Secular thinking drives the culture to something that reminds me of what was called “Kamikaze Kool-Aid” in my childhood. Whenever there was a party for children, it was common to offer two or three flavors of Kool-Aid, and each child could pick the color/flavor he liked best. Some children, however, preferred not to choose. They demanded some of every flavor/color, and the resulting drink looked a lot like the muddy water of the Mississippi River that bordered my home state, Missouri. We called that disgusting brown drink “Kamikaze Kool-Aid” in remembrance of the suicide planes our fathers had faced during World War II. It appears that contemporary secular culture activists want that same outcome in the culture–a muddy sameness, the end to any different viewpoints or practices. It reminds me of the movie The Wall, produced as a video exegesis of the Pink Floyd album by the same name. In that movie, cookie cutter children are conveyed in grey sameness to the end of a conveyor belt where they drop into a great void, all to the accompaniment of the song “We Don’t Need No Education.” I believe this is what secularists regard as their ultimate objective. When I think about it, it is amazing that this expose’ of the emptiness of secularism should have been produced by some of the culture’s leading proponents.
Kamikaze Kulture is a culture where are the external representations of an ethnicity may still remain evident, but each unique element loses its connections and identity in a social construct where the word equality is used to batter people into beings not much different from those grey, faceless children on the conveyor belt in The Wall. At a high level, the US government is attempting to force a cultural mix on neighborhoods, a blend as colorful as Kamikaze Koolaid , using the regulations labeled Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing to eliminate neighborhood covenants that protect the culture of the residents. On another promontory at that high level, the US government sponsors what is called “interfaith dialogue,” a fraudulent project designed to smudge the unique principles and practices of all religions into a Kamikaze Spirituality that makes no demands and gives no blessings but furthers a notion that the government is “accommodating” religion. This concept will ultimately erase the notion of religious liberty from the cultural memory. In the Kamikaze Kulture, religious liberty will not be necessary, because everybody knows that all ways lead to the same god who loves everybody and hands out Kool-Aid and cookies to all.
Running in powerful contradiction to the Kamikaze Kulture promoted by secular thinkers is the teaching of Christ, the second person of the triune God worshiped and served by Christians. Jesus, 100% God and 100% human, came to earth for the salvation of all humankind, but he is not one of the ways to God; he is the only way to God. In Christ’s teaching, people who live in relationship with him live in the context of eternal life while they are alive in time and space. Consequently their loyalty to Christ transcends their loyalty to any other being. They cannot give any “respect” to any other god, nor can they allow any human power to usurp their obedience to God. (They love and respect adherents of other gods, but they give no respect or honor to the other gods.) Christians love and serve their neighbors in complete obedience to the one true God revealed for our salvation in Jesus Christ, who now indwells every Christian in the powerful person of the Holy Spirit. This relationship does not permit mixed loyalties. It does not permit accommodation of lies or worship of any being except the one true God. The Bible is the revealed Word of God, given by God himself to his people as their guide for faith and life. A Christian obeys government and its laws, because God commands submission to and prayer for government, but when government attempts to usurp God’s place by making laws contradictory to God’s law, submission to God transcends the responsibility to submit to government.
There are people who self-identify as Christians who accept and promote that Kamikaze Kulture along with secular thinkers. These “Kamikaze Kristians” say that Christ is one of many good people who show us all how to live. They say that God is one of many ways to understand the same great god over the universe who loves everyone and wants people to be nice to each other. Kamikaze Kristians say that the Bible is a lovely but dusty old sacred book with some great poetry and exciting stories, but in their version of Kristianity, the Bible is no more special than the Baghavad Gita or The Sayings of Chairman Mao.
Christians who believe that Christian faith is exclusive, consuming, and pre-emptive are pitted not only against a government that wants religion to be neutered, but also against self-identified Christians who claim Christ’s name while working non-stop to dissolve him and his teachings into the spiritual goo of Kamikaze Kristianity. When someone like Kim Davis says that her faith teaches her not to participate in the sin of the government’s redefinition of marriage, the government that changed its definition of marriage and put her in this position can point to numerous Kamikaze Kristians who agree with the government that Kim Davis should “do her job” or else resign. These individuals claim the name “Christian,” but they don’t believe that the Bible is the final guide for faith and life, as Kim does. These Kamikaze Kristians say God would never be so unfair as to claim Jesus is the only way to him, and in that spirit, they allege that all religions lead to the same place. Kamikaze Kristians adopt the secular notion that humans have evolved past the words of ancient scribes who did not know nearly as much about human sexual relationships as we know today. Such a concept, of course, declares that they do not believe the Bible originated in the heart of God at all. The combination of secular thinking and Kamikaze Kristians results in very powerful forces arrayed against Christians who recognize in the Bible God’s revelation of himself and understand the Bible in the plain meaning of its words.
The precepts of interfaith dialogue similarly work to muddy any honest understanding of Islam and its threat to both Christians and the US government. Kamikaze Islam would be a religion of peace, love and getting along, not a religion of conversion at the point of a sword. Despite the determination of the Kamikaze Kulture to deny the real origins of the USA, historical documents make it clear that the people who founded the nation were people who believed the Bible and lived in relationship to Christ. There were certainly unbelievers in the mix, but the dominant cultural force was exerted by Christians, and their ideas about good government were rooted in their biblical understanding of what people need. They wrote a governing document, the Constitution, that showed respect for people’s right to choose what they believe while asserting government’s God-given authority to preserve peace and good order. Secular thinkers fail to notice that respect for a person’s right to choose and live by his own faith is a principle of biblical teaching, and they don’t see this right as the blessing of liberty; secular thinkers pretend to see Kim Davis abusing religious liberty, because in their view she is using religious liberty as the power to force her views on others. They do not see that protection of the “free exercise” of her faith protects her right to do what her faith compels her to do.
