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The Fruit of Neutrality

We tell ourselves that if we can upset the least amount of people, be generally well-liked and well-respected by the world, then people will be more likely to listen to us and be won to Christ; but in reality, the heart of neutrality is self-preservation—a desire to protect our general level of comfort, undisturbed by angry secularists. As a result, there has been a mass exodus of explicit Christianity from the public square and from public institutions.
 
 

Open Wide

Christians, open wide your eyes. See all around the destitution, chaos, confusion in our nation. Keep up with (if you can) the never-ending cycle of breaking news, hot takes, and social media debates. Witness the dissolution of logic into base emotion, science into fantasy, wickedness into legislation. Lament with the Psalmist David “Save, O LORD, for the godly one is gone; for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man” (Ps. 12:1). All of this which we are constantly trying to comprehend, process, and analyze at warp speed is nothing more than the natural and predictable result of Christianity’s abdication from the culture and its institutions.
 

Conflict-Free Philosophy of Neutrality

This has occurred in fits and starts over generations, as the popular and conflict-free philosophy of “neutrality” has taken hold of a great number of Christians. Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” We are seeing what is unquestionably the triumph (not in the ultimate sense, of course) of evil, and paving the way for this was generations of Christians who have done nothing.
 
There is a great lure for Christians to buy into the myth of neutrality; we see the unbelieving world in constant turmoil and hatred, while we as Christians stay above the fray, keep our hands from getting dirty, and wait for an exhausted world to turn to us, finally ready for the answer, the gospel. There is certainly an element of godliness here–we are not to devolve down to the level of the unbeliever, as if we by our own strength can win the world. But for all our piety, there are many sins in this philosophy.
 
We tell ourselves that if we can upset the least amount of people, be generally well-liked and well-respected by the world, then people will be more likely to listen to us and be won to Christ; but in reality, the heart of neutrality is self-preservation, a desire to protect our general level of comfort, undisturbed by angry secularists. As a result, there has been a mass exodus of explicit Christianity from the public square and from public institutions.
 
We have constructed in our minds a neat divide between our spiritual lives and our lives in the world; politics and lawmaking, education, entertainment–these are the things of this world, things that can be governed by Christians and non-Christians alike according to the nice neutral rules of natural law. On the spiritual side, we all pour into our churches and small groups, quite satisfied to leave “worldly” institutions at the door. Meanwhile, the secular world and all its neutrality is free to declare that science means boys can be girls, American history is nothing more than the history of white terrorism, and in math two plus two does not have to equal four.
 

Neutrality Is Impossible

Jesus Himself said, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters” (Mt. 12:30). He eliminates the possibility of a third option; we are either doing it Jesus’ way or the Devil’s way, working for the light or for the darkness. Neutrality, therefore, is an impossibility. We will either do politics, math, history, debate, language, and medicine in a distinctly Christian way or in a non-Christian way. If there is a way to eat and drink to the glory of God, there is a way to teach physics to the glory of God. Christians have willingly ceded ground to secularism, allowing people who by God’s standard are fools for denying His existence to take the wheel of society, trusting them to steer us to a stable and peaceful destination.
The problem here is that we have forgotten what the Bible says about man. We have been supremely blessed to live in a nation in which the rule of law has reigned for over two centuries; as such, it has become easy for us to mistakenly assume that people are pretty much decent. We have emphasized nurture over nature, asserting that culture and upbringing determines how each individual will turn out, and that everybody is born good, or at least neutral. The Bible, however, tells a different story:
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jer. 17:9)
 
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth” (Rom. 1:18).
 
“For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law, indeed, it cannot” (Rom. 8:7).
 

“…for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Gen. 8:21).

 
God’s infallible word describes mankind as hopelessly rebellious, overtly wicked, sinful from the beginning. We are not born neutral to God, we are born hostile to God. If we simply think through this truth consistently, we will realize rather easily that there can be no neutrality.
 

Abandonment of Culture & People

Now, it must be said that there is common grace; all people are born with the law of God written on their hearts, we are not as sinful as we could be, and the culture in which we’re raised does influence and shape us to an extent. Unbelievers can and do participate in culture, and insofar as they act in accord with that law on their hearts, they will have a positive impact. However, when Christians retreat, when we abandon culture and allow sinful men to have their sinful way unchecked, the foundations will crumble, and it is this that we are witnessing. Unbelievers have a worldview, and as can be observed so very clearly now, they are not afraid to apply and implement it.
 
“Neutral” Christianity is not only the abandonment of culture into the hands of the wicked, it also is the abandonment of a vast number of people desperately lost and seeking answers. As mentioned earlier, this country has a rich tradition of the rule of law, Judeo-Christian values, and a general level of social morality. It is this tradition that has fueled the moderately successful conservative movement. However, without the foundation of the Christian worldview to undergird all of this, traditionalism becomes just that, and compromise becomes increasingly easier.
 
This has been the direction of political conservatives for quite some time; compromise follows compromise, be it over abortion, LGBTQ+ inclusion, or otherwise because there is no distinct Christian worldview to support their tradition. They are trying to approach these issues from a neutral perspective. This leaves behind a vast population of people who cherish Christian values, who see the onward march of militant secularism, and who desperately want someone who will fight back.
 

We Must Cease The Timidity

Christians ought to be the ones fighting; we ought to be engaging the culture from an explicitly biblical worldview on every level–social, political, and beyond. It is the Christian failure to do this that helps to explain the populous fervor for Donald Trump as a man who would fight against this radical leftism. It also helps to explain the events at the Capitol Building on January 6th; when these movements happen apart from the Christian worldview, they will spiral into chaos, lawlessness, and anarchy, which is the same place leftism leads to. Christ or chaos is a true dichotomy.
 
Christians must cease all the timidity. When we stand far off when we do not appeal to Scripture when we remain neutral, we end up here: abortion up until and even after birth, pre-pubescent boys and girls being mutilated in their flesh, the vulgar celebration of sodomy, and the decimation of marriage, and an ever-tightening grip of the state on our daily lives. We must live out our faith in every area, no longer pretending that neutrality is a valid option.
 

There Will Be Conflict, But The Victory Is Ours In Christ

And we have every justification for boldness; Christianity is the victorious worldview, Jesus has already won for us by being raised from the dead, His throne is established on justice and righteousness, He is returning to judge the living and the dead, and so there is no reason for us to be fearful or hesitant. Living the Christian life is not going to church on Sunday and trying to be nice; it is constantly applying the Scripture to our everyday lives, in every single area, whatever our sphere of influence may be.
 
And there is one more thing to keep in mind: it can be natural and easy when we truly apply the Bible’s doctrine of man, sin, and total depravity, to start seeing unbelievers as the enemy. While it’s true that they are God’s enemies, we must remember that we too once were, and were it not for His grace we would have remained that way.
 
When we apply the Christian worldview to our lives, there will be conflict. We will be hated, insulted, slandered, and mistreated. But we do not revile in return, we do not repay evil for evil, but rather we overcome evil with good. We make disciples and conquer the nations by proclaiming the peace established by Christ, and by living in accord with that peace. When we are controlled by the love of Christ, living explicitly for Him by the power of the Holy Spirit, this is something that nothing in all of creation can conquer.
 
Luke Griffo is a member of leadership at Redeemer Church of South Hills in West Mifflin, PA.  Click here for more RCSH Blog posts. 
 
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