REPLY to "HOW WE LOST the CULTURE WAR" MY PERSONAL JOURNEY - by J Paulette Peltier. Thank you so much for your article "POLITICS,POWER and PRIDE: How U.S. Evangelicals Lost the Culture War and the Way Forward." The words you have written are so true. The Church in America has for too long been up on a soap box instead of down on it's knees. Yet, as one who has been a Believer for over 30 years, I understand why devout American Christians have allied ourselves with the Republican Party. And it all stems back to January 22, 1973. The following year, 1974, I turned 18. And when I registered to vote, it was as a Democrat. In 1974 no one my age wanted to be associated with Nixon's Party, though, I, personally, always voted for individuals, not parties. But as party lines began to be drawn over the issue of abortion, I, for one, had to make a stand. Although 1980 and Ronald Reagan brought a new era for Evangelicals, and for me, as a new straight ticket Republican, I knew that laws would never truly change until hearts changed. The problem is, those whose hearts are hard toward the Gospel and moral truths began to organize an agenda to turn the hearts of America, and especially our children, away from God and morality. So, naturally, that parental protection instinct kicked in, and we began to fight back for our children, as well as for the ones whose voices would never be heard. But, it seems, the more we fought back, the stronger the enemy grew. When I was a child, unmarried girls who got pregnant were rushed to the altar or hidden from sight, and I doubt I even knew what a homosexual was till my early teens. Now out of wedlock pregnancy is common, and my teens are bombarded with homosexuality and the Gay Agenda everywhere they turn. My 16 year old daughter just told me yesterday that a plethora of girls on Facebook have changed their status from "straight" to "bisexual." This is alarming proof that the "other side" is winning, and it only convinces me that our time on this earth is soon coming to a close. I have seen such vitriolic hatred coming from the left at Republicans, not because we are "conservative," but because so many of us are Christians! The left hates Christianity, and they will go to any length to demonize Christians. My point is this: it has only been natural for true Believers and Followers of the Messiah to go on the offensive. And while adhering to the tenants of Scripture, we also, naturally, fall into the Republican mold. No, we shouldn't alienate ourselves from half the population where the Gospel is concerned, but if we identified ourselves with the Democrats, who have consistently and vigorously fought for immoral issues, we would be disobedient to God's Word. We MUST stand for truth. Yet, in failing to be equally as vigorous in spreading the Gospel, praying fervently for our nation's repentance, and, especially, in living out the Gospel of Jesus in our daily lives, i.e., being obedient to all His Word and truly loving the Church Body and the World, we fall short, as well. I suppose it's somewhat like needing to wash the inside of the cup, as well as the outside. (Matt 23:25,26) The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. So, yes, we obviously need to change our way of doing things, emphasis on "our". We are just the vessels. God is the One in control. Activism can change laws, but only God can change the hearts of those who don't know Him. And this nation is in desperate need of a touch from our God, Yahweh Tsva'ot/ Lord of Hosts. Yes, we must repent of our own self reliance, but also of not being the testimonies, the light, the salt that God intends for us to be. How can we make anyone, Jew or Gentile, jealous unto salvation, if they don't see Jesus walking and talking and loving in our lives? And, yes, let us pray that God will "Send the fire of [His] presence, power and love once again to this nation." In the words of Jeremiah, "Restore us to You, O Yahweh, that we may be restored; Renew our days as of old." (Lam. 5:21) -J. Paulette Peltier.