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Why the Majority of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />America's Pastors Are Responsible For America's Mess
By Brannon S. Howse
Among "we the people," there is one group which I think bears a special responsibility for the present state of our nation. Most of America's pastors have been virtually missing in action for years on substantive political issues. By contrast, pastors and religious leaders of the Founders' day preached not only the salvation message but also exhorted their congregations on the biblical response to the issues, whether it be slavery, gambling, drunkenness, voter participation, the biblical responsibilities of an elected official-including the type of judges we put into power-or the appropriate consequences for ungodly elected officials. While America has pastors, and religious leaders who stand tall, they are much too few and far between. The typical pastor in America today is liberal or leaning-liberal in their theology and politics. Even those who maintain a sound theology often are ignorant of how to apply biblical principles to the issues we face.
Many pastors do not realize the phrase "separation of church and state" is not found in the Constitution. They know next to nothing about our nation's founding and little of substance about the Christian worldview and how it applies to law, government, economics, education, and sociology. They do not recognize the threat of worldviews that compete with Christianity and that are stealing the souls of adults and young people alike in their churches. In many cases, these pastors not only have bought the "separation lie" but like doing so because accepting the lie makes life easier for them. They justify believing it by accepting the equally false notion of a dividing line between the "secular" and the "sacred." This way, pastors and religious leaders don't have to address topics in church that require them to pick a side instead of riding the fence. Most prefer this fence ride because it allows them to keep everybody happy while they fill pews and offering plates and build multimillion dollar churches as monuments to themselves and their success.
The problem fence-sitters try desperately to avoid is that as soon as a pastor embraces and practices a thoroughly biblical worldview that pastor is asking for controversy. Such a pastor must be willing to confront abortion, secular humanism in America's schools, and other controversial topics in sermons. Any firm stand is sure to offend a certain percentage of church members, who will simply take their money elsewhere and tell their friends about the narrow-minded church they just left.
This potential loss of a "paying customer" terrifies many church leaders. And if you don't think the majority of America's churches are run like businesses seeking to outdo the competition in order to garner more patrons, then walk the aisle of a Christian bookstore. Read the titles and back covers of the latest church growth propaganda, and a fairly clear picture will emerge. It's not pretty.
Because they are "up front," pastors are especially vulnerable but also especially responsible. A Christian worldview that acknowledges good and evil, right and wrong, and rejects our culture's worship at the new altar of tolerance, political correctness, moral relativism, and the New Age that says "all ways lead to God" will make waves.
Unfortunately, timid, feminized pastors are neither new nor uniquely American. Aside from a few German church leaders like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was executed in a Nazi concentration camp, the majority of pastors in World War II-era Germany did not have the courage of their convictions and did nothing to stop Adolph Hitler's murderous regime. The lesson, I believe, is that, aside from a handful of courageous pastors, most American church leaders will "go along to get along" right up until the day they find the doors to their churches chained and locked.
Why do I think the majority of America's Christian leaders are now more like castrated sheep than strong shepherds? Consider this: The Barna Research Group surveyed America's pastors and found "that only half of the country's Protestant pastors-51 percent-have a biblical worldview. Defining such a worldview as believing that absolute moral truth exists, that it is based upon the Bible, and having a biblical view on six core beliefs (the accuracy of biblical teaching, the sinless nature of Jesus, the literal existence of Satan, the omnipotence and omniscience of God, salvation by grace alone, and the personal responsibility to evangelize)."61
It's little wonder pastors are off base in their worldviews since most have been trained in institutions also stumbling toward liberalism. Aside from a few that still stand firm, America's Bible colleges and seminaries have been hijacked by religious liberals who themselves doubt America's godly heritage.
Many professors at our "Christian" colleges and universities are hostile to biblical faith even though the institutions in which they teach retain a Christian façade. They attack the authority and inerrancy of the Bible; they question the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ, His deity, His virgin birth; they take Bible verses out of context, and they completely ignore verses that call into question their preferred religion of tolerance, political correctness, and New Age spirituality.
What can you do about this issue? If you're attending a church whose pastor would rather hide behind the "separation lie" than to face the implications of the real truth, then your part in solving our national crisis is to find another church.
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