When I first became a Christian, I had a lot to learn about many things (I still do): What does it mean to be a Christian? What is the church? What do pastors do? Should pastors take strong stands against sin or avoid preaching out against sin?
I have now been a Christian 42 years. I understand a lot of those questions much better and have better answers to them than I did as a 23 year old. However, I still realize that those questions still remain – not only with me, but with many others.
In those early years as a Christian, I thought that Christians would be like Dr. James Dobson or Don Wildmon that they would see the need surrounding them and call upon God to lead them as to how to be the “salt and light of the world” (Matthew 5).
As I left my full-time teaching position in 1988 (after 18 years of teaching) to go into full-time ministry first as AFA’s first state director and then later as founder and president of American Decency Association in 1999, I began to recognize even more fully that churches didn’t readily take stands against pornography, indecency, homosexuality, immodesty, same-sex marriage, etc. We have been paying a great price.
Sadly, I have come to recognize, that is the way it is. It troubled AFA founder and long time President Donald E. Wildmon. He expressed that concern in one of his classic AFA Journal articles entitled “300,000 Silent Pulpits.
I recall years ago that Focus on the Family developed a nationwide campaign to help churches develop “Social Action Committees.” At our local church, we had a social action committee, but the church board voted to have us change the name from social action committee to social awareness committee. Note that change – awareness not action.
A couple of years later, the social awareness committee asked for a special meeting with the board urging the church leadership and the pastor to please preach sermons on occasion regarding the sins of our day where Satan was targeting the body of Christ to give warning so that Christians knew what God’s Word had to say about homosexuality, adultery, pornography, etc..
The board met and decided that once a month the pastor would preach such a sermon. Shortly after the pastor preached a powerful and very Biblical sermon in regard to what does God say about homosexuality. We were overwhelmed with thankfulness! Yet, there was never such a sermon preached again in the months that followed.
A couple of years ago I was working to get churches to distribute (make available) non-partisan voter’s guides. One local pastor told me “I’m not going to do that to my congregation. They are nothing more than Republican concoctions to endorse their candidates.”
I could name many other scenarios. Many.
Most of you reading this are familiar with Dietrich Bonhoeffer who tried to rally the German church to stand against Hitler. As you are aware, the church largely did nothing to oppose Hitler. Other than Bonhoeffer and a few others.
It seems to be human (sinful) nature – fearing man more than fearing God. I’m sure that it must be difficult preaching out and stepping on toes and then having those people not like you because you preached against adultery, pornography, homosexuality, abortion.
God’s people need to be in the Bible daily themselves – that’s certain. However, there are many babes in Christ that aren’t far along in their faith. They need a word boldly spoken from God’s Word weekly!
In the weeks ahead, pastors should be reminding their congregations to study the issues, pray, seek counsel from those who are Biblical Christians who understand the times and the Word, and to go to the polls and vote for biblical values on election day.
Pastors should be reminding their congregations that there are significant differences between both candidates and both parties. Pastors should be dispelling cynicism, lethargy, and apathy.
America is a blessed nation. God has blessed America with freedoms that no other nation has ever experienced and especially as long as we have.
In our great state of Michigan in the days ahead, Eric Metaxas is going to be speaking at various sites across the state. Eric Metaxas is the author of the hugely successful and popular best seller “Bonhoeffer.”
Metaxas also spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast in 2012. Many of you have heard that he spoke with passion and conviction in the presence of many of our nation’s political leaders including President Obama.
Metaxas will be in Michigan to primarily speak to pastors on October 25 -26.
I’m going to do what I can to invite as many pastors as I can to this special event. Their voice, their passion for the Lord, their love for God’s standard to prevail, their need to lead the people of God as God would have them lead is needed perhaps as never before in our life times.
If you live in Michigan and would like to have an invitation emailed to your pastor, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org