Darrow Miller and Friends

A Cultural Impasse Rooted in Worship

The events of January 6, in Washington DC, with the storming of the US Capitol, during the debate over certification of the Electoral College votes, stunned the nation and the world.

The nation’s capital city became a fortress for the inauguration of President Joe Biden, including aggressive fencing and other barriers and 25,000 National Guard troops.

profound cultural changes are happening in AmericaThe United States, leading nation of the free world, is descending into fear and chaos and appears to be approaching the brink of anarchy. Are the fencing and troops around the capitol simply precautions against disruption of the inauguration or will they become the new normal? Is our capital becoming like the Green Zone of the Iraqi capital in Baghdad?

Certainly what we are witnessing is political unrest. The nation is as divided as it has ever been, including the political climate at the time of the US Civil War. We see this as a conflict between political parties and policies, and on one level, it is. But the conflict is so much deeper than politics.

Politics, and economics and social institutions are all downstream from culture. And today, American culture is firmly in the grip of the Left, those elites who control the incubators of society, that is, the arts—music, theater, film, dance—and state-sponsored education. Writer Emily Jashinsky uses the “cultural Left” to capture this segment of our society.

This generation prides itself as being smart; our smart phones and “intelligent” computers can think for us. But smart is not wise! And today’s generation lacks wisdom.

Artists shape the culture

Cultural conservatives could learn from a Scottish statesman of earlier days, Andrew Fletcher, who said, “Let me make the songs of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws.” While the Right has focused on politics and the economy, the cultural Left has focused on that which is much more influential: the arts and state-sponsored education. It is the artists who shape culture, and culture will determine what laws are propagated by the political class.

What we are witnessing today is the outworking of the vision and hard work of the cultural Left to infiltrate the arts and education to shape the mindset of a generation of people who stand ready to radically change the United States and the world.

However, we need to go deeper in our analysis. The political impasse is rooted in a cultural impasse. Culture, derives from “cult,” a synonym for worship. We create cultures, societies, like the God or god(s) we worship.

What kind of God/god do you worship? Each religion—animism, humanism, nature, etc.—creates a certain value system and outlook that will ultimately shape policy, politics and the nation. The freedoms of the West represent the outworking of Judeo-Christian Theism.

We are witnessing in the United States today the changing of an order, not simply a political order but a moral and metaphysical order, from a nation of freedom within a moral framework to a nation of license without moral constraints. Angst is growing among America’s people watching this dramatic change unfolding.

Three levels of understanding

Both Theism and Atheism are, at the deepest level, consciously and intentionally held in faith. People consciously reflect on the nature of what is ultimately real—God, for the Theist; the silent universe, for the atheist—and for the consequences of understanding  who we are, why we are here, etc.

cultural level understanding impacts a nationThe next level of understanding may be called near memory, what we have heard from parents, grandparents, teachers, experts, social media, songwriters, playwrights and actors. Beliefs at this level have not been consciously examined, but simply accepted as true because they came from an expert or trusted authority.

The third level is that of distant memory; it is the air we breathe, it is the spirit of the age we live in.

But no matter how deeply ideas are held, they have consequences, they shape our societies profoundly.

The divide splitting the USA, as well as nations in Europe and elsewhere, is not primarily political but cultural. Ultimately it is a worship divide, worship of the self, some other idol, or worship of the living God who created the universe and who loves us.

This divide will not be solved at the political level, where the fighting is taking place now; it will not be solved at the political level, nor in the policies of the incoming culturally Left administration.

The cultural Left may control the levers of political power, including the cancel culture of the academy, entertainment, communication and titans of industry, but they cannot break the will of those who in good conscience disagree with them. Those who hold their convictions out of serious reflection and intention will not be swayed. Those who hold their positions from memory may stick their heads in the sand and hope the effects will be superficial or temporary.

Is an explosion coming?

America is in a cultural pressure cookerWe are currently in a pressure cooker and the cultural Left is swiftly closing off the relief valves of freedom of speech, assembly, and worship. If the nation does not restore these basic freedoms, an explosion is the likely result.

