Culture Warrior or Disciple?

The Internet Monk’s latest post deserves more than just a bullet in my overnight links.

Michael Spencer describes “Bob”, a man he met this past summer. Bob is “a very dedicated conservative evangelical, and a pleasant enough fellow….when he [isn’t] angry.”

Bob was your stereotypical culture war evangelical. He was a Jesus follower, but his passion was what was going on in America, particularly the issues we broadly call the culture war: atheistic advances in the public schools, restrictions on Christian practice in the public square, the aggressive agenda of homosexual rights advocates.

Bob was obviously devoted to Christian and conservative media, particularly radio. He believed what he heard. Dobson. Point of View. 700 Club.

We all know people like this. We all get multitudinous email forwards from people like this. Some of us are people like this, or have those tendencies. And here’s iMonk’s word for us:

Go live like a disciple.

It’s hard to say this, but Bob isn’t seeing the big picture. Our American culture war is not worth the demise of authentic discipleship. Trading following Christ in love, even in post-Christian times, for fighting and defensiveness, is a bad trade. Bob is frightened. Our faith says “Fear not.” Bob says prepare to fight. Our faith says prepare to love.

I am particularly impressed that these days should call us together in real community, not separate us according to Christian media audience niche. There are some helpful voices out there in the culture war, but I’d like to suggest that it’s time to listen to your pastor- assuming he’s showing you how to follow Jesus- more than James Dobson or some angrier, more paranoid manipulator of fear.

You should really go read the whole article. Good, good stuff. Amen.

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