Liberals are responsible for much of the evil in America. But in their zeal to “Reclaim America for Christ” some well-intentioned pro-family conservatives have been introducing evil into the Church. I’m speaking of the “New Religious Right” (NRR) a term I borrowed from Brannon Howse. Ironically, in order to bring society back to its Judeo-Christian values, groups such as the American Family Association and the Family Research Council have brought out-and-out heretics and cultists out of the darkness into the limelight.
|The state never has the right to do wrong.|
The NRR evolved out of the Religious Right (RR) of days gone by. Howse, who was acquainted with the founders of the movement, has gotten a lot of heat for voicing his concern over some of the people the NRR has chosen to unite with since the passing of the old guard. “I do not believe,” he said, “that many of the now deceased leaders of the religious right from the 1970s and 1980s would agree with the theological and doctrinal compromise of many of the leaders of today's ‘New Religious Right’.”
The leaders Howse is speaking of are D. James Kennedy, Jerry Falwell, Adrian Rogers and Tim LaHaye. LaHaye, author of the blockbuster Left Behind series, is still very much alive and supports the NRR. It seems he is willing to set aside theological and doctrinal differences to accomplish what he set out to do over 40 years ago. Has Dr. LaHaye forgotten 2 John 9:11?:
Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. (Bold mine)
I share Brannon Howse’s concern over the NRR. In their zeal to defeat the far-left’s anti-God agenda, they’ve been partnering with those who do not abide in the doctrine of Christ.
The NRR has convinced a large number of evangelicals that if we can just change the system we will be able to influence human behavior and restore some moral sanity to this country. In order to achieve this lofty goal, conservative people of faith must become engaged in the culture war. To this end, casting our vote is of primary importance.
So far so good.
The NRR urges conservatives to become involved in politics at state and local levels; participate in special interest groups; take an interest in government schools and our institutions of higher learning; take part in lawful demonstrations and publicly held events. All of this must take place so that conservatives will play a larger role in influencing public policy.
I have no problem with any of this for the reason that we are told in Psalm 24:1 “The earth is the LORD'S, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” Thus, “both the state and the church are under God,” says R.C. Sproul, “The state is not sovereign; the state never has the right to do wrong. The state is always under the authority of God. God institutes government, God ordains government, and God will judge government. He holds government and all other institutions in our society responsible for doing what is right.” Later Sproul says, “God tells me as a Christian to pay my bills on time. He tells me not to use false weights and balances in my business. I think that it’s perfectly appropriate to recommend that the state have sound currency and not destroy the weights and balances of our society, to have honorable contracts and to do what is right. In other words, in those spheres of ethics that are right for all people, I believe it is a Christian’s responsibility to remind the state to stand for what is right.” (Source)
In my view, God’s people, including pastors, should speak publicly through whatever means possible -- to include the pulpit. One reason for Christians being involved in politics and the culture war is to see that the state does what is right for all people. Another is to help the victims who are being enslaved by government and by wicked people. Michael A. Milton believes that the clergy must speak out because they speak with “biblical authority to other Beast-like powers when there are souls at risk or the honor of Christ and His Church is under siege.” (Source)
WHEN THE DEVIL COMES A KNOCKIN’…
" ... I can visualize times when the only way to make plain the seriousness of what is involved in regard to a service or an activity where the gospel is going to be preached is not to accept an official part if men whose doctrine is known to be an enemy are going to be invited to participate officially. In an age of relativity, the practice of truth when it is costly is the only way to cause the world to take seriously our protestations concerning truth." --Francis A. Schaeffer
To help further their political agenda the NRR has thrust evangelicals into syncretism as we merge with Catholics, Jews, Muslims, New Agers as well as with Social Justice Christians (I’ll cover this in part 3), false teachers, and those who are caught up in cults. So it’s no surprise to see NRR leaders sharing a stage with those in radical fringe groups such as the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), International House of Prayer and Word-faith/prosperity preachers. The NRR has been warned by discernment ministries and Christian apologists who study the cults, the occult and aberrant movements that these people are teaching rank heresy. For instance, the aforementioned groups hold to "positive confession," a belief that is firmly rooted in the metaphysical cults. In spite of what the Bible says in I Corinthians 10:20-21, NRR leaders have no problem uniting with modern day “apostles” and “prophets” who are in high positions in the NAR as they attempt to save America from the ravages of liberalism. Which begs the question: Why is the NRR not making every effort to save the Church from liberals, false teachers, New Agers, and the cults?
Instead of doing what is right in God’s eyes, the NRR has helped a host of heretics and cultists gain credibility not only with evangelicals but with Catholics, the conservative media, politicians, entertainers and the Tea Party. Partnering with the wicked is unacceptable for the reasons that: (1) God opposes the wicked; (2) The wicked should not be given a platform — especially when professing Christians provide that platform!
