When you hear Christians speak of “cultural engagement” they are speaking about something Jesus never did. Jesus engaged people – particularly sinners. He was a friend to them, he talked with them, he ate dinner in their homes, he healed them, he told them Good News and he invited them to believe. At the same time, Jesus didn’t give a rip what Caesar was up to. Jesus was proclaiming a different kingdom.
Today, “cultural engagement” is code for when Christians try to bend a sinful culture until it conforms to Christian norms, whether they believe the gospel or not. “Cultural engagement” involves passing laws that force sinners to act like Christians. “Cultural engagement” means preserving the Christian façade of America so that we Christians can continue to live comfortably without fear of persecution, so that we can bear the Name of Jesus with little or no personal cost, so that we can pursue the crown without bearing the cross.
Our actual mission – to preach the gospel, heal the sick, drive out demons, be a friend to sinners – gets lost as we pursue our cultural agenda. Sinners think we hate them, while we think that America’s fate hinges on electing the right President.
Something’s wrong, folks. “Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.” (Rev. 2:5)