Recently Former Governor Mike Huckabee made a bold statement that naturally upset many people (as is the case when any Christian takes a stand for the truth.) Nothing the Governor said was worthy of any criticism. Indeed, he took very special care to make sure his point was made without inferring that simply because of the removal of God did the shootings in Sandy Hook, Connecticut occur. In fact, he said quite the opposite. He said because of our removal of God from our society we can’t blame God for the events that took place. We escorted God out of our schools and then blame Him the first moment our children violate His laws which we no longer teach.
A wise son heeds his father’s instruction,But a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
The reality is that this relativism and tolerance of sin has become so prevalent that even Christians have accepted it as their mantra. I do not know how many times I’ve heard of pastors who have taught outright heresies from the pulpit, but “out of love” no one in the congregation or even the deacons challenged them. People says asinine or downright heretical things in regards to the Bible, God, or Christianity and we accept it as a “differing view”. Christians openly live in sin and the church’s answer isn’t rebuke, but holding their hand in spite of God’s instructions to the contrary (we are to accept them in love with repentance, and lovingly lead them to repentence, but never should we accept the sin and let it fester among us.)
Most American Christians have never read the Bible in its entirety and accept every biased-criticism and ill-formed thought as fact. The Body of Christ now accepts the word of the atheist, pagans, and unbelievers over our own theologians who have devoted their life to studying Scripture. Even worse, we have declared the Bible as unreliable, in error, and should now leave it up to the individual to pick and choose the palatable teachings that make us feel good and reject those that seem unpopular. In essence, the majority of American Christians have they themselves established their own idol of self and human wisdom over God and His teachings. We would rather believe in ‘science’ and ‘reason’ than be considered fools for accepting Scripture.
Christians now widely accept false gods— such as Allah, Buddha, or other made up deities—as simply “other names” for the God of the Jews and Christians alike—Yahweh, Jehovah, God the Father. We’ve accepted the lie that all of these gods are our God and their followers are just our own misguided brothers and sisters. Even among Christian circles referring to these gods as “false” and “pagan” is quietly frowned upon, as if calling them for what they are shows insensitivity and lack of tolerance for those who wrongfully follow them.
To this societal dilemma our churches by and large have reacted with two major extremes: hateful condemnation or acceptance. On one hand you have a “church” (I use the term loosely) like Westboro Baptist Church that goes out of its way to show hatred and disdain for sinners, as if by picketing and screaming at the funerals is the proper way to challenge sin (for the record, it’s not. I have nothing but disdain for those who do such hateful things). On the flip side, we have the churches I already spoke of who are more interested in making people feel good about themselves and getting “their full potential” out of God than confronting sin and teaching the Bible.
The result is that the American church is ineffective, broken, and falling apart. Church attendance is plummeting, fewer people consider themselves Christians, and most of us don’t even know why or what we believe. Fewer and fewer Christians devote any time to the Bible, and almost as little time to personal prayer. We don’t sit down and read the Bible to our children and explain it to them; many times because we ourselves no longer understand it enough to explain it to them. Yet we are all shocked by the moral decay of our country and the ever increasing acts of violence.
My fellow Brothers and Sister, this is not what ought to be. We were called and sanctified to be more than what we have allowed ourselves to become. We were meant to be ambassadors of heaven. Yet, in our misconstrued understanding of love, find ourselves drowning in a torrent of acceptance of deadly, vile sin.
Good intentions and good morals never saved anyone: Christ did. Without a firm understanding, a firm foundation, we are nothing more than the foolish man who built his house upon the sand. Unable to defend our faith or formulate intelligent responses to criticisms we not only let down our duty as proclaimers of the faith, but now are eroding into that sea of sin unable to keep the faith because of our own self-induced spiritual ineptitude.
The conclusion is not an easy one to accept; not just for our country, but for us personally. Until we make the passionate and unwavering stand for the God of the Bible we too are responsible. Until we stand up and put our foot down for true Biblical teachings, a disdain for sin, but a love for the sinner our churches will continue to be the ineffective mess they have become.
On that note, I leave you with a note of hope:
If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. – 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)