Need Help? Call Now

Confronting Dangerous Cultural Myths

Confronting Dangerous Cultural Myths poster

When I wrote the book Hitler’s Cross, I explained some of the “cultural myths” that fed into the Nazi agenda and thus made Hitler’s Germany possible. These cultural myths are fueled by propaganda that pushes a culture in a destructive direction.

In Hitler’s time there were several powerful cultural myths, including that the Jews were sub-human, that whatever was good for Germany was good for Christianity, and that obedience to the state transcends individual conscience, among others. Eric Hoffer said that, “propaganda does not deceive people; it merely helps them to deceive themselves.” The further we drift from God as a nation, the more eagerly we long to be deceived.

Consider the cultural myth that homosexual relationships are normal, and therefore that marriage between two men or two women is just as good and right as the marriage of one man and one woman. Woe to the person who challenges this accepted dictum! They will be vilified, marginalized, or possibly even fired from their jobs.

As far as the mainstream media is concerned, the debate is over. The homosexual lobby now has virtual veto power over hiring practices in business, government, and even in our schools. Dr. Paul Church, a respected physician and Harvard Medical School professor, was expelled from a prestigious Boston hospital for publicly expressing his views that homosexual behavior had health risks; Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich stepped down due to extreme criticism for having given $1,000 in support of California’s Proposition 8 six years prior. I was told by a teacher in the Chicago Public School system that he was informed that simply tolerating same-sex relationships wasn’t enough; if he didn’t celebrate the homosexual agenda, he could lose his job. So much for tolerance.

Another cultural myth is that Islam is a peaceful and tolerant religion, and to say otherwise is bigoted, narrow-minded, and Islamophobic. No matter how many terror attacks are carried out in the name of Allah; no matter how aggressive and cruel the history of Islam; no matter how many Muslim leaders openly state that it is Islam’s intention to make America Islamic; no matter the clear teaching of the Qur’an and Hadith—nothing is allowed to contradict the myth that the true Islam is tolerant and peaceful. Of course most Muslims would prefer to live peaceful lives, but the more devoted they are to the teachings of Islam, the more deeply they believe in its supremacy and that it should be spread by jihad. Thankfully, here in America we have a more westernized and therefore more tolerant version of Islam.

Yet another cultural myth is that divine creation or intelligent design is anti-scientific—even though, simply on rational grounds, atheistic evolution can be shown to be not only logically flawed, but literally impossible. Yet if a professor so much as admits to a belief in intelligent design, he or she can be denied tenure or even fired.

Question: At what point are Christians going to assert their beliefs and accept the consequences? Will we be like those Christians in Hitler’s time who refused to express their doubts about their nation’s cultural myths, unwilling to be singled out and punished? There is a truism we must never forget: where there is fear, there is silence.

How Cultural Myths Threaten Your Freedom

Pastor Lutzer gives you new perspective on the threat to freedom from America’s reigning cultural myths—such as those that suppress any criticism of homosexuality or Islam. With the circle of liberty shrinking, Christians must be willing, he shares, to “draw a line in the sand.”

Q: You began your article talking about the Hitler era. Were there some Christians who had the courage to stand against their cultural myths and leave the consequences in God’s hands?

A: Yes. Most accepted the cultural myths either out of conviction or fear of expressing their disagreement. But there were others—we of course think immediately of Bonhoeffer, along with over a thousand other pastors and priests who died in concentration camps. This is why Einstein actually praised the church, for it was the only opposition Hitler had. The universities, newspapers, and most churches totally succumbed to the Nazi agenda.

Q: In American churches we are still able to express our disagreement with these myths without repercussions. Might the day come when that right will be taken away from us?

A: Unless we have judges who truly respect our Constitution, we will eventually find restrictions placed even on pastors and teachers. For one example, the Illinois same-sex marriage bill, as originally drafted, stated that churches that rented out their facilities for weddings would have to include same-sex weddings if requested; if a church employee (such as a secretary) was fired for marrying a same-sex partner, there would be an instant lawsuit.

Of course, to speak out against Islam carries its own risks. Unofficially, we as a culture are submitting to the demands of Islam, both under the guise of a misguided tolerance and to avoid a backlash.

Q: Have you noticed that some politicians like to speak about “freedom of worship” rather than “freedom of religion”?

A: Liberals prefer the phrase “freedom of worship” because it means very little. As our guide in China told us back in 1985, “the people in China have freedom…they can be as free as they want to be within their own minds.” According to such reasoning, Christians in China have “freedom of worship” simply because the government cannot control what they think. What the people of China do not have is what we have always had in America, namely, the free exercise of religion. According to the Constitution, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” However, while liberals will say that we are free to worship privately as we like, many would like to criminalize all public expression of Christianity.

Q: So, what must Christians do?

A: They must draw a line in the sand, according to their consciences—informed by Scripture—and then leave the consequences of their obedience in God’s hands.

Q: What should be our attitude toward the possibility of persecution?

A: It has been said that as long as the Church does not see persecution as a gift, we will not suffer well. In Philippians 1:29, Paul makes it clear that we are to consider persecution a gift from God: “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake” (ESV). In his commentary on this verse, Charles Haddon Spurgeon emphasized that suffering for the name of Christ is a privilege:

It is not every Christian who receives this mark of honor. There are some who have peculiar tender places in their hearts, and who are wounded and gashed by the unkind remarks of those who love them not, because they love the Lord Jesus Christ. To you, my brother, my sister, it is given and you may well rejoice in such a gift “not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.”

Q: Your books often speak to issues which directly impact the church and culture. Will you be addressing these current issues?

A: Yes, I am working right now on a book titled The Church in Babylon—Building a Church that Will Survive the Darkness. Please pray that God will give me wisdom to encourage the church and remind all of us that we serve Jesus Christ, King of kings. He walks with us wherever He plants us!