CULTURAL INFLUENCE AND WARFARE

CULTURAL INFLUENCE AND WARFARE

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Culture is the social characteristics of thinking and behaving in and of a group.

The group maintains those characteristics and thinking by its influence upon itself and enlarges its adherents by its influence upon others.

Most cultures have based their social characteristics and behavior upon a core set of values and principles (worldviews) which are deemed to best fulfill the well-being of the individuals and the group and fit their perspective of reality.

The existence of different cultures based upon differing worldviews produces tensions between the cultures and competition for adherence and assets. Strategies, tactics, and actions are devised for one culture to overcome and even eliminate the other, by persuasion or force or both; by overt means or covert means or both. That means wars and rumors of wars.

The American Culture

Originally, the culture of America was greatly influenced by the polarizing effects of biblically-affected religious organizations. The Christian worldview, formed by the core set of values and principles from the Bible, was a very strong influence upon a significant portion of the population, especially on the leaders who are generally considered the founding fathers.

The American culture of freedom was based upon the principle that God loves man and suffered, sacrificed, and died for every single person’s benefit. This exalts each and every person. It grants everyone inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This produces the notion that the government’s duties are to ensure those rights. The early leaders and founders of the nation were convinced that freedom and dignity afforded to the citizens of the nation could not occur outside a biblically-affected people and could not long endure without the general retention of that core set of values and principles that come from the Bible.

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32

“Sanctify them through thy truth:  Thy word is truth.” John 17:17

“Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams

The Need For Self-Restraint

The system that gives us liberty is very fragile and tenuous and requires constant vigilance because the exercise of rights without restraint brings license. License then brings chaos and necessitates extreme governmental constraints, which then ends liberty.

Therefore, for liberty to exist, there must be adequate self-restraint in the general population. Only the biblical religion has successfully produced the moral bent in those affected. This results in their being suitable for the liberties transferred to them by God. The government must also be operated by persons of the same moral influence that restrains the general population. Otherwise, the government ceases to be a protector of liberties and instead becomes oppressive of those liberties.

The motivation of the biblical Christian religion to influence people to moral living is not terror and loss of their souls but more of love and respect and appreciation toward God for His mercy and grace. Thus, a person fulfilling biblical, moral principles in life acquires a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction within themselves, rather than a sense of oppression and bondage.  

Moral decadence tends to lead to cultural and personal degradation, which further leads to a sense of bondage, emptiness, and cultural decline, especially loss of human dignity and liberty. When the biblical, moral principles and practices of a nation decay, then tyranny is just around the corner.  

The Importance Of The Church

The core principles and practices that produce liberty come from the Bible. Therefore, the fountainhead and primary source from which the principles and practices of liberty pour is the true, biblical church.

Only the true church is able to keep alive the core principles and practices that produce liberty. The true church was begun by Christ, charged by Christ, and empowered and guided by Christ to be the pillar and ground of truth.  

“…the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”  1 Timothy 3:15.

All practices and principles other than biblical ones stifle social, technological, and economical development and generally lead to bondage and ruin. Thus, vibrant, biblically-functioning New Testament churches are the most important elements of the culture of freedom. They are the hotspots that source the truth, sustain the truth, and spread the truth, producing and sustaining the general culture of freedom.

Benefits Of Freedom

The American culture of freedom and dignity, based on biblical principles, has set to flight opportunity and motivation for Americans to express their ingenuity and to produce and give in a way the world has never seen.

This culture of freedom, again, based on biblical truths, has produced the technological and economic engines that have blessed the entire world and have extended freedom’s aspiration to the downtrodden victims of all other cultures.

In spite of America’s imperfect implementation of biblical principles and practices, this culture has undoubtedly produced more widespread benefits to more people than any other nation in history. It has been so effective that its people are the most prosperous, compassionate, and generous in the world  and have not endured comfortably the oppression of the downtrodden.

As a result of the biblically-based, moral influence in America, there has always been a prevailing wind blowing in the direction of righting wrongs that are and have been constantly inflicted upon each other by the natural, self-serving tendencies of all mankind. Perhaps there has never been another nation with a conscience for good like America. It causes us to come to the aid of the wronged, hurting, and needy.

