Rod Parsley Gets “Culturally Incorrect” on controversial social topics from abortion to Islam to homosexuality and more.
By Jonas Clark
At this pivotal moment in history, America wrestles with
herself. The minds and hearts of this generation have become the theater of
conflict. It is a war of competing, mutually exclusive ways of viewing the
universe and man’s place in it. It is a clash of paradigms, of value systems,
and of visions of the future.
So says Pastor Rod Parsley in his latest book, “Culturally
Incorrect: How Clashing Worldviews Affect Your Future.” Parsley contends that a
healthy society requires the participation of morally founded people to offer
policies that positively impact commerce and government; science and technology;
and arts, entertainment and the media.
— Rod Parsley, Center for Moral Clarity —
Parsley is the founder and president of The
Center for Moral Clarity (CMC). Launched in 2004, CMC seeks to
bridge the gap in America’s eroding value system by affecting
moral change through passionate and effective Christian
leadership and service. Parsley also serves as the senior pastor
of World Harvest Church in Columbus, Ohio, and hosts
“Breakthrough,” a daily and weekly television broadcast seen by
millions across America and around the world. He is the
bestselling author of “Silent No More.”
The Voice magazine caught up with
Parsley to discuss his new book, the state of the Church, why
Islam is making inroads into America, and many other ‘culturally
The Voice: Why do you want people
to read “Culturally Incorrect” and what do you hope they will
Rod Parsley: The response to my previous
book, “Silent No More,” showed me that we are a deeply divided
people – politically and spiritually as well as morally. I
wrote “Culturally Incorrect” to show why we are divided and how
men and women of faith can engage in the war that is raging for
the soul of our nation. ‡‡
Through this book I want the culture at
large to learn why the biblical worldview is superior to all
others, and how false worldviews lead to disastrous results for
our society. I also want the Church to understand its divine
mandate to engage the culture. I truly believe this book can be
the catalyst for a new Great Awakening in our nation, if the
Church accepts its responsibility to make it happen.
The Voice: So you see another
Great Awakening coming? How will it happen?
Rod Parsley: I absolutely see another
Great Awakening coming to this nation in my lifetime, and
the Word of God is calling this generation to its forefront.
It’s incredible to imagine, but very realistic – God has used
previous generations to effect massive cultural change before.
The minds and hearts of this generation are the theater of
conflict. Conflicting worldviews have led to competing, mutually
exclusive ways of viewing the universe and man’s place in it. As
the biblical worldview is shown to be superior – as it will,
because absolute truth will not be denied – a new Great
Awakening is not only possible, but inevitable.
The Voice: In the book you wrote,
“We live in a generation of believers that has seemingly made
the cross a gateway for self-help and converted the call to a
life of Christian service into a quest for comfort and
pleasure.” Whose fault is that? And how do we move out of a
bless-me-only model of church that ultimately enables Christians
to engage the culture around them?
Rod Parsley: I believe both church leaders
and their followers share responsibility for our current state
of lethargy, but would note that shepherds bear ultimate
responsibility for their flocks. Today, we in the Church judge
the effectiveness of a ministry by how many people are coming to
worship services. I want us to return to a more telling measure
of success, which is not how many people are coming but rather
how many people are going into the culture to live transformed
lives. I’m convinced that the Church’s failure to actively,
vigorously and positively engage the culture has led to
defeatism and isolation on our parts – and, as a result, we’re
not heeding Jesus’ command to be salt and light.
The Voice: In “Culturally
Incorrect” you write about withdrawal and isolation from
society. Has there been too much focus on the rapture and not
enough focus on advancing and establishing Christ’s Kingdom
culture in our nation and the world?
Rod Parsley: It’s not a question of
either-or. It’s a question of both-and. I don’t believe
Christians can talk enough about our hope in the life to come –
it is an essential component of the biblical worldview. I do
believe the Church has ignored Christ’s mandate to establish the
Kingdom of God on earth, and that necessarily involves engaging
the culture, contending for the truth we’ve been given.
The Voice: What are the top three
things that Christians and leaders can do in their ministries to stop
the onslaught of anti-Christ agendas?
Rod Parsley: It’s even more simple than
that! The one most important thing our leadership can do is
return to clear, biblical preaching of the cross. We have
neglected to communicate biblical Christianity within our
churches, and that has led to the current situation, in my
judgment. Far too much of today’s preaching makes no mention of
self-denial, which is entry-level Christianity.
