Keeping Your Christian Conscience in a Dystopian Culture

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As a college student, I’m privy to academia’s finest minds. Regrettably, these finest minds mesh quite admirably with that of the secularists and Marxists. Thus, class lectures take on a liberal re-education camp feel rather than an institute of higher learning.

When on the subject of “cultural progress,” a history professor of mine described religious conservatives’ resistance to the liberal radicalization of American culture as an “unhealthy mindset” and an “autoimmune disease.” If you happen to be a Bible-believing Christian and hold fast to Hebrews 13:8—that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever—you are a religious conservative, better known as an Evangelical Christian. As a result, my Ph.D.-swaddled professor posits that you are the problem in American politics and culture.

Comments such as the one above are concerning to me, because it reflects the secular muzzling strategy directed at active Christians: quash dialogue, label their Christian opposition as “unhealthy” or “irrational,” and pilfer the right to conscience. The result? One’s right to live out the conclusions of his conscience finds permission only as long as his conscience aligns with secular and liberal policies.

 

For those who are game to fulfill the Great Commission, here is how to keep the Gospel flowing in spite of an increasingly authoritarian secular realm.

Be a Flag Bearer for America’s Legacy

If I recollect accurately, the United States of America came into existence because of dissent against governing authority, so when my Western Civilization professor attributes Christian cultural resistance to an autoimmune disease, I begin to wonder if he comprehends our nation’s history.

When the Separatists left England because of religious persecution and Holland because their sons and daughters were straying from faith in a religiously disinterested culture, they were fulfilling their desire to worship God freely according to their conscience rather than by a monarch’s directive.

When delegates signed the Declaration of Independence, they were acting out resolutions set firm in their consciences, and later they did the same when adding the Bill of Rights to the Constitution.

The American legacy has rooted itself in the keeping of one’s conscience, for without it, the Founding Fathers would not have possessed the gall to take on King George and fight him for the rights of self-government and freedom of opinion. Comprehending this, evangelicals simply must not permit the redistribution of their consciences from Biblical principles to a militantly liberal worldview, which is one of hedonistic self-indulgence, moral relativism, and totalitarianism.

When a man or woman makes the conscious decision to follow Christ, it is the exercise of the conscience —a choice acted out from free will.  A disproportionate majority of America wants Christians to pack their Bibles away, fall in line with the rest of culture, and adapt to their worldview. They dream of a Christian mass exodus from the Great Commission because godly men and women are one of the few groups left who  are willing to engage culture with its own distinct worldview. Why should we willingly stop preaching the Gospel simply because it does not agree with the feelings of broader culture like those of my professor?

If we hand over our determination to live out our consciences, then we are effectively attempting to quench the Holy Spirit’s guidance and His role as our Advocate— as conscripted in John 14:26.

Seek Discernment

Every man and woman has a conscience, but not everyone’s conscience holds itself up to the Holy Spirit’s voice. Jesus promised the Holy Spirit and God sent Him in order for His followers to preach the Gospel so that other men may be rescued from this present, evil age (Galatians1 1:4). We have the responsibility to fulfill the Great Commission, the capability from the Holy Spirit, and the right by the 1st Amendment, so don’t permit any political strong-arming. Plus, even when 1st century Christians didn’t have the right to preach the Gospel, they still could do nothing less than speak to what they saw and heard.

Christians can counter silencing actions through having the courage to identify these maneuvers and resisting  them. In order to counter, Christians must ask God for wisdom and the presence of the Holy Spirit’s small, still voice. From there, we can separate goodness from lawlessness. The Paul urged believers to practice discernment in Colossians 2:8,

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.”

When a godless culture seeks “progress,” it is really seeking any sort of change it can get. As long as they get away from God’s authority, a notch is made in its belt. Therefore, in a godless society, cultural progress becomes institutionalized deviant behavior, and where there is deviance from God’s laws, there will be confusion and chaos in ever corner of society.

Let us apply discernment to the Supreme Court ruling (Obergefell v. Hodges), because it is the perfect example of what happens to a godless culture. Marriage is rooted in the Judeo-Christian ethic, for God ordained it to be so. Thus, by definition, marriage is between one man and one woman and any other definition is made null.

However, the Supreme Court redefined marriage to include same-sex couples, making the institution of marriage something altogether deviant from God’s top-down authority. In this case, it is man telling God what the natural law will be from the bottom-up.

Notice that this is the fruit of moral relativism, because its adherents recycle proven truths with their own emotional whims and produce a change that is altogether perverted from God’s truth. When man redefines what God has decreed, he will surely descend into hollow and deceptive philosophy.

To apply discernment is to facilitate the fulfillment of the Great Commission, for how can we preach the true Gospel if we are not willing to root out the corrupt one? Paul again wrote  in 2 Corinthians 10:5,

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

Discernment is part of our portfolio, and the current political and cultural climate screams for godly intervention.

Articulate & Activate God’s Goodness

Reacting to evil is only part of discernment’s function. Once identifying and countering evil, we must articulate Biblical principles and activate these truths in our own lives. Preaching the Gospel is key to articulation and living out the Gospel in our own lives sets us apart in culture.

We can tear down all the spiritual idols  we want—and we should endeavor to do so— yet if the Gospel of Jesus Christ does not become the new foundation, we are only clearing the rubble for Satan’s next counterculture movement.

Some of Christians (including me) can become so fixated with crushing our culture’s affair with iniquity, we become callous to God’s goodness. We have battled evil for such a long time and it has become all we know. Devotions, prayer, and worship are God’s restoration for our walk with Him, and we cannot sacrifice these disciplines because we’re too overcome by the evils of the world.

Nothing brings more delight than preaching the life-giving gospel and applying its truth to our own lives. We continue to transform our own hearts and minds with the Gospel as we preach it to those around us. The Holy Spirit’s fruit and Biblical truths have a perfect record when articulated, received, and activated within a culture.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. -Romans 12:2

Amidst the battle to bring America’s reverence back to God, never forget your lineage: an heir in the kingdom of Christ. American culture’s infatuation with identity formation has spiraled into the mainstreaming gender fluidity and nihilism. God’s people cannot have a similar identity crisis, so cultural repentance begins with those who are secure in their identity through Christ. Let it be said of this generation that godly men and woman not only dissented against an anti-Christ culture but also planted the seeds of God’s truth within hostile territory.

The Apostles find renown today because they invited Christ into every malevolent corner of society. Facing death, they honored their Savior. I think we can do the same in a decidedly softer culture.


Kevin Cochrane is a nineteen year old writer  with the distinct purpose of radically restoring everyone with exposed ears to the original testimony of Jesus Christ. The great pursuit of his life is to live by the words he writes—which is currently an ongoing project. For updates on his latest blog posts, you can follow him on Twitter @RunFree_KC or click the follow button at the bottom of the page to receive notifications by email.

 

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