Cultural and Theological Stockholm Syndrome

With each small compromise we drift further from biblical reasoning.

Cultural and theological Stockholm syndrome is, in biblical terms, “friendship with the world” (Js. 4:4). We must remain vigilant to remain faithful to our redeeming, ransoming, and returning king. Like King David, we must express our love and loyalty for God in the celebration, joy, and privilege of receiving and obeying his word (see Psalm 119), regardless of how “out-of-step” this makes us with our culture of self-absorption.


Stockholm Syndrome can be defined as the “psychological response wherein a captive begins to identify closely with his or her captors, as well as with their agenda and demands.”[1] Much of the compromise we observe in orthodoxy are a result of what I call cultural and theological Stockholm Syndrome. Contemporary unbelieving culture is our captor. It tells us day in and day out: “Deny your cross, indulge yourself, follow me!” Modern Oneism takes on both spiritual and secular dress to disguise its true allegiance and uses mockery and ostracism to manipulate vulnerable Christians. Finally, Christians buckle, tired of being labeled intolerant, bigoted and closeminded. They are dismissed because they refuse to attempt a definitive explanation of true mystery, yet are smeared as arrogant when they speak with clarity God’s answers to the fundamental questions our culture raises.

Social media has increased the brainwashing efficiency that brings Christians to their knees before the new (really quite old) gods of our time. A simple # plus a “slanderous label” succeeds in humiliating them not only in their own small social group but in the eyes of thousands of people both locally and around the globe. Within minutes, they are under a lasting cloud of public scorn.

Theologically, Christians are told that the Bible is unreliable, outdated, and morally backward. “Christian” scholars denying the complete truthfulness of Scripture concerning, for example, the historicity of Adam. Popular Christian speakers question the reality of hell; the necessity of faith in Jesus for salvation; or the very doctrine of the atonement won for them by Christ’s death or the righteousness won for them by his perfect life.

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