“Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours in a great degree. If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this fact, my dear brethren; but let us lay it to heart, and be thoroughly awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation.”- Charles Finney
Some may know this however I would venture to assume safely that most do not, but what we refer to as the American Revolution was known to the British as The Presbyterian Rebellion. Yes, you read that correctly, what we have been taught was a mere war for independence due to a lack representation in parliament and an increase in the tax on tea was, in fact, much deeper than that. The colonists didn’t merely view the treatment of King George as an injustice but a sin against them, it was a “holy war” if you will. To rule them and tax them without giving them a seat in parliament was viewed as sin and tyranny. Why do I bring this up? Have you ever heard of The Black Robed Regiment? I imagine that’s another bit of history that you haven’t heard much about either.
These men were the clergy living in the Pre-American colonies. They preached the sermons that encouraged the separatists in their efforts in seeking true justice from the tyranny of Great Britain, some of them even going so far as to taking arms against the Redcoats themselves. An icon of this era was a minister named Peter Muhlenberg who anecdotally was once reported to have preached to his congregation and upon concluding the sermon, removed his robe to reveal a Continental Army uniform. You are free to research all of this yourself and I encourage you to do so. Leaving 1776, what does this have to do with 2021?
“No matter who’s in the White House, remember that Jesus is on the throne.” This trite and frankly frivolous statement is often warbled from American pulpits by preachers every four years. While on the surface it appears like a heartfelt reminder of God’s sovereignty this author wonders if the repetition of this statement, the subsequent moral decline of the nation and the big business that American Evangelicalism (Henceforth referred to as Big Eva) has become hasn’t exposed the reality of the state of Church in America, that is that we have largely abandoned our post and much of what we call “The Church” is nothing more than a counterfeit.
While organizations like the ACLU hide behind the culturally accepted Separation of Church and State, is it possible that the Church has embraced this notion as an excuse to keep quiet? While our nation has accepted the wholesale slaughter of our next generations in the womb, even segments of the Church have accepted Cultural Marxism and Critical Race Theory (CRT) which concludes that while racism is indeed a sin, only one race can commit it and of course there is nothing said race can do to atone for said sin apart from sitting in silence and accepting whatever is said by those of the superior (rather, oppressed) races even if what they are saying is a fundamental denial of what the gospel they all claim to believe teaches. Hand in hand with the acceptance of Marxism and CRT has come a warming to political ideologies such as Socialism of which Vladimir Lenin once said, “The goal of socialism is communism.” Arguably the smiling face of Big Eva Joel Osteen marched with confessed Marxist organization Black Lives Matter, the name of which chosen for obvious reasons as only a racist would deny that the life a black person matters, but a brief study of their objectives would make it clear that a Christian cannot stand with, march with or hold up the communist fist with the BLM organization.
The great reformer John Calvin stated, “The pastor ought to have two voices: one, for gathering the sheep; and another, for warding off and driving away wolves and thieves. The Scripture supplies him with the means of doing both.” Today’s pastors are often accused of entertaining goats while starving sheep, but is it possible they are in fact entertaining ravenous wolves because they are too afraid of offending them (and their tithes) to use the big voice? When was the last time you heard your pastor mention church discipline? Does he handle difficult scriptures with kid gloves, by that I mean, does he qualify passages like Romans 1:18-32 by saying “I’m sure this doesn’t apply to anyone here.” thus stripping the impact from the word and cauterizing the conscience of the sinner? Does he even use the word “sinner?” After all, as Pastor Tim Keller tweeted recently, “No one has ever learned they were a sinner by being told they are.” Long gone are the days of men like Edwards, Wesley, and Davies. Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God has been replaced by At the Movies, the pastor has been replaced by the thought leader, the pulpit replaced by the stage and the sermon has been replaced by the talk. Big name Christian thought leaders fall into egregious sin or apostatize in droves while our country continues to justify child sacrifice, lawlessness, every manner of sexual deviance including the (at the moment) President Elect endorsing 8 year old children transitioning their genders and week after week pastors spend their precious hours preaching self-help rather than the supremacy of Jesus Christ our King. Take heart, this was the very kind of pulpit pimping that drove George Whitefield to preach in the open air.
Addressing Finney, in our day no one knows what the word immorality means. If you go to a college campus and ask questions that only a generation ago had clear answers, questions like “Am I a man or a woman?” and they can’t answer the question because feelings dictate reality. There can be no such thing as immorality because morality is no longer defined. Regarding the press, there is no such thing as journalistic integrity, only partisanship on both sides. As stated above, the Church is slipping further and further into worldliness no longer prioritizing making disciples but instead focusing on filling seats and protecting the 501c3 at all costs. The world no longer cares to hear of your religion because they see the bloody teeth of wolves under the plastic masks of sheep. Our government has been a den of iniquity for generations, a “swamp” according to some however it has nothing to do with party lines but personal interests being set above the representation of the people’s interests. Every single degradation listed is a result of pastors settling into the ease provided to them in this country instead of remaining vigilant and remembering that we all, as Christians are sojourners in this world. While we may participate in the governance of our land as we are to be salt and light in the world, we are not to sell ourselves out to a political party or a politician; we echo the sentiment of Rev. John Clarke of Lexington to Paul Revere. “We recognize no sovereign but God and no king but Jesus.” Therefore, there can be no compromise.
Neutrality is a myth and it is a myth that Big Eva seems all too comfortable to perpetuate. Jesus told us “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” The Christian therefore doesn’t have the option of neutrality. If our forefathers saw it necessary to take up arms against the British over the sin of tyranny, how much more should we today be prepared to use our Freedom of Speech to call out the oppression of abortion and demand of our legislators the abolition of child sacrifice? Why won’t we use our voice to call professed Christians to gospel consistency rather than worldly pseudo-wisdom? If those who came before us saw it imperative to lay down their lives for freedom, why won’t our pastors today preach against the horrors of totalitarianism? Jesus also told us that he who is not with Him is against Him, therefore if we who are called by His name must draw clear lines in the sand when dealing with the world and that goes double for overseers. I will conclude with the words of the martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”