On Giving Up in the Culture Wars: Nope.

The term “culture wars” is an embarrassment to the pietists in the Evangelical camp (a very large number). As long as the numbers are up, please read your Bibles, pray, and above all, don’t call down shame upon sin, especially sin such as this:

 

 

disposable human

 

James 2:14–26 (ESV)

14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

There must be more than calling this sin–but calling this sinful and an abomination cannot be avoided.. Strong rescue and saving measures must be taken, illegally if need be. Laws must be promoted and passed. Politicians who support abortion must be singled out, be they fiscal conservative or liberal. The Christian view of life must again be imposed upon those who have thrown off the yoke of God’s Law, if this is the Father’s world. He has never abdicated His rule. Personal salvation is a promise, but not the only reason that God takes interest in His creation.

Denying the reality and necessity of a “culture war” (spiritual war, actually) is a naïveté beneath the thinking Christian.

Article about this photo here.

On Trans-everything. A Summary from Douglas Groothuis

“I am nearly sixty years old. I have been studying, writing about, and teaching about culture, philosophy, theology, and art diligently and for decades. I have never seen the revolt against God-given categories of being as we are seeing now. Men identify as women. Women identify as men. Whites identify as blacks. The healthy identify as disabled. Most of these bogus identifications require expensive self-mutilation.

The explanation for all of this sad perversity is simple. Without the knowledge of God, one does not know one’s true identity. If God is dead in our experience, law, traditions, then human beings are no longer reckoned as made in the image of that God. Rather, we are made (and re-made) in the image of ourselves. This contradiction leads to abysmal elasticity. X identifies as Y. So what? What is the basis for this re-identification? It is the self, untrammeled by reality or morality. This is “the protean self” of Robert Jay Lifton from 25 years ago. Yet he had no idea what the extent and depth of the protean spell might be. We do. God says:

All who hate me love death (Proverbs 8:36).”

Douglas Groothuis

Douglas Groothuis

The Christian Alternative to Humanistic Moralism

Ephesians 4:28 (ESV)

28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.

Aside from 2:11, this is the first set of imperatives in Ephesians, and there are many from here to the end of the book. 4:25 may represent the actual “practical” section of the book more than 4:1.

Note also that this section begins the practical application of 4:17-24: for example, the thief, in taking off the old self and being renewed, puts on something else. Also, the thief, rather than being merely reformed in his behaviour, goes further than the world does (in merely desiring him to cease stealing), but employs himself, and that for the good of others. Humanistic thinking is satisfied with the former thief’s employment to cease to be a burden to society, but a thief renewed in the spirit of his mind will employ himself beyond that to be benevolent to others. This stands, therefore, in sharp contrast to humanistic schemes of charity and benevolence. The one seeks only a an outward change to a minimum standard; the other demonstrates the outworking of a new creation.

It may also be noted that the thief is encouraged to work, not simply to supply his own needs, but to share with those in need. The common word for “give” (didomi) occurs almost 700 times in the New Testament. But there is another form of this word, “to share” (metadidomi). This form occurs five times in the New Testament and is variously translated, “contribute, impart, share.”

This is the kind of application that is true Christianity, and not religious moralism.

The idea that the thief should work so that his earnings may be confiscated by the state (taxed), to be given to others, is foreign to the New Testament order. Sharing is not of compulsion, but is the action of a renewed heart toward one in need. The one who shares is in the position to see a need, and act upon it out of love; the state is unable to determine the difference between true need and sloth, and is too willing to give the property of others to those who are not in need. To often Christians mistakenly view compassion outsourced to the state as real compassion, when this is actually foreign to the teachings of Christ and the Apostles. –SJ