I had been a fan and reader of a now popular blogger Matt Walsh who went from just a few followers to millions in a matter of two years. After his popularity was realized by the public, he was hired to write for The Blaze, a conservative independent news website. Mr. Walsh is a self proclaimed sayer of truth, and that is something people are starving for in this country. The last several months of cultural upheaval have given him more than enough popular news stories to cover, like Planned Parenthood, rebel flags, Mr. Jenner, homosexual agendas, riots, and a dead lion. Readers have not only had their share of content, but also have engaged with such posts by liking, commenting, and sharing. One thing is clear Mr. Walsh does shed the light of truth into the situations.
His message is truth, but it lacks the Truth. In other words, it is not a call to repentance or an invitation to Jesus Christ, nor does he explain the reasons for declining cultural morality. People in general have been believing lies, and are believing more and more lies. We certainly do need truth in this world. But not just fixes to the lies people believe, witty rebuttals of their inconsistencies, or highfalutin rants. Our world needs Jesus Christ.
It begs the question. Why yell at at our culture without supplying it with a solution? Or perhaps more importantly, why yell about our culture without taking them the solution?
We hear people say “Change your culture, defend traditional marriage, save our unborn children, return to our moral heritage.” Our goal is not to change or reform cultural morality and fix society. You can’t force the general population to understand, care about, and adhere to the same forms of morality that Christians espouse. Besides that being a futile and foolish goal, we are actually making culture the enemy by our responses to this decline of morality and rise of evil. We must never become the enemy of the unsaved. But is that happening? We are making the very people who we should be reaching with the good news into a people who are becoming isolated because they are not changing and conforming to our standards of morality. We have it wrong. We are quickly becoming the enemy of the very people who need us to reach them and have their hearts transformed by Jesus Christ, not their actions reformed by another’s principles. It now becomes impossible to reach them because we are trying to change cultural morality. We must stop.
Let’s look to our Leader. To do this, take a minute and open to a random passage from the Gospels. See how Jesus loves people? See how he changes people? He doesn’t cry for cultural reform. Instead, he draws individuals to Him.
Our agenda should be, just like the early church, to win the unsaved to the salvation of Jesus Christ. If the morality of society is our concern, it would follow that society would then be changed when it is filled with people who then would be transformed to an image of Jesus Christ.
We can uncover lies, we can present the truth, and we can be a change in our culture — but most importantly we need to be bringing the people in our culture around us to Jesus Christ.
While I appreciate the sentiments you express above, I think your assumptions may be wrong: My impression from Matt Walsh’ morality-related writings is he is writing to an audience of Christians. I don’t think he’s really writing to change anyone’s mind but rather provide like-thinkers with well thought out arguments and ammunition if you will for our encounters with liberals and astray Christians. It’s not his job to preach – it’s his job to say the truth in an entertaining way. One concept to think through your above expectations would be a Sunday church service. The preacher’s message should not focus on the unsaved (when there may be none or very, very few), but rather edification and biblical instruction for the church. I have seen preachers often do this and frankly it turns me off when 10 minutes is spent on a guilt-inducing invitation or fake prayer that is embossed with more preaching (I’ve almost gotten up when a preacher announces he is going to pray and then doesn’t even talk to God for 5 minutes). We can argue whether a preacher should always, at least briefly, mention the gospel in a sermon in case there are any visitors, but that’s not my point.
Regarding cultural reform:
It sounds great: convert the nation and everything will be great. And: We shouldn’t be concerned with political affairs – either (a) God will take care of it – we can just sit and do nothing while the house is burning, or (b) convert the nation and everyone will vote for Scott Walker, or (c) God actually thrives when the nation is under duress vs. prosperity.
Sadly, these are not based in reality. (c) has a little truth to it of course, but it’s also wishful thinking. The Middle East is a pretty rotten place and Christianity isn’t exactly thriving. Many cite China as a booming underground Christian metropolis, yet the numbers put in perspective say the contrary. Of course these conditions will ‘bring out the most devoted’ and weed out the rest, but that’s about it. We’re not going to see 33%, 20% or even 5% of the Chinese people converted in our lifetime. Forced Christianity likely produces the greatest long-term impact – I’m talking generations of course. What bible is most recognizable? The King James bible. Hmmmm.
Anyway, I digress. While I agree with “our agenda should be, just like the early church, to win the unsaved to the salvation of Jesus Christ.” I think our primary agenda should be uplifting our fellow believers and family. Many forsake this as it’s easy to de-prioritize. As a 3rd agenda, I think it’s entirely appropriate to try to change our culture and government. God and Jesus both rebuked sin – Jesus even took action in the temple as you may recall. While many cite Jesus’ lack of interest in rebuking Roman rule, it’s important to keep this in context and realize Jesus had to be very careful in this area since many were only seeking him as a leader of a rebellion. And of course Jesus did not resist being put to death – that was the whole reason he came here. But these topics deserve much more time and space than I have here.
::Aside – I am curious how much proselytizing the early church actually did. I don’t have any idea. I wonder if any of the early church fathers’ writings would shed any light. End aside::