An excerpt from Culture Shock: A Biblical Response to Today's Most Divisive Issues by Chip Ingram.
This book is for Christians. It is about issues we don't normally discuss. We often argue about these issues or scream about these issues or say nothing about these issues, but we rarely sit down and have meaningful, deep, respectful conversations around these issues.
These issues polarize! Within the larger Christian community, there are a great variety of views and opinions concerning human sexuality, homosexuality, abortion, the environment, and politics.
These are the kinds of issues that bring division and confusion in families, small groups, and churches. As a result, Christians—except for a vocal minority on opposite sides of these issues—have been strangely silent. Many, if not most, followers of Christ report that they have never heard a message from the pulpit on politics or the environment, let alone human sexuality, homosexuality, or abortion.
The result is a generation of sincere Christ-followers who have embraced the values and morals of our culture rather than those of God's Word, to our own detriment.
This book is written for those of us who take seriously our relationship with Christ, His Word, and His ultimate directive to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves. We unashamedly believe that the Bible is God's Word, and we have experienced a supernatural, spiritual birth that has radically changed our lives and our eternal destiny. We want to be authentic, grace-filled followers of Jesus, who live out our faith 24/7 and long to be instruments of life and love to those around us.
We are deeply concerned about injustice, famine, and slavery around the world and the ever-increasing violence, moral erosion, and family disintegration here at home. We are equally concerned and disheartened by two common vocal responses to the moral and cultural issues of our day. We cringe with remorse and embarrassment when we hear hate-filled speech and name calling and see violent actions by "Christians" in their effort to address issues like abortion, homosexuality, and the environment. We understand their passion for truth and moral fidelity but perceive their method and lack of love to be anything but Christ like.
On the other end of the continuum, we are equally dismayed by those in the Church who have abandoned or compromised the moral absolutes in Scripture. In the name of tolerance, relevance, political correctness, and compassion, they have embraced popular culture's views on human sexuality, abortion, and homosexuality as "Christian" views while violating the clear teaching of Scripture. We understand their passion to champion God's grace and acceptance, but grace without truth is unloving and—again—anything but Christ like.
This book is an honest effort to get Christians talking openly and respectfully about these issues. It's an effort to seek out what it looks like for us as followers of Christ to bring to the table both grace and truth in dealing with these issues and the people they impact. I've tried to present the presuppositions of both sides of the issues and report research and statistics in context.
I certainly have a bias, but we all do. Most of all, Jesus does, and that's the "bias" I want to get clear on and follow. Jesus brought light, not heat. He confronted unpopular and controversial issues with clarity and truth, but He treated people with dignity and respect unless their motives and hypocrisy dictated otherwise.
For too long the Church has been silent on these issues that are shaping our culture. For too long opposing groups have thrown rocks, slanted statistics, and vilified one another, even within the Church.
Jesus promised that the truth would set us free. Let's explore the truth together. He also commanded us to love one another. Let's put truth and love together and explore what the Bible says about today's most divisive issues.