Engage


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One sleepy morning, a researcher of an opinion poll company knocked on a door and a guy who just woke up answered. The researcher asked, “Sir, do you agree that the problem with our society is that we are ignorant of and apathetic the issues around us?” The guy yawned, “I don’t know and I don’t care.” 

Whether we like it or not, we are in a culture war, that is, “a battle of ideas, an ideological struggle.” [1] We cannot deny it and we cannot hide from it. Kevin DeYoung, senior pastor of University Reformed Church in Michigan wrote regarding ,
I know, I know—you really don’t like the term “culture war.” The mission of the church is not to “reclaim” [our country]. The growth of the church does not rely on political victories or societal approval. And we don’t want the people we are trying to reach to think we are at war with them. … I know every generation thinks they are facing unprecedented problems, but it really does feel like free speech, religious freedom, and the institution of marriage are up for grabs in our day. [2]
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The recent Pacquiao brouhaha was not a trigger of this culture war. It’s an in-your-face sign that we are indeed engaged in this war. We just assumed we are enjoying peacetime. 

But keep in mind that we are not at war with people. Others may have opposing ideas but they are not our enemies. Yet, we are at war and the battlefield is in the mind of people and for their mind. 
We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5, New Living Translation)
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If we will continue denying this culture war and avoiding it, we will lose by default. We are throwing the towel even before we got into the boxing ring. Though he got crucified for saying that same-sex marriage is “masahol pa sa hayop” (“worse than animals”), I commend Congressman Manny Pacquiao for engaging this culture war though I think he could have used a better argument. 

What about us? Silence is not bliss. It’s our answer. Of course, we have to choose our battles. But to be silent in (or worse, to be ignorant and apathetic in) this culture war is to wave the white flag without even lifting a finger to fight. We are to “Fight the good fight of the faith.” (1 Timothy 6:12a) 

“Engage” Step
Why do you think believers tend to be silent on issues of our society? Reflect on 2 Corinthians 10:4-5. Looking at the raging issues nowadays, do you see the Filipino church as a whole advancing or retreating in this culture war? Why do you think so?

[1] Kevin DeYoung (3 August 2012), “The Three R’s of Christian Engagement in the Culture War,” The Gospel Coalition, retrieved from http://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/.

[2] Ibid.

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