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
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
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?