Into Freedom or Bondage … Which Way the West?

Photograph by Toby Ord

Many Western societies, though founded on biblical worldview and principles, are now considered post-Christian. Europe is utterly atheistic; the United States is following suit.

Sadly, the modern West lives in the present. Many Christians today function from near memory. They unconsciously operate from biblical principles, but make no connection between their faith and the way they live in the marketplace (see LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for what You Do Every Day). Other Christians, and non-Christians as well, function from a distant memory. They function from their legacy (e.g., work hard or live frugally) but have no idea why. They live as they do because this is how their parents lived.

The founders of the United States were Christian. Most were Puritans or influenced by Puritan thinking. The Puritans crossed the Atlantic with the Bible in their hands and a biblical worldview in their minds: biblical principles informed their concept of governance. They thought theologically, so the language of America’s founding was theological, not the psychological language that governs national discourse today. The Puritans were consciously Christian.

Today, however, we live in the period of narcissism, an obsession with self. Today’s generation disregards history, living a material life to the full in the present and spending as if there were no tomorrow.

I am compelled to pen this humble effort to call Christians, for God’s sake and for the health and prosperity of their nations, to consciously think and act from a biblical framework.

I am quite comfortable writing on the culture wars in the West because I have lived through them, participated in them and have seen the profound impact they have had in reshaping Europe and are having on the United States.

Following the 1973 Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision, I was actively involved in the effort to secure the dignity of women and rescue their unborn babies from the abortionists’ knives and chemicals. Three times I was arrested and jailed for these activities. It was during these experiences that I felt most alive and most consciously Christian.

Likewise, I have studied the Scriptures all my adult life and the Great Commission and the Cultural Commission have been among my favorite subjects.

Too many Christians love Christ with all their heart but fail to love him with all their minds. Perhaps the new metaphor for culture wars should be captivating culture. The war in the West and from the East is a battle for the soul of the culture. It is not fought with guns and bombs but with love and ideas. We are to overpower with the excellence of our ideas and the beauty of our love, to captivate the culture by speaking the truth to lies, by living just and merciful lives in the midst of unjust and cruel societies, and by promoting beauty instead of the mundane and hideous.

This is not only a work of persuasion; it is also a labor of emancipation from lies, injustice, and the hideous. It is a struggle to set people free, free in mind and heart, free in life. Ultimately it is to bring freedom to the community and nation.

- Darrow Miller (excerpted from a book to be released in early 2012)

  
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