Societal Transformation

Many of us followers of Christ have dreams of societal transformation. In other words, we want to see more than just large numbers of people attending churches - we want to see cultural and sociological changes in our country that would be evidence of people really following the commands of Jesus in their everyday lives. I think this is a good and an appropriate dream and desire to have. When our society begins to adopt the values of Christ in everyday life and we see people honoring Jesus by loving one another, forgiving one another and living in relational harmony and moral purity then we know that the Kingdom of God is increasing among us. Jesus asked us to pray that God's Kingdom would come and that His will would be done on earth.

However, I think that the Bible-believing people of God in the United States have focused too often and too much on changing the political landscape in order to achieve societal transformation rather than focusing our energies and efforts elsewhere. I think we have mistakenly assumed that when "God was taken out of American public life" in the 1960's through Supreme Court decisions and legislation, those decisions then triggered the decline of morality and godliness in the United States. Therefore if the problems in America were caused by the absence of Christian leadership and values in government, we reason that the problems will be solved by the presence of Christian leaders and values in American government.

This thinking is based on the false assumption that government is what determines the moral condition of our country. I think rather that our government and the laws that are passed are a reflection of the moral state of our country and not a determinant of that moral state.

We cannot change the hearts and values of the American people by electing a Christian president and by putting Christians on the Supreme Court and in the Congress. This in itself will not bring the societal transformation that we are looking for.

I believe that the forces which influence and change the values and moral principles of our culture and society as a whole are not centered in government. Looking at the history of American society over the past 40 years I think we can conclude that two of the most powerful
forces that have shaped our cultural values are these:

1. The Educational System (particularly the colleges and universities)
2. The Media (particularly movies and television)

If this is true, then we can accomplish much more in terms of societal transformation by putting our energy, prayers and time into infiltrating these areas of influence with Christian leaders and Christian values. Let us pray that followers of Jesus will be trained and equipped to be shining lights in our schools, colleges, universities and in all areas of media.
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