No governing document before the Constitution had ever expressed so powerfully the respect God shows for the right of the human beings he creates to choose what to believe and what principles to live by. The Constitution built a strong structure on the foundation of the rights documented in the Declaration of Independence. Neither the Declaration nor the Constitution tried to say that the writers of the documents were granting those rights; both of those documents relied on God as the source of those rights. The Constitution was always intended to establish a government as powerful as it needed to be for the areas in which it functioned while restraining that government to the smallest possible size to cover only the authority granted to it. That model set up an environment in which liberty, religious and otherwise was protected, the states could work together as necessary for promotion of internal and external commerce and the people could be protected from threats to the whole body of the states.
That model was designed by Christians inspired to limit people’s freedom only as much as absolutely necessary for the good of the states. They looked at the possibility that less freedom might mean more security. People whose ancestors had come to a wilderness along the Atlantic with no safety net whatsoever chose to come down on the side of more freedom, not less, believing that citizens would value the freedom and accept its risks gladly rather than live under tyranny. Contemporary secular thinkers apparently prefer tyranny, where nobody could be allowed to speak of or live by his religion, where nobody is allowed to choose his neighbors, where nobody is allowed to read all the research on any topic and decide for himself the way forward.
In the Constitutional model, religion was not regarded as the aberration of the ignorant, one aberration being no more desirable than another. The Constitution’s writers viewed religious faith as the source of a moral compass the culture needed. They encouraged people to inject moral and ethical questions into public discourse. They would be appalled at a debate among candidates for the powerful office of President of the United States that focused on questions such as, “Person A said this about you yesterday. What is your response?” They would have expected the questions in the debate to cover fiscal responsibility, commitment to federalism, and defense against international aggression. The Framers would have expected questions about the morality of the nation’s involvement in or withdrawal from the disintegration of the Middle East. They would have expected a candidate to be clear about his moral values and their source.
The Constitution’s model has now been abandoned in the interest of reducing every religion to a muddled flavor component of the Kamikaze blend of all religions as viewed by secular thinkers. Since even Kamikaze Kristians want people to keep their religion to themselves. the idea that anyone would reject the redefinition of marriage on moral grounds rooted in religious teaching is anathema. Kim Davis is not only on the wrong side of history in her moral views, but in their eyes, her words and deeds are an affront to all citizens, because in the view of secularists, nobody wants to hear anyone speak of religion in public, and certainly not in public office. If reporters in Lincoln’s day had operated by the same worldview as reporters today, we would not likely even know the words of many of Lincoln’s speeches, seasoned as they were with his faith convictions.
In today’s culture wars, someone who claims to be a Christian has a choice: be a Kamikaze Kristian and blend in, or be a faithful follower of Christ and stand out. It is actually the very same choice Joshua gave the people at Shechem at the end of his life. Israel had invaded a country where there were wide varieties of local gods and a few gods that were more broadly worshiped. Despite forty years of wandering in the wilderness where Moses and Aaron taught the people how to worship the God who provided blessing, security and provision for them every day, there were still Israelites who worshiped the Egyptian gods and even the ancient gods of the land Abraham had left behind. Israelites who trusted God to lead them to triumph over the political and religious power in Canaan faced battles not dissimilar to the culture wars in the US today.
Joshua called the tribes to meet at Schechem where the distribution of the land among the tribes was recorded. It is an interesting choice of location, because Schechem is the first location in Canaan where Abraham is recorded to have stopped and built an altar to the Lord. There, the Lord confirmed to Abraham that he had arrived at the land promised in Genesis 12:1, “the land that I will show you.”
Joshua gathered the tribes to this same place–Schechem. After documenting the final division of land among the tribes, Joshua stepped down from leadership in order to go to a place he would call home where he would conquer his assigned parcel and live in peace. Before he left, he made an important speech, and he said, “If it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15).
It is much easier to be a Kamikaze Kristian than to be a faithful follower of Jesus. The culture will always tell you what to do, what to say, and what to think if you choose the route of blending in. You can throw your colorful, unique flavor as a disciple of the living Christ into the muck of all the religions of the world and become anonymous in the mix if that is your choice. I don’t recommend it. When Jesus revealed himself to the apostle John, a vision John recorded in the book of Revelation, the dominant message of that whole vision was to Christians who might be tempted to quit making such a big deal of their beliefs. Jesus had a message for people tempted to blend into the sludge. Jesus spoke to Christians who might be tired of the insults every time they encouraged women to choose life rather than abortion. Jesus spoke to county officials who might be tempted to go along to get along since the federal government had declared an ungodly union to be a legal marriage. Jesus spoke to senators and representatives who would be bludgeoned for conducting hearings to reveal the truth about public officials who had lost their integrity. Jesus spoke to teachers who would be threatened with loss of their jobs if they allowed children to see a Bible on their desks. All these people and many more are tempted, pressured, battered daily to stop trying to “force their religion on other people” when they simply try to live their faith with integrity.
Jesus said, “The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations” (Revelation 2:26). “The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life” (Revelation 3:5). “Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown” (Revelation 3:11). “The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne” (Revelation 3:21). Don’t let go of Jesus. Be the real thing. Trust Christ. Believe his revelation in the Bible. Live in faithful relationship with him and be strong when the Kamikaze Kulture pressures you to do otherwise. Hold out for the big prizes. Do not become a Kamikaze Kristian.
By Katherine Harms, author of Oceans of Love available for Kindle at Amazon.com. Watch for the release of Thrive! Live Christian in a Hostile World, planned for release in the winter 2016