Wednesday, January 2, 2013

"It's the culture, stupid."

Here's a commentary by Eric Metaxas on the importance of the culture in addressing so many of the hot button political issues like gay "marriage", "medical" marijuana and the like.

Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign zeroed in on the economy with the phrase, "It's the economy, stupid."  Well, that emphasis could easily be transferred to the culture when talking about so many of the pressing political, social issues of our day.
One of my favorite quotes by Chuck Colson is one he might have spoken again after the November elections: “The kingdom of heaven will not arrive on Air Force One.”

In other words, if we want to change our culture for the better, we should not put all our eggs into a political basket. It's a lesson we Christians must remember as we begin another year.

Over the last thirty years or so, social conservatives have invested much time and effort in the world of politics. And that's a good thing. But the recent Election Day losses on the issues of same-sex “marriage,” and the legalization of marijuana are reminders of the limits of politics. As far as I’m concerned, these losses came about because we’ve not been paying enough attention to influencing our culture.

One man who knew the importance of this was Dutch statesman and theologian Abraham Kuyper, who said, “there is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: 'Mine!'”

And that includes the domains that most influence modern Americans: The arenas of television, films, newspapers, novels, the theater—even the world of advertising. We've neglected bringing God into these parts of His creation, and have pretty much left them to the secularists. So we should not be surprised that most new films and TV shows tend to come from a pretty uniformly liberal, secular humanist point of view.

And these arenas deeply affect the ways Americans think. For example, how much influence do you imagine the Ellen DeGeneres show has on voters' views on same-sex “marriage”? Well, I can tell you, a lot. Why? Because it’s brought a very clever, very entertaining and likeable person who just happens to be gay, into the mainstream of American culture.

But instead of cursing the darkness of Hollywood and New York—which we do too often —we should light a candle. We who embrace a biblical worldview need to get serious about creating art and culture or supporting those who do.
Metaxas' comments above don't tell me we should jettison the political arena for an exclusive focus on the culture.  Rather what's needed is balance and focus on the cultural arena as well.

No comments: