John MacArthur, Culture Wars, and Spiritual Conflict: Part 2

This second installment is a response to a short video clip that Pastor John MacArthur did on Culture Wars. As I mentioned in the first installment, culture is an inescapable concept. See the video below for a more comprehensive response.

There is no way to ignore it or escape it. You are either changing the culture or being changed by it. God’s creation and His sovereign rule over it are all about culture. We were created in God’s image. The creation matters to God and it should matter to us.

By creating nations and people, by raising up kings and princes and rulers and magistrates among them, God in no way intended to relinquish His supreme authority or to renounce His rights over the creation that issued from His hands….

To say that Jesus Christ is the God of individuals and families and not the God of peoples and societies is to say that He is not God. To say that Christianity is the law of the individual man and not the law of the collective man is to say that Christianity is not divine. To say that the Church is the judge of private and personal morality but that it has nothing to do with public and political morality is to say that the Church is not a divine institution. 1

The culture war began in the Garden. After the Fall, we hear God explaining the war and describing the battle that exists between the seed (offspring) of the serpent and the seed (offspring) of the woman:

And I will put enmity
Between you [the serpent] and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall crush you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel (Gen. 3:15).

That head crushing is a common theme in the Bible – from Jael driving a tent peg through the head of Sisera (Judg. 5:24-26) and an unnamed woman dropping an “upper millstone” on the head of Abimelech (9:53) to David killing Goliath and cutting of his head (1 Sam. 17) and the Greater David, Jesus, driving the stake of the cross through the serpents head at Golgotha, the “place of a skull” [Κρανίου Τόπος] (Matt. 27:33; Mark 15:22; John 19:17.

Paul wrote to the Roman Christians that God would soon crush Satan under their feet (Rom. 16:20).

We don’t use tent pegs, millstones, projectiles, swords, or stakes in this war. God has empowered His people with something greater and more effective:

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete (2 Cor. 10:3-6).

These “fortresses” and “speculations” show themselves in the world. What we see with our eyes is a manifestation of what’s going on with competing philosophies of life.

There are two competing worldviews with two ways of salvation and two philosophies of life that affect everything. God created the world and said it was “very good” (Gen. 1:31). Even after the Fall, the world is still described as “good” (1 Tim 4:4). God designed it to be cultivated in every way possible. Because of the Fall, there will be those who will war against a biblical culture. The Bible is the story of that war.

  1. Etienne Catta, La doctrine politique et sociale du Cardinal Pie (Paris,: Nouvelle Editions Latines, [1957] 1991), 9. []
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