I remember the first time I heard someone address the futility of a culture war when my pastor Roy Hicks, Jr. said, “You can put a Christian in every position from the local dog catcher to the White House and you will still only have a world system.” I went away from that conversation asking myself what I was missing in the larger scheme of things.
Roy’s comment helped me realize the primary work of the Church is to expand the Kingdom, not to regulate the lives of those in culture. Vote your conscience and your understanding of scripture, but never allow a set back to that understanding rob you of the peace that comes when we realize God knows what He is doing, no matter what takes place in culture.
For the last 35 years, I have watched some within the Church attempt to fight a culture war. This call to arms has been an alarm sounded under the tone of patriotism and biblical integrity. Patriotism and biblical integrity are good, but only when aligned with and in submission to the heart of God. The Pharisees were patriotic to their concept of nationalism, but they missed the heart of God. They thought they had God and His word all figured out and any understanding of scripture apart from their narrow interpretation was a lie. This made them want to kill Jesus and the message He proclaimed. Jesus never fought a culture war – ever. He did challenge those in the religious community who felt their version of truth was the only one worth believing.
It is time to return to the simplicity of the Gospel because fighting these never-ending culture wars will drain us of our limited energy and resources and have us frantically shooting at the latest hot-button target within the culture. In this kind of battle the Church can appear desperate instead of triumphant.