(From the book The Cross & the Constitution, Tate Publishing, 2011)
I am a Christian, and I’m outraged by what passes for church in America. It sounds like a gross generalization, but consider the reasons. It sickens me to realize the church triumphant, once a powerful force for righteousness, goodness and justice, has become a whipped puppy, a tool of secularism and the world, a disgrace, a soiled bride, a
false sanctuary, an empty promise.
The church Christ established has three jobs: evangelism and discipleship and taking a stand for righteousness.
How many people got saved in your church last Sunday? How many of your members are walking the walk? Does the power of the Holy Spirit drive your Kleenex budget through the roof? Is the carpet at the altar worn out from people hitting their knees? When was the last time you witnessed a miracle of healing or deliverance? Can you name the last time sacrificial giving put the budget in the black so much there was surplus enough to go the extra mile? When was the last time you had a voter registration drive in your church? When was the last time you heard a sermon about moral decline leading to same sex marriage, abortion, and child trafficking?
I have listened to sermons for 25 years. For the most part, I’ve heard seminars on how to get along with people, large counseling sessions about how to manage sin. What I needed to hear: fiery sermons about how Christ crucifies sin.
Oh, we talk a good game. We say we’re all about passion for the Kingdom. We claim we are broken hearted for the lost. Yet we call sin a lifestyle and stand by quietly while people disease themselves and get carted off to hell, afraid to say anything according to the Word, lest we ‘offend’ someone, lest we be called names. Did not the Name above all names get much worse for taking a stand? Churches ordain shameless sinners and we call it enlightenment. The Lord calls it an abomination. Are we not called to take a stand?
People inside the church sin openly and no one says a word.
Welfare, once considered a reproach, is now regarded an inalienable right, even in the church: the government as robber baron called the heart of the Gospel. Government-mandated redistribution of wealth, including the destruction of self-determination in healthcare, is the new measure of spiritual authenticity: the government insisting we embrace godless Marxism in order to demonstrate godliness, the height of bizarre. And the church goes along without a whimper, stepping aside, allowing secularism to define spirituality.
Illegality is endorsed by sanctuary churches partnering with lawlessness in the promotion of illegal immigration and the stirring of racial strife calling it the heart of Christ. The president of Mexico during a recent state visit hails lawlessness and condemns Arizona to the applause of half the house and the president while the speaker insists Catholics get on board, and if anyone objects, he is condemned a racist, an anti-Christ.
Our children are overwhelmed by techno-driven depravity and perversion and the sickest practices imaginable, and all we do is click our remotes and eat junk food. High school students bully other students to suicide and we yawn and say isn’t that tragic. My twelve-year- old knows the definition of “tea bagging.” Until last week I was ignorant of what “hot pocket” means. My teen-aged daughter clued me in, and I almost vomited. Children use the F word in Christian schools, daily, and the adults wander around as if all is well.
Government-funded promotion of homosexuality finds favor in public schools and parents can’t even be bothered to question it. Fatherlessness, divorce, broken homes, youth in rebellion and the demoralization of an entire society can be directly attributed to weakness in the church. When was the last time you heard a word about these matters from the pulpit?
We listen to a man (and his ‘pastor’) slander our Lord and denigrate our faith, then vote him president, or fail to vote; fearing a ‘no’ vote will cast us racist. Now comes word this president will leverage the EPA and enjoin churches to promote energy policy without regard for Congress, thus making the church complicit in the deconstruction
of our constitutional republic.
On top of all that we are urged to go ‘green’ and spiritualize environmental radicalism, giving that false agenda more prominence than preaching the true Gospel. We are forced to become worldly, forced by worldliness in government, and we acquiesce, worshipping the creation, not the Creator.
Fearing their own congregations, pastors refuse to speak to the issues of the day, claiming ‘political discourse’ is divisive when the truth is, preaching the truth has always been divisive, the work of the courageous, not the compliant and faint-hearted. The Gospel is an offense. Did Christ come to make peace with evil, to compromise with sin, or did He come to utterly destroy them, all to set us free?
Every day in America we kill 3,700 unborn human beings. Every hour, in America, 154 unborn human beings are murdered in their mothers’ wombs: 2.5 killed every minute. In a year, we murder one million three hundred fifty thousand five hundred little babies, without shedding a tear. And when our government takes our money to pay for it, we become accessories to the holocaust, raising not one word of objection. At least 50 million little souls sacrificed on the altar of worldly convenience in the last 36 years, and a nation’s conscience, so seared, does not even bother to mourn. Dumpsters overflowing with little body parts ignored in the dark alleys of our emaciated souls.
What do we hear from the pulpit?
Dr. Tiller would never have been gunned down in a church had his pastor confronted his sin. His killer might never have become a murderer had his pastor confronted him.
The fury of God’s judgment will be poured out on those who murder little children, a judgment by the very One who made them, not intending they be burnt offerings to the god of this world.
