For those of you who actually read Missio Dei I hope the title of this post was to some degree surprising or shocking. If you are not familiar with my perspective on politics I would recommend reading Meaning versus Significance: Hermeneutics and Evangelical Political Activism I think it is a clear and concise explanation of where I stand.
So why am I encouraging you to write your senator?
The Kentucky primaries are coming up soon, this week actually, and I am sure there are some interesting things to vote for this time around. Over the years I have heard countless individuals encourage me to “vote my conscience,” to “oppose what God opposes,” to “stand for what is right,” and other “evangelical” idioms. Believe it or not I take these things very seriously and this has caused me to ponder how this should be applied in American politics.
But first let us read Scripture . . .
“These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, ‘Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. . . . . And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town’” (Matthew 10:5-6, 14-15).
“Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed” (Romans 2:3-5).
What merits a judgment worse than that of Sodom and Gomorrah? What heinous act not only deserves judgment but actually stores up wrath?
Answering these questions brings us full circle to answering the questions posed in the beginning of this post. You should write your senator and propose a constitutional amendment that bans, not gay marriage or abortion or gambling, but nominal hypocritical self-righteous “christianity.” That is what God hates. If you want to uphold American morality then you should write your senator urging him/her to oppose the greatest moral failure in the history of America nominal Christianity.
Yay! Jammie and I were talking about this the other day, the percentage of lost people who actually attend church and truly believe in their salvation is staggering. Not that I can judge their souls or anything but some people have done research. It is well over 50%. This is contributed the way many churches guilt-trip people into making a decision (or rather saying a prayer silently followed by eye contact with the person sharing this gospel with every head bowed and every eye closed, followed by some paperwork that proves you’re now a Christian), it is contributed to pastors (or rather, “ordained” men on a payroll) asking people if they would like to be baptized rather than seeing if they meet the requirements for baptism (namely if they are a follower of Christ or not), and it is contributed to egotistical preaching (preaching that makes you feel like a super-christian rather than a piece of crap, or as Isaiah says “a filthy rag” :). Thanks for this post! Hopefully more will read and be outraged by the way the American so-called christian church has become.
Thank you for the comment. I think you have pointed to the central issue in the modern dilemma of the unregenerate church and that is the failure of the churches leaders to lead biblically in submission to Christ. Rather these leaders see themselves as the head of the church and create their own goals for the church; usually shameless self-promotion via bragging rights granted by a particular church’s numerical growth. Whereas Paul planted, Apollos watered, and God gave grow in this pragmatic church system the pastor is planter, waterer, and causer of growth. Thus pastoral ministry becomes a marketable and profitable business as pastors climb the corporate ladder of numerical growth.
This push towards numerical growth shifts the focus from quality of disciples to number of disciples and naturally causes such practices as church discipline to fall out of favor. I recently read Biblical Foundations for Baptist Churchesby John S. Hammett and was greatly convicted over the part I have played in the decline of regenerate church membership. One of the scenarios that he notes, and that occurs every Sunday in many SBC churches, is that without the sharing of their testimony before the assembly, or an intense interview and subsequent vote of an elder board, prospective members are brought before the congregation and then affirmed into membership by a mere show of hands. After reading that section in his book I have to ask myself can I, without hearing this individual’s testimony and without knowledge that this individual has been thoroughly interviewed by the leaders of the church, affirm that said individual is a regenerate follower of Christ and affirm their membership in a local congregation? No I cannot. Regenerate church membership and the health of that person’s soul is too important for me to treat it so nonchalantly.
While big numbers may boost your marketability as a pastor, earn you a raise, boost your ego, and improve your resume. Such methodology is hardly biblical and is devastating the American church’s witness both at home and abroad. I can testify that when we trained short-term missionaries to live in a foreign country we spent a large segment of time training them to explain to native peoples the difference between “American Christianity” and a true follower of Christ. It is things like that that make me yearn for the persecution by which Christ will clear the temple and restore the witness of a regenerate suffering church in America. The American church is selling her inheritance for a mess of pottage.