and Jesus said:
The world, I made it to destroy it, it is growing worse and there is nothing we can do to save it, so let's save as many people as we can so we can get them to heaven, because the end is near!
Jesus NEVER said that!
---------1 Bible, 2 Ideas---------
Cultural Pacifism is essentially the belief that the world is evil and it is growing worse, because Satan is the ruler of the world, so therefore it is pointless to try to change anything and all that matters is getting souls to heaven. Activism, social reform, involvement in politics, and even pro-life ministry are viewed as a distraction from the main thing... Share the gospel.
"Kingdom Minded" Christianity is the belief that the Church is the unstoppable warrior-bride of Christ, here to redeem the world. Activism, social reform, and warring against any and every form evil takes in a society are viewed as essential to the Gospel. The world is believed to grow better as the Church conquers the darkness, as it's mission is to redeem the world.
Common Phrases to identify it
Common Phrases to identify it
"What does it matter if he/she doesn't get saved?"
"We're not here to spread morality."
"Jesus is going to come back and destroy the world, so there's no point in trying to make it better."
"This world is not our home."
Lots of mentions of "Kingdom", "building the Kingdom", "Changing society for the glory of God", "redeeming the world."
Speaks of society and culture as positive things which Christians are to be involved in and redeem.
implications of the beliefs
Views the world as evil.
Believes that the world will only become better when Christ returns
Believes that when Christ returns, He will destroy the world (then make a new one)
Is saddened by evils in the world, such as abortion, but believes it futile in trying to end it, and therefore does not try.
Believes the only thing that matters is getting people saved
Views the world as fallen, yet inherently good and beautiful.
Believes that though there are dark times, the Light is destined for victory, and the Church will redeem the world as Christ builds His Kingdom on earth through the Church
Is grieved by evils in the world, such as abortion, and determined to bring an end to it through the power of Christ.
Believes in the power of the Gospel and Jesus Christ to redeem all things
"My kingdom is not of this world" - John 18:36
"Evil men and imposters will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived - 2 Tim. 3:13
"Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" - Matt. 6:10
"On this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it" - Matt. 16:18
Cultural Pacifism is heresy
Keep reading to learn why it is, and how Satan has used it
A Great Tool of Satan
Cultural pacifism, the truncated gospel, is a false gospel. It is simple, and sounds Biblical. It claims that the great commission and Christian life are about glorifying God and sharing the salvation message, and that all other things are a distraction. It sounds like it came from the Bible. And yet it is undoubtably one of the greatest heresies in the history of the Church. It is also a great tool of Satan. How you ask? First, we must remember who Satan is and what he is about. Satan wants to be god. Satan wants us to worship his beauty instead of the indescribable beauty of Christ. Satan was defeated by the Archangel Michael in a great battle and was cast out of heaven. Satan wants this world as his kingdom. He wants to be the "god of this world". Cultural pacifism, the truncated gospel, says that the world is a sinking ship. You can't save it, just get everyone off! It says to not attempt to build Christ's kingdom here. And that is what Satan wants.
We were made for this earth, and Christ defeated Satan at the cross. Look at what the following Bible verses communicate:
"And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell will shall not prevail against it." - Matthew 16:18
And Jesus spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth." - Matthew 28:18
Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it - Colossians 2:15
"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." - John 16:33
Satan has been defeated... But he has successfully convinced the majority of American Christians that he is the master of this world and that he will win. How has he done this?
Satan is the master of deception. There are two main lies that Christians have bought into that Satan is using:
1) Christians are powerless to change the world.
2) Christians are not responsible to change the world.
The first deception should be clearly unbiblical in light of everything we already said. There are much deeper studies to be done into this though.
The second deception is that Christians are not responsible to change the world: It's not our job to reform politics, the media, or anything for that matter. There are Christians who actually say that we are not here to reform anything. After all, where does the Bible say to reform politics, end abortion, redeem the cinemas, be involved in art, etc. The conservative cultural-pacifist Christians will declare that the Bible does not say that. And that is because they do not understand who Jesus is and what love is. Once we begin to start to understand who our beautiful Savior is and and what that long-forgotten virtue called love is, things will begin to become very clear... Let's begin!
What the cultural Pacifists won't tell you
(or try to explain away)
What did Jesus do and teach that could possibly lend to the idea that Christians should attempt to reform society, help the oppressed, and even fight against abortion? He did plenty.
A fatal mistake that cultural pacifists make is to come to the Bible with the idea already in their minds that all Jesus is about is saving people spiritually, and everything He does and says has to do with that. Yes, Jesus paid the final sacrifice, The Perfect Lamb, for our sins. We dare not downplay the importance of Christ paying the penalty for our sins. It is an amazing testimony of our Lord's love and power! But Jesus did, and taught, much much more.
One could write a book on this topic (which the Veracity Revival will likely do), but this will be a relatively short overview.
Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments change all the Law and the Prophets." Loving your neighbor is the second greatest commandment to the human race, and the Church in America has seemingly forgotten it.
