Battle Cry or Salt and Light?

Mn_battlecry25_108_pcBattlecry is a youth movement (www.battlecry.com) that held a rally in liberal San Francisco with 25,000 Christian teenagers.  Where in the Bible belt, such an event might receive friendly treatment, in San Francisco quite a different reaction came about.  The city that touts itself as progressive and tolerant is even being called "intolerant" by its own newspaper, The Chronicle.

Here is what one local political leader said of the event and group:

Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, was quoted telling counterprotesters Friday that the gathering Christians were "loud, they’re obnoxious, they’re disgusting and they should get out of San Francisco."

The Chronicle Editorial continues as it pontificates the following:

The young people who came to San Francisco to affirm their faith and enjoy a day of rock music deserved better. They deserved to be welcomed by a city that was as tolerant and progressive as its sanctimonious supervisors like to profess.

Battlecry says this about itself: Our Mission–To provoke a young generation to passionately pursue Jesus Christ and to take His life-giving message to the ends of the earth!

I cannot argue with that and am encouraged by the passion of this group!  However, I am concerned about the "in the bunker" Christianity we see when addressing our culture.  Protesting on the very steps where gay marriages were held sends a message to a city like San Francisco that we are against people.  It is one thing to rally together in a stadium and perhaps give witness about our faith to people on the streets.  But, to hold placards and signs invites a reaction.

Is our battle against the culture?  Is this being "salt and light" or simply a whimpering cry from marginalized Christians who are the  minority in an increasingly secular society?  Are we striving to be a force to be reckoned with, or is our faith something expressed as being "for" and not "against."  I am for God’s plan for marriage…not "against" gay people.  Is there a difference?  I think there is.

We hurt our message and our faith when we subtly use the culture as our enemy.  Christians have an enemy, and the culture is really just an expression of his handy work.  But, it is also upon us to not vacate places of influence in our culture (the arts, film, media, entertainment) but to strive to be a positive influence.  The desperation to reclaim our nation’s historic judeo-christian values really is not our fight or our battle cry. We are about our savior Jesus and his kingdom.

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Rich Kirkpatrick

Rich Kirkpatrick

Writer, Speaker, and Musician. Rich Kirkpatrick was recently rated #13 of the “Top 75 Religion Bloggers” by Newsmax.com, having also received recognition by Worship Leader Magazine as “Editor’s Choice” for the “Best of the Best” of blogs in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

8 comments

  1. Chirstian Cusaders. Of course San Francisco is not going to be tollerant of Christians gathering to protest. A thought. Our savior irritated the minds of the modern religious leaders, because they did not recognize him. We are to represent Him to people. Frankly I don’t recognize the Spirit of Christ in my heart when I am around such people. Times aren’t so different from the day he walked on earth. I wonder if I would even recognize him now. I think the answer is yes. But our error is we make God into our image, rather than wait in him and know him intimatley and allow him to make us in His image, keeping love first. God is not anxious. He is at rest. When we rest he will orchestrate His will around us.

  2. Chirstian Cusaders. Of course San Francisco is not going to be tollerant of Christians gathering to protest. A thought. Our savior irritated the minds of the modern religious leaders, because they did not recognize him. We are to represent Him to people. Frankly I don’t recognize the Spirit of Christ in my heart when I am around such people. Times aren’t so different from the day he walked on earth. I wonder if I would even recognize him now. I think the answer is yes. But our error is we make God into our image, rather than wait in him and know him intimatley and allow him to make us in His image, keeping love first. God is not anxious. He is at rest. When we rest he will orchestrate His will around us.

  3. Chirstian Cusaders. Of course San Francisco is not going to be tollerant of Christians gathering to protest. A thought. Our savior irritated the minds of the modern religious leaders, because they did not recognize him. We are to represent Him to people. Frankly I don’t recognize the Spirit of Christ in my heart when I am around such people. Times aren’t so different from the day he walked on earth. I wonder if I would even recognize him now. I think the answer is yes. But our error is we make God into our image, rather than wait in him and know him intimatley and allow him to make us in His image, keeping love first. God is not anxious. He is at rest. When we rest he will orchestrate His will around us.

  4. Chirstian Cusaders. Of course San Francisco is not going to be tollerant of Christians gathering to protest. A thought. Our savior irritated the minds of the modern religious leaders, because they did not recognize him. We are to represent Him to people. Frankly I don’t recognize the Spirit of Christ in my heart when I am around such people. Times aren’t so different from the day he walked on earth. I wonder if I would even recognize him now. I think the answer is yes. But our error is we make God into our image, rather than wait in him and know him intimatley and allow him to make us in His image, keeping love first. God is not anxious. He is at rest. When we rest he will orchestrate His will around us.

  5. Rich, my wife and two stepsons went to Battle Cry over the weekend. They’re coming back from their spring break trip tonight, and should be landing at pdx any time now. I don’t think they were aware of this dialogue between the city councilman and the newspaper, but I’ll bring it up to them and see what they have to say.
    Our battle shouldn’t be against culture, although it’s turning out to be that way in many sectors of Christianity. Rick Warren has recently been quoted as saying, “I’m sick of Christians being known for what they’re against, not what they’re for.”

  6. Rich, my wife and two stepsons went to Battle Cry over the weekend. They’re coming back from their spring break trip tonight, and should be landing at pdx any time now. I don’t think they were aware of this dialogue between the city councilman and the newspaper, but I’ll bring it up to them and see what they have to say.
    Our battle shouldn’t be against culture, although it’s turning out to be that way in many sectors of Christianity. Rick Warren has recently been quoted as saying, “I’m sick of Christians being known for what they’re against, not what they’re for.”

  7. Rich, my wife and two stepsons went to Battle Cry over the weekend. They’re coming back from their spring break trip tonight, and should be landing at pdx any time now. I don’t think they were aware of this dialogue between the city councilman and the newspaper, but I’ll bring it up to them and see what they have to say.
    Our battle shouldn’t be against culture, although it’s turning out to be that way in many sectors of Christianity. Rick Warren has recently been quoted as saying, “I’m sick of Christians being known for what they’re against, not what they’re for.”

  8. Rich, my wife and two stepsons went to Battle Cry over the weekend. They’re coming back from their spring break trip tonight, and should be landing at pdx any time now. I don’t think they were aware of this dialogue between the city councilman and the newspaper, but I’ll bring it up to them and see what they have to say.
    Our battle shouldn’t be against culture, although it’s turning out to be that way in many sectors of Christianity. Rick Warren has recently been quoted as saying, “I’m sick of Christians being known for what they’re against, not what they’re for.”

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