Culturally Incorrect: How Clashing
Worldviews Affect Your Future |
Parsley explains how the culture wars have
entered a new, critical phase for the U.S., and discusses
the areas the war is being fought: Cultural, Scientific,
Geopolitical, Media and Academia. He presents an
understanding of the paradigms, assumptions, and values that
animate the humanist, secularist and neo-pagan enemies of
Christianity in America and offers a strategy for winning
this "war" - what he calls a New Great Awakening - and how
evangelism, social action the engagement of culture fit into
Easy Order at The Voice Christian
While America’s liberal churches have
abandoned the preaching of the cross because of its focus on sin
and repentance, many conservative evangelical churches have
shied away from it because of its unpopular call for self-denial
and sacrifice. Many Christians have never been told that to save
their life, they must lose it! Even our language suggests
Christianity can be nothing more than a line on our resumes.
We’re told to “accept Christ into our lives,” and that’s an
attractive prospect for someone who already believes it’s all
The Voice: What do you tell the
person who says, “It may be your call from God to engage the
culture, but not mine?”
Rod Parsley: If it’s a fellow Christian,
I’d ask where in the Bible they found a personal exemption from
Jesus’ command to be salt and light! I understand many believers
are reluctant to come out of their sanctuaries and engage the
culture. In the book I talk about “me and my comfort
syndrome,” which is the product of an “easy believe” mentality
in too much of the Church. I would only add that our divine
appointment as ambassadors of our King requires us to witness
our faith to a wayward culture. It’s not optional and it’s not
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The Voice: Do you see progressive
secularists in our nation pandering to those of Islamic faith
while, at the same time, battling against the Christian faith?
Or what is helping Islam make inroads in the United States?
Rod Parsley: The foundation of secular
worldview is a rejection of the notion of absolute truth – that
whatever is true for you may not be true for anyone else. This
is a mindset that rejects Islam as well as Christianity, so I
don’t think you’ll ever see secularists “pandering” to Muslims
as such. I do believe, however, that the “anything goes”
mentality of secularism has helped Islam make inroads in this
nation. Man is continually looking to make sense of his
surroundings, and Islam purports to do that. I noted in “Silent
No More” that Islam is still growing rapidly in America,
especially among blacks. As long as Bible believers fail to
contend for the biblical worldview in the culture, something
will fill the void in people’s hearts for something to believe
in, and Muslims are, to say the least, aggressive about sharing
their faith with others, to the point of imposing it.
The Voice: Non-believers say
that Christians should not shove their morality and belief
system down their throats. How do you address the issue of
which moral compass our nation should look to?
Rod Parsley: I am committed to talking
about God in the public square, as many of our Founding Fathers
did. It’s impossible to divorce worldview from public policy and
law-making. Yet I am mindful to do so with respect and humility.
Terrorists operate by coercion. Christians have a different way
of doing things – by persuasion, not compulsion. As former
Attorney General John Ashcroft has said, “It is against my
religion to impose my religion.”
The Voice: You discuss
holding a biblical worldview that is not influenced by Marxism,
Postmodernist worldviews and Humanism, etc. There is a push
throughout our colleges and universities to produce graduates
that have a “worldview.” Their worldview is that of a global
citizen that will one day look to be governed by international
law through the United Nations, not the United States
Constitution. What’s your take on this?
Rod Parsley: I am a global citizen.
Through our Bridge of Hope missions outreach, we’ve been active
in meeting people’s physical and spiritual needs around the
world. I started working to relieve human suffering in
Sudan long before it was trendy to do so. My own view is that it
would be a bad idea for the citizens of this nation to cede
their authority to govern themselves to an international body,
either the United Nations or some other organization.
The Voice: With the introduction
of new words, terms and definitions, like the U.S. Constitution
being called a “living document,” are we being set up for
further judicial changes?
Rod Parsley: The notion that the
Constitution should change over time has been around for decades
and, in fact, was a factor in the U.S. Supreme Court’s
outrageous Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. I addressed this
situation, which I call “judicial tyranny,” in “Silent No More.”
There are certainly many judges who hold to this erroneous view
of the law on the bench today, but I’m grateful for those who
are faithful to the historic role of the judiciary – to
interpret the law, rather than make new law from the bench.
Using the courts to advance a public-policy agenda has been part
of the liberal playbook for a long time; it’s the only way they
can get approval for their ideas. So I’m sure we’ll be having
this discussion for the foreseeable future in this nation.
