Speaking Truth to the Culture, or Not

Are churches being intimidated into silence on cultural issues? Andrew Wilson has some thoughts:

Jesus called his disciples to be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves, and to that end, we need to keep asking ourselves whether the way we are saying things is the most helpful or appropriate way of saying it, given the culture we are in. But this is not the same as asking whether we should say anything at all. After all, soon after telling his disciples that, Jesus went to his death and promised that they would follow in his footsteps, and it seems that ten out of twelve of them did. In Pauline terms, there’s a time for saying “I’ve become all things to all men”, and a time for saying “I wish those guys over there would castrate themselves.” In Petrine terms, there’s a time for saying “keep your conduct among the Gentiles honourable”, but not in a way that conflicts with “we must obey God rather than men.” Our desire to be wisely engaged in the culture should affect how we talk about ethical issues, but not whether we do. We call it cultural engagement for a reason.

Every culture has its high places, its sacrosanct areas of affiliation and adulation that cannot be defiled without all hell breaking loose, and ours is no different. When you denounce them, in however carefully phrased a manner, nobody likes you. That’s what courage is for.

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