Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Challenge Continues

The Challenge Continues

If I assess the spiritual climate among true believers based upon my e-mails, I believe two things are occurring as it pertains to nationalism and politics. On one side there are many who have awakened to the idolatry of such things. On the other side many are digging in their heels. Idolatry in any form is a stronghold, but when something as deep as nationalism and politics is involved, and because these things were ingrained in us from the time we were able to understand speech, well that kind of idolatry is very difficult to see.

Even in a year where the carnality of such issues is so stark, millions will still refuse to pray and fast and seek the face of God. Why sacrificially seek out God when your mind is already made up? But all this hub-ub over politics would be just a fringe issue if it didn’t so deeply compromise the integrity of the Word and the spiritual lives of millions of professing believers. The church is jam packed with lethargic and lukewarm believers and nationalism is a large part of their compromise.

I have sat in a pew behind church members who I greeted every Sunday. The man had a questionable testimony at best, and Sunday morning was the complete expression of his faith. He never showed any emotion during worship or preaching. He just sat quietly through the service. But on patriotic Sundays he was much different. And when that church sang some patriotic song like “God Bless America”, that man cried. What else could so demonstrably reveal idolatry?

I used to believe television was a great hindrance to spirituality and purity before Christ and I still do. But now all the social network avenues are rapidly challenging television in that area. Television might incite the flesh toward promiscuity and adultery, but social networks provide an avenue to make those connections. But those are outward manifestations of spiritual compromise and sin, while nationalism is not only a disguise for such compromise, it is embraced by the church as God’s will. And when deception and sin is embraced by the church then any hope of spirituality is lost until the church repents.

It is an amazing display of evil ingenuity when the enemy of our souls was able to use earthly freedom to imprison us. It is a masterpiece of deception and delusion. While the church was focusing on the sins of others and the current moral melee, the evil one unleashed a cunningly devised assault that captured the hearts and minds of professing believers. And while denouncing homosexuality and abortion, the church began holding hands with the very earthly institution that had condoned and protected such things.

And a misunderstanding of the ramifications of human government made a clear path to this deception. Many believers suggest that since God ordained human government that He also ordained the church to be active in it. That would be like suggesting that since God created whales we should also be involved with Green Peace. We are commanded to honor and pray for our leaders, but our Leader has always been Christ and Christ alone. It isn’t just fascist and totalitarian governments that present a danger to the church, it is also democracy.

While fascist states may be dangerous physically to the church, democracy presents a danger to her integrity. And in the realm of the Spirit, spiritual integrity is the cornerstone of our faith. Thousands of martyrs have kept their integrity and faith even while being burned or hanging from the gallows. So when the church lays down her integrity and embraces and pledges allegiance to any fallen system, then all vestiges of spiritual power and integrity begin to rapidly erode.

The press loves to place a microphone into the face of a minister and preacher and have them lend their opinion about politics. And it is a sad state of affairs when our preachers are political pundits rather than gospel conduits. You see the world loves to hash and rehash over political and moral issues. How many talk radio and television programs are there? And the political wrangling about this year’s election began well over a year ago. Each new poll and each new commercial and each new set of economic figures provide a forum for more useless chatter.

But we must be about our Father’s business. The dead can elect the dead, but time is drawing to a close and the wheat is not yet in the barn. It is unnerving to many believers when you suggest that there must be such a remarkable line drawn between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness. Since the church has slowly morphed into little more than an American political force with some predictable religious overtones, many believers are spiritually asleep and unable to see how our distinctions have been swallowed up by the tide of culturalism. In essence, we have been assimilated and imprisoned, and through decades of systematic reinforcement we have embraced our chains.

And the results of such a monstrous compromise have been devastating. The church operates as a powerless, debt ridden system of oratorical prowess, human organization skills, and a collection of Sunday morning pilgrims whose effort to arrive at the building dwarfs any efforts or sacrifice offered throughout the week. Does that assessment disturb you? Have you ever read the Book of Acts or much of church history? Have you ever read the Foxes Book of Martyrs or some of the great awakenings? We have become quite adept at constructing a comfortable religious club that lives nicely within a culture of hedonism, greed, and idolatry. And what is our claim to spiritual power and distinctiveness? Our doctrine.

Hmm…that seems oh so pitiful and yet oh so real. But there is one thing that binds most churches in America, whether they be conservative or liberal, Mormon or Baptist, gay or straight, charismatic or Calvinistic. These churches all pledge allegiance to the secular government of America, and with each man made national holiday they celebrate their compromise and idolatry. And where does this celebration take place? Surely in a park or downtown auditorium. Perhaps a rented hall or a special occasions facility?

No, they celebrate their allegiance to America in the church sanctuary and during a gathering that is supposed to worship the Triune God. And in the midst of such pageantry and idolatry, the congregation remains unaware of how unbiblical is their practice and how the Spirit is grieved. This scenario does not occur in isolated pockets throughout this nation. No, it is practiced in every corner of the Unites States. And curiously enough, the nation to which they pledge embraces a pluralistic religious position which was designed by the founding fathers.

If you are told often enough what you see and what you must believe you see, and if you are taught that over a long period of time, many times your own eyes become useless and dormant.

Here is a Memorial Day that will last forever: Memorial Day.


Anonymous said...

I believe this is the message that American Christians need to listen to. You have ignored the fact that the Bible says the god of this world is Satan, and replaced that truth with American exceptionalism. You have offered your government a blank cheque approval for its military efforts toward the NWO. You are sinking in the same nationalistic jingoism that swallowed the British Empire. The only difference is the idolatrous song on your lips.

Ramone said...

It was a difficult thing when I realized for the first time that we idolize our soldiers and vets, who really give honest sacrifices (but then, so did many on "the other side"). I felt God telling me about some idolatry in the country, and painted a picture about it but couldn't see one part, and so prayed longer and He told me it was the graves of our soldiers. (link here)

Our honor and praise for those who "sacrifice their lives for our [physical] freedom" is beyond debate... it is sacred, both to the religious and non-religious. I've had friends leave the faith questioning the atonement, but still post on Facebook this kind of praise and thanks for those who fight for our freedom.