In America, the institution of slavery against the post-African minority was overturned at great cost, mostly by the sacrifice of enormous bloodshed by the biblically-affected, post-European majority. Most of human history tells a story of relentless genocide and/or cruel exploitation of minorities. Even today, this can be seen in regions where other than biblical Christians are in the majority, or where one ethnic group or race is in the majority over another.

The compassion and propensity to correct wrongs that the biblically-based, moral culture produces, although a positive and good thing, renders our population vulnerable to exploitation by the misguided or by those at war with our culture. Those who would cause the wrongful distribution of the means of production, accumulated through the advantages of our culture of liberty, can reward immoral and unproductive behavior and discourage moral and productive behavior. This can destroy our culture that produces liberty and prosperity because it helps to undermine our moral foundation and work ethic.

More Christian missionaries have swarmed out of this culture of liberty, preaching the gospel of Christ with a desire to set at liberty those oppressed by sin, than at any other time or from any other place in history. It becomes obvious why we, as Christians and churchmen, should be so concerned with retaining the culture of freedom that allows the expression of the gospel of grace and the virtues of living a Christ-like life.

Retaining the culture is a concern for us first of all because the existence and expansion of such a culture comes from the practice and principles of the Bible. Second, the practice and principles of such a culture of liberty are compatible with and enhance the success of the commission of the church. Third, it contributes to the best possible outcome for the well-being of the greatest number of people, both in this life and in the world to come.

These benefits and successes of freedom in North America are not due to superior natural resources, nor race, nor anything of superior land or attributes of people. Instead, they are due to a superior, biblically-based culture, designed and blessed by God, where people of all lands and races have come and flourished in that freedom. It can be said that America has been an exceptional nation because its people have been blessed by an exceptional God through His exceptional book.

Opposing Cultures

There are multitudes of other cultures that are at war with the biblical culture of freedom. They are based on other sources of values and principles, producing other worldviews, all leading to tyranny, oppression, and poverty. 

However, there are really only two primary sources of values and principles, that is, Christ and the anti-Christ. The war between them has been constant since the angelic rebellion against God. We know it has affected man from the beginning by the influence of spirits on mankind and the counter cultures (world system) produced by them (Ephesians 2:1-3).

Satan provides the design of the world system, which produces a multitude of cultures–all intended to hinder the spread of the Christian faith and the Bible, and thus, the culture of freedom. Each different culture of anti-Christ embodies a different strategy or combination of strategies to work his defeat of Christ. Some strategies involve force. Others involve persuasions which undermine the core values and principles of the scriptures.

It is apparent from the small amount of secular history that we have retained and from the biblical record that there has been such conflict, and there has been an ebb and flow of the state of affairs resulting from that conflict. We can see some of God’s strategy and tactics to retain truth and Satan’s strategy and tactics to destroy truth by destroying the cultures of truth and the people and documents and monuments of truth.

During the 18th century, the truth was given an opportunity to expand in North America and enlarge into a great culture of freedom. That culture, generally expressed as “way of life,” was won and has been defended by force of arms against those who would overthrow freedom by force of arms.  In those encounters, we have held our own until fairly recently in our history. The recent slippage is the result of moral slippage on the part of American leadership.

The ultimate deciding weapon in the outcome of cultural warfare, which can affect the outcome of whether a given culture will prevail in its warfare with other cultures, is not force, but persuasion. In fact, persuasion is the only legitimate weapon the Christian culture is allowed in gaining new adherents and retaining the old. True, biblical principles and core values do not allow us to gain adherents by coercion. In some instances, the Bible indicates approval to expand territory or retain territory by force of arms, but it never justifies gaining adherents to faith by forceful coercion. We can legitimately gain and retain adherents to faith only by free choice through persuasion.

One of the counter cultures to the true, biblically-guided Christian culture has been the pseudo-biblical culture, which has taken the biblical identity but held anti-biblical principles and core values. They have attempted to spread their culture by coercion and force. 

The pseudo-biblical culture has created a lot of confusion among persons of non-Christian cultures concerning what are the true core values and principles held by true, biblical Christians.  Examples would be church-state combines involved in inquisitions and conquests, with conversion by threat of torture and execution. It is doubtful that anyone has ever been converted to true Christianity by coercion since a true conversion occurs only by the exercise of free will.

