In God We Trust
Understanding the Culture War in a Scientific Age:
The Pitched Battle for the Soul of America

Oct. 2008 - Vol I, No. 6
http://www.jerustar.com/

 

 

 

Culture War Heating Up
The late Dr. D. James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church once said that the culture war was all about God, and he was right. There is a pitched battle raging for the soul of America at this eleventh hour and it’s not about race, it’s not about gender, it’s not about the war in Iraq, it’s not about the economy—it’s about God. One side believes in God, presupposes absolute values and promotes fixed moral standards. The other side denies the existence of God, abhors anything smacking of absolutism and promotes moral relativism. One side would give the primacy to God and relative subordinacy to the state (limited government). The other side would deny the existence of God and give absolute primacy to the state (unlimited government).

John McCain or Barack Obama?
The remaining days leading to the 2008 presidential election may be the most crucial in the history of the United States, yet never before have the lines been so blurred! Liberal senator Barack Obama keeps saying he is a “Christian,” yet he finds himself leading a political party that would deny the existence of one God, perpetuate abortion, dignify homosexualism, glorify the state and make a cult of his own personality. Conservative senator John McCain keeps boasting of his “patriotism,” but straddles the fence on everything from immigration to “civil unions” and pro-life issues. What sort of a choice is this? How did things get so muddled in America? And where is the Church in all this?

The Church in Eclipse
Buddhists know what they believe. Muslims know what they believe. Even atheists know what they believe. In his book, The Faith, Chuck Colson suggests the problem today is that most Christians don’t know what they really believe. This is an appalling condition for any people to find themselves in, especially those whom Christ called out to serve as salt and light (Matthew 5:13). When the spiritual stewards of America don’t know what they really believe, the governing leaders of the nation are left without solid ground to stand on.

Laodicean Compromise
In all ages compromise with the derivative world has been the undoing of God’s people. In Canaan God sanctified and separated Israel from the derivative nations round about them and it was compromise with those nations that led to Israel’s downfall. Christ himself sanctified and separated his Church from the derivative world, and it was compromise with the derivative world that led to the Dark Ages. The experience of history shows that the compromise of the Church with the derivative world never results in the salvation of the world—it results in the corruption of the Church.

What Would Jesus Do?
Would Jesus point Manichaean fingers at atheists? No he would not. Would he respect their rights as human beings created in the image of God? Yes he would. Would he converse with them, listen to them, reason with them, argue with them, laugh with them, etc? Yes he would. But would he dignify atheism? No, that’s where he would draw the line. Would Jesus point Manichaean fingers at homosexuals? No he would not. Would he remind them of the wholesale re-orientation of human nature that he made possible by what he accomplished 2000 years ago? Yes he would. Would he endeavor to redeem them and to fill the emptiness in their souls with the affirmation they long for? Yes he would. But would he dignify homosexuality? No, that’s where he would draw the line. That’s the problem with Christianity today: most Christians don’t know where to draw the line.

Worlds Apart
All this lovey-dovey talk of “unity” and “togetherness” coming from the left doesn’t amount to a hill of beans without a common worldview. It is the clash of worldviews that keeps America divided, not a deficit of “tolerance,” or “compassion,” or “sensitivity.” The worldviews of the left and the right are as different as black and white and all the whitewash in the world isn’t going to make them the same. Here they are, presented rhetorically:

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LIBERAL: “We believe that human nature is inherently good and it is only the exterior social conditions that make people do bad things. We believe it is up to the State to redeem mankind by changing the social conditions that produce all the bad things in the world!”

CONSERVATIVE: “Human nature is fallen and can only be redeemed by God—it is the fallen nature of man that corrupts societies, not the other way around. Moreover the only legitimate excuse that your ‘State’ has for existing in the first place is to protect the unalienable rights we derive from God....”

LIBERAL (interrupting): “God? Which god? Whose god? Your god???"

CONSERVATIVE: “The Creator of the universe―the God of the Bible...”

LIBERAL (laughing out loud): “The Bible is a fairy tale and your so-called ‘god’ is a product of your own backward imagination! Where have you been? Haven’t you ever heard of science? Haven’t you ever heard of Darwin? Haven’t you ever heard of Einstein and relativity? Haven’t you ever heard of quantum indeterminacy? We human beings are products of random processes enjoying a gratuitous, carefree and gay existence in an indeterminate universe in which there is no god, there are no absolutes, reality is observer-dependent and anything goes... as long as you don't step on anyone's toes or hurt anyone's feelings!”

CONSERVATIVE: “No! We live in a rational universe created by a rational God who alone determines right and wrong, good and evil...”

LIBERAL (interrupting again): “Bunk! Enough of your monotheistic bigotry and intolerance! Right and wrong, good and evil are situational, socially construed, and depend on one’s point of view! You, my misguided friend, need to shed your narrow, dogmatic point of view and show a little more respect for science, diversity, multiculturalism and political correctness...”

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From abortion, homosexuality and euthanasia to free enterprise, the role of government and the American military, on all of these core issues the contradiction between the worldview of left and the worldview of the right is positively irreconcilable. When the culture war is over one worldview will emerge as dominant and the other will go down in defeat. That’s what the “shaking” of this eleventh hour is all about (refer to Hebrews 12:26–28).

For further context refer to the preceding newsletters at http://www.jerustar.com/Newsletters.htm and the newly published book In God We Trust by Victor Shane.

 

 

 

What is America’s culture war really all about?

Who are the warring factions and what do they really want?

What set of beliefs drives the ideology of the conservative right?

What set of beliefs drives the ideology of the liberal left?

How do these beliefs divide America when it comes to:

 

The Judeo-Christian worldview?

The Ten Commandments?

Marriage & family values?

Abortion?

Homosexualism?

Euthanasia?

The American military?

 

“The purpose and content of this book are clearly stated in the subtitle, Understanding the Culture War in a Scientific Age: The Pitched Battle for the Soul of America. I think the author has contributed significantly toward fulfilling this purpose. I am particularly impressed by the selection and integration of principles and presuppositions in the early chapters, followed by application of these principles in subsequent chapters. He adheres to the Judeo-Christian worldview, but the book should be of significance and interest to readers whatever their worldview may be.”

—Robert B. Fischer, Ph.D.

Provost,

Biola University

 

“Most great movements of history have launched only after one great book has stirred the hearts of men. Such a book is In God We Trust by Victor Shane which makes the moral argument for America’s third great religious reawakening. When the battle is ultimately won and civilization is successfully defended, history will remember the book that started it all.”

—Rabbi Daniel Lapin,

President,

American Alliance of Jews

and Christians

http://rabbidaniellapin.com

 

 

“Though Victor and I have different understandings of the details of religion, Victor being a devout Christian and I being an orthodox Jew, clearly in his book, In God We Trust, we share identical views regarding the desperate need for a return to the Biblically based moral code that once prevailed in American society and upon which America was founded. Victor has put into words the concerns and desires of the silent majority of Americans which must cease to be silent.”

—Gerald Schroeder, Ph.D.,

Jerusalem, Israel http://www.geraldschroeder.com/

 

 

Copyright © 2008 Victor Shane