"Second, none of us know how soon the Lord will return, which means that we can't say, "We know this is the final generation, so why bother to impact the culture?" I came to faith 51 years ago, and we were told Jesus was coming any minute back then. The prophecies were all lining up and the bestselling Christian book of the day made it clear that we were in the tail end of the last days. That was more than one-half century ago! Just think of how completely paralyzed the church would be if every generation had this same mentality. "Why bother taking a stand? We're out of here any minute now!" That cannot possibly be a biblical way to think." - Dr. Michael Brown
Actually, it is not a biblical way of thinking at all but since Brown only offered it as a strawman argument it is also irrelevant. To be clear, the bible writers say the time is short and that was written thousands of years ago! Why such a discrepancy? Because divine inspiration means we believe God wrote the bible and a day to Him is like a thousand years to us! The POINT however is not about how we think or what we feel but what God said! He said the time is short! He said we need to redeem the time! Brown's characterization of a Christian feeling that hey we are outta here soon is unseemly and inaccurate. I have a never met a Christian who ever espoused such. The issue is God wants us to always operate as if the time is short because to Him it is! Tomorrow is promised to no one. Engaging in cultural wars is like fighting over the deck chairs on the Titanic when you ought to be directing people to the lifeboat. By the way, preaching the gospel is taking a stand and if the church "only" engages in the gospel, they are not to be considered "paralyzed."
"Having addressed this theological objection, let me respond to the larger question of why we as followers of Jesus should engage in the culture wars at all. Why should we fight against abortion? Why should we oppose racism? Why should we stand up to injustice? Why should we push back against LGBTQ activism? First, if we don't engage the culture, the society will collapse. After all, if we are called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matthew 5:13-16), without us, the saltiness will be gone and the light will not shine. And with the culture in freefall, it won't be long before anarchy reigns, before our liberties will be taken away"perhaps even our children taken away." - Dr. Michael Brown
So, you think establishing a theocracy in America will prevent societal collapse? What part of walking in darkness do you not get? And do not dare to parse this out. What Dr. Brown and dominionists are arguing for is a theocracy. Having the government enforce laws based solely upon our faith. The opposite of our faith by the way is not anarchy. That is insanely stupid. Let's try to break this down simply. The issue is not that we do not have laws codifying against sin. The issue is sin, period. Your laws, edicts and judicial appointments are not going to stop sin. Let me give you a for instance. If we believe that abortion is the sin of murder, and we force a woman living in Texas to go to California to have that abortion, we have accomplished nothing. Wrapping your Jesus up in barbed wire will only end up with bleeding people. There is only one thing that has the power of salvation and conquers sin and that is the gospel! Are you sensing a theme yet? The saltiness has gone and the light has dimmed because the church is engaged in cultural wars instead of preaching the gospel to the lost. Let the lost get saved and then they will decide to not get an abortion, hopefully. What Dr. Brown and dominionists never see is that the church is the reason why the society is in a free fall. Sure, there are cultural reasons as well but the church has long since abdicated its ordained role of presenting the uncompromised gospel of Jesus Christ to this dying world. Instead of correcting our ways, we judge the world, which is not our role. We convict the world of its sin, which is also not our role. We then try to force them to modify their behavior through our self-designed culture wars, you guessed it - not our role. Meanwhile, the only thing that is our role, the gospel, we withhold from them. Then we blame them for an impending societal collapse. What sheer arrogance.
"Second, if we don't push back against a sinful society, we will lose our conscience and our souls. How can we see evil on full display in front of our eyes and do nothing? To do nothing is to desensitize and dehumanize ourselves. Third, as Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:8-9, "at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true)." It is in our spiritual DNA to do what is right and good because, by our very born again-nature, we are light. This is the opposite of the fable of the scorpion and the frog, in which the scorpion stings the frog as it sits on the frog's back while the frog swims across the river, as a result of which they both die. When the frog asked why he did it, the scorpion explained that he couldn't resist the urge, since this was his nature. In the same (but totally opposite) way, standing up for justice and contending for mercy is what we do as light. It's our nature." - Dr. Michael Brown
No one is suggesting that we do nothing when faced with sin. The people God brings into our sphere can benefit from our friendship, wisdom, and truly being salt and light. I tell the story often of the two case managers who once worked under me. One a Jesus loving child of God and the other, well, not. The unsaved person was constantly trying to get the Christian in trouble or even fired for her expressions of faith to which she only responded with kindness. This went on for two years. Then the life of the unsaved women fell apart and the first person she turned to was her Jesus loving peer because she had something that was needed - peace. The unsaved woman then came to Christ and His glorious salvation. That is being salt and light - not "pushing back." Unfortunately, the unsaved view Christians as those people trying to force their beliefs down their collective throats. Manipulating Supreme Court justices. Demanding legislation. Picketing and rioting. Revering wicked politicians and wicked pastors. They view Christians as hypocrites, and they are right. The gall of claiming to have a nature that pursues mercy while extending our accusing finger at the world and screaming sinner! Because, you know, Jesus right?
"Fourth, doing good also means opposing evil, and there are many verses in the New Testament that clearly call us to do what is good. What then, does that good look like in action? What would doing good look like if you were a slaveowner who became a Christian? Just giving your slave a cup of cold water? Or setting your slave free? Fifth, as we oppose evil, as we call out injustice, as we push back against immorality, we are becoming more like Jesus, being conformed to His image. This is part of our preparation for eternity." - Dr. Michael Brown
Ok, if being conformed to the image of Christ means fighting culture wars why didn't Jesus say so? Or better yet, why did He do the exact opposite when He walked the earth? In his tortured slave analogy Brown fails to see that forcing people to not legally sin does not actually stop them from sinning and that only the gospel has that power. While the New Testament tells us what to do in our lives that can be considered "good" it in no way then demands that we force everyone else to behave as we do. What is truly sad here is that Dr. Brown uses lesser evils to fight his perceived greater evils. That is dominionism. People like Mario Murillo and Greg Locke are just more honest about it. To them the Republican Party is the godly choice and if you vote Democratic you are going to hell. The problem is the people Brown believes in are just as evil as the people he would rail against.