There are many reasons Christians are losing the culture.
- They don’t evangelize: The first-century followers of Jesus turned the world upside down because they lived their faith boldly, confronting the pagan culture even in the face of certain death. They did this out of love for sinners so they would have a chance to repent and avoid hell. As a consequence, they saved many from hell on earth. Nothing could stop them from telling others the good news. Today, most people who claim to be Christians are too afraid to evangelize – not because they will be killed, but because they might offend someone!
- Christians retreat from confrontation: Is this biblical? Is it what Jesus did? Is it what Jesus, who is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, would do? Was Jesus non-confrontational? Read the gospels! Jesus confronted. He didn’t compromise. He said those not for me are against me. He said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” He overturned the tables of the moneychangers in the Temple and drove them out with a whip.
- Their faith is weak: Most don’t know the Bible and can’t defend it. For many, going to church once a week is the sole evidence of their faith. They don’t apply the eternal truths of the Bible to every aspect of their lives. For most, their so-called “faith” is a private matter.
- They don’t pray: God’s word tells us that if only believers prayed and humbled themselves and sought His face and turned from their wicked ways, then He would hear in heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land. God didn’t say He would require all people in a given land to do those things to bring healing – just His people. That suggests to me the real problem in America today is with His people not doing their part.
I could go on and on with reasons Christians are losing the culture. In fact, I would have to say they’ve already completely lost it. Abandoned it would be more accurate.
Into this sad state of affairs comes the “refocused” Focus on the Family, a truly great Christian ministry founded by a truly great man, Dr. James Dobson.
But like many great cultural institutions founded by great Christian men – Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, the New York Times, yes, even the United States of America – it lost the Christian vision and passion of the founders.
What am I talking about?
I’m talking about the new non-confrontational, wimpy, smiley-faced, lukewarm Focus on the Family as personified by its new leader, Jim Daly, who seems all-too eager to distance himself and the organization he now heads from the legacy of Dobson.
Dr. Ken Hutcherson, another great man of God, first warned about this more than two years ago in WND in a column he wrote called “I lost my Focus on the Family.” I had hoped he was wrong. But he wasn’t. He was prescient.
After the Nov. 6 election, Daly told the Los Angeles Times that the Christian right lost the fight against same-sex marriage in four states because it is on the losing side of a cultural paradigm. In other words, it’s a lost cause.
He said the evangelical community made a mistake a long time ago but standing up for borders and the enforcement of duly enacted immigration laws because “we were led more by political-think than church-think.”
He said Christians need to stop thinking of themselves as being in the midst of a “culture war.” He added that Christians need to “engage the culture with winsomeness and with great patience and confidence.”
Daly’s answer is to find common ground with people who understand they are indeed in a culture war – those, for instance, who promote same-sex marriage and advocate unrestricted abortion. We’ve got to be more “ecumenical,” to “win over friends, not make more enemies.”
But perhaps the funniest thing Daly said in this interview was: “If the Christian message has been too wrapped around the axle of the Republican Party, then a) that’s our fault, and b) we’ve got to rethink that.”
What’s funny about that is: a) Daly sounds just like the leadership of the Republican Party who, like him, don’t want to stand up forcefully and passionately strong for biblical values, and b) what he’s really talking about is giving up on one of the few cultural and political institutions in which Christians even have a voice and a seat at the table.
That’s how fast Christians lose cultural institutions. Just a little over two years ago, James Dobson was presiding over Focus on the Family. After he was abruptly put out to pasture and his courageous voice removed from his nationwide radio broadcast, the effort to “refocus” Focus on the Family began. Not surprisingly, the title of Jim Daly’s new book is “ReFocus.”
It’s good advice – for Jim Daly and Focus on the Family.