take this person, for example. I don't know if this person is an XX or an XY. But this individual is wearing a Carhartt brand knit hat, symbolizing 50+ hours per week of difficult, blue collar work. He/she is also wearing a t-shirt that says, "I like my men how I like my women." It can be understood that this statement is not in reference to some workplace equality principle that is maintained at the company he/she operates. But because of the caption, "happy #BiVisibilityDay im proud to be me," we can interpret the t-shirt as being a declaration of proud sexual deviance. This person is into the really gross stuff and we should all be proud of this person being proud.

Here's another example. The federal 10th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that females can't be stopped if they desire to expose their breasts in public. While in the states of Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Kansas, or Oklahoma, women are now free to peel off their shirts and any undergarments they may be wearing, no matter where they are at that moment, because, you know, equality and respect and stuff. And this applies to females who are, at least, over the very mature age of ten.

In this day and age, you might ask, "What is a female, anyway?" That's a good question -- but remember, the god is morally confused. Don't dig into the details.

The culture god is a hypocrite. The new Joker movie came out recently and there was quite a bit of hubub surrounding the violence in the movie. Media outlets were predicting that some youngsters would be inspired by the violence in the movie and imitate it in the public square. Joaquin Phoenix, the movie's star, shook off the feedback leading up to the debut, stating, "Well, I think that, for most of us, you're able to tell the difference between right and wrong. And those that aren't are capable of interpreting anything in the way that they may want to. People misinterpret lyrics from songs. They misinterpret passages from books. So I don't think it's the responsibility of a filmmaker to teach the audience morality or the difference between right or wrong. I mean, to me, I think that that's obvious.”

Out of one side of his mouth, the culture god says there is an obvious right and wrong. It's obvious. Out of the other side of his mouth, he says it's not obvious and it should not be taught. The quote from Phoenix above is just a nutshell version of the postmodern view of truth. Truth is, but it isn't.

Additionally, what you may not know is that Phoenix played the role of Jesus in the film "Mary Magdalene" earlier this year. In the film he refused to portray healing the blind as Jesus did by rubbing mud on blind eyes, because, to him, it was obviously morally wrong. So much for filmmakers not enforcing their morality on an audience.

And then there's the current crop of Democratic candidates for President of the United States. Stop eating so much beef, they say, as they help dish out 10,000 steaks. The culture god is directing these individuals into totally contradictory living.

The grumpy, morally confused hypocrite of a god is strutting in front of you as you yield. Now what?

Engaging This god

As a Christian, you're sitting in a vehicle vastly more powerful than the obstreperous, slender, and disjointed culture god strutting across the street in front of you. You have the ability to crush anything in front of you, and this measly figure is no exception to this rule of physics. Just touch the gas pedal and the god becomes a pancake.

Should you do it? Yes, with gentleness and respect.

As is commonly known, Christians are a peace-loving people. "Blessed are the peacemakers," our Savior taught. "So far as it depends on you, live at peace with all men," the Apostle instructed. Shalom, the Hebrew concept of being completely at rest due to the peace that God gives, is a biblical virtue. We love peace, as we should.

Yet, the Christian life is described as a fight. We're battling spiritual things. It's not all defense, there's offense. We serve a Savior who disarmed these spiritual forces and made a display of them. Clinging to the light of the truth, it's our duty to expose the deeds of darkness.

So what does this mean? It means that Christians need to drive the powerful vehicle of biblical truth over the lies of the evil one.

Christians are not to run over people, though. If we ran over the people, the ones who follow the culture god, we'd be forfeiting gentleness and grace. We'd do more harm than good. We'd not be Christians.

However, we are to run over the culture god. If we don't run over the culture god, we'd be forfeiting truth and love. We'd do more harm than good. We'd not be Christians.

But how?

Engaging the culture god is not so much a 1-2-3 step-by-step guide to behaving like you should as much as it is a call to value God's revelation so much that it affects everything you do. It's a worldview that embraces the truth of God so warmly that the only rightful perception of the world is to see that the Light touches everything. All matters of life are influenced by the word of God and it's the Christian's role to represent Christ in a world that wants nothing to do with Him. He is to be represented in word and in deed and in all things.

