While the Christian Church has been dozing, her enemies have become bold.
Internationally, as well as domestically, the Christian Church has a target on its back. While (most of) the violent acts against Christians are abroad (for now), other tactics are employed domestically.
Some of it is fair game in the ongoing contest of ideas, like the battling billboards Christians and Atheists have had going in New York recently.
Some is political brinksmanship, using the legal and political systems to strip away existing religious rights, limit expression, or create dangerous, unjustifiable government limitations on personal freedoms, like in the case of Hobby Lobby or Sgt. Phillip Monk.
But the more serious domestic threat is the kind we are least prepared for. When outsiders who have thoroughly prepared themselves both in their knowledge base, and employ tactics for undermining things fundamental to Christianity FROM WITHIN.
This isn’t a new tactic. The Apostle John (and others) had to directly address heresies (e.g. gnosticism, legalism) even in their own day. Today is no different, except the people today are neither alerted to the threats, nor given sufficient tools to defend against them.
There is a militant little group, for example, that I mentioned in a recent column. They contend that homosexuality is just fine with YHWH … it’s only the unmarried homosexuality that He isn’t cool with. Not only do they contend that, but they have selected 50 people (of 100 seminar attendees) that had steeped themselves in 1100 pages of heavy-weight academic material (before they even got to the conference), and are going to go into churches to change peoples’ minds from the inside.
Their end-game is to make a LGBT(etc.)-friendly environment in the body of Christ. In their own words:”The goal of the conference was to be training Christians who are in churches that don’t currently support LGBT people and to give them the biblical tools and knowledge that they need to go back to their churches and have constructive, persuasive conversations with other believers on these issues,” Vines told CP.
They’ve got all the right buzz-words. They’re “engaging in dialogue,” couching their “movement” in terms that Evangelicals will find acceptable and even comforting. They’re calling it the Reformation Project, and calling it a “Bible-based, Christian non-profit organization that seeks to reform church teaching on sexual orientation and gender identity.” (An incautious reader might wrongly understand them to be arguing for the traditional interpretation of such things.)
When you contrast their academic preparedness and single-minded intent to the apathy and anti-intellectualism so commonplace in today’s Church, that’s a recipe for a serious problem.
Similarly, you could contrast the general prayerlessness of Christians to the rigorous structure of Islamic prayer and get a read on how truly dedicated each side is to their convictions.
Consider the following statement by the project organizer:Vines says he’s received several hundred emails over the course of the last year-and-a-half from conservative-minded Christians who have changed their minds on the issue. Most of them were laypeople, he says..
Did you catch that? “Most of them were laypeople.”
Pastors, you need to take this seriously. It’s time to get your people ready. If really think your main job is to entertain and make your congregation feel good about themselves, you’ll want to read my reply to that line of thinking in my recent column.