Checking the Pulse of the Culture
In May of 2009, I posted a three-part blog entry entitled Three Cultural Shifts Every Christian in America Needs to Watch. Those three cultural shifts were:
- The growth of Islam.
- The mainstreaming of homosexuality.
- Continued challenges to the sanctity of human life.
While I am not a prophet, nor the son of a prophet, three years later these three cultural shifts are front and center. A quick check of the cultural pulse reveals recent and alarming movement in all three areas.
As Islam continues to grow, and as it becomes more a part of American culture, so does radical Islam continue to grow. The events of the last week illustrate clearly the danger that radical Islam poses not just to America but the world. The Middle East is morphing. Muslim nations that were once moderate are become radicalized in front of our eyes. Just this week, an Egyptian court has issued arrest warrants for six individuals living in the United States. They are seeking to try them according to Sharia Law for insulting the Prophet Muhammad. If found guilty they would be executed. While these arrest warrants will go nowhere, it clearly illustrates the dynamic shift that is occurring in the Muslim world. For Christians this poses a great opportunity because most Muslims are not radical and many are seeking new lives in this country. It can be difficult to be a Muslim in America with the stigma created by the radical element. I have become friends with a Muslim from Libya who lives in my neighborhood. His name is Muhammad. I have had the opportunity in the past week to tell him I am praying for his country and family who still live in Libya.
The push to re-define marriage is in full swing. The goal is to mainstream same-sex marriage. Tolerance is no longer the objective of the homosexual agenda, now they are demanding affirmation. The Chick-fil-a controversy of a couple of months ago clearly illustrates where the line has now been drawn. The Cathy family tolerates the homosexual community. Their privately held company hires homosexuals, serves homosexuals, and shows zero discrimination toward anyone regardless of ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. But that is not good enough for the homosexual agenda. And so when Dan Cathy said that he believes in the biblical definition of marriage, the bullying tactics began. Chick-fil-a is accused of hate. Those who stand with them are accused of hate. High profile politicians publicly decry the restaurant and declare that they are not welcome in certain cities. The message is clear, “We don’t want your tolerance of our lifestyle, we want your affirmation…or else.”
Election cycles are always a good time to check the pulse of the culture and this particular cycle is no exception. I was alarmed but not surprised that at the Democratic National Convention a couple of weeks ago, that no less than 25 speakers championed abortion. The message was clear: If you are pro-life, there is no place for you in the Democratic Party. Our nation is facing dire challenges economically and globally, and the convention chose, of all things, to double down on this culture of murder and death. It is disturbing, to say the least, to listen to someone speak with pride about their support for abortion, only to hear a crowd of tens of thousands cheer. While the polls now show that the majority of the population is pro-life, this kind of challenge to the sanctity of human life is a clear indication that the culture is still shifting.
So, dear Christian, we cannot put our heads in the sand. No matter where you live, you likely have opportunity for interaction with Muslims. No matter where you live, you are not insulated from attempts to mainstream homosexuality. And even you can speak in defense of the biblical standard. And no matter where you live, the sanctity of human life is challenged and the unborn cry out for a defender.