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Ray Rooney, Jr.: A Plea to Pastors
Monday, February 17, 2014 8:43 AM

I never would have believed America could be “transformed” so quickly.  Nor would I have ever believed the politically conservative and religiously evangelical majority of Americans would have capitulated so easily and quietly.  Laws have been broken at the highest levels.  The government is turning against the people.  A department head of the IRS pleads the 5th Amendment to keep from incriminating herself and the President tells America there is not a “smidgen of corruption” in the agency.  An American ambassador is murdered by terrorists and who pays the price?  A guy who made a film critical of Islam. 

Millions of voters in dozens of states pass ballot initiatives protecting traditional marriage and judges wipe out the will of the people with a stroke of the pen.  Polls continue to reveal that a majority of Americans want to protect traditional marriage but now the Justice Department has gotten involved advocating rights and privileges for homosexual marriages. 

Despite the harm we are doing to future generations of Americans with our government spending the President and Democrats continue to demand the raising of the debt limit so they can spend even more and the Conservative majority in the House of Representatives continues to acquiesce and let them do it. 

Public schools continue to violate the constitutionally guaranteed free speech rights of students and teachers.  The lunacy of zero tolerance policies has children suspended and sometimes arrested for the most ridiculous reasons like eating a pop-tart into the shape of a gun or having a fishing tackle box in the trunk of a car with a pocket knife inside.  Traditional Christmas songs are rewritten to be politically correct and candy canes with religious messages are thrown in the trash.   Why?  Administrators with no backbone fear lawsuits by anti-religious hate groups and choose to placate their demands rather than stand up for the rights of children.

Government leaders continue to push a global warming agenda spending billions of dollars on it while America is being ravaged by snowstorms and predictions that Lake Superior is going to freeze over completely. 

On and on it goes.  More government.  Less freedom.  Here’s the way things are going to be; too bad if you don’t like it.  Regulate and tax businesses out of existence; extend unemployment and raise the minimum wage and make those left working pay for it.  Vote against gay marriage; too bad, your vote doesn’t matter.  Organize a group to address issues; IRS puts it down.  Prove man-made global warming is fraudulent; spend billions of tax payer money preparing to stop what doesn’t exist anyway.  Embrace biblical and American values; face ridicule and intimidation for being a religious extremist who holds to guns and Bibles.  Support your local Tea Party; watch civil and government authorities plan military style exercises for eventually dealing with you.

Long I have lamented the refusal of the Church to engage culture and society as they continue to spiral downward in every way possible.  Bishops and Superintendents of every denominational stripe have been loathe to speak out and lead their groups in the battle against pluralism, secular humanism, and just plain evil.  Their willingness to allow culture rather than the Word of God to define what constitutes sin is deplorable.  Members of the Church clearly see this and instead of rising up in righteous indignation breathe a sigh of relief.  They don’t want to enter the fray and get stung by the hornets. 

Unfortunately, that means the onus of the responsibility to lead the Church to address, face, and fight sin, corruption, and evil falls on the prophets, a.k.a. the pastors.  But look at the situation they are in.  Their superiors either don’t want them to make waves thus drawing attention to the lack of response from the Church or have actually gone over to the other side publically affirming their embrace of things like homosexual marriage, global warming, and amnesty for illegals.  Their parishioners, sensing where the Bishops and other leaders are on the issues refuse to be led anywhere near the battle for truth and righteousness.  They don’t want their churches to look bad in the community.  They don’t want to hear anything but sermons on salvation from their pastors. 

Full time pastors have answered a call and have accepted a vocation.  The problem is obvious.  The call wasn’t limited to preaching the Gospel.  The call was to follow Christ.  The vocation of ministry is like any other.  There is a defined pathway of advancement in the ministry.  Being a good preacher who doesn’t make waves and is loved by all will put one in the fast lane to lots of influence and salary.  Following Christ means leading the flock to love Christ AND confront evil. 

What do they do?  If they play the career game they are rewarded and their lives comfortably devoid of the pain and anguish that comes with taking unpopular stands.  If they choose to follow Christ by addressing sin and corruption in the world they are ostracized, their families are brutalized, and they come to a screeching halt in their ministerial careers.  What would you choose?

My hope is for two things to begin to happen.  First, that those in all the churches across the land who want to be led by courageous spiritual leaders would be to pray for boldness unceasingly.  Look what happened in Acts chapter 4.  The Apostles were threatened by the authorities to cease and desist from their religious activism.  The followers gathered to pray for boldness and the Holy Spirit Himself answered their prayers.  Second, that all those pastors who truly want to be followers of Christ as well as good preachers would at least begin to speak of the evils that are taking place in culture and society.  Trust in God rather than the particular denominational system to bless and sustain you. 

America needs pastoral leadership in the worst of ways right now.  Our nation needs to hear the voice of every Christian pastor saying “No!” to sin and evil.  We have let things get to the point that doing so may be costly.  But who do our pastors serve anyway?

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