I have spent a lot of time thinking about, writing about, and speaking about life and abortion. This is often done in a favorable or agreeable context, but there have been moments where I was told to lay off the hot-button issues. It is usually framed to me like this; you should refrain from discussing abortion and, instead, focus on preaching the Word of God. On the surface, I do not disagree. The last thing we need is for our church pulpits to become bully pulpits or platforms to elevate our words over God’s Word. However, we are kidding ourselves if we think we can preach the whole counsel of Scripture and never discuss or address the hot-button issues of our day.

The enemy is intentional in his desire to kill, steal, and destroy. I believe his strategic plan is a simple one. He seeks to define every issue, current pop culture, and our institutions as a culture war/hot-button issue while also binding the lips of churchmen in the guise of not being hateful. One doesn’t have to spend a great deal of time to see that this plan is playing out right before our eyes.

A twenty-four hour news cycle coupled with unlimited fodder on social media has birthed an all encompassing hot-button environment. The influence these outlets have had on our culture is clear. The Wood family can’t sit down and watch a baking show, a commercial break, college/professional sports, network television, or turn on the radio without being inundated with narratives and messaging that is rife with a worldly or unGodly viewpoint. If this is the case and our feeds, televisions, radios, and the like are full of messages counter to a Biblical worldview why would it benefit the local church, pastors, lay leaders, and churchmen to refrain from addressing the very thing that is pulling us from the good, the true, and the beautiful?

Now, I am not arguing for our days of worship to become full of stump speeches. That would be a disgrace and an overcorrection that would be detrimental. Instead, I am simply arguing for the Bible to be preached. The enemy has found success in pushing a secular culture inside the walls of the local church. Marriage, gender, identity, and life all have cultural ramifications and connections, but we must not ignore the fact that they were all created in the Garden. The sanctity of life, of marriage, of identity, and of gender were presented with clarity and without reservation by the God of the universe. To stray away from these topics is to stray away from the Bible.

We weren’t called to sit idly by while the enemy rages. Rosaria Butterfield lays this out in bold and eloquent fashion, “The devil hates every spiritual blessing in Christ. He hates Christ’s power. He hates Christ’s forgiving grace. He hates Christ’s transforming grace. He hates the gospel and the church. He hates happy marriages and well-ordered families. He hates personal holiness and obedience. The devil hates Christians who stand their ground.” I might add one more”¦the devil hates God’s Word being preached boldly and clearly to a lost culture and disciples of Jesus Christ being made. This is why I spend so much time discussing a revival that runs in conjunction with a discipleship movement.

Our culture and the local church didn’t get where it is today in a vacuum. No, we ended up here because discipleship was de-emphasized and placed on the proverbial back burner. I am sure you have heard it said before that “politics is downstream from culture.” This statement is true, but this formula has an addendum. That addendum, as I’ve heard folks smarter than I articulate it, continues with this thought, “culture is downstream from religion.” This is simply a more eloquent way of saying what we, Christians, know to be true. A revival movement that runs in conjunction with a discipleship movement, through the work of the Holy Spirit, is the only hope for a course correction. This is why we must double down on our Gospel efforts and place the Great Commission back where it belongs on the priority list.

This is also why it is imperative for us to preach the Word of God and answer the call of Matthew 28 to make disciples. When this is our practice we will certainly touch on hot-button issues, step on right and left toes, and be faced with darts or arrows from a secular culture. This should come as no surprise and is why we are to answer the call of Ephesians 6 and stand firm as we go into battle against “…rulers, against the authorities, against cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

The message of the Gospel is a message that penetrates every corner of our mind, heart, and, yes, even our culture and its hot-button issues. So… preach the good news of a good God today, tomorrow, and every day moving forward.

Our Church Engagement team can help you as you start down this path of discipleship in your homes, inside of pregnancy centers, and in your community. We look forward to hearing from you.