For Such a Time as This: The Church’s Next Great Battle

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Some doctrines serve as a fulcrum within Christendom. What God’s people believe concerning these doctrines necessarily swings the entire thinking, mission, and approach of the church. It is as if the crux of the Christian faith and the effectiveness of the church rests upon these doctrines.

Throughout history, faithful generations have fought to preserve the integrity of these doctrines. Ancient doctrinal battles have been waged over the deity and nature of Jesus, the nature and validity of sacraments, the authority and jurisdiction of the Roman church over all other churches, the relationship between faith and works in salvation, and more. Each of these were defining moments for how the church would function in this world.

Recently, God’s people have fought to preserve such pivotal doctrines as the inerrancy of Scripture, God’s design for human sexuality, and the nature of marriage. In our culture today, these are unavoidable controversies that God’s people have been compelled to address. Granted, many sought to avoid confronting these issues, but the significance of these doctrines in the practical outworking of the church’s mission made engaging in these conflicts inevitable. There reached a point where either God’s people would engage in the fight or surrender it.

Once more, we have reached the point in another conflict where God’s people must either engage in the fight or surrender it. Today there is a prevailing ideology that is perhaps the greatest threat the Christian faith has yet faced because it threatens a bevy of fulcrum doctrines within Christendom. Until recently, cultural Marxism has been largely embraced by progressive Christians or ignored by God’s people—not challenged. Consequently, it has been permitted a century of opportunity to infiltrate every American system—including the church. Incredibly, some of the strongest proponents of cultural Marxist ideas today are Christian churches and ministries!

Rarely is the term “cultural Marxism” used; instead, we use terms such as “social justice,” “multiculturalism,” “critical theory,” “intersectionality,” and “privilege.” While a segment of the church has readily embraced the divisive arguments and false promises of cultural Marxism, another segment of the church continues to pretend that it is an ideology restricted to the realm of politics. As such, it is not a permissible topic to discuss from the pulpit. Consequently, cultural Marxism continues to take new ground virtually unimpeded as it endeavors to win the hearts and minds of yet another generation.

For a century cultural Marxists have intentionally sought positions of influence in our nation’s political, judicial, educational, and religious systems. Even as these Marxists infiltrated Christian denominations, God’s people chose to ignore the threat as being political extremism that distracted from the gospel message and could never be embraced in America. Well, the recent race riots and the explosive rise of Black Lives Matter, whose co-founders are self-admitted “trained Marxists … super versed on ideological theories”[1]—have demonstrated that America can and will embrace cultural Marxism if left unchallenged. Likewise, the plunge of Christian organizations such as CRU—formerly Campus Crusade for Christ—and the Gospel Coalition into a new gospel that is centered upon social justice, critical race theory, intersectionality, and privilege has demonstrated that no Christian ministry is immune to the arguments of cultural Marxism.

The greatest holdouts within Christendom—the Baptists and Evangelicals—have demonstrated an unwillingness to challenge the false ideology of cultural Marxism. Likewise, corporate America, the media industry, and our politicians have demonstrated an unwillingness to resist cultural Marxism in America. No longer can we rely upon our nation’s institutions to fight against these Marxist ideas because the leadership of these institutions has largely succumbed to them.

If God’s people continue to act as if this ideology has nothing to do with the mission and faith of the church, then there will be nothing to prevent the transformation of our nation into a system that is fundamentally at odds with fulcrum doctrines of our faith, including the importance of accepting personal responsibility for sin. The battle is presently being waged. If we continue to refuse to engage in the fight much longer, we will essentially surrender our most cherished doctrines of the faith to this divisive and anti-Christ ideology.

So, what does this mean for us? At the very least, we can take three steps. Our first step is to understand what is being said. Over the next few weeks, I intend to write a series of articles defining terms such as “cultural Marxism,” “cultural hegemony,” “intersectionality,” and “white privilege.” Once we understand what is being said, we need to critically evaluate this ideology in light of the Bible. Then, emboldened with the truth of God’s Word, we need to lead our families and churches into God’s Kingdom principles. Among other things, this requires that we be intentional in speaking against this dangerous ideology and in contrasting it against God’s revealed truth.

This very well may be our defining moment as God’s people. How we choose to respond to the threat of cultural Marxism invading our churches and culture will determine the course of our country. More importantly, it will determine the focus and effectiveness of the church from this point forward. This is a matter of doctrine, not merely politics, and this battle can no longer be avoided. It is currently being waged, and many of our fellow Christians have already defected. Will we who remain engage in the fight, or will we surrender? The choice is ours. The time for decision is now.

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Timothy Zebell

Timothy Zebell

As a former missionary to Asia for twelve years and the author of several books, Timothy is passionate about helping people understand the relevancy of God's Word in today's world. His goals are to help Christians discern truth from error, empower Christians to speak into cultural matters with relevancy, and to help Christians capitalize on the opportunities that these matters provide for sharing the truth about God and His gospel message.
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1. Ford, Adam. “Video Surfaces of Black Lives Matter Founder Saying, ‘We Are Trained Marxists.” Disrn, June 20, 2020, 5:15 p.m. https://disrn.com/news/video-surfaces-of-black-lives-matter-founder-saying-were-trained-marxists.

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