God doesn't need a majority. What He does require is an obedient minority.
An Open Letter to Pastors
The people we're trying to reach and win to Christ aren't convicted by the standards we preach. They are convicted by the standards we display.
As you know, we Christians are a called-out people. God sends us back to the world from which we have been saved with the command to make disciples. It’s a monumental task that seems to become more difficult every day. As a pastor, you want to make a difference. But some of your “troops” may be walking wounded. Certainly some of your people are just nominal Christians, and others may be considering Christianity or just checking out your church, and have not yet made a serious commitment. Maybe some of your members really want to have an impact, but even they aren’t eager to confront the world.
And what a world it is!
Sin destroys people. In seminary we learn about sin in a theological, moral, and perhaps legal sense. But in the real world, the awfulness of sin is seen in the lives of shattered people we meet every day, and in a culture that was once safe and wholesome, but is now unraveling before our eyes.
There are some things going on in our culture that must break God’s heart. Examples abound, as any newspaper will attest. Near the top of any list would be the tragic, daily carnage of abortion:
These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood ... (Proverbs 6:16-17)
There are some who cling to the “right” to abortion with religious passion. Many are simply not interested in reasoned discussion. How can we reach them?
Homosexuality is another heart-breaker.
Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. (Lev. 18:22)
This lifestyle destroys the people who practice it. Still, confronting homosexuals in their sin is not pleasant, for them or for us. Often, it’s not even possible.
One abomination that doesn’t get much attention is “unjust weights and measures.” God uses the same word – abomination – when discussing this sin.
Thou shalt not have in thine house divers measures, a great and a small. But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have: that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. For all that do such things, and all that do unrighteously, are an abomination unto the LORD thy God. (Deut. 25:14-16)
Or even more succinctly:
A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight. (Proverbs 11:1)
America is the last ‘safe haven.’
For all its rampant wickedness and blossoming tyranny, America still remains the last safe place to which people can flee when the dangers of their homeland become even worse than what they will face here … if they can make it to our shores. Boat people and other refugees continue to come to America. If America is lost, there will be no place else to go … for them OR for us.
What’s a pastor to do?
How can we reach and influence people without offending them? How can we restore our country? It’s not my purpose to tell you (or any pastor) what he should do, or to criticize anyone for flinching in the presence of corrupt politicians, militant homosexuals or radical pro-aborts. What I want to suggest is a different, non-confrontational approach to our task that is based on Biblical principles that are often overlooked. I would greatly appreciate it if you would share this material with at least two trusted members of your church’s leadership.
This letter and information will go to many pastors, priests, and other spiritual leaders. Some will probably discard it, some will read it and shrug it off (“our program is working, so we’re not making any changes”) and some will see this as, perhaps, an answer to prayer. Let’s face it, there are some folks who don’t think our culture is in trouble, or that things are all that bad. Of those who share my concerns, some may feel that what I am proposing is unrealistic. I don’t expect that all recipients of this letter will respond. God, of course, doesn’t need a majority. As in the days of Gideon, He wants an obedient minority.
We still have the Keys of the Kingdom.
When Jesus gave us the Keys, He said that whatever we bind on earth (the physical realm) would be bound in Heaven (the spiritual realm). Where morality in the culture is concerned, it is the Body of Christ that sets the standard. Many people outside the church (and, unfortunately, many within it) believe that a man’s eternal destiny is determined by his “good works.” We have probably all heard some non-Christian say, “I can be just as good as a Christian without getting involved in church or religion.” And, of course, he can. What he is saying is, “I don’t need to get involved with Jesus in order to please (or placate) God.” He believes in “being good,” and his standard of “good-ness” is the level of ethical behavior displayed by the Christian community. The people we’re trying to impact and win to Christ aren’t convicted by the standard we preach. They are convicted by the standard we display.
Sin is not just a personal issue between the sinner and God. I don’t like to think that my secret sin somehow contributes to a rape or murder that occurs in my community. But maybe it does. And whether the link can be shown or not, we within the Church need to take the holiness of God and the destructiveness of sin seriously.
We took the Ten Commandments out of our lives, our homes and our churches a long time before the government started removing them from our courtrooms. As research by George Barna and others has consistently shown, those who profess Christ have about the same ethical standards as the culture at large: we watch the same movies, visit the same nightclubs, have the same divorce rate, etc. We may decry the slipping standards of the church, but the culture has not dragged the church down. Rather, the culture has followed the church down.
This is sad, but like all truth, it is also liberating. We don’t have to change the world; all we need to do is clean up the church. We are commanded to deal with sin and ethical misbehavior in the Church (see 1 Cor. 5:11-13). God judges those outside the church, and His Spirit stirs the consciences of those living in the world. In other words, what we bind (by confession and repentence) on earth will be bound in Heaven. We have God’s Word for it.
