Christians have became so comfortable in America that we began feeling “persecuted” simply by people who didn’t agree with us. Granted, over the last 50 years things have changed significantly, but nothing like what’s happening in so many countries around the world where Christians literally fight for their lives. As a result, far too often we tilt at windmills, and lash out that things that don’t really pose a threat, but make us feel like we’re standing up for “Christian culture” (whatever that is.)
But boycotting companies that say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” hasn’t changed anything.
Picketing outside movies studios that make films we don’t like just made them more successful.
Sending mass mailings to TV networks hasn’t changed their programming.
As a result of years fighting battles that raise money but don’t really accomplish much, most believers aren’t actually equipped or ready for the real battles with a hostile culture as other generations of Christians have been.
In our book “The Way Back: How Christians Blew Our Credibility and How We Get It Back,” Jonathan Bock and I outline many of the poor ideas we Christians have attempted for impacting a culture that’s been constantly changing. But it’s not about just doing battle, it’s about being smart and strategic. Remember Matthew 10:16 – “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” Jesus Himself was brilliant at completely dumbfounding the hypocritical leaders of His day.
In the 21st Century, Christians need to be smarter than the antagonistic culture we face. We need to stop looking at everything and everyone as “the enemy,” and start recognizing who the enemy really is and act appropriately. In the meantime, we also need to start thinking more deeply.
Instead of spending so much money and effort to criticize everyone else, let’s raise up a generation of Christians who are artists, filmmakers, politicians, journalists, leaders, and others who can work from the inside. Being successful at that approach will take much more than anger – it will take brains and it will take time.
But the results could be far greater than simply standing on the outside being critical.
Photo by Lily Banse on Unsplash