Friday, July 10, 2015

Is the Culture War a Lost Cause?

From The Imaginative Conservative:
Those of us who are Christians face tough times ahead as we strive to live out our lives conforming to Christ’s twin commandments to love God and neighbor. David Brooks, writing in The New York Times, offers us some advice on how to proceed with the culture wars. He suggests that we have lost the war pertaining to the issues of the sexual revolution: sodomy, abortion, sex outside of marriage, etc. Claiming that he stands to the left of faithful Christians on social issues, Mr. Brooks says, “I would just ask them to consider a change in course. Consider putting aside … a culture war that has alienated large parts of three generations from any consideration of religion or belief. Put aside an effort that has been a communications disaster, reducing a rich, complex and beautiful faith into a public obsession with sex. Put aside a culture war that, at least over the near term, you are destined to lose.”

Mr. Brooks goes onto suggest that we instead ought to focus on going out into communities to make them better places. He recommends that “social conservatives could be the people who help reweave the sinews of society.” He advises that we “build community institutions in places where they are sparse.” While he admits that he doesn’t expect social conservatives to change their positions on sex, he avers that “the sexual revolution will not be undone anytime soon.” He concludes that the “more practical struggle is to repair a society rendered atomized, unforgiving and inhospitable.” Though Mr. Brooks tries to couch his plea in a kind of spirituality, he is speaking here of utilitarian ends, doing what might work instead of attempting to meet an ideal that seems impossible.

By all appearances the culture wars concerning the sexual revolution are indeed lost, but this is wrong judgement; God doesn’t judge by appearances, and Christians must not either.

Mr. Brooks’ advice is deeply misguided, but attractively so by its appeal to practicality, pathos and pride. His culture-war plan is not for Christians but for those wishing to obtain the peace of the world and human respect. The truths of Christ alienate souls steeped in vice. The saints also offended people by their holy witness, but their actions were properly understood to be grounded in love. It is not the fault of the saints that most people are turned off by the truths of the faith, yet it is still their duty to speak the truth with love. To abandon Christ’s call to witness to the fullness of truth because disordered souls are feeling alienated is un-Christian. Christians can give no thought as to whether or not the Gospel message is a “communications disaster.” Christ’s own words about eating his flesh and drinking his blood were a communications disaster that alienated nearly everyone who had ever known Him, and He was abandoned by all but those very closest to Him. (Read more.)
Via A Conservative Blog for Peace. Share

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