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Caught In The Crossfire Of The Culture War

One of my favorite passages in all of Scripture entails the encounter between the Apostle Paul and Caesar. After months of protest the baby church was able to focus on what was really important. If Christianity was ever going to be recognized as more than just a branch of Judaism it would need to make a splash in the political arena. Hence, the great Apostle Paul worked his way to the top and finally, after much hardship, he had his opportunity to pass the legislation that would give all Christians a tax cut. For if Christians kept on giving to the Empire the church would suffer financially. Paul, being the great political activist that he was, not only got the tax cut but also was able to get orgies outlawed in all of Judea. Oh wait, that never happened …

Maybe I am wrong but why does it seem that the Fundamentalist moralization of our country is the antithesis to what the Gospel message is really about? Isn’t the Gospel the “Good News” that though we have all messed up and sinned, our price has been paid by Christ and we can now be reconciled to God? The attempt of the moral majority to purify our nation of sins has some major flaws. First it practically denies that the moral majority themselves are just in much in need of a Savior as the pro-choice, pro-gay rights activist that they war against. Second, Israel was the only theocracy. The United States may have Christian roots, but we are not God’s chosen nation. God’s people and Americans are not synonymous. Third, I do not find it apostolic to Christianize our country.

Some may respond, “Yeah, well the Apostles also didn’t use televangelism, the Internet, magazines and so forth.” I agree but this is attacking a false premise. I am not arguing methodology but instead purpose. Remember, I am asking questions here. I am just wondering if it is our job as the Church to purify society through legislation. It just seems like we are maybe losing focus. Even if every American wasn’t allowed to drink alcohol, have homosexual relationships and abort their children, would we have accomplished anything as far as eternity is concerned?

The reason I feel I am in a cross fire is because I do believe abortion is wrong. I don’t think homosexuality is a right choice. I don’t use alcohol or drugs. It saddens me that young ladies across my country are aborting their children. If I could I would open a massive orphanage and take them all in but that isn’t reality. I wish everyone could experience fulfillment in a monogamous heterosexual relationship. I have seen my friends make a fool of themselves under the influence of drugs and alcohol. But do I try to stop them by going to the courts? Do I focus on their sins and try to keep them from living the way they do? And if I am here to be on the purity patrol what do I do about my own secret sins? The logical conclusion is that I would soon find myself a legalistic moralizer who missed the boat and intent of the Christian message.

How about this? Instead of trying to fix something that was paid for at Calvary maybe I could introduce them to the One who paid the price for all of our shortcomings? Yeah, I would love to see abortion cease; I would also like to see every bit of my own lust, bitterness and selfishness disappear. That isn’t going to happen, so instead I take my faults to Christ.

Imagine what would happen if the next time some young girl found herself pregnant she was comforted and loved by caring Christians? Even if she went through with the abortion, she may find herself interested in the Christ represented by the loving Christians that cared more about her as a person than they did about her being perfect.

If the Christian community is ever going to shed the image portrayed in movies like Saved! then they are going to have to go back to the example set by their Master and look past peoples sins and reach them were they are at.

Yeah, I am caught in the crossfire of a culture war. On one side I find myself opposing my fellow Christians in the way they attack others. Then on the other side, I agree with the Christian worldview of what it right and wrong. So, what do I do? I will try to live out who I am supposed to be. While the Holy Spirit works on me, I am starting to realize that if it weren’t for God’s grace I wouldn’t have a chance. That is the only message I know— God’s grace. Sorry moral majority, I won’t be attending the gay marriage protest this weekend.

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[Brian LePort is working on his BA in Theology with the help of Starbucks coffee. He has recently been elected Student Body President and he does administrative work at his church, the San Francisco Lighthouse]

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