Efforts Of The Founding Fathers

Our founding fathers and early generations of our nation understood the warfare that was constantly at play to overthrow freedom and the necessity that there be a general knowledge of biblical truth among the population in order to retain freedom. They had just established a nation dominated by the culture of truth out of conflict with darkness. They knew the struggles, dangers, and tenuousness of their accomplishment as well as the value of eternal vigilance. They understood the times and what they should do.

Therefore, they set a powerful strategy in place to win any war that involved persuasion. They established an educational principle that a knowledge of Christ and biblical truths should be at the center of all education. Even the great universities were initially centered on these principles. Innumerable monuments were set up throughout the nation to extol and sustain those biblical principles from which freedom flows. But, time marches on. Men become preoccupied with the blessings of freedom and forget due vigilance. In our times of the 21st century, we find an ironic and tragic situation in our nation.

Captured By The Enemy

Most of the very institutions of education that were set up by Christians to train leaders to sustain and reinforce our culture have been captured by the enemies. Their strategy has been to use our freedoms to attack us in our most vulnerable point–namely, our naive, ill-prepared youth–using the nation’s educational centers as their own strongholds of persuasive warfare. 

Not having the values and principles of the biblically-based Christian culture, our enemies have no scruples against using deception and stealth to gain control of the critical institutions of persuasion. Upon gaining control, they unscrupulously discriminate against Christians for positions in education and in other institutions. Not according to the same fairness or freedom that the biblically-based culture afforded them, they have effectively cast out all Christian expression from public discourse.

Also, those monuments of truth throughout the land are being outlawed because of anti-Christian influence through their control of government. It has been historically true that, as anti-biblical cultures have consolidated themselves in a position of power, they have cut off the Bible from the masses and have persecuted even unto death those adhering to the true biblical principles.

For our forefathers and the most influential people of that day, dualism was not a way of life. They did not express religious feelings and convictions and live one way in the church houses and another way outside of church houses. They tended to express their religious principles and values openly and in all settings. They did not seem to feel intimidated to express their true religious feelings anywhere, especially in government and public settings. Not so in our day, for most influential people feel intimidated to express their true religious feelings anywhere because of the force of anti-Christian’s cultural correctness of the new order.

Even though our enemies have not yet been able to overcome us by force of arms, they are weakening us in our will and ability to fight. It is apparent that we have lost much that our forefathers gave us of the founding core principles and values of our nation, things that are necessary to retain our freedoms.

Strategies And Tactics Of The Enemy

The reason for our losses is that, while many of us were occupied hitherto, Satan was relentlessly and successfully warring against the godly culture from within by the strategies and tactics of persuasion and not by force of arms.  Our enemies have taken advantage of our freedoms, especially speech, and we may be losing our freedoms because we are losing the battle and war of persuasion.

In their persistence, our enemies have developed a large company of those who have a clear sense that there is a war, who are well-equipped with knowledge of their principles and values, and who have strong convictions and determination to win the war.

They have formed strategies and tactics of persuasion, including seeking control of all assets of persuasion, seeking to gain control of the education of youth, seeking control of news and entertainment media, seeking control of government on all levels (legislative, judicial, and executive), and seeking control of the great foundation of trusts, etc.

On our side, there is a stunning and paralyzing prevalence of confusion and complacency. There are just a few who seem to sense and care that true, pitched cultural warfare is taking place, a war that if lost will mean the loss of their freedoms and way of life in general. It will be the same as if a conquering army had invaded and taken over the country. The enemies of freedom have been very successful. Even now, they control most weapons of persuasion, which tips the scales in their favor. They are not guided by fair play nor by the value and dignity of life or by biblical, moral principles of truth. Deceit, injustice, and oppression are acceptable. The “end justifies the means.”

Often, we who would war against the enemy find our mouths taped in our power of persuasion to retain and expand our Christian culture from which freedom flows. Our side has not been well taught and does not understand the issues of our times and what we ought to do. That is why there is confusion among us and no real will to fight. The pillar and ground of truth has become an inadequate fountainhead of truth to produce effective salt and light. The churches understand there is a war but apparently do not have an understanding of the times in order to know what the church ought to do (1 Chronicles 12:32).

