Culture Wars


Tim Harlow reflects on the idea a lot of well-meaning Christian leaders have to “take our culture back.” He explains how Jesus didn’t call us to be the majority of the earth.

I believe that God puts us where He wants us. I know that’s an obvious opening statement, but that means that I actually believe that God put me in Chicagoland in 2015 because He gave me certain gifts and abilities that He wants me to use.  I don’t think I would have fit in as a preacher in Mayberry in the 1960s. I just could not have dealt with the legalism. I would have probably opted for Woodstock.

I was recently at an event where I heard a lot of well-meaning Christian leaders talking about “taking our culture back.” There are many church leaders who would love to bring back the “moral majority” to America. And while I hate what immorality does to people’s lives and also to the heart of God, my study of church history shows me that Christianity is usually most potent when it comes in from the outside. Jesus didn’t call us to be the majority of the earth.

He called us to be the salt and light.

I want to lead the Christians who are cellphone lights in a movie theater. Do you know what I mean? Your “brightness” level was fine until your friend texted you in the middle of the movie and you pulled out your phone and looked at it, and everyone around you started throwing popcorn at you!

Let me clue you in. Your brightness level didn’t change – the darkness level changed!

Welcome to the 21st Century!

Actually, if I stay with the illustration, the truth is that the darker the surroundings, the less light I really need without becoming obnoxious. My wife and I had a 7:00 am class in college with a professor who used a lot of visuals. He would always turn the lights off so they would show up better. In college at 7:00 am, that was a signal to take a nap. It was never a happy moment when the lights came back on.

I don’t believe that means I need less of Jesus in the 21st Century – I think I need more! I just may need to turn it down a bit when I’m out there in my movie theater. Don’t get me wrong, Jesus told us not to hide our light, either. Too many Christians are hiding their light, as well. That’s why I wrote Life On Mission. Everyone does need to let his or her light shine.

Just please, please, please, pay attention to the darkness level of your surroundings.

I had a critic call our church “Darkview Christian Church” recently. LOL! I’m actually thinking of changing our name now! I love that. (We can’t view a “Park” from our church, anyway.)

I believe that’s where God wants us. In view of the dark.

That’s where He wants you, too.


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