Culture Shock

I’ve written a bit about this before – how conservative Christians are going through something akin to culture shock, because the larger culture is writing our static sense of morality as a failure to stand by the Christian values of love and kindness. It’s terribly painful, the more so when we know that it isn’t true. We aren’t always NICE – but we do actually do things for those less fortunate, so we’re probably kind and loving.

But why do they attack us? Why not the Amish or Mennonites, with whom we have 90% agreement on things Scriptural? Because the Amish are not a power. They’re quaint. Conservative Christians did hold a great deal of power, and people who say that they are Christians still do.

We are, as is everyone else alive, manipulated by the currents of society. We allowed ourselves to be shooed into one “team” – and social media has done one thing exceptionally well, and that’s reduced dialog between intelligent people to teams chanting fight songs. All of us – conservative and liberal, Christian, Pagan, Jew and Gentile… we’ve been reduced to teams.

The opposing team (or teams) sees us as a team to be deposed, a power (a dangerous, not-to-be-trusted power) to topple, an enemy to vanquish. If we are lucky, they merely wish to reeducate us.

And so we find ourselves, having lost the culture wars, being treated like any other fallen foe. We were expecting a frontal attack, we were the victims of a whisper campaign. Confused, upset, acting out… trying to win hearts that have been seduced away by bread and circuses.

But we have a way through. We can come together around the person of Jesus Christ. I might disagree with some of you about daily practice – but we can agree about who He is, what He does, and that He is in charge. We can circle up the wagons and worship our Lord together. We can hold each other up in prayer, we can encourage one another, we can strive to bless one another.

And then – then, with our hearts gladdened, we can remind each other that this is not our home… and that our enemies aren’t flesh and blood. Not one of those people who hates us so much is truly our enemy. They are all potential siblings in Christ, all potential members of our family. We have been given instructions for such a time as this – all we have to do is open our Bibles and read. And then love. Love those folks spitting in our faces. Love them and welcome them with open arms when they hear the Lord’s call.

Whether we believe that this is the time of the end, and soon our Lord will call us Home, or if we believe that this is just another time of trial to walk through, the Church as a whole *will* be on the other side of this change. We know that to be true. So let us stand firm.

We can see and deal with the stages of grief as the world hands us the black hats… but let us hold the regard of this world loosely. It was never *this* world that was made to love us, and we can never lose the Love we have been given.

Nothing may be “normal” again – normal doesn’t matter. God does.

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5 thoughts on “Culture Shock

    1. hearthie Post author

      LOL Jenny. But totally true.

      Maybe we can have a campaign of doing good stuff and being really explicit about doing all of it in the name of Jesus? 😀

      Reply
  1. Deborah

    “But we have a way through. We can come together around the person of Jesus Christ. I might disagree with some of you about daily practice – but we can agree about who He is, what He does, and that He is in charge. We can circle up the wagons and worship our Lord together. We can hold each other up in prayer, we can encourage one another, we can strive to bless one another.”

    I’ve spent 5.5 years so far living in countries in which professing Christians are the minority. This paragraph describes exactly what Christians do in these countries, especially in countries where Christians are persecuted. This attitude is very common among Christians in Egypt where most Egyptian Christians are heavily persecuted, present but less important in Cambodia where most Buddhists are “live and let live,’ and somewhere in the middle in Kosovo where Christians are persecuted in some areas more than others and not as heavily as in most Muslim countries.

    As an American Christian, and the wife of an American diplomat, I have not been persecuted in any of these countries. Despite my protected status and the relatively protected status of most of my (English-speaking, Western) friends in these countries, the very knowledge that we’re a minority living in a country full of lost souls causes us to come together. The persecution is not a beautiful thing; the lost souls are tragic. But the Church in these countries is beautiful–the way we come together in agreement on the fundamentals and in tolerance of each other’s beliefs on the peripherals. I wish I saw more of this attitude on my visits to the States, but it seems that we American Christians are so often so busy arguing over the color of the pews (or the chairs) and the style of the music that we overlook all those things we have in common, those things that make us brothers and sisters. Maybe the one good thing about the marginalization of Christianity in the United States will be more of this attitude of coming together.

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Okay, so now what? | Hands, Heart, Hearth

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