by Bill Lockwood
The word “culture” is broadly defined as the beliefs, social practices or characteristics of a social group or people. A society shares the same “culture.” This necessarily includes sets of ideas that give society its shape. Culture originates from “cult” [Latin, “cultus”] which was not originally used to describe a bizarre religious system, but simply the act of worship. What is important to remember is that any culture is rooted in its religious presuppositions, regardless of what they may be.
When it is said that America was founded upon Christian ideals, it is never intended to suggest that any official state religion was established. Instead, as the entire Founding generation explained, the free institutions of society were molded and modeled upon Christian concepts. America was crafted to have a “Christian culture.”
Evidences are now so clear that the Christian culture is under tremendous assault in our society. Bibles being banned from the public square and schoolhouse is an index that traditional American values such as belief in God, the Bible, universal moral standards, family values and the sanctity of life are also under attack. As society continues to swoon in sickness there is a vocal minority which does not wish to examine the causes of our loss, but only wish to recommend more slavery to an all-powerful government. Witness also the fact that seldom does one hear about “the truth.” Instead, we bow before the gods of relativism and pluralism in which “all cultures” and therefore “religious concepts” have equal value.
When Israel entered the Promised Land of Canaan, God had made it exceedingly clear by repetition that they were to (1) “drive out” the Canaanite people and, (2) leave none of their altars or places of worship standing (See Judges 2:1-5). That they did not follow this mandate caused their society to deteriorate rapidly.
For example, the tribe of Benjamin failed to drive out the Jebusites (Canaanite people) in the environment of Jerusalem, but the “Jebusites lived among the Benjamites” (1:21). The same thing happened in other various communities such as Megiddo. Canaanites, with their culture, were allowed to remain.
Next, the tribe of Naphtali did not drive out the Canaanites from Beth-Shemesh, but in this case, the expressive language of Scripture tells us that the Israelites “dwelled among the Canaanites” (1:33). Dominance in cultural terms is given to the Canaanites. Further decline is seen in the very next verse where the Amorites (another Canaanite tribe) actually drove the Israelite tribe of Dan back into the hill country!
Finally, the sad conclusion is found in 1:36 where the Amorites actually established sovereign borders within the land of Israel! What is the lesson for America? While no one suggests that Americans are under divine mandate to drive out foreigners from our land, the obvious fact is that with uncontrolled immigration plus the lack of assimilation which is occurring our land will no longer reflect any of the cultural norms given by God.