This is not our home. We should be concerned about the here and now, but not worried. The Lord has a plan and Hillary nor Donald have any power to alter it. You and I can’t change God’s will either, but what we can do is help bring as many people as possible with us to our eternal home – in heaven.
Many participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge because they knew someone with ALS. Others are doing 22 pushups today because they know a veteran with PTSD. Every one of us has a neighbor, coworker, friend or family member who doesn’t know Jesus. Isn’t the plight of those lost without Christ far worse than those who suffer from ALS or PTSD?
We only get one vote for President but we can cast countless eternal votes for those we encounter each and every day. We have far greater ability to impact who’s in God’s House than who’s in the White House.
To #CastAnEternalVote by election day, November 8th:
- Perform a simple act of service for someone you know or a perfect stranger in the name of Jesus
- Tell us your story on our Facebook or Twitter page with the hashtag #CastAnEternalVote or #VoteForEternity2016
- Directly challenge 3 of your friends on social media to “pay it forward”
Why You Shouldn’t Abstain from Voting
I recently attended my third gathering of Christian leaders from across the U.S. to strategize about ways to reverse the course in America away from Biblical values. Once again the overwhelming consensus was that the answer lies in Christians recapturing control of the 7 Mountains (government, media, religion, education, entertainment, family and business). In other words, they believe a louder megaphone is the answer to winning the “culture war”. They are deeply concerned that another 4 years without a Christian in the White House will further undermine the Christian values our nation once held dear.
Christians have bemoaned, campaigned and lobbied vigorously over recent decades – often in tones that come across as angry. Yet the louder Christians have yelled, the less we’ve been heard. We’ve lost our voice in America. The reason is that we haven’t followed Jesus’ model. We’ve essentially try to “outpreach” Jesus when we espouse our beliefs without demonstrating His love and compassion – something Jesus rarely did. Being so often heard yet rarely seen has cost Christianity dearly. The principle is simple – people don’t care what you know until they know we care. Turning up the volume will only drive the prevailing view of Christians and churches deeper into the ditch.
Just because a Christian occupies a powerful position at the peak of the governmental mountain top will not necessarily amplify our voice. If not accompanied by a grass-roots movement of mercy, justice and compassion, more decibels may just solidify the opposition’s resistance to our position on social issues.
Are Christians winning the culture war today? Name a moral issue that the church and Christians haven’t already lost, or appear likely to lose soon.
A Better Weapon to Fight the Culture War
The air war has failed. Christianity has suffered tremendous collateral damage from years of dropping verbal bombs.
Jesus waged a ground war first of love and service to non-believers, then swooped in to fight an air war with the gospel message once the ground war had sufficiently weakened their resistance. A ground war requires the right army – prepared, trained and properly motivated for battle – in other words, Powerful Christians. Passive, Pensive and Private Christians are unfit for active duty. Only disciples are ready and willing to head to the front lines – of praying, caring and, only then, sharing.
We’re all called to strap on our boots and sling a rifle over our shoulders, ready to get our hands dirty in the ground war of loving service. People need to know what Christians are for, not what we’re against. The more we dig our heels in, the less we can connect with them – and the less they can identify with us.
What Will the Battleground Look Like?
Christians and churches face mounting obstacles in the years to come. Generating meaningful impact, material influence and positive perception will be more difficult as the following trends further unfold:
- Considering any reference to Biblical perspectives that run counter to what is viewed as socially acceptable to be hate-speak
- Inability to mention the name of Jesus in public settings, effectively eliminating His name from the “free speech” lexicon (“Jesus“ is the one word I’ve been specifically asked not to mention during a speech I’m giving later today at a public high school)
- Preventing pastors from expressing opinions from the pulpit that go against court decisions or liberal views on moral issues
- Requiring Christians to comply with laws that defy Biblical principles
- “Coming out of the closet” becoming far more applicable to Christians, particularly for kids in schools, requiring courage in the face of the stigma that label now carries with it
- Shaming of Christians in the media
- Companies refusing to hire those who do not disavow Biblical views on particular hot-button issues
- Even physical persecution of Christians will one day occur in America because Muslim population growth and conversion rates will continue to outstrip Christian birth and conversion rates, eventually giving them popular majorities in localities, cities and states
In essence Christians and churches face relegation to a corner, rarely visible in the mainstream, in the not-too-distant future. Lest you view that as impossible here in the U.S., look at Western Europe where similar internal-focus on the part of churches and social trends led to that same inevitable outcome.
How Can We Win the Culture War?
Christ’s church will prevail. With increased persecution will likely come greater resolve. Churches will begin to produce more Powerful Christians. Lukewarm, on the fence churchgoers won’t persevere when challenges come their way. Those conditioned for comfort and “consumption” will have some tough decisions to make. Many passive, pensive and private Christians will run and hide – too afraid to speak or act. Only true disciples of Jesus Christ will endure the trials by fire – willing to take a stand, refusing to back down when threats to their faith increase. Only those whose lives are changed can change lives. The good news is it took just a few disciples of Jesus to reverse the course of history.
Winning the culture war will require:
- Redefining “Church” – Seeing ourselves as the church personified and no longer relying on pastors as the “professionals” responsible for bringing non-believers to Christ
- Following Jesus’ model – Realizing the importance of linking actions with words
- Taking Ground – Masses of Christians infiltrating their spheres of influence with the love and good news of Jesus Christ
A fully trained and effective army that cares and shares could turn the tide of how Christians are viewed in America. If society begins to see the love of Jesus through the compassion of Christians, a new generation of believers will emerge from the ground up to one day occupy those mountain-top positions. However, continued efforts to take over the 7 mountains from the top down will further diminish the influence and perception of the church and Christianity, paving the way for the mounting challenges to our faith.