“Truth without love is brutality, and love without truth is hypocrisy.”
Highly respected writer and pastor Warren Wiersbe once spoke those words, adequately summarizing a problem facing the modern church in America.
Both love and truth are necessary for impacting the world for Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, His followers have been manipulated into choosing between the two.
The culture in America has purported that loving others means supporting every choice they make, thus rejecting the truth about morality and the consequences of sin in the world.
For nine years, Culture Shield Network (CSN) has been working to reform culture while bringing people back to the truth and love of Jesus Christ.
Based in Wichita, Kansas, CSN was founded by Donna Lippoldt in 2011 with the purpose of equipping believers in three specific areas.
“God has three institutions,” Lippoldt told AFA Journal, “the family, the church, and the government.” However, she believes that one of these institutions is the foundation for all other areas of life.
“Family is the nucleus,” Lippoldt explained. “We are able to disciple and teach our children so that our children will grow up and run for office and be pastors and teachers. God expects us to talk to our children [and] to teach them His ways.”
“We do it with love,” she said, concerning CSN’s goal to represent Christ in the world and transform culture. Much of her work involves uniting believers from different areas and backgrounds.
To accomplish this mission, Lippoldt has always placed a high priority on prayer, which has proven an extremely effective tool for ministering to people and spreading the love of Jesus Christ. During her 29 years in ministry, she has held multiple prayer positions in Kansas, including National Day of Prayer coordinator, Congressional Prayer Caucus leader, and National Governors’ Prayer Team leader.
In 2009, Lippoldt brought a prayer initiative to Kansas called Operation Rolling Thunder.
“My husband and I did these 25 [prayer] workshops across the state,” she said. “Then 40 days before the National Day of Prayer in 2009, we had 275 churches across the state engaged in a prayer movement. We would find 31 churches in a city or region, and they would agree to take one day a month.”
Years later, the impact from this program is still felt. Some Kansas churches have never missed a month of praying, and the ministry has about 3,500 on its email alerts list.
Through CSN, Lippoldt has also introduced another opportunity for prayer that is impacting thousands. This initiative, begun in mid-March 2020, is called Sunday Morning Prayer Call.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lippoldt felt that many around her state needed to gather in a time of collective prayer. With only a few hours’ notice, 105 people convened on that first call to pray for their state and nation. However, that morning was far from the end of this movement.
“One of the pastors I had on the call said, ‘I think we ought to do this [again] next week,’” Lippoldt recalled. Months later, the prayer call is still held each Sunday at 7:15 a.m. CT.
“They’re finding something here,” she said. “We have pastors who lead, and we have people who are seasoned intercessors.”
The number on each call varies between 150 and 250 people, and anyone is welcome to call in and join fellow believers in prayer. To participate, call 712.770.4968 or visit cultureshield.com.
“There are some churches who believe that love is total acceptance,” said Lippoldt.
The reigning issue within the “love versus truth” debate is the issue of homosexuality. During recent years, the church in America has struggled with what approach to take, supposedly having to decide between one focused on love or one focused on truth.
To Lippoldt, a body of believers who claim to follow Jesus ought to hold His Word as absolute. “A Bible-believing church must tell the truth,” Lippoldt stated.
There is no middle ground concerning the sovereignty of the Bible. Unfortunately, many in the church have disregarded the truth of Scripture entirely, deciding that homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle.
A 2014 Pew Research Center study found that 60% of members of the United Methodist Church believe homosexuality should be accepted.
To prove a point, on March 10, Lippoldt brought into the Kansas Capitol building members of a movement called CHANGED. These individuals were former homosexuals, but have since come out of that lifestyle and celebrate the freedom that Jesus Christ brings.
“They went to every office in the Capitol,” said Lippoldt, “and spoke to either the legislators or their staff. [They spoke] about how they used to be homosexuals or used to be lesbians and have come out and are no longer.”
Also in the Capitol that day was Thomas Witt, a Kansas LGBTQ lobbyist, and the group talked with him as well. Lippoldt remembers the conversation clearly:
“I have been in this Capitol every day for 17 years,” Witt told the group from CHANGED. “You have just undone what I have been doing. You have told these people that you’re not born [homosexual], but I’ve been telling them that we are born this way.”
“It’s up to the church,” Lippoldt said, “to preach Jesus and teach [people His] love, that intimacy that He longs to have. Through that Word of God and the truth, they can begin to say, ‘I don’t think this is who I’m supposed to be.’
“The body of Christ needs to know that it is His identity that lives in us [and] defines us. The culture has won in many areas by confusing people about who they are. I teach [that], first of all, you must have your identity, your intimacy with the Lord. That means you need to spend time with Him and His Word.”
Lippoldt knows the work is not nearly done. Contesting the political tide of the day, CSN remains constant in its mission of shaping the nation and representing Christ in government. Its work continues to equip and inspire families as the bedrock of a godly culture firmly established in a relationship with Jesus Christ.
(Editor's Note: This column was first posted on the AFAJournal website HERE).