Al Mohler on Confronting the Culture Winsomely Yet Subversively

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In this video, Al Mohler says that engaging the culture on matters of sexual freedom is complicated because the culture has redefined what it means to be happy, gracious, and friendly to the point that any form of disagreement will not fit those categories. So while believers can’t change those assumptions, they must seriously seek the Lord to examine their own hearts to ensure that they are truly loving their neighbors and must look past the issues of the day and see people in need of Christ.

One of the sad things about our current predicament is that we don’t get to determine how people define words like “happy” or “gracious” or “friendly” because sometimes just refusing to go along with the larger cultural current is enough for some people to say that we’re driven by hatred, and that we’re not friendly, that we don’t mean to be friends, that we’re not operating out of love, or that we have no compassion. Instead, those positive words are used for one who is in the flow of the sexual revolution, those who celebrate it and are a part of the cheering stand.

But, you know, the real indictment would be if those accusations were true, and I think we have to admit, when we look at the history of Christian political engagement and Christian engagement with issues of sexuality, sometimes that’s just what we’ve done. We just engaged issues. And over the course of the last several years and decades, we need to admit we’ve said things that could’ve been said better, and we’ve shown a face that didn’t always show a gospel conformed to Christ’s love for our neighbor. And so, we have to be careful about that.

But we don’t get to say, “Here’s the way, in which we’ll be able to speak truth in love and that will be received as love.” I so wish we had the power, the sovereignty, to make that happen, but what we do have is the responsibility to make certain that we are speaking the truth in love. We know in the biblical world, those two things were indivisible anyway, but in our fallen state we seem to be able to sometimes to find a way to divide them. We must be very, very careful not to divide the two.

The other thing is the problem of issues. If we really think that what’s at stake is a set of issues, then we’re probably a part of the problem. What’s at stake are persons, human beings made in the image of God, never merely issues. We can’t possibly be truly right on the issues, biblically defined, if what we see are just issues. We’re dealing with people. Those people are our neighbors, and we need to remember that.