Battlecry 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.