When he [that is, the Holy Spirit] is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. (John 16:8)
However, it appears that He won’t hold the world to a higher standard than that to which the Church holds itself. In short, it is my personal sin and the sin we tolerate within the Church that is polluting our culture. When the church deals with sin in the body, God’s Spirit convicts those outside the body. When we, as the church of Christ, affirm by confession and repentence (permanent change of lifestyle) that we will no longer kill our inconvenient children, the world will then have to eschew abortion if they want to be “just as good as the Christians.” When it’s beneath our dignity as Christians to adulterate our marriages, cheat in our business dealings, and watch blasphemous movies, then those with consciences who are outside the church will be prodded by the Holy Spirit through those consciences to rise to our level.
Sin – when wickedness meets opportunity
Unfortunately, there are some whose consciences are “seared with a hot iron” and who seem not to care where they spend eternity. Some might even say, “If there really is a ‘Hell,’ that’s where I want to go. All my friends will be there.” To preserve our culture against such, and to protect them from themselves, we must engage the enemy of our souls on another front. If transgression is not unthinkable, we can still make the opportunity unavailable.
The various activities that are destroying our culture are funded activities.
For instance, the homosexual agenda is heavily subsidized through government programs that have been hijacked by special interest groups. While pro-life organizations are largely funded by individuals who make financial sacrifices to send in $10 or $20 contributions, the abortion industry neither has nor needs this kind of support. Instead, it depends on government financial aid, without which it would implode, and might entirely collapse. The heavy debt load deliberately created by the illegitimate use of monetary and taxing powers has put a lot of women into the workplace when they would rather be home raising their children. Who raises their kids? The state-run educational system; hardly a breeding ground for a solid Christian worldview.
We can and should dismantle this ungodly mechanism, de-fund the destruction of our culture, and take back control of our lives. By prayerfully following some of God’s explicit commands from His Word, we can both muzzle wickedness and limit opportunity.
The mechanism that the enemies of decency are using to destroy our culture has two parts. The first is fiat money. We have been psychologically conditioned to use a type of money that directly violates God’s law. Because the operation of our “money” is so seamless, and because we’ve used it for so long, most people never even think about it. But corrupt money is one of the primary poisons that is destroying our country. The $10 you spend today is depreciating. It will continue to lose value because it is backed by nothing but debt. It represents an interest-bearing liability of the government, and the interest continues to accrue as long as the money remains in circulation. Anyone “paid” with this kind of money is being defrauded.
We, as Christians, can bemoan inflation and the debauching of the currency. But as noted, it won’t be until we confess and repent that we will begin to destroy this work of the devil. By this, I mean that we, as Christian consumers and Christian business owners and managers, must begin the reversion back to honest, wealth-based money. There are alternative currencies now available, and we must lead in the area of monetary reform or leave our culture and our posterity enslaved to debt and fraudulent money.
The fraudulent money, however, is only half of this diabolical mechanism. The other half is the criminal mis-application of the income tax laws. Millions of Americans, no doubt including most of the people in your church, have been deceived into paying “taxes” that they never owed. By lies and threats, the Internal Revenue Service continues to extract wealth from working Americans.
This two-pronged scheme props up the “value” of this intrinsically worthless “money,” keeps people in debt, shatters families, and defrauds everyone who is subject to it. It’s a vicious cycle, but one we can break if we work together. And we SHOULD work together. We’re all on the receiving end of this evil, regardless of denomination, gender, or location on the political spectrum.
So where do we go from here?
First, we need to return to holiness. We need to live like sons and daughters of God.
Second, we need knowledgable people. Not “activists” or people who will start writing to their Congressmen, demanding new laws or the repeal of old ones. Just people who are willing to learn. God doesn’t say “My people are destroyed for lack of zeal.” He says,
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. (Hosea 4:6)
He continues by saying that if we reject knowledge, He will reject us. Knowledgable people can enlighten those who are in darkness (and often don’t even know it). Knowledgable people can sit on juries. ONLY knowledgable people can halt the continuing decay.
We need to properly understand Romans 13:1 and then take it seriously. Many people (not just Christians) believe that our “higher powers” (or “governing authorities”) are people we elect or appoint. But even a brief review of our history shows that this is not the case. We are a nation of laws, not a nation of men. We have neither aristocracy nor royalty. Those who are elected, appointed or hired to administer the laws are PUBLIC SERVANTS, not governing authorities. Our governing authorities are written documents. Unfortunately, some of our public servants have become lawless. It is now our responsibility to rein them in and hold them accountable.
Finally, we need people who will commit to fundamental honesty in commerce. Every merchant deserves a choice between honest silver or gold money, and depreciating government debt notes. Many merchants, for a number of reasons, will choose the latter. But honesty alone should compel Christians to offer a choice.
This, then, is my proposal:
I don’t expect you will need much help from me in implementing the first part of this proposal. As for the second part, I strongly encourage you to read Cracking the Code: The Fascinating Truth About Taxation In America by Peter Hendrickson and pass the information on.
My area of greatest interest is #3 – honest money. The monetary system in this country is an abomination (in the Biblical sense) and we, as God’s people, must do something about it. There are many organizations, local and national, that are producing or promoting honest money. As Christian consumers and Christian businessmen, we can return our local economy to an honest, God-honoring foundation. I will be happy to provide you and your church with information and training in this area.
Remember, the “wicked ways” that God is concerned with are those of His people:
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chron. 7:14)
Please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience.
Very truly yours,