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If You’re Fighting the Culture War, You’re Losing

A new Christian consortium, dedicated to preserving religious liberty, is promoting its mission with militaristic imagery and language. The group’s website uses terms like “battle,” “fighters,” and “war.” It’s clear the founders of this organization see themselves as being on the front lines of the conflict for the soul of our nation. They’re proud participants in the ongoing culture war.
To some, this approach may seem legitimate. After all, in the struggle for dominance between polarized groups, only one side can emerge victoriously—and it isn’t the side that refuses to fight.
The question we must ask is this: Is a warlike posture the proper response to an increasingly anti-Christian society? Does such an approach represent the “wisdom that comes down from above,” or the wisdom that is “earthly, unspiritual, [and] demonic” (James 3:13–18)?
All’s Fair in Love and Culture War
The problem with the culture-war approach is not that it (rightly) discerns opposition from the world. The problem is in the chosen mode of response.
By embracing the culture-war paradigm, many Christians adopt—likely inadvertently—an “all’s fair in love and war” perspective. After all, in a war you don’t turn the other cheek; you strike back as hard, or harder, than your opponent. That’s how wars are won.
And so we employ battle tactics we normally would not find defensible:
We express outrage over every new infraction we see in the news
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