In this age of unprecedented hostility, ignorance, wickedness and death, the one place that worldlings should be able to find refuge is ablaze and in shambles. The Church in America today, is as divided as the nation. Godless secularists show no hesitation uniting with radical Muslims in their shared hatred of Christ, Christians, Catholics and Jews.
The shame of the Church is our refusal to look beyond esoteric doctrinal differences as the world around us is killing and capturing with astonishing speed. Without discounting the damage caused by apostate denominations that have surrendered to the depraved culture by embracing Islam, New Age heresies and a host of other anti-Christ ideologies, when Bible-believers cannot stand together against soul-killing sexual depravity, abortion, and infanticide, our faith is rightly questioned.
CBN founder, Pat Robertson, once said, “I think that denominations are an abomination.” His observation is being validated. Whether one calls it denominational arrogance, terminal uniqueness, or spiritual snobbery or something else, whole factions prefer to major in the minors seeking to be theologically precise only to become culturally useless. Others strive to be culturally relevant and, in the process, become morally obtuse and spiritually powerless. Perpetual conflict from within and without keeps the Church divided against itself.
One man’s faithfulness is often another’s legalism. Church leaders endlessly debate the precise balance between grace and truth, split over modes of baptism, isolate themselves in their opinions about the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit, and condemn as pharisees and heretics, those with whom they disagree but refuse to engage.
Meanwhile, millions more lives are lost or ruined each year with little notice or concern. The result is that the forces of evil continue to grow without resistance. Dim flickering light is no threat to the relentless Auks of this age. It would be difficult to conceive of a more accurate example of petty bickering within the Body of Christ than the Manhattan Declaration.
Opposition to the radical atheistic agenda of the Obama administration formed quickly in 2009. Before the end of the year, the Manhattan Declaration was written and promoted as an effort to unite Catholics with Orthodox and Evangelical Christians for the limited purpose of standing together in defense of life, marriage, and religious freedom. The manifesto encouraged civil disobedience when necessary, to oppose deadly abortion policies and toxic LGBTQ influences espoused by Barack Obama and his supporters.
Acclaimed Pastor and Bible teacher, John MacArthur, refused to support the Manhattan Declaration relying upon feeble excuse-making to ask, “Why would I join with people who believe things that I am against?” Similar specious arguments were offered by other “evangelicals” as well. The primary objection of dissenters was the inclusion of Catholics among the declaration’s endorsers.
If the words of our Lord rang in the minds of these men or not, we cannot know. But Jesus rebuked his own disciples when they tried to interfere in the work of others who were casting out demons saying, “He that is not against is for us” (Luke 9:50).
A growing number of Christians is beginning to speak out about the Church’s failure to address cultural problems. Christian author, Sheila Walsh, masterfully defined one foundational flaw saying, “It’s not enough to read the Bible or even to study it. There must be an application to life.” Proper application in the battlefield of our culture is sorely lacking throughout much of Christendom today.
Perhaps the best current illustration of sickness within America’s churches pertains to that which occupies many sacred altars—personal political opinions.
President Donald Trump has worked tirelessly and often against his own political party to revive the Constitution, restore law and order, secure the safety of U.S. citizens, and reform our economy. He does this without pay or gratitude. What’s worse, he is viciously attacked by the good, the bad, and the ugly alike. In many ways, professing Christians have become the very people we condemn—straining gnats and swallowing camels.
Evangelicals don’t evangelize. Mainline churches welcome the Enemy to fellowship dinners and both branches bow down to the capricious idols of political correctness, social justice programs and environmental extremism, while recklessly throwing money and resources at symptoms like hunger and poverty, instead of solving problems. Cooperation for a righteous purpose is not syncretism; but building community with unbelievers, atheists, and Muslims is.
Grace and truth are not mutually-exclusive, nor do they war against one another. Some well-meaning believers, however, waste precious time and energy attacking those who place more importance on grace than truth or vice-versa. While we are not subject to law-keeping, grace enables us to fulfill the law. Thus, the law is not abolished, but fulfilled.
Lesbianism, homosexuality, pederasty, and other forms of sexual perversity are destructive and wicked and that fact will not change. Nevertheless, Christians know the Cure and must offer to help them escape without allowing their disease to infect others. Moral matters are never as complicated as our efforts to avoid bravely and boldly addressing them.
Pastor and author, Dr. John Hagee, has often said, “Let God be God and every man a liar.” Many church leaders would do well to relinquish the illegitimate authority and responsibility that have not been given them, trying to save people from themselves, and get back to the first purpose given to the Church.
The Great Commission is not difficult. We are commanded to be witnesses and to make disciples of Christ. In doing so, we must plead for the widow and the orphan, not feed the dead-beat or rescue the wicked from the consequences of their own chosen sins. To do otherwise, may thwart the purposes of God. “The way of the transgressor is hard.” Sometimes, the hard way is needed to bring people to their senses, and into God’s purpose.
The United States is out of money and running out of time. We have both welcomed and neglectfully allowed three dangerous curses to come upon our nation and our churches. They are the brutal killing of our children through abortion, our acceptance and promotion of the “very grave sin” of homosexuality, and hatred of God’s chosen people, Israel.
Over the course of the past few decades, a tiny but belligerent, vocal, and persistent one percent of the U.S. population has brought immeasurable wickedness and death upon our land. Imagine how quickly these evils would be eradicated if a much larger segment, armed with truth, emboldened by a most noble cause, and empowered by God, simply determined to work as one for our universal mission!
“Let God arise and His enemies be scattered!”
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.