The Culture War, Be a Culture Warrior (1 Chronicles 12:32; James 4:4; 1 Thess. 5:21-22)

The Culture War, Be a Culture Warrior (1 Chronicles 12:32; James 4:4; 1 Thess. 5:21-22)

We are at war. Whether or not you realize it, we are at war. We are not in a physical war, but a spiritual and cognitive war. We are in a war that has to do with our thinking. Our war has more to do with our worldview. A worldview has to do with where we get our values from. How do we know right from wrong? How do we view the world? Think about it?

  • What is wrong with the world?
  • Why do we need police?
  • Why is stealing wrong? Without the Bible, how do we answer this question?
  • Why do we need order?
  • Why do we need government?
  • What is the purpose of marriage? When was the first marriage?
  • What is the purpose of work? Why do we need to work? Is everyone supposed to work?
  • Why do we have problems and how do we help those in need?
  • What do we do with people who are a drain on society?
  • What is right? What is wrong? Why?

I want to submit to you that we can only find adequate answers to those questions from the Bible. Without the Bible we are lost. I want to talk about a Biblical worldview.

So, my challenge to you today is:

Be a Culture Warrior.

  1. What is a worldview?
    1. A worldview is how one views the world. We all have a worldview.
    2. Most do not recognize their worldview. Our worldview is under the surface, but it is there.
    3. What comes into your mind when you think about something reflects your worldview.
    4. What comes into your mind when you hear the term abortion reflects your worldview.
    5. What comes into your mind when you hear the word “same-sex marriage” reflects your worldview.
    6. How you cope with death reflects your worldview.
    7. What you think about work and worship and church and governance reflects your worldview.
    8. What we see in the Bible is that God created everything good. We see that in Genesis 1 and 2. Then in Genesis 3 sin entered the world.
    9. We live in a fallen world.
    10. In the Gospels we see redemption. Jesus has redeemed us, but the world is still fallen. The world is not restored yet.
    11. A Biblical worldview goes in this order: creation-fall-redemption-restoration. The world is redeemed, but not restored.
  2. Fight the fight.
    1. There is a fight. Acknowledge it. Chuck Colson writes the following:
    2. Philosopher Richard Weaver has it right in the title of his well-known book: Ideas have consequences.[1] It is the great ideas that inform the mind, fire the imagination, move the heart, and shape a culture. History is little more than the recording of the rise and fall of the great ideas—the worldviews—that form our values and move us to act.[2]
    3. The culture war is not just about abortion, homosexual rights, or the decline of public education. These are only the skirmishes. The real war is a cosmic struggle between worldviews—between the Christian worldview and the various secular and spiritual worldviews arrayed against it. This is what we must understand if we are going to be effective both in evangelizing our world today and in transforming it to reflect the wisdom of the Creator.[3]
    4. The world is divided not so much by geographic boundaries as by religious and cultural traditions, by people’s most deeply held beliefs—by worldviews. So argued the distinguished Harvard scholar Samuel Huntington in a celebrated article a few years ago.[4] And Christians would agree. Because we are religious creatures, our lives are defined by our ultimate beliefs more sharply than by any other factor. The drama of history is played out along the frontiers of great belief systems as they ebb and flow.[5]
    5. Huntington predicted a clash between the worldviews of three major traditional civilizations: the Western world, the Islamic world, and the Confucian East. But one of his former students, political scientist James Kurth, took issue with him, contending that the most significant clash would be within Western civilization itself—between those who adhere to a Judeo-Christian framework and those who favor postmodernism and multiculturalism.[6],[7]
    6. We could go deeper with those thoughts and we will in the coming weeks. For today. I urge you, recognize the struggle and fight it.
    7. Understand the dichotomy between the world’s ways and God’s ways (James 4:4).
    8. James 4:4 says this: You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
      1. So, we must recognize that being a friend of the world makes us an enemy with God.
      2. We cannot have both. God’s ways are right, not the world’s ways.
  • Recognize this and fight the tendencies to go the way of the world.
  1. Test everything (1 Thess 5:21).
    1. 1 Thess. 5:21 says this: But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good…
    2. This means we must test, or examine, everything.
    3. We will talk more about this when we get to the applications, but for now, when you have television on, test the message. Don’t just watch a movie and let it feed you messages without them being examined.
    • Realize the affluence portrayed in television can be just as destructive as sexual immorality.
    1. Realize if you teach your children to maintain sexual purity and wait on sex until marriage but allow them to be entertained by media with co-habiting couples and sexual relationships that is teaching them contrary to your teaching.
    2. Realize, if you are teaching your children about God and the spiritual life but their schools and their media are teaching that they are accidents that evolved, that will pull them away from God.
    3. Test/examine everything.
    • We test with the Bible. We test with the Biblical Worldview. Let the Bible be your glasses, your corrective lenses to properly see the world.
    1. Abstain from every form of evil (1 Thess. 5:22).
  1. 1 Thess. 5:22 reads like this: abstain from every form of evil.
    1. This means to abstain from every form of evil. This is not apparent evil, but real evil.
    2. To do this we must test everything first.
    3. To test/examine everything we must know God’s Word.
  2. Study culture (1 Chron. 12:32).
    1. 1 Chron. 12:32 says this: Of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their kinsmen were at their command.
    2. This means we cannot ignore things. We should be like the men of Issachar.
    3. Study, test, examine, abstain. Cling to the Biblical worldview.
  • Apply:
    • We must test everything (1 Thess 5:21).
      • This means that we must understand that every article, every movie, every book, every teacher, every institution, every politician, and every other form of entertainment, or influence has a worldview. This worldview needs to be tested. Most of the time this worldview does not line up with the Christian worldview.
        • Think of the worldview of a show on Smithsonian.
        • I have been watching Aerial America with my kids. When they bring up evolutionary content, I must pause it and talk with them about it.
  • But what about more innocent things? What about Christmas programs about Santa Claus? I must pause the program and talk with them about the real meaning of Christmas.
  • Many of our world’s Christmas movies are NOT at all about Jesus. That does not mean we can’t enjoy them, it just means we must recognize that and make our focus on Jesus.
  • We must test everything with the Bible.
  • We must teach our children to test everything too.
  • This means that we must first study the Bible.
  • Secondly, this means that we must study culture. we cannot put our head in the sand.
  • We must test the movies and shows our children watch.
  • We must test the books our children read.
  • We must test the books we read or listen to.
  • We must test the news media that we are listening to, reading, or watching.
  • We must test the politicians that we vote for. We must remember the lesser of two evils is still evil.
  • We must test the music our children listen to.
  • We must test the schools our children are taught at.
  • We must test the teachers influencing our children.
  • We must test the games our children play.
  • We must test everything.
  • We must abstain from every form of evil (1 Thess 5:22).
    • This means real evil, not apparent evil.
    • As we test, we must prayerfully discern when to abstain. When it is black and white evil it must be abstained from.
    • When the purpose of the movie or the book is evil, we must abstain.
    • This requires the test.
    • This requires NOT making excuses.
  • Like the men of Issachar, we must study to understand the times in order to know what to do (1 Chronicles 12:32).
    • This means that we cannot bury our head in the sand.
    • We must offset bad news with the good news of the Gospel.
    • We must rejoice in the Lord (Phil. 4:4).
    • We must remember where our hope is.
  • We must recognize the dichotomy between the world’s ways and God’s ways (James 4:4).
    • This must be first.
    • We must recognize the world’s ways are not right. God’s ways are right.
    • We must NOT be content with the world.

