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War Is Lost Unless . . .
News Flash for Delusional “Culture Warriors”

By Seth Elliott

July 17, 2008 -- Here's a news flash for all the so-called culture warriors who tend to preach to the choir with amazing frequency, intensity, and duration: STOP. Stop the apocalyptic email blasts. Stop the delusional comparisons of yourselves to our Founding Fathers. Hold the wine and cheesiness, and please pass the credibility.

Americans have come to think that Christians are, well, goofballs. Our fellow Americans would rather elect a freshman radical than an evangelical sympathizer to the presidency.

My GenX friends are actually more afraid of the theatrics of televangelists than the cultural threat of sexual anarchy.  These misplaced apprehensions are widespread and dangerous.

The culture war is lost unless people begin to trust Christians more than secularists, atheists, communists, and radical liberals. To gain this social trust, I propose that Christians everywhere submit themselves to the Christian Credibility Creed.

In addition to the other creeds of Christianity:

I believe that dressing up and talking like Paul Revere does not make me a modern day patriot or member of the second Black Regiment. A postmodern revolution will look different from past revolutions.

I believe that always looking for miracles and material signs of God’s favor makes me shallow and less involved in the supernatural.  

I believe that inserting God-talk clichés into everyday conversations with (or overheard by) non-Christians hurts the work of the Holy Spirit.

I believe that anyone making an above-average income “in the ministry” is a devil.

I believe that Christianity should be the chosen religion of every person on the planet, but not the official religion of the United States.

I believe that the obsessive, unhappy, mainline pastors are just as bad as the obsessive, overly-happy, evangelical pastors.

I believe that Christian music, art, and movies that do not compete technically with the mainstream fare are an affront to the Creative Director of the Universe.

I believe that I should know Scripture, theology, and Christian philosophy better than atheist propagandists.

I believe that missions trips should be undertaken for the benefit of the hurting, lonely, and lost -- not for the psychological or social benefit of Christians.

I believe that “speaking the Truth in love” requires fewer words not more.

I believe that what I really believe is really real and I act accordingly (thanks to Focus on the Family’s "Truth Project" for that one).

I imagine that if Christian leaders got behind this effort instead of their efforts to reform everyone else, the culture war would take an overnight turn in favor of the Truth. I dare us all to try it.

See also:
O'Reilly, Letterman, and the Culture War
Francis Schaeffer: A Student's Appreciation of a Distinct Approach
I'll Take Sartre

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Seth Elliott is a Left Coast cultural commentator with IHS Fellowship.  

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