I wonder how much difference it would make in the future of this country if our Churches were unafraid? (And by that, I mean our Church Leadership). Boy, I would sure like to have the opportunity to find out!
An article by Joe McKeever, of the Christian Post, really got me to thinking. What if Pastors quit worrying about what their congregation might think if they talked about national issues like same-sex marriage or abortion? If they actually talked about these hot-button issues from a biblical perspective, don't you think that it might change the way our culture views them? You don't have to give a hell-fire and brimstone sermon; or question anyone's salvation; or pass judgment on your fellow man. You make it about God -- what HE says; not the ACLU, the various "pro" organizations, or even your Church Board.
And then, what if Church leaders had the guts to call out our national leaders on moral grounds? Just over the past few years, how many stories in the media were about our politicians cheating on their wives, cheating on their taxes, lying about government activities, funding our enemies, back room bribes, improper campaign contributions, under-the-table payoffs, obstruction of justice, internet sex scandals, extravagant vacations at the taxpayers' expense .... I could go on and on! It's become so mainstream and frequent, that it's almost "ho hum"; that's just the way it is!
And did you know, that according to political scientist and researcher Scott Basinger, 60% of scandal-tainted incumbents ultimately find themselves back in Congress? Do you think that it could have anything to do with the fact that our pulpits are silent about these offenses against God? What affect does this silence have on the general population? Perhaps make these immoral decisions seem more acceptable? "After all, my Pastor keeps preaching about Grace, right? I'm not hearing anything about what God really feels about these actions, so maybe this is to be expected from our sinful society. And my Pastor says that it is God's desire to forgive us." Sadly, I'm afraid that this may be the message many in our congregations are receiving.
Again, if Pastors and Church leaders had the strength and courage to speak about the moral life that God wants us to live.... the life that Jesus lived! .... then just maybe our national leadership wouldn't find it so easy to excuse their selfish behavior. What would it look like to actually have a moral standard that we all tried to live up to; from the Average Joe to leaders in Business, Politics and Entertainment? Could we actually develop a consciousness about whether our actions are pleasing to God? Wouldn't that be a radical departure from the "me first" and self-gratifying character of the past few generations?
The bottom line is this ... for centuries the Church has been the guide for societal thought, behavior and standards. That has not always been a positive model. Church leaders can be just as corrupt and immoral as the next sinner. BUT, the human condition has benefitted the most when the Church and her leaders have conducted their Spirit-led responsibilities in the Truth and Light of the Bible and Jesus Christ -- when they have been unafraid of speaking boldly and forcefully for Godly principles. Without that fearlessness and leadership that will act on professed beliefs -- regardless of danger or disapproval -- we are destined to continue down this dark road to societal collapse.
Psalm 16:8 "I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken."