Our Response to the Culture Wars
A statistic, and an observation.
First, the statistic. Most Christians, in 2060, will live in a) United States, and b) Africa.1 If it proves to be true, the reality in Corinth in the first century will exist across the globe:
“the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:25-31
The trend even in the United States bears this out: to be a Christian is to be unwise, backward, weak, behind the times, etc. Some of us are powerful - we live with tremendous, powerful privilege in our country. I will never forget seeing fighter jets throttle across the Air Force Academy football stadium in Colorado Springs and think, “I’m glad I’m on the same side.” We are powerful. Americans are.
But not American Christians. We are increasingly marginalized. What do we do?
Here’s the observation. Recently Morris and Peter, elders of the Sudanese Uduk tribe, told us stories of their tribe, about when the first missionaries came, how they thought the white men were literally ghosts; how, when people began to convert, they needed to set up their own village, for mutual support and physical protection; how Islamic armies drove them out; their excitement when they were finally given guns . . .
From whom do you take your cues, when you feel or experience marginalization in our culture? Glenn Beck? Rush Limbaugh? Rachel Madow? The Times? From whom?
I suggest the Christian kneejerk must be to first ask brothers and sisters who have never known anything but marginalization. Morris and Peter, what did you do? Even now, how is Christ your wisdom, as one already on the margins in this country?
Eternally speaking, we have more in common with unknown siblings in Nigeria than we do anybody else. Wisdom is following their steps.
1 Reported by Albert Mohler, albertmohler.com, via Pew Research: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/04/01/the-countries-with-the-10-largest-christian-populations-and-the-10-largest-muslim-populations/ft_19-03-29_muslimchristianpopulations_christian/