Twenty Commandments for Culture-Changers
P. Andrew Sandlin | A Modest Attempt to Shake Loose the Ineffectual Status Quo
1. Change in history is inevitable; get used to it.
2. Be theologically conservative and strategically progressive.
3. You can’t have too many friends.
4. Be present- and future-oriented. True traditionalists love the past for itself; they do not try to import the past into the present. Be a true traditionalist.
5. Never assume that political victories translate into cultural victories.
6. If you refuse to win in increments, you will not win at all.
7. Cultural change is the effect of individual change; therefore, work first to change individuals.
8. Read lots of books by people who don’t agree with you.
9. It is not enough to change a person’s mind; you must change his consciousness.
10. Never underestimate the power of a single dedicated individual committed wholeheartedly to a burning idea.
11. Every culture, including Christian culture, is led by elites; if you despise all elitism, you will never lead a culture.
12. You can’t fix just one thing — only focusing on the family or reforming the church or winning in politics will never suffice; culture is holistic; strategies for changing it must be holistic.
13. Eventually, you must capture existing secular institutions, not merely create alternatives — you will never have long-term cultural victory without “the long march through the institutions.”
14. Immersing yourself in the culture is a dangerous business; the only thing more dangerous is not immersing yourself in the culture.
15. Avoid conspiracy theorists like the plague; they simply rationalize their own failure.
16. You need money to do things; do not be afraid of money.
17. Master language. Language is the tool of persuasion. Persuasion is the tool of cultural change.
18. Be positive, joyous, world-affirming; cherish great friendships, delicious alcohol, exotic marital sex, scenic locations, vanguard teenagers, and red-hot music; sad-sack Christianity is oxymoronic — and moronic. Jesus reserved His harshest criticism not for harlots but for Pharisees.
19. Don’t spend too much time answering critics bound to the past; their strategy (or lack of it) is ineffectual.
20. Do whatever is necessary to get the power of the Spirit of God — without Him, you are doomed.