“Knowingly or unknowingly,” says Brannon Howse, “the New Religious Right is being used as "useful idiots" by which to implement the goals of the progressives. Please understand, I am not calling anyone a name. This is a historical term used to describe people that are knowingly or unknowingly used by socialists. (Source)
Therein lies the problem.
To “bring America back to God” the NRR has embraced the technique of pragmatism or “whatever works.”
“Some in the religious right,” says Phil Johnson, “seem to think the primary duty of the church in secular society is political lobbying. Evangelical politicians have displayed a frightening willingness to compromise spiritual principles, forge partnerships with unbelievers, and shift the focus of their message away from the gospel in favor of more broadly-appealing moral and political themes. Some seem willing to take whatever pragmatic means are necessary in order to influence the vote—as if the advancement of Christ's kingdom depended on the American electoral process.” (Source)
THE CHRISTIAN WORLD, THE MEGA-CHURCH, AND THE DEVIL
Pragmatism is also popular among pastors. Blogger Tim Challies warned that pragmatism “has reared its ugly head throughout the Christian world. It is found in statements about evangelistic techniques such as “if it only reaches one person it is worth it.” It is found in Rick Warren’s book The Purpose Driven Church, a textbook for church growth, where he writes “Never criticize any method that God is blessing.” He also says “We must be willing to adjust our worship practices when unbelievers are present. God tells us to be sensitive to the hang-ups of unbelievers in our services.” These ideas are not Biblical; they are rooted in the perceived consequences. Pragmatism is found wherever Christians run to join programs and hurry to change their worship services because of what they expect to see happen because of the changes they make. In short, it is found anywhere the emphasis is removed from what Scripture says and where the emphasis is placed on the expected results.” (Source)
In Part 1, I suggested ways in which evangelicals can offer a way back to a time when Americans knew the difference between right and wrong, before our beloved country started down the road to socialism, before she took a nose dive into moral depravity. The number one most important thing for the committed Christian to do is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the lost. (Rom 1:15-7) People are not going to change unless hearts and minds are changed. We love and forgive because we have been loved greatly and forgiven much.
Someone’s values are going to prevail in America. Will it be godless secular humanist/moral relativistic values of the Left we’re seeing today? Or the solid biblical values of yesteryear?
Presently, liberals are winning the culture war – and if they’re winning, conservatives are losing. Liberals are winning through the courts, when liberal judges rule in their favor; through elected officials who pass laws that line up with the Left’s agenda for society; and through bullying and fear mongering. And as I pointed out in Part 1, the liberal agenda has the full support of the entertainment industry as well as the mainstream media. They’re also winning because very few believers even know what a biblical worldview looks like anymore. Sadly, the visible Church has adopted an unbiblical worldview.
How could this happen?
My finger is pointed directly at Church leadership for the reason that many of them have failed to equip the Body of Christ with a decidedly Christianworldview. But what’s even worse is that the gospel of Jesus Christ is rarely preached in churches. In our postmodern world many so-called ministers of God are hip, cool people pleasers, preferring to preach a culturally “relevant” sermon that makes the audience feel good about God – and themselves.
Tim Challies made the point that instead of sticking to biblical orthodoxy, church leadership has adopted pragmatic methods to appeal to the consumer. Their main aim is to grow their church but in order to accomplish this, pastors must sell the benefits of Christianity to the consumer. So they have to come up with ways to entice “unchurched (unsaved) Harry and Mary” onto the church campus. They hope that once Harry and Mary are inside the auditorium they’ll realize all the “fun” things the church has to offer. Things like espresso bars…live bands that play contemporary worship music loud enough to blow the doors off the hinges...praise band singers whose voices could rival any America Idol winner…drama sketches with stage lighting and props – and I’ve just scratched the surface! Harry and Mary love the trendy church. Moreover, they love their non-judgmental pastor who sincerely believes his (or her) “calling” is to take care of people’s feelings.
In his piece, The Market-Driven Church, Gary Gilley underscores that, “fun has replaced holiness as the church's goal. Having a good time has become the criterion of an excellent, growing church, since fun and entertainment is what church consumers want. Yet Scripture references encouraging churches to become havens of fun are, as one may suspect, sadly lacking.” (Source)
Paul’s dire warning to Church leaders has fallen on deaf ears:Pragmatism ushered in the church growth “Purpose-Driven” movement. Adopting a marketing strategy to grow the church has been hugely successful! As a result many churches are well attended. Problem is, pseudo Christians are the ones filling the pews…oops! Auditoriums.
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous [vicious] wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. (Acts 20:28-31)
1— No compromise ever, episode 1—Mike Abendroth’s discussion with James White, Carl Trueman and Phil Johnson on the Elephant Room 2 controversy2— Worldview Weekend Training—Brannon Howse 3— Liberals changing word meanings with intent to deceive—By Marsha West4— The Consumer-Driven Church—By Matt Slick
2- The Immorality of Liberals—By Selwyn Duke
3- How to Create A Monster—By Lynn Stuter
1- Don't listen to the liberals - Right-wingers really are nicer people, latest research shows—By Peter Schweizer