faith, myths

Christians, Stop Worrying About What the Culture Does!

Christians like to act like the current generation is the first to ever face a culture that is pro-abortion and pro-homosexuality.

As if no one has ever dealt with these types of problems before.  As if the world has fallen so far from the morality that once existed. As if extreme sins did not exist in past eras.

Those who say this have a very narrow view of both world history and Bible history.

Many Christians honestly think that no one before 1960 ever dealt with these issues.

They honestly believe that they need to get our country back to a “godly” or “moral” place by fighting against anything that doesn’t align with Christian values.

As if somehow we ever were godly.

As if somehow we’re owed a nation with Christian values.

Using Old Testament verses –which were not even promised to us New Testament Gentiles, but were promised to Old Testament Jews– they try to find verses that say that God will bless us if we come back to being His people.

The problem with that?

We never were “His people” –not like that.

The Israelites –the Jews– are and have always been His people.

Those promises in the Old Testament are not ours to claim.

God did not make those promises to us so we cannot claim them.

So, God does not promise to reward us as a country if we come back to Him. Those promises and the commands to fight injustice were given under the Law and in a Theocracy. We’re not a theocracy. He makes no guarantees in the New Testament that we will live in moral places.

Quite the opposite!

Anyone who studies church history knows that Christians have been persecuted, tortured, and martyred throughout history.

Anyone who studies the New Testament knows that this is all we’re guaranteed: persecution.

We are not guaranteed a safe, moral, religiously-friendly place to live.

So why do we go around fighting for that –for the right to have a moral culture?

Is that the pattern we see in scripture?

Two major issues that my generation of American Christians are fighting against are abortion and homosexuality.

Those issues existed within the Roman empire.

They absolutely did and don’t let anyone tell you that they didn’t.

Homosexuality was a big enough issue that Paul addressed it immediately in the first part of his book to the Romans.

Abortion has been around for forever. Before medical tools existed for that purpose, herbs existed that would cause an abortion.

So, if these issues existed why didn’t Paul command believers to get involved with politics?

To petition the government?

To start a rebellion and fight for morality?

If New Testament believers were going to die for their faith anyway why not go out preserving their countries with better morals for the future?

That’s American Christians’ argument: if we do nothing then our children will live in even a worse country with fewer morals than the generation before.

But does scripture ever command us to preserve our countries and cultures by trying to enforce moral laws on them?  

Do we see that pattern in the example of New Testament believers?

Did Paul try to fight against the government to change the unfair way that Christians were treated? Did he try to get the Roman empire to adopt moral laws that aligned with the Bible? Do we see him acting politically at all?

No.

We don’t see any political activism in any of the New Testament believers.

You can’t say that they failed to fight against immorality because they were afraid of the consequences. They weren’t trying to preserve their lives because the majority of those first-century believers who lived for Christ died horrible deaths!

We do see them helping individuals for the purpose of reaching them with the gospel but never in a political activist kind of way.

So why was that? Why did they not seek to influence government? What did they see as their mission?

They saw their mission to affect the hearts of men for eternity –not to create a safe place for life on this earth for Christians to live.

If you’re trying to create a safe place on this earth, you’ve missed the message of the New Testament.

The New Testament never tells us to try to create a culturally and religiously safe place for ourselves.

This is a lie that the American Christian Church has believed.

What does scripture say about the government?

1) We ought to obey it unless it is against God’s commands (even then, there’s no command to fight against the government, and we are commanded to obey the governing authority).

2) We ought to do our duty —to give what is owed– to the government. Our duty includes paying taxes, voting (when applicable), and even fighting in the military (if drafted). What’s considered your duty varies by country.

3. By Paul’s example, we know that we can ask that our legal rights be fulfilled.  Paul asked for what was legally allowed under Roman law when he asked to have his case viewed by the Emperor. Notice that he didn’t try to change the law to make it more fair. Also notice, that even with his legal rights fulfilled he was still martyred after his court case was heard. We should never expect a government made up of sinful men –which all governments are– to save us.

Jesus said to give unto Caesar what was Caesar’s, but He never said to try to change what Caesar expected or asked for.  

