FAITHLESS, COMPROMISED, LOST: the American Church Too Often

Written by Allan Erickson on August 10, 2014

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”– Rev. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German pastor, theologian, martyred by the Nazis

“If we as God’s people refuse to speak about sin because it will make others uncomfortable, we are cowards. The definition of a coward is one who refuses to do the right thing for fear of consequences.”– Rev. Franklin Graham, July 2014

“When communities in the Bible rejected the disciples, Jesus instructed his followers to shake the dust off their feet and move on. He did not instruct them to compromise in order to avoid rejection. He told them that rejection would be part of the deal.”– Dr. Michael Youssef, pastor, May 2012

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”– Jesus Christ in John 15: 18, 19

A pastor’s job is to serve.  He is called to evangelize the lost and disciple believers so that they will in turn evangelize and do the work of discipleship, all of it combining to bring people to a personal awareness of salvation through Jesus Christ.  No pastor can do his job unless he focuses on prayerfully telling the truth, without compromise. Compromising the truth is the devil’s profession.

Compromise is sin, and sin leads to death. Tragically, too many church leaders and congregations have decided to compromise.   Fearing rejection, they opt for silence. Desiring acceptance, they cozy up to the world. Seeking comfort, they choose the easy path, refusing to speak the truth about sin, death, hell and the grave.   They have traded their inheritance in the kingdom for a bowl of cold soup, forsaking the One who died that they might have life.

Children are being beheaded in Iraq, Christians are literally being crucified there and in Syria, and Christians are being persecuted and slaughtered like never before.  And what do we hear from the pulpit?  Silence for the most part.

Hammered for decades by the secular left and atheists, the American church has become largely irrelevant.  The great leather-lunged preachers from the Revolutionary period declaring “We have no King but Jesus!” have been replaced by pro-abortionists calling murder healthcare, practicing homosexuals promoting licentiousness, jihadist apologists advancing Sharia, and “theologians” working for the destruction of the American republic and freedom of conscience. 

Lost in the resulting chaos is the straightforward message of Christ: man is fallen, soul sick, infected with sin, hell bound, and in need of a Savior, a Great Physician.  Ignored in all the yammering of the flesh is the demand for repentance, the finished work of the Cross, salvation by grace, the love of the Father, and the renewing power of the Spirit.

Yet for all man’s sin, and the adultery of so many pastors, God is not through with us. 

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”    2 Peter 3:9

For all the evil and terror of the day, God is raising up the spirit of John the Baptist.  True believers are stepping forward at this most crucial hour, speaking the truth in love, directing people to the only true God, the only real solution to all the problems we’ve created.  Among these are Franklin Graham, Michael Youssef and voices from the past.  Most important: the voice of the Risen Lord pre-eminent. 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”  Jeremiah 29:11

“The name of the Lord is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe.”  Proverbs 18:10

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”   2 Corinthians 4:16-18



Allan Erickson
Allan Erickson---Christian, husband, father, journalist, businessman, screenwriter, and author of The Cross & the Constitution in the Age of Incoherence, Tate Publishing, 2012.