Anyone today who does some honest reflection is forced to admit that there is a culture war going on, not only in the United States, but worldwide. Unfortunately, many Christians don't seem to realize that fact, and many that do have simply given up--waiting for Jesus to come back and "rapture" them out of the current mess so they won't have to become involved in it. Their theology is, and has been for the last 140 years, one of retreatism and defeatism. Much of the war on Christian culture (for in the final analysis that's what the culture wars are really all about) has been carried on in the entertainment media, so called. Gary North has recently written a book called "The War On Mel Gibson." North has stated, and I think quite accurately "The movies have been the crowbars that Hollywood's humanists have used for generation to pry Americans away from their first principles: religious, moral and cultural." He says of Gibson's movie that it is: "...the most important recent event in the history of the American culture war." I recall that, for several months prior to the release of Gibson's film there were all manner of cries, moans, and hysteria from the Zionist crowd about how his film was bound to be "anti-Semitic" and therefore it should be boycotted. I'm sure their collective stomachs turned when it made $23 million on its first day and several more millions thereafter. What bothered those people was that the average American going to see the movie had not bought into their "it's anti-Semitic" claptrap. Let's face it, some of those folks would readily do away with the New Testament if they could get by with it.
In commenting on "The Passion of the Christ" writer Randall Murphree noted that: "It offends Hollywood for several reasons. Chief among them, it is an affront to liberal theology, and it threatens to usurp their control over a culture they've so craftily contrived over the last half century."
Although as yet I've read nothing but brief excerpts from North's book, I think it will be a good commentary regarding the present, ongoing culture war in this country and I will get a copy when possible. North makes one statement that most Christians today, unfortunately, will not even begin to understand. He says: "The Great Commission included the redemption of culture. It's time for Christians to begin engaging the culture and producing art that reflects the values of the faith." And he continues: "Mel Gibson represents what can be done by Christians. What Gibson has done on a grand scale, other Christians can do on a small scale." North has a valid point here and Christians need to begin to revise their thinking about the culture around them and to act accordingly. You don't have to totally agree with Mel Gibson's theology, but at least he has done something.
I recently read an article by Jesse Mullins Jr. in, of all places, "American Cowboy" magazine. It dealt somewhat with old Western movies and mentioned a Philip F. Anschutz, who, according to the article, has become a proponent of family-style films. Mullins notes Anschutz's comments on the number of R rated movies out there. Anschutz asked: "Is this predominance...simply as we hear so often, a response to the market? I would say not, considering that of the top 20 moneymaking films of all time, not a single one is rated R, and of the top 50, only five are rated R--with the remainder being either G or PG. Don't these figures make you wonder what's wrong with Hollywood just from a business point of view? Why, in the face of these statistics, does Hollywood keep putting out so many non-family oriented movies?" Good question--and I think most of us already know the answer. Hollywierd, and the people that run it need to make enough money to stay afloat and they seem to manage to do that with their sex and slasher films, but for most of them, the primary agenda is the destruction of whatever remains of the old Christian culture that was the foundation-stone of this country, as imperfect as it may have been. Those Hollywood people have an agenda. They are at war culturally, with the Almighty and with His Son, Jesus Christ. And anyone that does anything in the entertainment media that might, in some way, promote or glorify Christ is fair game to them, because such flies in the face of what they have been at work trying to destroy.
Pastor Steve M. Schlissel has written that: "Our indisputable Christian origins have not only been disputed, they have been utterly erased...For man has undertaken the gigantic effort of interpreting the whole world, and all things there are therein, in their origin, essence, what is called purely and strictly scientifically, that is, without God, without any invisible, supernatural, spiritual element, and simply alone from the pure date of matter and force. All the foundation work of that enterprise is done. The West is simply putting the broom to the dust of deity that remains on the periphery of our shared space." And where, pray tell, have the Christians been while all this was happening? They've been sitting on their thumbs, eagerly awaiting the "rapture" because they have been taught to believe, at least most of them, that it was better to escape the culture than to challenge it.
Gary North's comment "The Great Commission included the redemption of culture...It's time for Christians to begin engaging the culture..." is something that concerned Christians need to awaken from their "rapturous" slumber and begin doing.