Top Ten Issues in the Culture War
by Daniel Keeran, MSW
Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. - 1 Peter 2:11
Culture War definition: the conflict of worldviews, values and beliefs defining ethics and behaviour within society,
e.g. secular majority rule versus Christianity.
Major fronts in the culture war: individual human desires and passions, Government (political parties, courts, and
social services), the Arts, Film, and Media, Public Schools and Universities, some religious groups, and the Internet
1. Low human value vs high human value: In Biblical terms: ”What is man that You take thought of him, and
the son of man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him
with glory and majesty! You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his
feet” (Psalm 8:4-6). Abortion and euthanasia seem to undermine the high value of human life, identity, and
dignity, described in biblical language. In the opposing view, humans are regarded as having equal or less
value than other life forms. This devaluation of human life has a predictably over-all negative influence on
society and relationships.
2. Gay marriage and cohabitation vs God-given sexual boundaries: Biblical sexual boundaries define
homosexuality and sex outside of a heterosexual lifetime commitment, as sexual immorality. The internet
opens another culture-war front with the proliferation of pornography. Christians regard these as wrong
behaviours that can also be described as psychological disorders treatable for determined clients. Sexual
identity or gender confusion is supported by the media in the culture war. Mental health professionals can see
this as collaborating with the unhealthy behaviour or mental disorder.
Biblical reference: “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be
deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,nor
thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God”
(1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
3. Violence vs nonviolence: The teaching and example of Jesus for his followers to emulate whether they are
victims or bystanders or potential defenders, is nonviolence and love toward enemies. The pragmatic secular
society believes war and violence are justified for national security and to defend the weak (especially when
such defence coincides with national interest). When fourth century Christians accepted that the Emperor
Constantine had been given a divine vision of the cross at Milvan Bridge and was given victory over the army
of Maxentius, the culture war was lost with violence as victor over the nonviolence teaching of Jesus of
Nazareth, previously believed by followers of Jesus. Believing the right to carry a gun runs into “love your
enemies” and undermines Christian culture.
Biblical reference: “But to those of you who will listen, I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate
you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27,28).
4. Materialism and financial gluttony vs care for the poor: Whether or not one has provided care for those in
any trouble, will be a major criterion of judgment on the last day. A secular society adopts the high value of
human life from Christian faith, but the idea of human value from the moment of conception is an idea
opposed by the secular mindset. Care for the poor is central to the teaching of Jesus, against the tendency to
reject the poor as lazy, irresponsible, or undeserving.
Biblical reference: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine,
you did for me” (Matthew 25:42).
5. Skepticism vs faith: While skepticism is necessary for faith, those who consistently seek to undermine faith
in Christ, are in opposition to people of Christian faith in the culture war. Questions that challenge faith should
be invited and the best answers should be given. In this way, one participates in the prevailing culture war.
Biblical reference: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must
believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).
6. Secularism vs faith: In the culture war, the effort of a secular democratic society is to exclude any idea,
value, or belief that limits or restricts the right of anyone to seek any pleasure deemed harmless. Sexual
boundaries are nonexistent in a secular society, and values opposed to biblical definitions are presented in
film, music, and media owned by the godless.
Biblical reference: “They are darkened in their understanding and alienated from the life of God because of
the ignorance that is in them due to the hardness of their hearts. Having lost all sense of shame, they have
given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity, with a craving for more. But this
is not the way you came to know Christ” (Ephesians 4:18-20).
7. Persecution of Christians vs freedom of religion: In the culture war, Christians are often characterized by
the media and Hollywood film industry as insane, foolish, or dishonest, and sometimes all three. Christians
opposing homosexuality face jail time. Increasing employment dismissal, sentencing of Christians, and
marginalizing students in the classroom are measures of persecution in a society. Bill 89 was passed in
Ontario that allows the state to remove children if their sexual identity is opposed by the parents.
Biblical reference: “Yes, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12).
8. Naturalism vs faith: The prophets of the culture war supporting naturalism are Charles Darwin and Friedrich
Nietzsche. If the universe can be explained as only a naturally-occurring process, then God becomes
irrelevant in the process. This idea is taught in publicly-funded schools as consistent with a secular democratic
society in which all faiths or no faith are respected. Christian faith stands in direct opposition to godless
naturalism, so the cultural war is waged in secular public schools where children and youths are taught
naturalism that collides with faith. How can Christians live in a secular democratic society and not be in
tension with that society? The Christian community must recover its role to support the Christian identity,
values and beliefs of members, especially the youth.
Biblical reference: “For in Him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things were created through Him and for Him. He is
before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:16-17).
9. Amoralism vs moralism: Social workers, counsellors, and school teachers are ethically prohibited from
introducing their personal values and beliefs, but in taking a supposed amoral position, they may support
unhealthy sexual choices such as cohabitation, homosexuality, promiscuity, adultery, group sex, open
marriage, pornography, abortion, etc. In fact these unhealthy sexual practices are often endorsed by school
boards, employers, and public social and community services and taught in public schools.
Biblical reference: “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the
adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (Hebrews 13:4).
10. Popular Theology vs the Word of God: Mainline denominations adopt unbelief supporting naturalism, gay
marriage, cohabitation, fornication, abortion, and deny the virgin birth, the universe as divinely created, the
miracles and deity of Jesus, His resurrection, eternal hell, and biblical baptism. The atoning death of Christ is
not mentioned in the teaching of these groups but they agree with evangelicals on the justification of violence
to address evil in the world, against the nonviolent way of the cross.
Biblical reference: “They are of the world. That is why they speak from the world’s perspective, and the world
listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen
to us. That is how we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deception” (1 John 4:5-6).
Indicators of Losses in the Culture War
1. Increasing validation of sexual immorality in the arts.
2. Increasing profanity, mocking the holy, and vulgar speech in the arts.
3. Proliferation of pornography, especially on the internet.
4. Legal status for gay marriage.
5. Increasing rates of fornication and cohabitation in lieu of marriage.
6. Christian justification of the use of violence to address evil or for self-defence or for the defence of
7. Christian support of political means through elections and legislation and the threat of violence to
8. Growing atheism, secularism, and humanism in society.
9. In the arts, increasing depictions or characterizations of Christians as evil, insane, or immoral.
10. Increasing numbers of youth leaving the Christian community.
11. Prohibitions against sharing one’s faith in the workplace.
12. Teaching naturalism rather than divine creation in public schools.
13. Opposing care for the poor.
14. Christian support for corruption in the market place, e.g. A coffee company pays a judge in
Honduras to allow the take-over of land by the company. Christians knowing this, purchase and drink
15. Increasing rates of abortion and the sale of baby parts or allowing the birth mother to donate
aborted baby parts for scientific research.
16. Loss of moral trustworthy role models in the child sexual abuse by priests and other clergy.
17. Prevalence of belief in reincarnation and karma, blaming the victim, and the rejection of marital
attachment and commitment reflected in the rise of promiscuity, cohabitation, and divorce rates.
18. Lack of teaching in the Christian community about Christian values, beliefs, and identity.
The reader may also be interested in “Jesus Meditations”