When He was asked about taxes, Jesus turned the conversation back around to the spiritual which is where our focus should be reminding us to give God what we owe Him.

If we’re believers, we owe God our lives.  We should not be trying to use politics to preserve our lives and our safety.

One of the true tests of faith is if you’re willing to take up your cross –meaning willing to die horribly for Jesus.

If you’re trying to use the government to preserve your safe place, that’s a pretty good litmus test for the insincerity of your faith –or at the very least an extreme misunderstanding of what the Christian faith is about.

Sometimes our motivation as Christians is good: to help people.

We are called to do good to all people, so there is nothing wrong with helping people (we can talk another time about the fact that we should be focused on helping those in the church before those outside the church).

But, we are not called to make social and political changes. That is part of a false teaching called the Social Gospel.

We’re supposed to be dying for Him, not trying to make a Christian nation.

We have believed the lie that we’re doing what God wants, that Americans are “God’s people” when the truth is that what many Christians strive for in the USA is contrary to scripture.

Christians pray for revival but what they usually mean is a cultural return to morality, not that people would truly be taking up their crosses and willing to die for Jesus.

The best thing that could happen to the church in America is persecution.

That’s what will bring true revival to the church here in the USA.

I’ve made people angry by saying that,  but it’s true.

I have actually begun praying for persecution here in the United States of America.

That’s what will grow the church. That’s how we will make an eternal difference in our world.

Persecution. It’s actually good for the church!

More people will come to Christ through watching our faith under persecution than ever come to Him through moral laws.

But most people who claim the name of Christ are so busy worrying about the temporal, earthly things like politics and cultural changes that they’ve lost sight of the eternal issues.

This is why I vote, but I’m not politically active –much to the frustration of many Christians around me.

I’ve been accused of turning my back on Christ because I won’t get politically involved to stop abortion. Or because I won’t picket against men in women’s bathrooms. Or any number of religiously-motivated political activisms.

But that’s never been the job of a Christian.

If it had been then we would have seen the church in the New Testament fighting against all the injustice in their time –like the Coliseum in Rome where countless slaves were murdered for entertainment and where many Christians breathed their last, mauled by wild animals.

What you never, ever hear in the New Testament is believers whining that it’s unfair.

They never cry out for the preservation of their rights or their lives or even for their children’s future.

It’s simply not what we’re called to do as believers.  

Why is a Christian not to try to make moral changes?

Because if we can help unbelievers see their spiritual need, their morality will change along with their changed life in Christ. Just changing their moral behavior doesn’t help their souls. It only makes sense to do that if you believe a false version of Christianity where you can earn your way to heaven by goodness which is what many Americans believe.

We should be concerned about the eternal, not about changing this earth for our own benefit.

Just changing the outward behavior is not helpful for their soul and causes the false sense of spiritual security that we see prevalent in the USA today.

Seventy percent of the US population claims some kind of Christianity (the number is only about forty-six percent if you remove cultic groups and various versions of Catholicism).  I am certain that most of these –even what we would think of as bible believing people– do not believe an accurate, biblical view of this topic. I would guess that most of them are not truly saved even if they claim to know Christ.

Most of American Christians have a twisted view of Scripture. If you doubt me, take a look at this article about Moral Therapeutic Deism, and see if you recognize today’s church in the description.

People don’t need moral reform; they need Jesus to make them alive spiritually.

That’s what we’re called to do.

We’re called to be a light in this world, even willing to die for Jesus.

Even by our deaths, we can point people to Jesus.

We’re called to witness, tell about the hope we have, show people Jesus, and then train them up in His way, in discipleship.

The fact that we’ve done so poorly in the discipleship of believers is part of the reason that the majority of the American Christian population believes that they’re here to change the political climate to better reflect the Bible’s moral rules. 

The church has fallen down on the job.

Join me in praying for persecution to come to the American church so that we can weed out false teaching, false believers, and have a good testimony again! 

Join me.

If you dare.

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes

PS I highly recommend reading Foxe’s Book of Martyrs (Affiliate link) for more information on dying for your faith and the brave believers who have gone before us.

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