The culture war we fight today is deadly and tragic. These battles are not of flesh and blood…but against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12).
David Platt in the description of his book Counter Culture writes, “as difficult conversations about homosexuality [sic], abortion, and religious liberty continue to inject themselves into our workplaces, our churches, our schools, and our homes, Christians everywhere are asking the same question: How are we supposed to respond to all this?”
In 1863, our country fought against itself in one of the bloodiest wars in history. President Lincoln, a godly leader, offered wisdom that we can still use today.
Our first response: Prayer
President Abraham Lincoln’s wrote a proclamation in the midst of the Civil War that offers us wisdom for today:
with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.
James wrote in his letter, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16).
One of our most effective weapons in this battle is prayer.
Our second response: grace
Secondly, Lincoln provided insight that is as relevant and important now as it was in 1863. As the leader of a broken and bloody country, Lincoln carried the burden of fostering peace and healing. Lincoln recognized that God, and God alone, provides, leads, and gives grace.
No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things [the growth and blessing beyond the boundaries of war]. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.
His words powerfully remind me that we, as believers, are the ambassadors of God’s grace through Jesus Christ.
Consider Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus. He reminds believers that we were dead in our sins and we “followed the ways of this world…gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts” (Ephesians 2:2-3).
What comes shortly after this painful observation is one of the most powerful words in the English language…But.
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5
Simple. Not easy.
The only way to fight the culture war, which is truly a spiritual battle, is with spiritual weapons. The armor of God outlined in Ephesians 6 includes truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, and the Word of God, which prayer activates and fortifies.
How do Christians need to respond to the culture war? God call us to pray and share His grace.
Therefore, we need to be vigilant and stand firm. We must abide in Christ and remember that apart from Him we can do nothing. By praying together and sharing the gospel of God’s grace we can turn the tide of this culture war.
By: Joanna VanDeWater
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