Friends, Family & Collateral Damage in the Culture Wars
There’s really no such thing as friends and family when it comes to freedom of speech… at least not when you are a conservative Christian.
(Dedicated to Pops)
It’s almost the three year anniversary, to the month, since I met my good friend, and now mentor Bill Muehlenberg via Facebook and found the mass of resources contained on his website Culture Watch .It was through these channels, and many others, that I was exposed to the Christian conservative, political and public discourse on the issues of the day, in what I now know to be ‘the culture wars’. This was to be the beginning of a new path for me, as a spark was lit in my soul, and I have been on a steep learning curve ever since.
Almost immediately I was taken by the topics Bill was writing about, his passion which was evident in every word he wrote, and what he had to say about these issues from a Christian, conservative perspective, and it didn’t take long at all – in fact it was only a matter of days – until I was inspired to follow in his footsteps, as he, more than anybody I had ever known, was unflinchingly following in the footsteps of Christ, as day in, day out He spoke (speaks) out boldly, as a mouthpiece for our Holy righteous, Judaeo Christian God, the God who calls himself “I am” (and He is!).
The first very first issue that Bill wrote about that really grabbed my attention was abortion, and this has been pretty much my underlying passion in the culture wars ever since, because, as I see it, abortion is THE foundational issue: after all, how can we ever really get any other aspects of our culture on track, while we are killing our own children world wide, daily, and by the millions.
As Mother Theresa once said:
” I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child… A direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself… And if we can accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?”
I might add to Mother Theresa’s question with one of my own. “How can we focus on ANY other issue, or see any true change in our world while we a callously killing off our most vulnerable citizens, our children”?
The answer is – we can’t.
In Nazi Germany, the Nazis could not rebuild Germany until they had stopped the killing – that goes without saying – but it was more than that. Germany couldn’t rebuild until justice had been served toward those who had perpetrated some of the greatest evils of the 20th century, and even more than that, Germany could not rebuild until the whole German populace was scoured from top to bottom of the Nazi ideology.
So it is with abortion, the world will never be headed, even partially, in the right direction until the killing stops, justice is served, and the ideology which has allowed this evil is scoured from the face of planet earth; the ideology by the way, is secular humanism (also known as socialism, communism, social justice, progressivism and many other names).
So that is why, it is my view, that as Christians, abortion must be the foundational issue we address as a culture in the 21st century.
So back to the beginning: when I was first awakened to the fight which was occurring in the culture wars – which is essentially Conservative Christianity vs Progressive Secular humanism or Christ vs anti-Christ – I had never even thought about, nor written an article in my entire life and yet suddenly the posts and articles were just pouring out of me, and I couldn’t stop writing if I tried.
I was fearless and emboldened, as the light was suddenly switched on, that as Christians we must do more than just abstain from such evils as abortion, but that, much like the abolition of slavery in America, we must speak out publicly against this evil – and yes, perhaps if it comes to it – fight, UNTIL SUCH A TIME AS THE KILLING STOPS.
When I first started writing on-line in the culture wars I didn’t really know much at all about, well, much at all really, but I was a quick student, and as I searched the Internet for articles about the issue of abortion plus many more foundational culture war issues from a conservative Christian perspective, my wealth of knowledge, as did my passion, soon increased.
And as I wrote, I soon realised, that as a conservative Christian speaking out publicly, I was a part of a fringe minority even among my fellow Christians and that, not only did many Christians not care, but many Christians disagreed with me, that many Christians at the very least mocked me and the very worst despised me, and that many Christians hated me and what I did to the point where many of them completely took themselves out of fellowship with me.
Yep, just as I was a quick student on cultural issues, I very quickly learned my place on the Western cultural food chain, as a middle class, white, conservative Christian woman, I was right at the bottom of the pile. Disdained by most, reviled by many, and just a rung above white, conservative, males and a rung below murdering rapists and paedophiles and perhaps Jews.
And so finally we come to the heading of this piece… “There’s really no such thing as friends and family when it comes to freedom of speech”, and when you’ve been in the wars as long as I have you know, there really isn’t.
As the days weeks and months went on and I diligently wrote post after post, posted meme after meme and started trying my hand at opinion pieces on issues such as abortion, Islam, Israel, the militant homosexual movement and much more, I very quickly learned the (little used these days) art of debate, using skills such civility, reason, truth, logic and fact. I fought daily, moment by moment against name-calling, emotional blackmail, bullying and in the worst case scenario, loss of relationship and every ridiculous argument under the sun.
Through this sickening time of rejection and at times, public, attack and humiliation, plus loss of both family and friends, there was an up-side; I found a new family of culture warriors to walk at my side, and my hide and courage grew with each argument and fight that ensued.
Yep, in the moments and days when I felt most sick, and battered and bruised, and the tears rolled unceasingly down my face, folks like my friend Bill Muehlenberg and many other mutual friends would come alongside and encourage me to keep walking, and particularly when I was at my lowest and I wanted to give up, it was they who would remind me of who I was in Christ and of my calling and my job, no matter what the cost.
It was at these times that I was reminded of the Christian martyrs who died for the Christian faith, Christ’s disciples before them, and Jesus and the prophets before them, that persecution such as that I had been through, what I was going through, was peanuts compared to what they had gone through.
I was reminded that even now, my fellow Christians throughout the world are losing their very lives as they follow Christ and live out their lives for Christ’s Gospel and His Kingdom.
Even Bill Muehlenberg himself, who cops more daily flak than most Western Christians will in their lifetime has known NOTHING compared to the likes of our innocent Saviour and Messiah Jesus, and so many martyrs after him, who have been physically tortured and killed for their faith.
So I figure that the very least I can do as a Western Christian, and someone who in the scheme of things has not had it that hard, is to speak out fearlessly against evil and speak boldly for Christ, even if in the the process I should lose every friend and family member for the privilege. Truth be told due to family circumstances, I have had to cut back on my writing for the time being, but I am not giving up, and every spare moment I can, I still try to fight and get the truth out there.
It’s the least I can do in light of what my brothers and sisters in Islamic countries are going through as I write – just because they dare to call themselves Christian.
This is what we are called to do as followers of Christ. Time and time again we are called in God’s Word to count the cost as Christians and in many different ways to daily take up our cross and follow Christ.
For publically speaking the truth, Jesus, who is our ultimate example, was rejected by His family and by his closest friends, by his disciples and his followers, by the town he grew up in, by the Jewish hierarchy, by the Roman hierarchy, and yet he kept speaking the truth right up until the end.
Through his word, he calls us to do the same:
Matt 6 : 33
Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and it’s righteousness, then all these things will be added unto you.
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
Luke 14 : 26
If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple.
John 15 :13
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Matt 16 : 26
For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul?
And the famous quote from the movie Braveheart:
They can take my life but they can’t take my freedom.
In finishing, like Christ and so many others who have taken up their cross and counted the cost until the end before us, if we speak the truth, we will more than likely lose much – and only more, sadly, as the freedoms in the West, particularly freedom of speech are under attack.
But I think if Jesus were to give us an encouragement about continuing to fight and continuing to speak out against the anti-Christ and anti-life, evil cultural issues at this time, or even my friend Bill M, I think they might say something like this – run the race, don’t give up, never stop, don’t stop speaking, don’t stop fighting evil – until God calls you home to Glory!
2 Timothy 4:7-8
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
2 Timothy 2:5
An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.
You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?
But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.