Politics affects "our neighbors." Politics is not in itself evil, but when the salt and the light refuse to be involved in it, it quickly becomes a means for Satan to oppress, destroy, and advance his agenda. Politics in America have been used to allow women to kill their children before they are born. This has not only killed millions upon millions of babies, but it has also destroyed countless lives of the women whom have killed their children. Politics has been used to take money from those who work hard to give it to those who refuse to work even though they could. This allows people to be lazy and escape their God-given duty of working at other's expense. American politics have been used to allow all forms of perversions, such as homosexuality.
Politics can be used to harm people, but they can also be used to help our neighbors, help the oppressed, protect the innocent, etc. And why should we expect a government to do these noble things if Christians separate themselves from it? Darkness won't "act justly and love mercy" (Micah 6:8). (At least not consistently, although because non-Christians are created in the image of God, some of what they do is good). To refuse to vote and be involved in politics is refusing to do everything one could to love their neighbors.
Romans 13:3 says that "rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same." Is the American government a terror to evil works? Our government certainly has not been a terror to evils such as abortion, homosexuality, etc. Has our government praised the righteous in our nation?
We will bring up politics again shortly.
Love Their Souls?
One of the greatest heresies of the day among cultural pacifists is that "love" is only about caring for people's spiritual needs, (specifically whether or not their soul is going to heaven or hell when they die), and that it has nothing to do with caring for people's physical and emotional needs. Such a heresy fails on so many levels that one could write a book listing the reasons, but listing a couple of the major ones will suffice here.
One reason it doesn't work is that it relies on the all to common false dichotomy of sacred vs. secular. It states that some aspects of the human life are more "sacred" or "spiritual" than others. Such is not the case at all. Would those who propagate this belief be willing to go live in a monastery for the rest of their lives, isolated from the rest of the world? This idea comes from the heresy of gnosticism, which teaches that the material world is evil. A little note on the belief that "love" has only to do with the "spiritual": the Bible never says it. Now that doesn't mean that it isn't true, but the heresy faces a larger problem: the Bible teaches the exact opposite. There are a hundred verses about taking care of the poor, saving people from physical harm and death, and fighting for justice and against tyranny. Such verses and topics are regularly brought up in our blog while talking about abortion and other subjects.
Possibly the greatest blow to the "only-love-their-soul" mentality is the words of Jesus himself. In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus says: "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides His sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.
"Then the King will say to those on his right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to me.'
“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’
“And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’
“Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’
“Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
What is Jesus saying? Is he saying that if we don't perform acts of kindness and love toward "the least" in our society that we will loose our salvation and be cast into hell? No. Our salvation is not dependent upon our own works. But as James makes very, VERY clear in his epistle, faith without works is dead. In this passage in Matthew, Jesus is telling us what separates true Christians (the sheep) from the fakes (the goats). The goats may very well have been off doing their evangelism and living lives "separate" from the world, all while ignoring the physical suffering of those in their society because they believed the "spiritual" was more important. Loving "the least" does not earn you your salvation, nor does it allow you to keep it. It is the inevitable expression and outcome of true faith. And if these tangible acts of love are missing from our lives, perhaps it's time to question whether or not we are really serving the God of the Bible. Love has so much more to it than just "loving" people's souls.
Salt & Light - Intro
In Matthew 5:13-16 Jesus tells His people that they are the "salt of the earth" and "light of the world." I would like to talk about these verses, but a small side issue must be addressed first. Many cultural pacifists will try avoid the true application of this verse by arguing about what the words "earth" and "world" mean. They especially use this argument when someone brings up the fact that God gave us responsibility over the world, eh, earth, in Genesis chapter 1. They state that the earth only refers to land, animals, plants, etc., and therefore we have no responsibility in society. They will also claim that inventions, cities, and other "man-made" things are evil and came from Cain and his descendants.
This argument is part of a larger belief that Satan is creating all these evil things that are the enemies of the Church (or Israel, in the Old Testament). Such a belief can not hold it's own ground though. While Satan does have an "empire" of fallen angles and darkness, his empire is not made up of anything that he has created, only things he has distorted. Satan can't create, only distort. Evil has no form in and of itself, it is merely the absence of good. Cain may have made the first city , but God is making the last (the New Jerusalem). Actually, the Bible just says Cain made a city, it doesn't say anything about it being the first one. Cain became an outcast (possibly from the first cities or towns), and so it would make sense that he would build his own city in an attempt to preserve his descendants.
The arts are not evil. God is an artist. God is THE artist. Bezalel designed "artistic works, to work in gold and silver and bronze." Art and craftsmanship didn't get any higher than that in those days. This art could be compared to filmmaking today, or any other of the fine arts. Also, the Bible specifically tells us that the artist Bezalel was "filled with the Spirit of God..." Actually, this is the first time in the Bible that it ever specifies that someone is "filled with the spirit." And he was an artist.
