The songs are still sung in churches where the preaching is weak and the people are dutifully adding up their contributions to the Lord's total efforts. In a land where money buys everything, or nearly everything, this worldly attitude has stormed into many congregations with the relentless force of an F-4 tornado. Preachers carefully observe the government's rules to preserve their IRS exemptions, when they should be preaching the gospel without regard to what a government says. The Romans didn't exactly approve of the early Christians but they kept on believing in spite of hardship, persecution and martyrdom.
Most of the panic emails I get about everything from Planet X to the new restrictions of Codex Ailimentarius on food supplements come from ... you got it ... Christians! Where is their God? Have they minimized their concept of the power of the Almighty Creator until they have little more than some statuette sitting on a mantle?
We've become a land of lavish cathedrals and elaborate fellowship centers posing as Christian churches. We have enormously wealthy televangelists using the satellites to promote doctrines of health and prosperity rather than the Kingdom of God and the message of salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
Something has been lost in our country and it shows in every facet of our social fabric including the misuse of technology, the rise of occultism and the disintegration of the home. We've lost our God. We've allowed the Supreme Court to tell us what we can do, say and even think rather than obeying the message of the Bible. Rather than soldiers of the cross, the army of the Lord, we've shrunk back into a cadre of hope-so and maybe-so purchasers of fire insurance policies to try and avoid Hell while the rest of the world can go there, we're busy hiding from everything!
Onward, Christian Soldiers? Well that must have been for another generation.
The signs of world turmoil that were enumerated in Luke 21 and Matthew 24, rather than eliciting joy from the Christians who claim to love the Lord's second advent, scare them half to death. Oh my there are volcanoes and magma lurking underground in Wyoming, the Grand Tetons will be blown off the face of the earth and take us with them. What? Without some volcanoes you're going to live forever? Get over it, Christians, you sound and act like a bunch of ninnies that would make cottontail rabbits laugh.
Preachers are tippy-toeing through sermons that please the adults and hardly challenge the minds of first graders. But start preaching hard gospel and the congregation gets offended! However, a man called of God to preach the gospel isn't going to let offended people in the congregation dictate the message God puts on his heart to preach. Well, not if he's really called of God. Some professional clergymen who find that lifestyle rather remunerative and pleasant as long as none of the board members or wealthy contributors are offended might well tailor their speeches to tickle the itching ears. But a man called of God gives out God's message no matter who is offended. The offended are the ones who need it most.
With every Christian message this writer publishes, back come emails telling me what fine people they are even though they are atheists. That kind of ego is understandable among the unchurched, but in the church it is intolerable. Man is born a sinner by nature and until he is saved by the grace of God and the vicarious death of Christ on the cross, he is still in his sin and will die in it. There is a different standard between "a good person" in social situations and "good" by imputation of righteousness upon salvation that every Christian should understand and no unsaved person will comprehend.
As the pulpits have shrunk with the narrow messages of lovey-dovey social gospels (which are not the gospel at all) so has the strength of the church in America shrunk, atrophied into a vociferous opponent of half a dozen ills such as abortion, gay marriage and the fate of the Ten Commandments displayed in public while allowing the heathen to dictate what professing Christians do to reach the unchurched. Worse yet, the lifestyles of many churchians parrot the world's ways to the extent that there is virtually no difference in the way Christians speak out in the world. We are to be different, set apart, and our conversation should be that of concern for our fellow man, and love for the brethren.
Jesus had a strict and primary command to His believers: love one another.
Jesus had a great commission to His disciples: go into all the world and preach the gospel. Today, we can reach the world via the internet, going where missionaries are disallowed. This does not downplay the need for or the contribution of the missionaries, it supplements them with the power of the words from those who are not physically able to go to foreign lands.
Most of the people of this world are already hidebound by fear, and nothing is more disheartening to the Christians who are still holding forth the Sword of the Spirit than to see a weak and defenseless "church" holding forth a torch that isn't lit. It takes time and work to study the Bible, and it won't be there unless we make that time.
Ours is a great and mighty God, Creator of all that is, eternal in the heavens and completing the work outlined in His word the Bible. If you want a tiny "god" then start with the person of self, that's a very small god indeed.
Time enough has passed for the army of the Lord to be hiding in the bushes afraid of every act of Congress or decision of the Supreme Court or some idiot United Nations dictate. Go to the 6th chapter of Ephesians and read what the army of the Lord is to do. In fact, let's make it easy for you and quote it here:
Ephesians 6:12-17 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
That's not hiding in the safe places, that's marching onward in the Name of Christ!
© 2005 Dorothy A. Seese - All Rights Reserved