The Voice: You wrote about the
myth of the separation of church and state in your book “Silent
No More”. Since the writing of that book what has changed?
Rod Parsley: In one respect, nothing has
changed. The concept of “separation of church and state” still
does not appear in the Constitution! What has changed is that
liberals and opponents of religious freedom have become even
more militant in enforcing this outmoded concept. Around the
world you’re seeing the proclamation of the Bible’s teaching on
homosexuality denounced and even prosecuted as “hate speech,”
and in some circumstances it’s illegal to evangelize in public.
If we’re not vigilant we’ll see the elimination of our religious
freedoms – all on the basis of a fictitious concept. It’s a
scary thought, but one that should motivate Christians to
The Voice: Why does it seem that
homosexuality has become so acceptable in American society? How
do we combat the homosexual agenda that continues to sponsor
hate crime legislation that intends to stop people like you from
saying that homosexuality is immoral and their push to redefine
Rod Parsley: The only way Christians can
authentically and authoritatively approach the issue of
homosexuality is from a heart of compassion. Love, not
animosity, must be our motivation. It grieves me, for example,
that the median age of homosexual men at death is 42 and for the
population at large, the median age at death is 75. For
lesbians, the median age at death is 45; for heterosexual women,
79. How can we not have compassion and love for people who are
dying decades before they should?
We’ve fallen into the trap of labeling
those on the other side as crazy, stupid or evil. That’s no way
to save souls! In many cases, we have to convince our
adversaries that we’re not hateful or vengeful before we can
contend for the truth we bring them. In “Culturally Incorrect,”
I have made the case as persuasively as I can that Christians
should assertively contend for the biblical worldview and accept
the call of authentic Christianity for their own lives. We
possess absolute truth – God is the ultimate reality – and we
shouldn’t be afraid to say so.
The Voice: Millions of babies
have been murdered through abortions. In your book you talk
about not settling for a partial victory. What is the next
Rod Parsley: We won a great battle in
April, when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the federal Partial
Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. I was present when President
Bush signed that bill into law, and it’s gratifying to know that
it will be enforced. Through our grassroots organization, the
Center for Moral Clarity, we are involved now in helping to
provide ultrasound machines for pro-life women’s clinics around
the nation. We know that nearly nine out of every 10 women
considering abortion will change their mind and keep their
babies once they see an ultrasound image of the life inside
them. Ultimately, though, my goal is to see Roe v. Wade
overturned; that would send the battle over legal abortion back
to the states, where it belongs, and I look forward to
advocating for life at the state level when that happens.
The Voice: How can the everyday
disciple of Christ make a difference?
Rod Parsley: First, by realizing that each
of us already possesses the ability to make a difference.
Unfortunately, most of us don’t use the influence we have over
others – and we each have spheres of influence in our families,
workplaces and communities. It’s also vital for disciples of
Christ to understand and commit to the biblical mandate to be
salt and light in Matthew 5. The current generation of believers
has failed to meet the culture in the marketplace of ideas and
present a relevant, compelling Gospel. We must, as Peter says,
always be ready to give an answer for the hope that is within
us. Only biblical Christianity brings meaningful, coherent and
tested answers to our most basic questions – so believe me, our
non-Christian friends and neighbors need what we have to offer;
it’s just a matter of whether we will be obedient to share what
The Voice: How will Church be
different 25 years from now?
Rod Parsley: Frankly, the state of the
Church 25 years from now depends on what we do now. If the
Church doesn’t wake up and fulfill the mission that God has laid
out for us in His Word, just 4 percent of my daughter’s
generation will be Bible-believing Christians. This compares to
35 percent of my generation and 65 percent of my parents’
generation accepting the Bible as the Word of God. So you’re
talking about a tremendous decline in the Church’s influence
within two generations if we don’t accept our duty to become
assertive advocates for our faith and for a biblical worldview.
The Voice: How has writing this
book changed Rod Parsley?
Rod Parsley: Studying worldviews for
“Culturally Incorrect” has helped me better understand the
motivations for people’s actions in the public arena, especially
those with whom I disagree. It’s important to understand what
makes an abortion advocate or a same-sex marriage supporter
believe what he or she believes. That’s the first step to
persuading him or her to the rightness of my cause. I’ve also
developed an even more profound sense of urgency about living an
authentic Christian life, and leading those I influence to do
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