By Rusty Lee Thomas
This is a warning to pastors and Christian leaders. The average pew sitter in your buildings are becoming increasingly aware of the evil, tyranny, and injustice that is taking place under our watch. In times past, church leadership may have gotten away with being silent and inactive at the threats now facing the church in America.
If church leadership continues in that posture, however, the average pew sitter is going to realize how miserably church leadership has failed to prepare them to handle what is coming upon us. Not only did church leadership fail to address and defeat the evil now savaging our nation, church leadership is also failing to equip the saints to handle increased persecution. They may speak glowing messages from God's word, but they are silent where it matters most.
Martin Luther warned, "If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battlefield besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point."
G K Chesterton stated, "Unless a man becomes the enemy of evil, he will not even become its slave, but rather its champion. God Himself will not help us to ignore evil but only to defy and to defeat it!"
Unless church leadership in America returns to this understanding and allows the salt to come out of the shaker and the light from under the bushel, expect a great exodus of Christians leaving church buildings to find authentic, genuine Christianity in the wasteland of America.
Many Christians are tired of Churchianity. What we are facing as God's people in America needs to be addressed, clear instructions from God's word needs to be given, and obedience should be expected. Otherwise the church's witness will continue to ring hollow and our ministries will be discredited by our failures to lead God's people through these times that try the souls of men.
This is not a time to tickle ears, but a time for true under- shepherds of the flock to take the up the staff and rod and beat back the wolves who seek to devour the sheep. If we fail to do this, there is one word for those under-shepherds. It is called hireling. Hireling pastors will be exposed in the days ahead. They will flee when it does not benefit them to pastor the flock. When it is time to pay a price to be faithful to God and His people, they will disappear. Many sheep will be scattered as a result. It is my prayer that they find true under-shepherds who will lay down their lives for the sheep as Christ our Master did for his church.
I'll close with this quote by Charles Finney. He stated, "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."
We need to take this exhortation to heart and make the necessary changes, lest our candle stick be removed in Jesus' name!