FEBRUARY 2003 – I am the church. I work at a crisis pregnancy center. I help young girls and grown women seeking guidance on what to do with an unexpected pregnancy. I pray with them, counsel them, guide them, give them material support. I support them in their decision to give life to the unborn child. I weep when they do not. Yes, I am the church.
I am the church. I work in my community to establish standards that will help rid my community of pornography and obscenity. I complain to the elected officials. I work with them when the opportunity presents itself. I support laws that make it difficult for those who attempt to exploit others for monetary gain. I educate my friends and neighbors about the destructive nature of this material. Yes, I am the church.
I am the church. I promote the philosophy that society should be color blind, that a person should not be denied rights enjoyed by others simply because of the color of his skin. I do not believe that racism is practiced only by those of one color. I believe that in Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile, slave nor free, black nor white (Galatians 3:28). Yes, I am the church.
I am the church. I am not afraid to be politically incorrect. I am not ashamed to proclaim that Jesus is the Messiah, and through Him and Him alone can our sins be forgiven. I do not believe that all religions are equal. Yes, I believe that Western civilization has progressed, making freedom more available and rights more equal because of the Christian faith that proclaims that rights and responsibility go hand in hand. No, I am not ashamed of the gospel. Yes, I am the church.
I am the church. I do believe there is a moral standard that is higher and better, and that moral standard is based on the life and teaching of the one we call Christ. I do believe that when moral standards are relative and changing according to the whims of society, society suffers. Yes, I am the church.
I am the church. I believe that marriage is the divine plan of God, and that marriage is reserved for one man and one woman. I believe that anything other than God’s divine plan is wrong, harmful, destructive, and – yes, I will use the word – sinful. Yes, I am the church.
I am the church. I am not a second-class citizen whose rights are circumvented simply because I am a follower of the Nazarene carpenter. I have the right to vote for those who share my Christian values. I have the right to apply those Christian values to any office in which I serve. I can and will apply my Christian values to the political process. I will render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, but I will also render to God the things that are God’s (Matthew 22:21). Yes, I am the church.
I am the church. I will not allow anyone to take me out of the mainstream and confine me to the four walls of a building. I will not be silenced by those with different opinions. I will stand for what is right as God leads me to see it, and I will not apologize for doing so. Yes, I am the church.
I am the church. I will continue to uphold the basic and fundamental time-proven teachings of the church that have contributed so much to making my country the freest place the world has ever known. And I will do so despite the fact that some highly placed “church leaders” use church dollars and church channels in their attempt to lead us into a “brave new world.” Sin is still sin even when “church leaders” say it is not. Yes, I am the church.
I am the church. This world is not my home. I’m only passing through. I know that as long as I can apply and persuade others to apply the life and teachings of Christ to the world around them, we will help make society better for everyone. Yes, I am the church.
And I pray to God that I will continue to be the church for as long as I live. That will be my gift to the God who gave me the gift of life.
Editor’s Note: From the late 1970s through 2010, Don Wildmon, founder and president emeritus of American Family Association, wrote hundreds of monthly columns for AFA Journal. Thirty-one of his best columns are now available in a recently published collection titled Our Call to Faithfulness: The Voice and Legacy of Don Wildmon. These columns represent his timeless wisdom and insight and are now being published weekly on The Stand in celebration of AFA’s 40 years of ministry.
Click here or call 877-927-4917 to order your own copy of Our Call to Faithfulness: The Voice and Legacy of Don Wildmon.