Posts Tagged ‘The Church’

Who Speaks for God? The Deafening Silence of the Church and Christian Universities on Marriage

December 16th, 2013 2 comments

christian uniIn a day when everyone is coming out of the closet to express their position on the critical policy issue of whether we should be re-defining what it means to be married, the two institutions who should be speaking the loudest are actually the most silent; namely, our Christian churches and universities. And the silence is deafening!

In recent weeks we have seen a number of our state universities publicly voicing their opposition to the proposed Marriage Amendment (HJR6). As I shared in a previous blog, this behavior is incredibly intolerant of those students attending the university who do not happen to share the same beliefs about marriage. In our modern university culture, where tolerance has become the cardinal virtue and moral relativism acts as the official epistemological litmus test for determining the correctness of one’s point of view, it seems incredibly irrational and contradictory for state universities to take a firm stance on anything! After all, to remain intellectually coherent, the doctrine of tolerance demands neutrality.

Christian Universities, on the other hand, are committed to the pursuit of Truth. The educational experience is built, not upon the shifting sands of moral relativism, but upon the unchanging revelation of God’s Word. In the words of the great Christian author and apologist, Francis Schaeffer, He is There and He is Not Silent! And where God has clearly spoken, He expects us to fully represent His views both to the student body and to the world.

And If there ever was an issue where God has clearly spoken, it’s the issue of marriage! We should be teaching our students the biblical norms for marriage, the family and sexuality and equipping them to clearly communicate God’s Truth to their generation. In addition, we should be highlighting the tragic consequences which occur when individuals and nations rebel against God’s moral order. What an amazing opportunity God has given us to provide leadership to a culture that is currently experiencing a moral free-fall. In fact, it’s more than just an opportunity, it’s a responsibility. It’s a sacred trust.

Years ago Charles Colson wrote a book entitled, Who Speaks for God? His book was a prophetic challenge to “confess Christ where the battle rages,” to stand for Christ contra mundum – “against the world.” He went on to quote John Wesley, who said:

“Making an open stand against all the ungodliness and unrighteousness which overspreads our land as a flood is one of the noblest ways of confessing Christ in the face of His enemies.”

It’s time for the Church and the Christian University to make “an open stand” this critical issue of marriage. If we won’t, who will?

If you agree, please take a moment to call your pastor and encourage him to stand for marriage. And while you’re at it, call the president’s office at the closest Christian university near you and ask why the university is remaining silent on this important, biblical issue.

The Church as a Moral Conscience

September 11th, 2009 No comments

As I shared in my last blog entry, there are times when it is our moral obligation as believers to disobey our government and the laws our elected representatives enact. The reason is simple. We are called to represent the Kingdom of God in the earth and to hold our civil authorities accountable to their God-given task. While our main assignment from Jesus is to win the lost and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20), we share the additional responsibility of being the conscience of our nation and the instrument of moral accountability.

Once again, I find inspiration from the words of Martin Luther King, Jr:

“The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.”

Richard Neuhaus agrees. He eloquently wrote that, “the Church can and should subject to moral questioning every political agenda or cause, thus keeping the entirety of human politics under the transcendent judgment of God.”

God forbid we that we ever become the “irrelevant social club” King warned would happen if we cowardly retreat to the cloistered confines of our church buildings. We have been given an important mandate from our Lord to be the moral conscience of our nation. May we never shrink from this essential task.

Patriot Pastors – 2

August 3rd, 2009 No comments

Marion and I had the privilege of speaking at the Family Research Council’s “Faith & Family Summit” in April of this year. Our topic was “Empowering Pastors to Be Salt & Light.” We encouraged pastors to be a prophetic voice and to engage their people in Christ’s command to “make disciples of all nations.”

The response from the people was both enthusiastic and alarming. “My pastor will not discuss controversial topics from the pulpit,” lamented one of the attendees. Another shook his head in disbelief as he shared of the total lack of involvementby his California, mega-church pastor in the “Prop. 8″ battle for the sanctity of marriage. The common thread we heard from all the people was a cry for their pastors to provide courageous leadership outside the four walls of the Church. I could hear them say, “Please lead us and we will follow.”

This is why we must look to the first American Revolution to find pastoral leadership models to guide us in our present conflicts. In 1898, Bishop Charles Galloway reviewed the role of preachers in the American Revolution. Here is his summary:

 “Mighty men they were. Men of iron nerve and strong hand and unblanched cheek and a heart aflame…God needed not reeds shaken by the wind or men clothed in soft raiment (Matthew 11) but he needed heroes of hearty hood and lofty courage and such were the sons of the mighty who responded to the divine call…”

One of these “heroes”  was Rev. John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, the pastor of two churches and a member of the state legislature. On Jan 21, 1776, he preached a sermon from Ecclesiastes  3:1-8 which includes the verse, “A time of war and a time of peace.” The  night before, the British attacked the town of Williamsburg, Virginia. Rev. Muhlenberg rode 197 miles from Williamsburg to join his congregation in Woodstock, VA. At the conclusion of his sermon, Muhlenberg  removes his clerical gown right in front of the congregation and stands before them in full military dress. He walks down the center aisle, preaching as he walks, and 300 of his men respond to his call to arms. These valiant men became the 8th Virginia military brigade. Rev. Muhlenberg  goes on to become one of our highest ranking military generals.

Muhlenberg embodies what we mean by the expression, “Patriot Pastor.” We must faithfully stand in our pulpits declaring the whole counsel of God, but after we romove our ecclesiastical gowns, we must boldly lead the army of God in the task of cultural transformation. Preach the Word and engage the culture. The two must always be kept in balance.

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