Recapturing Lost Strongholds

The churches should have developed, foremost, whatever was necessary to keep their adherents as aware of the spiritual war as their forefathers were. As the fountainhead of the culture of freedom, the church should have taught plainly how it was playing out in the culture and warned about the dire consequences that loss of the war would bring. Churches should have thoroughly discipled men and women to go into all sectors of the community with the attitude to win souls, to influence the culture through living a Christian lifestyle, and to fight the cultural war by advancing the cause of Christ.

Understanding the times includes understanding what the strategies and tactics of the enemy are. (We should not be ignorant of his devices!)  Timely strategies and tactics should be formed to effectively counter those of the enemy in order to hold or recapture control of education and indoctrination of youth and to regain control of all instruments of persuasion, including news media, entertainment media, and government from the city level to the federal level. We are not proposing that churches get involved in politics, but people affected by the gospel and biblical morality, as American citizens of a representative government, should get involved and exercise their influence.

There should be a burning determination in every Christian to aid in that cause, based upon a sense of the war and the unthinkable consequences of its loss. Such attitude and conviction should be fostered into cultural attitudes at large through all those persuasive strongholds which the enemy now holds but which we could recover in the power of Christ and in pitched determination and sacrifice.

Thus, in our discipleship process in the churches and in the educational bastions which our Christian culture still holds, as well as through any and all other processes of influence, not only should we stress the strategies and tactics of our enemy, but we should also stress counter strategies and tactics that our own culture should apply. Then, we must put out a strong call for soldiers of the cross to go into the mainstream for the purpose of recapturing lost strongholds and strengthening those that are left (Revelation 2:25, 26; 3:1-3).

The forces of freedom must marshal the spiritual, technical, and financial resources with determination to implement those goals now and at all costs.

Some specific goals are the following: buy and operate ABC, CBS, NBC, the New York Times, etc; gain leverage by placing our people into major university policy and teaching positions; do the same for the public primary and secondary schools; do the same for political, judicial, legislative, and bureaucratic slots; and develop and expand more Christian schools and universities. We must recover control of the great foundations and distribute to and fund great causes. 

Again, this is not a call for churches to do these things in the realm of state and commerce, but for Christian disciples and those enlightened within the churches to do as they go forth outside the churches with all legitimate endeavors of education, trade, media, government, etc.

We must live our lives with greater purpose than manufacturing, buying, and selling services and widgets, motivated by self-aggrandizement. We must ensure that this nation under God, with government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth; a system that is generated by the application of the truths of the Holy Word of God–the God who is the omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, righteous, just, and loving One. He above all others knows exactly how things should be done for the best outcome and benefit of those He loves.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  John 3:16

“…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”  John 10:10

We must understand the gospel, which changed our souls’ inclination and eternal destiny. We must recover the principles of what is the Christian lifestyle and why we as Cristians should live that lifestyle. Living that lifestyle counters the anti-Christian cultural effluvium that comes as a result of moral decay. We must understand the importance of taking up arms against aggressors who would destroy our liberty and way of life by force and give our lives in that cause.

But why should we send our people as soldiers-at-arms to fight for our freedoms and then allow our freedoms to be lost at home by neglect of our moral duties? We must be soldiers of the flag; but we must, and much more so, be soldiers of the cross, not in the mold of the violent and unbiblical crusaders, conquistadors, and inquisitioners, but in the love, kindness and goodness of Jesus Christ.

Alexis Charles Henri Clerel de Tocqueville, the French political thinker and historian best known for his Democracy in America, said, “America is great because America is good.”

If we do not stand up as soldiers of the cross, then all the efforts of all those who have struggled and sacrificed, even to the point of giving their lives for the flag and the freedoms it represents, will have struggled and sacrificed in vain. If the soldiers of the cross do not sustain the values and principles in our culture that produce liberty and which without liberty cannot be maintained, all is lost, and we decline into tyranny. The American cause will become a bygone ripple in the flow of history. May God forbid! And may we as Americans decide to use our freedoms, so preciously bought, to preserve freedom.

“Freedom is not free!” Lt. Colonel Walter A. Hitchcock

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