5 Culture Wars Jesus Wouldn’t Fight

By Danielle Hance

The Bible says our battle is not against flesh and blood but against the spiritual strongholds of evil (Ephesians 6:12). However, more and more, it seems like Christians are known for their attacks on those who don’t follow a “Christian” lifestyle.

As Christians, we should definitely be in the world and not of it, but that does not give us the right to tell anyone what to do, since we are all sinners in need of God’s forgiveness.

Consequences of the Brexit between England and ScotlandConsidering that God himself, who has every right to judge, did not send Jesus to condemn the world but to save it (John 3:17), I would argue that Jesus would not fight any culture wars.

In the absence of sticks and stones, I believe words, Facebook rants, and protests can still have damaging effects on those inside and outside of the church. Here are five culture wars I believe Jesus wouldn’t fight.

Refugees

It seems like most of the arguments for keeping refugees out center around keeping our country safe. However, Christians seem to forget Jesus was once a refugee from Israel, and that Jesus’ appearance might cause him to be racially profiled in today’s volatile, ISIS-rocked worked, and possibly even refused entry into our country.

Jesus says that whatever we did for the “least of these,” we did for him, and if all we are doing is trying to keep refugees out, we’re not exactly welcoming Jesus.

Immigration

The idea of building a wall to keep out our southern neighbors has gained popularity this election season. However, the message of the gospel says Jesus came to destroy the dividing wall of hostility between Jews and Gentiles and make the two one. Throughout the Bible, the message of interdependence teaches us that looking out for each other’s well-being helps both of us. By working together to address immigration, cartels, and poverty, we can bring more health to both nations.

Political Affiliation

The “religious right” has become synonymous with Christian. However, Christians should remember Jesus was not a political leader. He was more concerned about reforming hearts than reforming policies.

For example, consider the story of Zacchaeus, the tax collector. The experience with Jesus’ love and acceptance caused the short-statured man to give back what he had unjustly taken.

Abortion

The Bible definitely values life in all of its stages (Psalm 139), and Jesus himself came into this world as an embryo, but how do we best stand for life?

Even in Jesus’ day, there were plenty of life-destroying practices, yet Jesus didn’t storm around with a sign in his hand. Rather, he took a stand to protect sinners who were being condemned. For example, he saved the life of the woman caught in adultery.

How could we save the lives of those who have or might have abortions? Perhaps the church could overcome evil with good by providing aftercare and investing resources in neighborhoods where abortions are commonplace.

LGBTQ Rights

Christians are divided on how to view deviation from heterosexual norms, and debates happen inside and outside the church. Regardless of our view of homosexuality and transgenderism, we need to approach the topics with caution and grace.

The LGBTQ community is a small and vulnerable group, and many of us who haven’t struggled with our sexual identity can’t relate to how they feel. But all of us struggle against sin, and we are called to extend love and grace to each other.

So how are Christians to respond to a world that seems to be becoming more and more un-Christian? Are we to just stand by on the sidelines?

I am not advocating for silence, but for love in relationship. If we are friends with “sinners,” the Holy Spirit living in us will help us to influence them, which often leads to repentance and change that doesn’t result from our judgment. That’s what Jesus did. When sinners experienced Jesus’ love, they chose to turn from their sin and follow him without our Lord needing to point it out.

The problem is when our words (or the words of the loudest voices who claim Christianity) cause those outside the church to avoid Christians. How then are we to love them?

Danielle Hance, a former missionary, is a preschool Spanish teacher, freelance writer, and translator residing in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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3 Comments

  1. Pastor Bob Curry
    October 14, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    I can’t believe Miss Hance was even allowed to write an article for the Christian Standard. If this view is the view of the Standard (without allowing a rebuttal) I am deeply disappointed. Her views miss the mark of Christ totally. “Go and leave your life of sin,” he said to the woman caught in adultery. It is because the Church has been silent for so long with the very same opinions expressed in this article that we now find ourselves in this foolish quandary. Sin is sin. And if Jesus would have only saved the woman from being stoned and said nothing about her sin she would not have known of the saving grace. We as a church need to stand up and love people but warn them as well. That is our responsibility. Because if we don’t do it, who in the world will?

  2. Scott Compton
    October 15, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    Pastor Curry, I feel sorry for your community. They are not getting the whole Gospel from you. Before we can call people to repentance we must first show them love and acceptance. This is what Jesus did. Note that BEFORE He said “Go and leave your life of sin,” He said “Neither do I condemn you.” We must first accept people for who they are (as Jesus did) and show them the love and forgiveness of God. Then, and only then, can they be called to “leave their life of sin.” Note Matthew 13:24-30. It is not our job to decide who is and is not obedient to God (yes, I know, “by their fruits…..”). That is God’s job. OUR job is to be a channel of Jesus’ love and forgiveness, and to share the Good News with those who will listen.

  3. October 17, 2016 at 5:26 am

    “Regardless of our view of homosexuality and transgenderism”…?

    You write as if somehow it’s not clear what we should believe about those things.

    Our view should be that sexual deviates are lost, confused, & hurt people who need to be shown mercy & grace.

    And homosexuals need to be confronted with the truth that God opposes all sex outside of marriage between a man & a woman.

    And transgenders need Biblical counseling.

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