A Culture War

May 2021
By: John Van Der Brink

There is a cultural war going on in America and it is getting worse every day. Like all wars, it affects not only the “soldiers” on the front lines, but the outcome also affects every man, woman, and child who they represent. Like all wars, it is made up of a series of battles, some here and some there, but collectively there is an “army” which is moving the life in America from one mode of existence to something quite different. The effects will likely reach into every home, school, business and possibly church in America. There is a movement to change the very way we think and live our daily lives.

Changes are happening so fast; it is hard to keep track of all of them. But in one sense, we should not be surprised at what we see happening today, because we have been gradually approaching for many years to the fall we see happening today. The decisions being made in the halls of Congress today reflect the values of Americans who have grown up in homes and schools where the Word of God has been largely absent. That results in a worldview and a way of thinking which is completely foreign to Biblical traditional Christianity. So, what is “good” and what is “bad” is based, not on the Bible, but on what depraved humanity considers good for society. This leads to the inevitable conflict we see all around us today.

There are several “battles” in this cultural warfare that are raging today. Below are listed a brief description of some of them.

a.      Battle of Gender Identity- One of the biggest battles being fought in this cultural War is about gender definition and equality. The Bible clearly speaks about two genders – male and female. That is clearly demonstrated also in our biological composition. We either have XX chromosomes or we have an XY chromosome. But if we feel we have the right to reject Biblical precepts, then it is ok for us to think we can change that or behave in ways inconsistent with our creation. So, there are two worldviews in competition here. Either the Bible is our guide or depraved man is our guide. Are we a nation under God or are we ruled by the principles of men?

The Equality Act is a manifestation of this conflict. It is new legislation which basically says the Christian worldview must be set aside and the unchristian worldview followed. Is that equal? Is that fair?

b.      Battle of Women’s Rights- Another battle in the Culture War is the place of women in society and in the church. This battle has been waging for a longtime already, but it has reached a feverish pitch at the present time. The idea of the woman’s primary role as a mother in the family is a Biblical precept which many Americans still adhere to. But there is a growing population in America who want to emancipate the woman from that Biblical role. Women should be “free” in every way. This thought has even entered the church where there are women elders and deacons and even ministers. This battle is designed by Satan to remove Biblical thinking and living from our society.

c.       Battle for Respect and Authority- Respect for authority is another area of society where a battle is waging. The Bible tells us that God instituted authority in the home, in school, in church and in society and is intended as a blessing. Human beings need structure and authority in order to survive and thrive. But there is a whole generation who have been taught to question, to dispute, to challenge, and even to resist and to reject authority if they do not like the rules. The Bible teaches that, unless those in authority ask us to do something against God’s Word, we are to obey. The disregard for authority has resulted in chaos and destruction in many American cities and many communities are increasingly unsafe.  

d.      Battle for the Borders- America has long been considered the land of opportunity and people from all over the world would like to come here and be a part of it. We have a legal system of immigration which is governed by law and order.  But, beneath that system that is an illegal system which is controlled by political interests, financial intrigue and crime and it operates by lies and deceit. God is a God of order and He requires that all things be done decently and in order. Those who follow proper immigration procedures are disheartened by others who are not required to follow the rules.

e.      Battle for Unborn Life- This battle has already been going on for decades and it is still raging to the present day. It is also rooted in two completely different world views. One view recognizes that God is the giver of life, that we are created in the image of God, and that God only determines when life should end. The other view considers man as a mere collection of matter, without a soul, and that we should choose ourselves when to begin and end life. Those who hold this view often hide the murderous act of abortion with nice sounding words like “right to choose” but the resulting death of the unborn remains the same.

f.        Battle of the Races- Finally, we are witnessing today a very abstract form of prejudice that is re-dividing the races in our country. There are forces who are fanning the flames of suspicion and separation. We hear more and more of White Supremacy, Cancel Culture and Black Lives Matter, Antifa, supposed racial injustices, racial equality, and equity. Where is all this unrest coming from? Unfortunately, some of our leaders profit politically during times of racial unrest, and rather than working to solve these problems they allow them to fester and grow for personal gain.

g.      Battle for the Coveted Dollar- The prosperity we experience in America has led many to become materialistic. Honesty, compassion, giving, sharing, love for my neighbor, are all Christian principles. Greed, selfishness, hoarding, and love of temporary possessions stands on the other side. Corporate profit often gets in the way of care for the poor and the oppressed of the world. Even the Christian segment of our society has become so secular and thus-worldly minded.

These things are fundamentally changing America. If it continues, we will soon not recognize a nation that was founded on the principles of God’s Word. And that is exactly the goal. Many leaders in our country seem to want to remove all Biblical authority and the influences of a Christian worldview. They want a secular society instead of “one nation under God”.

There are probably more “battles” that could be listed that are part of this cultural war. There is so much unrest and turmoil in this broken world. Dear parents and friends, this is the world our children are growing up in. Soon they will take their place as an adult in this divided country. What can we do to help them in their growing up years?

1.      We should help them understand what is happening, but also why it is happening. These are not just disconnected events. There is a secular worldview that ties them altogether. We should help them understand that what unites these events is a systematic attempt to reject God and His authority.

2.      We should also show them where this turmoil and confusion started. In Paradise we choose to establish our own reign. We rebelled against God, and the rebellion we see happening today is only an extension of the same.

3.      We should help them develop a Christian worldview. That means to show them to view life in all of its changes from the light of Scripture. What we see happening should not be a surprise. It is explainable. When much of our adult population has grown up without a church or Christian school, their conscience, their sense of right and wrong is very distorted. Many times, they do not even know that actions can be sinful.

4.      We should point to the seeds of rebellion that are manifest in our own lives. It is easy to see the faults in society around us, but that should serve as a mirror to see our own faults. If we see that, we will not be haughty in condemning others, but there will be a certain compassion and pity for others as well as ourselves.

5.      We should point them to the only hope there is for us in our day. That is by grace to learn to bow before our offended Maker. That is exactly what we do not really want to do even if we are Reformed and church going people. The time of grace is given to us and to our children for that very purpose. Oh, that the Lord would pour out His Spirit upon us and our children, that we may learn to bow before it is too late.

6.      Finally, we may speak of the comfort and security of those who have learned to flee for refuge to the Ark of Safety, the Lord Jesus Christ.  There is One who has ascended on high in might to reign Who has promised to never leave or forsake His needy ones. He can give courage and strength for the day. He can give wisdom and discretion, faithfulness, and perseverance. In Him there is rest and safety for all the oppressed.

The Psalmist said, “Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet, and a light upon my pathway”. There is no teacher or parent who can provide adequate direction for what seems to be on the horizon, but there is a throne of grace. There the weary may find rest. May each of us find that rest, for ourselves, for our dear children and grandchildren, for our students, and for a coming generation. He has never turned a beggar away.

John Van Der Brink is director of the Netherlands Reformed Christian School in Pompton Plains, New Jersey, and a member of the Board of Directors of Christian Council International (CCI), based in Washington DC, sister organization of Transatlantic Christian Council (TCC), based in the Netherlands.