Close:

Here is your challenge: This week live out 1 Thess. 5:21, test everything. Think about every form of media and the message it is telling you. See what you come up with.

But let me come back to the questions which I began with. As I said, we can only find adequate answers from the Bible. Let me give references to these questions. You can look up the references later.

  • What is wrong with the world?
    • In Genesis 3 sin entered the world.
    • A Biblical worldview goes in this order: creation-fall-redemption-restoration. The world is redeemed, but not restored.
  • Why do we need police?
    • In my opinion, we need police because we live in a fallen world.
    • Things were created good, but creation fell in Genesis 3.
    • Because of the fall we need government, we need police, we need the military, and we need law and order.
  • Why is stealing wrong? Without the Bible, how do we answer this question?
    • In my opinion, God gave us morality. God gave us right from wrong. The Ten Commandments put the morality in writing (Exodus 20:15).
    • There is no way to know right from wrong apart from the Bible. We could argue that common sense says that stealing is wrong, and I agree; however, where did we get the common sense? God gave us that morality.
    • God gave us a moral standard and that is written in His Word.
  • Why do we need order?
    • Again, Genesis 3 says that we live in a fallen world.
    • However, even in the Garden of Eden God commanded Adam to tend it (Genesis 2:15).
  • Why do we need government?
    • I answered this above.
    • We live in a fallen world (Genesis 3).
    • It does seem that there will be a type of government in the New Jerusalem, but that will then not be because of sin, but for responsibility and order.
    • Romans 13:1-7 talks of the need for government. Also, Exodus-Deuteronomy is setting up governance for Israel.
  • What is the purpose of marriage? When was the first marriage?
    • The first marriage was in Genesis 2.
    • The purpose of marriage was, and remains, companionship (Gen. 2:18) and reproduction (Gen. 1:28). That is somewhat over-simplifying things, but the point is, from the Bible, there was a purpose in marriage. Man and woman complement one-another for a purpose.
    • Marriage was the first institution. Marriage preceded government. We had one family and marriage was their governance. Then we had many families and we needed common governance.
  • What is the purpose of work? Why do we need to work? Is everyone supposed to work?
    • In Genesis 2:15 God gave Adam purpose prior to the fall.
    • In 2 Thess 3:10 we are told if one does not work they shall not eat.
    • Clearly, the Bible tells us to help those in need. Throughout Deuteronomy and the Old Testament the widows, the orphans, and caring for those in need repeatedly comes up.
    • In Acts 6, Paul instructs them to take care of those in need. 1 Timothy 5 Paul instructs on the care of widows.
  • Why do we have problems and how do we help those in need?
    • Again, we have a sin problem and that has made all of creation fallen (Romans 8:19-22).
    • We are told to love God and love people. We are told to help our enemies (Luke 10; Romans 12:14ff).
  • What do we do with people who are a drain on society?
    • Serve them, help them.
    • If we are all created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27), and if God is the creator (see Psalm 139), we do not have the right to take life.
  • What is right? What is wrong? Why?
    • The metanarrative of Scripture teaches this.
    • The Bible is a metanarrative, this means it is a grand story, made up of smaller stories.
    • The Bible teaches the “why” as well.

Seek the Lord, test everything.

Prayer

[1] Richard M. Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984).

[2] Colson, Charles. How Now Shall We Live? (p. 18). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

[3] Colson, Charles. How Now Shall We Live? (p. 18). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

[4] Samuel Huntington, “The Clash of Civilizations,” Journal of Foreign Affairs (summer 1993): 22. Huntington identified the major power blocs as the Western, Islamic, Chinese, Hindu, Orthodox, Japanese, and possibly African regions.

Colson, Charles. How Now Shall We Live? (p. 494). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

[5] Colson, Charles. How Now Shall We Live? (p. 19). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

[6] James Kurth, “The Real Clash of Civilization,” Washington Times, 4 October 1994.

[7] Colson, Charles. How Now Shall We Live? (p. 19). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

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