There is no true culture war without holiness.
You cannot fight evil with slightly more traditional evil.
You cannot really complain about all the pork in the stimulus and appropriations bills if your life is full of unconfessed pork, that you expect everyone around you to just put up with.
You (rightly) object to the government sending $600 checks to the general populous, money they stole from our grandkids, while also sending billions to their pet projects here and overseas.
But how can you object when you do the same thing with your family? You snap at them and bark commands. You complain and fuss and criticize, and then you come back around and crack a joke to smooth things over, you give a little hug or kiss or smile to paper it over, or you say nice things about dinner, hoping to just forget about it. You try to buy off your family with your own version of stimulus monopoly money, while you have left craters of debt in the souls of everyone around you.
You go to bed angry. You drive off in a huff. You tell blatant lies. You hang up on your spouse. You grumble and curse under your breath, you roll your eyes and give the facial expression equivalents of the middle finger. And then you walk away. You stew in that bitterness. You steal joy and peace from the people around. And then instead of confessing your sins, instead of addressing your sin, admitting to God and the person that you wronged that you were wrong and asking for them to forgive you, instead actually making things right, you try to make up for it. You practice the false religion of humanism, pretening that good deeds some how make up for bad deeds. You buy presents, maybe a lot of presents. You text a silly heart emoji. You try to change the subject. And there you are throwing your six hundred dollar stimulus checks at your family and friends and coworkers hoping they will just let it go, hoping to bribe them into silence, paying them (if they go along with it) with a counterfeit kindness you stole from them.
We are trillions of dollars in debt in this nation because that is only a fraction of the debt of sin that we owe God and one another. We are nation of debtors. And so we are a nation of manipulators and bribers, on the hook with everyone around us, passing around kickbacks and payoffs trying to keep collections at bay.
Battle of AI on Repeat
And this is the central reason why most of our culture war attempts are like reruns of the Battle of Ai, over and over and over. It is praiseworthy that we mount attacks on the redefinition of marriage and the carnage of abortion and every form of socialistic theft and tranny-tyranny and all the rest of the bureaucratic cronyism and corruption. But it is also a little bit sad that we keep mounting these attacks against far smaller forces, and we are the ones chased and massacred every. single. time.
And why? Why are chased by our enemies, by far smaller numbers? Because we are a guilty people. Our hands are covered in blood, our hearts accuse us of our sins, and because we refuse to have God’s blessing. We want God’s blessing like some kind of magic talisman, like the Israelites who carried the Ark out into battle only to be defeated by the Philistines. But they had Bible verses, just like we do. They could point to the Battle of Jericho where God commanded the Ark to be carried around the city as they marched in silence for six days. We offer up our prayers and hymns and raise our hands and cry and try to get God to hear us, but He will not listen to us. He hates our pathetic attempts to get His attention because we will not repent of our sins.
“Bring your worthless offerings, no longer. Incense is an abomination to Me. New moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies – I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly… So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood” (Is. 1:13).
The only Ark that can do any good in the day of battle is the Ark covered in blood. And how does the Ark get covered in blood? By the Day of Atonement. And what is our Ark in the New Covenant? What is our Day of Atonement? It is our Lord Jesus Christ, our Mercy Seat, whose blood cleanses us from every sin.
But you cannot just say that and then pretend that everything is fine. You cannot just say the blood of Jesus, the blood of Jesus, the blood of Jesus like it’s some kind of incantation. You cannot just say that the blood of Jesus cleanses you and then carry on doing whatever it was you were doing before. You need the blood of Jesus on you. You need that blood on your heart. You need to get under that blood. You must be fully immersed in His blood.
We Are the Problem
And if that seems extreme, a little gross, a little over the top, then you still don’t get what I’m talking about. You don’t get how filthy and foul your sin is. You don’t yet understand that the problem with the “Conservative movement” in America is all the conservatives. We are the problem. The pagans and atheists are lost in their sins. They don’t know better. They are in the dark. They are in their graves. But we are the salt of the earth. We are the light of the world. And when it gets dark in a land full of millions of professing Christians, there is only one explanation for that.
