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Christianity and Culture

There are ten basic principles which reveal why humanism is now the dominant force in the United States. These ten principles must be grasped by Christians in order for them to understand why humanism has gained the upper hand.

  1. A person’s beliefs, values and morals will always be reflected in the way that person lives. His life style will reflect his beliefs.
    This law of life is taught in the Scriptures in such places as Pro. 23:7 and Matt. 12:33-37. Those who believe that they are only animals will generally live like one. Those who believe that they are the children of God and are called upon by God to take dominion over the earth will live in accordance with that idea.
  2. The Scriptures command us to judge people on the basis of how they live.
    When Jesus said in Matt. 7:1, “Judge not lest you be judged,” He was referring to the hypocrisy of the Pharisees who condemned people for doing certain sins that they themselves were actually doing (Matt. 7:5). When Jesus was speaking to His own disciples He told them to “judge righteous judgement” (John 7:24). We are called upon in Scripture to identify and to reject false prophets (Deut. 18:21, 22; Matt. 7:15-23). Paul warns us concerning those who would claim to be Christians but their lifestyle refutes that claim (Gal. 5:19-21). John tells us to identify people who live in disobedience to God’s Word as “liars” if they claim to be Christians (I John 2:4).
  3. The culture of a nation reflects the life style of those who are involved in the culture-forming process.
    The philosophers, artists, teachers, politicians, lawyers, judges, doctors, wealthy people, the clergy, media people, etc., will lead a nation either into wickedness or righteousness. The cutting edge of a culture always sets the standard for morality and justice. This cutting edge is generally composed of the professional people of that society. Their influence far exceeds their numbers.
  4. We have the biblical responsibility to judge a culture on the basis of its laws because these laws are simply codified life styles.

    It was on this basis that the Egyptian, Canaanite and Philistine cultures were judged worthy of destruction. Paul could condemn the Cretian culture as decadent (Tit. 1:10-13). We can condemn such modern cultures as Hitler’s Third Reich or the Soviet Union.

    The concept of cultural relativism in which all cultures are to be viewed as good is condemned by Scripture. The people who usually teach the idea of cultural relativism are hypocrites because they also teach that Western or American culture is decadent and evil. They never seem to realize the contradiction between the two ideas. If all cultures are good, then how can they condemn American culture? How can they condemn Christian missionaries for spreading their culture in the Third World? Isn’t their culture good?

  5. Pre-Christian, Greek, and Roman pagan cultures codified laws supporting abortion, infanticide, child abuse, rape, suicide, incest, murder for entertainment, etc., because these things were a part of their life style.

  6. When enough Christians became involved in the culture forming process of the Roman Empire, they became the cutting edge of that culture. Their beliefs, values and morals led them to repeal pagan laws and to legislate biblical laws. Thus the state ended up forbidding the very things which the previous pagan culture had honored.

  7. Western history, in term of its culture, was basically Christian because its laws reflected the beliefs, values and morals of the Scriptures.
    Even to this day, there are many laws still on the books which reflect biblical morality. Those people who say, “You cannot legislate morality,” are absurd. Every law ever legislated was instituting somebody’s morality.
  8. Christians in the United States during the 1920’s fell into a pietistic focus on one’s personal devotion to Christ that led them to abandon the culture-forming process. It was assumed that it would be unspiritual for Christians to be involved in law, medicine, education, entertainment, government, art, etc. Their only concern was “soul winning.” This led them to abandon any attempt to influence their society for the good. This extreme separationism was in clear violation of Paul’s explicit statements in I Cor. 5:9-13.

  9. Because Christians abandoned the culture-forming process, a vacuum was created in the United States and the humanists moved into this vacuum.

    Instead of there being Christian lawyers, judges, politicians, teachers, artists, etc., Christians were only involved in evangelism or missions. The idea of “full time Christian service” meant only the clergy or missionary profession.

    The vacuum created by the retreat of the Christians was filled by the humanists. Since they were now in control of the government, public education and the media, they have begun to reinstate the laws which reflect their pagan life style. This is why the laws are changing on such issues as abortion, infanticide, mercy killing, etc. Modern humanists are putting into law what they believe.

    The historic understanding of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is now being overthrown. Modern humanists do not believe in the historic meaning of the freedom of religion. If the humanists have their way, the freedom of religion will be limited to believing what you want but not the freedom to practice it!

    As we document in The New Atheism and the Erosion of Freedom, modern humanists do not believe that Christians have the “freedom” to teach their religion to their children, witness, pass out tracts or show any public signs of religion. The only “freedom” they will allow is freedom from religion.

    Modern laws which legalize such things as abortion come from humanists who are legislating their view of morality. They are legalizing their pagan life style while trying to criminalize Christian education, church camps and orphanages, personal evangelism, Christian TV and radio programs, etc. Their understanding of religious freedom is the same as found in the Soviet Union!

  10. The only hope for Western culture is for Christians once again to take over the culture-forming process. Then when they are in control, to repeal the pagan laws and to reinstitute Christian laws. If they do not do this, modern pagans will soon be in a position to begin the same kind of persecution against the Church that their forefathers in the Roman Empire had done to the Christians earlier.
    Since it took a full generation for Christians to lose control of the culture, it will probably take another generation to win it back. So, do not be fooled by those who look for easy answers and a “quick fix.” It won’t work! If God does not send us another mighty Reformation, Western culture will die.

 

Summary

Those of you who are students will have to be the generation that takes over our culture by becoming politicians, media people, artists, lawyers and judges. The survival of Western civilization falls on your shoulders. Only you can gain control of our culture and once again institute biblical laws which make up a just and orderly society.

Questions for Discussion

  1. How is a culture formed?
  2. How did our culture become so pagan?
  3. Who allowed the humanists to take over?
  4. What is the “cutting edge” of a culture?
  5. Where do laws come from?
  6. Can you legislate morality or immorality?

Taken From How To Keep Your Faith While In College, Ch. 7