Why We’re Losing The Culture
- We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution is designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for any other. -President John Adams
As I take notice of the ever increasing secularization of the American culture, I can’t help but feel somewhat responsible for what is taking place. How often as a Christian have I viewed my vote, and politics in general, as the way to affect change within the American culture? I know I’m not the only one who’s given in to the idea that America can get back to it’s Judeo-Christian roots if we elect a Christian-Conservative who will uphold the constitution and fight for biblical morality. While I would still like to see America return to its Judeo-Christian values, what I realize is that culture influences politics not the other way around. We are witnessing a morally bankrupt culture that no longer desires to be a nation under God. Have we, who are Christians in America, dropped the ball in engaging the American culture with the gospel, the only means for changing the hearts of people and impacting culture around us?
In the book “Total Truth”, author Nancy Pearcey, shares this statement from a member of Congress who got into politics after the early 70’s believing it was the fastest route to moral reform, ” Well, we’ve won some legislative victories, but we’ve lost the culture. The most effective work is done by ordinary Christians fulfilling God’s calling to reform culture within their local spheres of influence–their families, churches, schools, neighborhoods, workplaces, professional organizations, and civic institutions…in order to effect lasting change, we need to develop a Christian worldview.”
The Barna Research Group conducted a survey in 2009 to examine changes in worldview among Christians over the course of 13 years. What they found was disturbing to say the least. Among Americans who identified as Christians, only 1 in 11 had a biblical worldview.
Barna defined a Biblical worldview as belief in eight propositions:
- Absolute moral truths exist.
- The Bible defines moral truth.
- Jesus Christ lived a sinless life.
- God is the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe, and He rules it today.
- Salvation is a gift from God and cannot be earned.
- Satan is real.
- Christians have a responsibility to share their faith in Christ with others.
- The Bible is accurate in all its teachings.
Worldview shapes culture and culture influences all spheres of society. We’re losing the culture because Christians no longer understand the importance of a worldview. Moreover, we no longer understand the relationship between the religious foundations America was built upon and a Christian worldview. Well-known conservative commentator, Dennis Prager, recently made a plea to conservatives who are secular. After noting his admiration for conservative writers in general, Prager went on to write,
“The vast majority of leading conservative writers, just like their liberal colleagues, have a secular outlook on life. With few exceptions, the conservative political and intellectual worlds are oblivious to the consequences of secularism. They are unaware of the disaster that godlessness in the West has led to..It shows how effective the secular indoctrination in our schools and media has been, that even the majority of conservative thinkers are not only secular themselves, but seem to have no idea how much of the American civilization rests on religious foundations.”
If we don’t come to the realization, that ultimately, the way we redeem the culture is through engaging the culture with the gospel on a micro-level, then our efforts will only lead to frustration and disappointment. We’re losing the culture but we can fight back by, “liberating the gospel from its cultural captivity, restoring it to the status of public truth”, as Nancy Pearcey so eloquently put it.
That fight begins on an individual level. My views have changed over the course of my Christian journey because I’ve had to evaluate my beliefs (marriage, motherhood, politics, education,etc) against the Word of God. I knew that I could not give my children a Christian worldview if I didn’t have one myself. Statistics show that somewhere around 88% of children raised in Christian homes are abandoning the Christian faith by the age of 18. It’s not enough to just condemn secular indoctrination, we must be able to articulate WHY we are condemning the secularization of the culture.
We also have to be more vocal within our local churches. Are churches even attempting to equip members with the necessary resources to challenge the prevailing ideologies within the culture? What we will continue to see played out in America is a war of world views. Our strategy for engaging the culture must begin with a Christian worldview. If we begin with our homes and churches, then we will be able to branch out into our communities and all other spheres of influence. My prayer is that God would give us the courage to not only fight for our country, but for Truth.
Christianity is not merely religious truth, it is total truth–truth about the whole of reality.