We are the problem. It isn’t election fraud, or blood-thirsty politicians, or sexual deviants in our libraries, or over-reaching Health Nazis. Those are only symptoms of the problem. We are the problem. We do not believe God’s clear word, and we refuse to obey it. Men will not lead their wives to Jesus. Wives will not follow their husbands to Jesus. Parents refuse to require their children to obey Christ. And children refuse to honor their parents. Churches are led by lecherous, immoral men and embittered, butch women. We will not sing the Psalms or hear the Word of God carefully taught and authoritatively applied to our lives. We demand rock concerts and stand-up comedy and dancing girls, and leaders who prance and lisp and mince their words. Anything but the sledgehammer of God’s Word applied to our hard hearts.
We are the children of the Living God, and we ran away from home with our inheritance and spent it on cheap porn and Coors Lite. We are the prodigal with a mouth full of pig pods, and we’re kind of mad that none of our whores come around anymore. We complain that our Master-Farmer is such a corrupt tool, and now he’s requiring us to wear masks all the time.
We are sitting in that pigsty, and we are children of the King.
We are only sitting here eating filth because we will not go home. We are in this position in America because we will not go home to our Good Father. But He is still there. He is there in His grace looking down the road for us.
So how do we go home? How do you get under the blood? How do you get completely under?
“If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth, but if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn. 1:6-9).
There it is. Read it again.
American Christians are the ones in verses 6 and 8. We say we have fellowship with Christ, but we walk in the darkness. We are full of lies and we do not practice the truth. We claim we have no sin by our refusal to confess our sins, and so we are full of deceptions and the truth is not in us.
You cannot fight lies with more lies. You cannot fight the darkness with more darkness. You cannot fight corruption with slightly more traditional corruption. You cannot get clean by rolling in the pigsty.
There is only the blood of Jesus. And how do we get that blood to wash us clean?
Read the text again.
How do we get the blood of Jesus to cover us? By confessing our sins. When we name our sins honestly, according to the Word of God, when we call our sexual sin adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lust; when we name our unrighteous anger wrath and vengeance; when we name our lies what they are lies, and when we look the ones we have sinned against in the eyes and ask them to forgive us, and when we cry out to God and ask Him to have mercy on us and forgive us, He is faithful. He will forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. He is the only One who can.
We are a nation in the doghouse because we will not come out. We are being pummeled in the culture wars because we refuse to actually fight. And the reason we cannot fight is because we will not walk in the light. We will not take up the armor of light. Only those who walk in the Light as He is in the Light can wield the weapons of light. And the only way to walk in the Light is to confess your sins and come out into the light.
So what will it be? Do you want to fight the darkness in our land? Then you must have light to fight with. But that Light begins by exposing your sin, your hypocrisy, your lies, your browser history, your entertainment choices, your disobedience, your immodesty, your bad attitude, your foul mouth first.
So what will it be? Another round of stimulus pig pods? Another few months or years or decades of this debt slavery and tyranny and corruption in this pigsty?
Or would you like to be set free?
Your Father is the King.
You are His royalty. The only way to get out of this debtor prison is to have your debts paid. And if we get to the point where we realize that we cannot pay them, we cannot count that high, then we will have gotten to the point where the only thing we can do is go home to our Father in complete humility and surrender, worthy only to be one of His servants. But that would be better than this.
Do you see the blood on your hands? Do you know the damage you have done to your family? Do you see how you’ve hurt your wife, your husband? Do you see the debts you have accumulated with your lies and angry outbursts, your bitterness and nagging and selfishness? How much do you owe your wife, your husband, your children, your parents, your employees, your coworkers, your neighbors?
You can’t count that high. So Jesus came to bleed and die in your place. He was rejected and crushed for all of it. He paid the infinite debt that we cannot pay, so that we might go free, so that we might go home, so that the Father might welcome us home. He is the only One who can pay these debts. He is the only One who can forgive us and wash us clean.
You want to be part of the solution? Get under the blood. Start confessing your sins. Ask for forgiveness. Get clean. Come out into the light.