When we, as Christians, engage in evangelization that seeks to transform our culture, what metaphor tends to inform our thoughts and actions?
Frequently, we land on the metaphor of “war”––we are engaged in a “culture war.” Have we thought, though, about the implications of that metaphor, about what it might do to us and what it might do to “the other” in our eyes? If we do think about that, perhaps we see that this metaphor, which has been widely adopted, might in fact be at odds with a truly Christian vision of ourselves, of others, and of engagement with culture more broadly.
Fr. Aaron Wassmen has been developing ideas about the inaptness of the “culture war” metaphor for the evangelizing mission of the Church and for Christian’s missionary activity. He spoke on this topic recently at a conference on Transforming Culture hosted by Benedictine College, in Atchison, Kansas. The title of his presentation made his conclusion pretty clear: “It’s Time to Bury the Culture War Metaphor.”
Fr. Aaron is vicar general and director of formation of the Glenmary Home Missioners. Before serving in leadership in his community, he was pastor of Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Windsor, North Carolina.