When I asked other pastors or leaders why they were not addressing these major issues in our times, the two main responses I received were 1) they did not know how their people would take it, and 2) they did not believe that they were allowed to address political issues. These two concerns are false and led to wrong conclusions and wrong actions or inactions. Christians are almost starving to hear from their leaders about major current issues.
Although I am not a lawyer and cannot give you legal advice about this, there has been much published and taught to correct the false notions that churches or church leaders cannot address current issues from the pulpit. These have basically concluded that the only thing we cannot do is endorse a particular political candidate.
Many nations have been influenced by the vision for freedom that has been promoted from the pulpits of various churches through the ages. Indeed, the pulpit has been the main platform for addressing major issues and bringing some of the most badly needed changes in society.
It has largely been the pulpit that has kept the devotion to freedom alive. It will also be the pulpit that will bring the world back from the abyss of the social, political, and economic catastrophe that is now threatening us all.
Does the church still have that kind of impact in this world? It will if we will speak out. We do need to recognize that the pulpit is no longer just a wooden platform in front of the congregation, but it also includes television, the media, the world wide web, social networking platforms, publishing, and so forth.
We should also consider that after being at or near the bottom of trust for many years, recent studies show that the esteem and trust for clergy has risen dramatically in recent years. This trust has been restored for a reason. We are not trustworthy if we do not use what the Lord entrusts to us, but in fact, in His parable of the talents, this is what can get us called a wicked, lazy servant (see Matthew 25:26).
Of course, we want to use this trust by being trustworthy, being accurate, and being devoted to truth. That begins with understanding our trust. How could we be good shepherds if we do not confront the major issues that are threatening the well-being of those we have been given a trust and a responsibility to watch over? In Hebrews 13:17 we are told, Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. This is an exhortation to the people about how to treat their leaders, but it also reveals the account that leaders will have to give for how they cared for those entrusted to them. How can we be faithful watchmen if we do not sound the alarm when the enemy is threatening?
After 9/11, record numbers of people flooded the churches of America. But in just a few weeks, attendance fell again – even below what it had been before 9/11. Why? First, those seekers who poured into the churches did not find the answers they were seeking to the pressing situation of the times. Many church members even became discouraged because the understanding of the times was so shallow in the church.
As Christians, much less Christian leaders, we have a responsibility to know the times. The Lord even called those who didnt hypocrites because they spent more time studying the weather than the times.
Prophets in the Old Testament all reveal a serious and deep knowledge of history as well as an understanding of the current events of the times, not only in Israel, but in nations far from Israel, even without the internet. This is a fundamental responsibility that we have. Our ability to be the salt and light that we are called to be will be directly proportionate to this.
In what is now popularly referred to as the separation of church and state, in all of the writings and documents of our founding fathers and the documents upon which our government is based, there is not one that could be interpreted as trying to keep the church out of governmental affairs, but rather it is the oppositethey were all intended to keep the government out of church affairs. The church will be throttled by Satan if we refuse to address the issues of our times.
I believe another Great Awakening is beginning. The first Great Awakening helped to give birth to a nation founded on basic Judeo/Christian values. The Second Great Awakening was the primary spark that led to the eradication of slavery in America, an absolutely intolerable institution for any nation, much more so for a nation with a calling and destiny to proclaim freedom to the world. What is this next Great Awakening going to bring?
Understanding that we see in part and prophesy in part, we cannot claim to have the whole picture yet, but parts are becoming clear enough now so that we can better understand these times and know what we should do. Reproduced with permission from Morning Star MinistriesPost published in: Opinions