The unthinkable could happen, the cultural war could turn into a civil war. Some people, out of frustration, might take up arms. But as Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong famously said “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” Those with the biggest gun will win.

The answer to this moment will not be found in politics nor in violence. It ultimately will be found at the altar of worship. It will be discovered where the founding fathers of this great nation began, with the worship of the living God, in Whom they put their trust to form a more perfect union.

Let’s begin by repentance, seeking to restore our relationship with the living God. Then, in all humility, let us seek to restore the cultural-shaping institutions of the arts and education so that a new reformation of freedom will transform this land.

  • Darrow Miller





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Darrow is co-founder of the Disciple Nations Alliance and a featured author and teacher. For over 30 years, Darrow has been a popular conference speaker on topics that include Christianity and culture, apologetics, worldview, poverty, and the dignity of women. From 1981 to 2007 Darrow served with Food for the Hungry International (now FH association), and from 1994 as Vice President. Before joining FH, Darrow spent three years on staff at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland where he was discipled by Francis Schaeffer. He also served as a student pastor at Northern Arizona University and two years as a pastor of Sherman Street Fellowship in urban Denver, CO. In addition to earning his Master’s degree in Adult Education from Arizona State University, Darrow pursued graduate studies in philosophy, theology, Christian apologetics, biblical studies, and missions in the United States, Israel, and Switzerland. Darrow has authored numerous studies, articles, Bible studies and books, including Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Culture (YWAM Publishing, 1998), Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women for Building Healthy Cultures (InterVarsity Press, 2008), LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day (YWAM, 2009), Rethinking Social Justice: Restoring Biblical Compassion (YWAM, 2015), and more. These resources along with links to free e-books, podcasts, online training programs and more can be found at Disciple Nations Alliance (https://disciplenations.org).


  1. Mike

    January 26, 2021 - 1:15 am

    Very interesting article. I am not so sure about the closing down of free speech, assembly and worship trend though.
    In any case it seems we never learn… claims of stolen election are echos of 2016 when the ‘smart’ right used Cambridge Analytica to manipulate (target) directional posts on social media.
    And… it seems we have been there so many times before. Eccl. 1v9-11… There is nothing new under the sun? We easily forget and, having not repented, repeat the sins of the past.
    You may also be interested in this article from Sept 2016

  2. Olusegun Owopetu

    January 26, 2021 - 2:51 am

    As I was having my quiet time today, I remembered nations that the LORD used reaching my country ( Nigeria) and continent – Africa. Two major Nations – Great Britain and USA. The history is still with us of valiant men and women coming to a very difficult territories. They did, some laying down their lives. The question coming to my mind was to ask myself – what happened to these great nations that things are going left and right. During the family altar after my quiet time, my wife prayed for America. I was surprised because I didn’t shared with her my burdens and especially with recent events in USA. Brother Miller, what went wrong bringing this beloved nation to where it is today. I read many years in Moody magazine about a visiting French diplomat – having sought to know the source of the greatness of America. The conclusion of that diplomat looking through the window of where he was staying on Sunday, he saw the people thronging to the church that morning. From what I read, the man concluded that the strength of America was not in their harbours nor anything else but what he saw that morning – people going to the house of God. And that the day America departs from this, then her source of strength will also depart. I have sought for that magazine on the internet to read again. But what happened to this great nation for the strange and abnormal sight we are now seeing – a man would assume she is a female and a female would claim to be a man. A male referring to another male ” my husband is with her with me.” And so many abnormalities… that nation is travelling downward…that nation is confronting the true living God. Could it be true that the Church in the Western world for over a century did not disciple. Looks very much so. Turn the dial of your radio on or the television… listen to what are aired. Turn to the pages of papers… you’ll find unimaginable things taught by the churches and individuals. Come and see proliferation of churches… everyone of them with their callous gospel. Those with understanding, they find it difficult to work together. Despite all these, hope is no lost – let the America, Great Britain, Africa and where the Church is present return to the LORD and live by God’ Word. Ezra 7:10.