The federal government resembles King George III more and more, exercising unlawful power to squander and bankrupt and tax and usurp and exploit and suppress and oppress, but Christian leaders bite their tongues, fearing the loss of tax exempt status, a faithless capitulation to tyranny: the timid and the passive causing the Founders, the saints and fallen patriots nothing but grief.
Money changers and tax collectors and false teachers overwhelm the temple and if Christ were to drive them out with a whip today he would be crucified on MSNBC to the applause of the National Council of Churches, the White House and the NEA.
Islamic radicals murder women and children and promise our annihilation, and what is our reply? We call for tolerance and submission, retreat and surrender. Where are the Christian soldiers in the ranks at home? Where are the leather-lunged preachers of old calling sin, sin, damning evil in our time? Where is the recognition that engaging self-defense is no sin, that the confrontation of evil is virtuous, even a calling?
Who first spoke out about the sin of oppression, the excesses of the Crown, the sin of slavery, the sin of economic exploitation, the sin of drunkenness and adultery, or the sin of child labor? Christ himself, and Spirit-filled pastors and apostles and evangelists and teachers, that’s who!
But, you say, it is not spiritual to rock the boat. We cannot wage this kind of war and still be called peacemakers, you say. I say: why not? Sometimes, as much as we hate it, the only way to make peace is to wage war. John the Baptist certainly understood that truth, the one Christ called the greatest among men. The Baptist called out the king for his immorality and the king chopped off his head. Abraham understood the reality that sometimes one is forced to wage war in order to make peace. He took up arms to save his family. Moses understood this reality as did Gideon and Joshua and David and Solomon and all the Prophets, as does our Lord, as did the Apostles. Our God-inspired Founding Fathers certainly understood that reality.
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword,” declares Jesus Christ in Matthew 10:34.
A literal sword? Sometimes. But for him, rather, and his ministers, the sword of the Word and of the Spirit, spoken by the Word, the Word that convicts the world of sin, leading to repentance, the Word that vanquishes evil and silences the father of lies, the Word that confronts evil, even when it is found in those considered authoritative and praiseworthy.
Pastors in America: your Lord is calling you out! He is calling you to reclaim your heritage. He is commanding you to man up, step out, and fit the battle. The Word is calling you to preach the Word without apology or compromise!
Do you want to stop the mass murder called abortion? Preach against evil.
Would you stunt the growth of radical Islam and turn the wolf from the door? Preach the Gospel.
Do you desire to save our children from perversion and depravity? Preach the Gospel.
Would you put government in its place and encourage vibrant American citizenship based on the Founders’ vision? Preach the Gospel, the very Gospel that breathed life into that vision!
Are you concerned about economic deprivation that hits the poor most cruelly? Preach the Gospel.
Is your shepherd’s heart desire the healing of families and marriages? Preach the Gospel.
If you want to see people saved and sanctified, preach the Gospel, for God’s sake, preach the Gospel!
In many respects compromise is the worse of sins for it denies the power of God and encourages others to sin.
May God forgive us for our sin, and may He bless those pastors who have stayed the course without compromise all these years, for they have borne the burden. They have the stripes to show for it, and in that, they have suffered with Christ as few ever have, or ever will.
Therefore, great is their reward, and great our shame if we fail to follow the One inspiring them to love and good deeds.
Horatius Bonar, 19th Century Scottish pastor and poet, often wrote against the worldliness that he perceived was creeping into the church. If he was concerned about it in his day, how much more should we be alarmed today when the difference between the Church and the world is hardly noticeable?
LOVE NOT THE WORLD — WHY?
By Horatius Bonar
Because the gain of it is the loss of the soul.—Matthew 16:25.
Because its friendship is enmity to God.—James 4:4.
Because it did not know Christ.—John 1:10; 17:25.
Because it hates Christ.—John 7:7; 15:18.
Because the Holy Spirit has forbidden us.—1 John 2:15.
Because Christ did not pray for it.—John 17:9.
Because Christ’s people do not belong to it.—John 17:16.
Because it will not receive the Spirit.—John 14:27.
Because its Prince is Satan.—John 13:31; 16:11.
Because Christ’s kingdom is not of it.—John 18:36.
Because its wisdom is foolishness.—1 Corinthians 1:20.
Because its wisdom is ignorance.—1 Corinthians 1:21.
Because Christ does not belong to it.—John 8:23.
Because it is condemned.—1 Corinthians 11:32.
Because the fashion of it passeth away.—1 Corinthians 7:31 .
Because it slew Christ.—James 5:6; Matthew 21:39.
Because it is crucified to us.—Galatians 6:14.
Because we are crucified to it.—Galatians 6:14.
Because it is the seat of wickedness.—2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 5:19.
Because its God is the evil one.—2 Corinthians 4:4.
‘Love not the world! It cannot be your home,
Thy fatherland must be the world to come;
There lay up treasures for eternity;
And where thy treasure is thy heart shall be.’