I did a brief search on the phrase "the culture war is lost" and found a host of hits. As far back as 2013 they were writing about how the culture wars are lost. While Jerry Falwell was talking about the "Moral Majority" in the late 70's, we've seen it dwindle to a minority. Today Disney is considering a lesbian relationship for one of their popular animated characters and Pixar is said to be pursuing the same for their sequel to Finding Nemo. The state of Washington is planning to teach kindergartners about transgenderism. Even a young person's video game, The Sims 4, is immersing its players into a gender-free world ... as if that's normal. It's all over the culture. It's also in the church. I wrote about the Sea-Change we're seeing in Christendom in America where "what God says", "what the Bible says", and the like have become not only irrelevant, but wrong in many places in the church. Once we thought we lived in a "Christian nation", but now we're seeing it is no longer the case and we're being shown the door. The military labeled conservative Christians as religious extremists and potential terrorists. The IRS targeted pro-life Christian ministries. Christian bakers, florists, photographers, inn-keepers and others have been sued and financially ruined standing on religious freedom. Churches have been ordered to turn over membership lists. That is, a country originally established on Christian values has shifted to classify many of those values -- marriage, family, home, personal freedom, personal responsibility, and more -- as evils. In a sense, Christians have lost the culture war. Your replacement is here ... and it's not an improvement.
Having made this admission, I think I need to point out a fact about this admission. We are not part of the culture. A lot of Christians today think that we are. A lot of Christians think that we're supposed to "redeem the culture", that we're supposed to make our world a "better place" by which they mean a "godlier place" by which they mean "a place that subscribes to God and His rules." Brothers and sisters, we are not of this world (John 17:14). If you thought we were here to win a "culture war", you were mistaken. We are here to be ambassadors (2 Cor 5:20), strangers and exiles on the earth (Heb 11:13). We are to reflect God's glory (Matt 5:16). We are to make disciples (Matt 28:19). Are we supposed to make our culture a Christian one? I don't find that in my set of instructions.
The Bible says the world is broken -- "subjected to futility" is the phrase (Rom 8:20). It says that the world has its own god, and he has blinded them (2 Cor 4:4). It says that they are "hostile to God" (Rom 8:7). It says that the world will hate us (John 15:18). "Redeem the culture" is antithetical to all the Word says about the world. That is, the "culture war" was never our war. Oh, sure, we took it up with gusto. Lulled into believing that we were a "Christian nation" with the God-given right to the freedom of religion, and that we were a "moral majority", if not in Falwell's sense, at least in some sense, we loaded up our weapons of the world and launched an attack in the voting booth and the airways and the public square arguing that they were wrong and we are right and they ought to agree with us. We kept doing what the culture was doing but argued that we were doing it for a good reason. We could indulge our sexual lusts as long as we did it in marriage. We could make lots of money as long as we thanked God for it. We could take the methods and means of an anti-God culture and incorporate them into our churches to "bring them in". Wrong methods; wrong ends. A foolish effort, as it turns out, because we were never meant to fix the world. That is, we "lost the culture war" because we were never intended to be fighting it.
The aim of "the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 1:3) is not to redeem the culture. The aim is to redeem people. God's intentions are not to make bad people good; He intends to make dead people alive. We are not here to argue people into the kingdom; we are here to reflect God's glory, share the good news, and make disciples. Sure, we reflect God's glory by our good works. Sure, we are to be involved, connected, and, yes, even vote. But when we decided that we were going to "redeem the culture" by engaging it in a debate, we missed the point. In that sense, then, I think it's a good thing that "culture war" has been lost. Now, perhaps, we can stop wasting time trying to make dead people better behaved and start praying and practicing and preaching the Word. It's a higher calling than fighting a culture war.