I could go on and on about an infinite number of topics like these, but this is enough. All this is to say that there is no off-limit area in God's creation... God's world.
One more thing: There are multiple meanings of the word "world" and "earth" when it is used in the Bible. Understanding this can clear up a lot of confusion. World can mean, "the darkness and evil and lost people", "the physical earth", "everything in the earth." The word "earth" even has different meanings. It most often means our physical world that we live on, but also the sin in the world, as in Colossians 3:1-5. The words are at times clearly interchangeable and have the same meaning.
We are to be salt and light to this earth, our world.
Salt & Light
Jesus called us the salt and light, a city set on a hill, a candlestick. We are so familiar with these words that we may too often breeze over them without even thinking about what they mean. If we are truly interested in understanding our place in this beautiful, broken world, it is time to take a look at the explosive words Jesus spoke during His sermon on the mount.
"You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt looses it's flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill can not be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put in under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." - Matthew 5:13-16
Jesus said we are salt to this world. What does salt do? Salt is a preservative, even more so in the past when Jesus was speaking than it is today. Whether it be for our food or an ancient Egyptian pharaoh, a preservative is something used to keep what it is "preserving" from growing worse, or as we might say today... keep it from going bad.
Jesus said we are light to this world. The purpose of light is pretty simple, it lets us see. What we must notice is that light lets us see by getting rid of the darkness. Once again I will note, darkness really has no form in and of itself, it simply the absence of light, that is... Us.
Cities are pretty big, and if you build one on a hill, it's gonna be pretty impossible for someone passing by to miss it. It can't be hidden. Cities aren't supposed to be hidden. Neither is the influence of the Church. Actually, just like a city, the Church and her influence can't be hidden. So maybe if the world is missing our city... There is no city.
Jesus said people don't hide a lamp after they light it. A lamp is supposed to be tall and bright for everyone to see, lighting the darkest corners, making all visible. There are a lot of areas of American society and culture that are shrouded in darkness. It seems we have hidden our light.
As the salt to this world, it is our duty to keep it from growing worse. Too many Christians believe that the world will grow worse. They're right, it will... If they believe that. The ONLY reason the world will grow worse is because the Church has failed in her duty to preserve it. How many times have we heard a churchgoer say the world will grow worse and then point to the growing ungodliness of American politics or media to prove it? Perhaps our polite response should be "And how do you think that the worldview you just expressed contributes to that decline? Imagine if Christians reclaimed the ground that the LORD God has given to us and actively became involved in politics and media?"
Darkness has no form in and of itself. When we see darkness, it is only because nobody has taken the time to light a candle. Next time a Christian makes a comment about how evil the cinemas are, or how disgusting American politics are, etc, etc, take the time to explain that they are only dark because so many Christians have refused to make and support Christian movies, vote and run for office, create art, design fashion, write thrilling new novels, etc. Explain to them that the giants will only remain in Canaan as long as God's warriors refuse to take it. If Christians back out of some area of society, that worm called Satan will be more than happy to step in and take our place. It is good to boycott evil movies, as many Christians did with Disney's Beauty and the Beast (2017 live-action remake). But it is not enough just to boycott, we must replace it. Replace all that is evil with that which is good.
When the Salt Fails
"if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men." When we, the Church, fail to preserve God's wonderful world He has given us, we have nothing left to do. We're useless. And we will be trampled underfoot by men. When we are not salt and light in politics, the evil men who replace us will trample us underfoot, mocking our values, our way of life, and our God. When we are not salt and light to the cinemas, Hollywood will make movies that mock us and our values, and promote and glorify sin. It is thus with every area of life. Jesus said that if we refuse to do our duty, loose our "flavor", then the world will trample us underfoot. Many Christians claim that the only way to change the culture is to save people, and while intentional evangelism is most certainly part of our calling as Christians, it seems Jesus was implying the opposite in verse 16: Change the culture, and people will get saved.
This is how we advance Christ's Kingdom on earth. This is how we exercise our dominion over this world. This is how we win souls to Christ... ?!?
Indeed. When we do works of justice, of love, of compassion; When we do the good works and be the light that Christ has commanded, people will see us and see what we do. And when they see us, they will glorify God. The darkness can not stand against Christ's people.
Matthew 5:16: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."
The Rallying Call
Cultural pacifism is perhaps one of the greatest heresies of our time, and has been immobilizing the army of Christ, the Church, for too long. Satan wants this world, and we have let him have it. It is time to take back what God has given to us... Take back everything! It's time to live like we believe that the gates of hell can not prevail against us. Will there be times we lose, get knocked down, be humiliated and just want to give up? Yes. But be of good cheer brothers and sisters, for though we face tribulations in this world, we know that Jesus Christ has overcome the darkness.
It is time to step out from "normal" Christianity, trust in Christ, and reclaim the passion and the vision for a redeemed world that Christ has given us! To be the salt and the light that we have been called to be, casting out the darkness and demolishing strongholds. It's time to live like we're redeemed. I will stand. Who will stand with me?