Therefore, as the culture continues it's grumpy, morally confused, and hypocritical trajectory, speak up. Speak up for truth and for righteousness. Be willing to speak openly about the things the culture god says you can't talk about. You can talk about it. Christ has given you the authority to talk about it.

That's where it all starts. It's a commitment to care more about God's calling on you, a Christian, than about whatever repercussions the culture god might dole out through his followers.

Proclaiming Our God

Far too often, the Christian response to the culture god is no more than a disgruntled comment made to other Christians leading to a synchronized head shake in wonder of how lost people could be so lost. As the culture god struts across the street and the Christians yield, they sit in their vehicle murmuring to each other about how ridiculous the whole thing is. And after the god exercises his supposed right-of-way, the Christians get back tot their business, and all parties are disgusted with each other.

But here's the problem. There are no white rectangles under the feet of the culture god. He has no right to cross the street. He has no right to tell the Christian to back off, to yield. He's out of bounds.

Consequently, the Christians, who are in the most powerful vehicle imaginable, have the right-of-way to destroy the jaywalking blasphemer. The god says, "Give me space, you can't come near me." And perhaps there are other cars around who are obeying. But we know the truth. And we should consider the implications of obeying the god instead of the truth.

To add a layer to the analogy, the jaywalking blasphemer is also a murderer. He carries a bloody knife and has a pair of whatever you think assault weapons are strapped to his back. He's shed blood and he's out to shed more. Let him live, and the killing continues.

Run him over!

This analogy, of course, is pertaining to worldviews. The culture god is a way of thinking that exists in the world. It's perverted, evil, and lacks any virtue. It's grumpy, morally confused, and hypocritical. Its end is death. Consequently, the Christian must feel the responsibility of attacking this worldview. As an image-bearer of God who has been saved by grace, it is the Christian's duty to destroy false and dangerous ideas and bring all things into submission to Christ. People are dying. We have to stop playing nice with wicked thinking.

For far too long, many Christians have been told and have believed that it's Christlike to be quiet in the face of evil. Certainly, in a particular context, Jesus opened not His mouth. But three full years of public ministry preceded that moment. And He sent out sheep in the midst of wolves and commissioned them to be shrewd and, and the same time, innocent. They were commanded to confront the culture god.

We can (and should) do the same. Once you realize that the gospel contains the omnipotent power of God, no false god should stop you. Go to the marketplace and proclaim the truth of God and destroy the worldview constructed and perpetuated by the evil one. Love people enough to do it.

There are millions of people near you who are dying because of their sin. They hate God and have sought to follow the false god. Take the biblical worldview and flatten the empty philosophy of the world. But take care to not destroy people in the process. As you proclaim the truth that kills what is false, make sure it's the truth that gives life to the one who repents.

Jesus Christ is God. He came to seek and save sinners, enemies of God. He died on the cross for their sins and physically rose again, that all who trust in His finished work alone may have eternal life. This gospel -- and its implications -- utterly incapacitates the culture god. It rebukes the climate change girl and angry atheist professor. It admonishes the sexually sinful. It corrects the hypocritical movie stars and politicians. And as it is shared in love, it gives a sinner new life and a new worldview that truly honors the one, true God.


If you're a Christian, you're probably upset by the culture. But remember that our culture is merely a reflection of the god of the culture. At the end of the day, it's the god of self. People who do what is right in their own eyes and seek to be their own authorities -- they are truly deluded. Professing to be wise, they have become fools. They desperately need to recognize God as their authority.

It's not enough that we recognize this. We must confront it, if anyone is to be saved. God uses the means of His people to call sinners to repentance and faith in Jesus. If you are one of His people, you are obligated to represent your Savior in this way. If you really are one of His, it's a labor of love. Don't yield for the culture god. Run him over.

Pull no punches when taking truth into the world. But don't punch the people.

Tell the truth no matter the cost. But don't curse the ones made in the likeness of God.

Call sinful thinking what it is, without apology. But don't seek to merely win an argument.

Love God. Love people. Be bold. Be gentle.


  1. Yes and Amen! Well spoken with clarity, conviction, truth and grace.

  2. Good stuff to think about. Thanks.