Church historian Robert Louis Wilken has made this pertinent observation regarding the church in America. “Nothing is more needful today than the survival of Christian culture, because in recent generations this culture has become dangerously thin. At this moment in the church’s history in this country it is less urgent to convince the alternative culture in which we live of the truth of Christ than it is for the Church to tell itself its own story and to nurture its own life, the culture of the city of God, the Christian republic. This is not going to happen without a rebirth of moral and spiritual discipline and a resolute effort on the part of Christians to comprehend and to defend the remnants of Christian culture.”
The more I study the prophets, and observe what is happening in our culture, I sense we have not lost the cultural war. What is at stake is the survival of Christian culture. I agree with Rod Dreher, when he writes in his book, “The Benedict Option” that we need to build alternate communities, allowing for Christian formation of a new kind of Christian, who will become a different kind of citizen. “The Benedict Option…begins with recognition that Western society is post-Christian and that absent a miracle, there is no hope of reversing this condition in the foreseeable future…..trying to reclaim a lost influence will be a waste of energy and time…” We need Christian communities to “establish or reestablish common practices and common institutions that can reverse the isolation and fragmentation of contemporary society.”
Dreher warns us, “……Christianity is no longer at the center of our cultural definition and self-understanding, and its hold on the collective imagination is waning.” In addition, “there are no social forces now present capable of stopping the cultural momentum toward full secularization…..it is more important for us to build up the internal resilience within our families, churches and institutions, that will allow us to endure post-Christian America with faith intact. ” Could Dreher be right in saying, “The lack of awareness of our predicament and its nature is the chief obstacle among Christians to preparing for it. Many Christians cannot fathom the magnitude of the change now upon us.”
I have followed Dreher for some time. He might sound alarmist to some. But I believe he is like a watchman on the walls, warning us of what is coming. As Grandparents, Judy and I, pray constantly and fervently for our eight grandchildren and their families. Passing on a strong Christian culture, that models godly living among men and women is going to be more difficult. Men, I want you to know that you have a friend, mentor and encourager in your calling to follow Jesus in our day, along with your responsibility of raising your children.
So what is a wild man to do? Here are five suggestions. First, place yourself under the Lordship of Jesus and the reign of his kingdom. Jesus taught us prayer that his kingdom would come and his will would be done on earth as it is in heaven. I pray that daily. 2) Humbly accept that mantle of high priest in your family. Thirdly, for the sake of our family evaluate your commitment to the body of Christ. You need others to help model a healthy Christian culture. Fourthly, find a group of husbands and fathers who are committed to the kingdom presence in your community. Fifthly, always remember the promise of Romans 5:20, “But where sin increased, grace increased all the more.” Continually cry out for God to be merciful to you and your family.