Sunday, July 3, 2011

Promising Freedom

The military has a long tradition of being seen as more important than the masses. In Hindusim the military is in the caste directly below the king, within the Catholic Church those slaughtered in war are often beatified, in Sikhism the soldier-saint is seen as especially righteous, in Sparta the best soldiers were instantly vaulted to the highest class, and of course, in Islam the soldier who dies in battle not only earns himself instant heaven, but also earns merit for his family members. The soldier has long been a savior who will die for you without expecting you to live any differently.

This is a harsh concept, but it is one that must be addressed, since "democracy" has become the goal of military endeavor, since the truth of Christ is utterly abandoned, since Bibles are burned in army camps to appease the enemy. We spread humanism and condemn nations by failing to spread what it was that truly made America great. It was John Adams who said, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." And yet we spread the idea of "democracy" which is even against the "republic" for which we used to stand.

I regularly preach on the street, and know many around the country who do likewise. We see that as Christianity fades, so do the freedoms of speech, assembly, and protest; I wrote this a while ago, but am finally fed up enough to post it:

It is the pastor, not the soldier,
who has given us freedom of religion:
Saudi Arabia has soldiers.

It is the pastor, not the soldier,
who has given us freedom of the press:
Iran has soldiers.

It is the pastor, not the soldier,
who has given us the freedom of speech:
The Soviet Union had soldiers.

It is the pastor, not the soldier,
who has given us the freedom to protest:
Bahrain has soldiers.

It is the pastor, not the soldier,
who has given us the right to a fair trial:
Nazi Germany had soldiers.

It is the pastor, not the soldier,
who has given us the right to vote:
Afghanistan has soldiers.

It is the pastor, not the soldier,
who will enslave a nation in bondage

by failing to stand and preach the truth.

Almost no history books of today will draw a link between the true Founding Father of the United States and what brought about a moral and political revolution which blessed people and nations for generations. That Founding Father is George Whitefield, who preached 18,000 sermons in his lifetime and called England and America to repentance. It is estimated that 80% of the people living in the colonies became religious under the preaching of George Whitefield and of those whom he inspired to do likewise. Without the preaching of George Whitefield, uncompromising in the truth, there could have been no unity among those in New England.

Recently I've heard a number of "christians" insist that the church ought not be confrontational, that we ought not be against heresy or sin, but that in loving everyone they will see that Christianity is better and will come to our position. I had a conversation recently where we came to the exact opposite conclusion, men like Finney, Moody, and Graham have locked the nation in bondage by preaching half a gospel, preaching a democratic humanistic message. It has produced what used to be called, "Cold Coal", a populace utterly against Christianity; today it might be called "Post-Christian Europe" or "Post-Christian America". The unfortunate irony of this is that Christian values are still held to (though more and more sparingly every day) without realizing from whence they have come.

We see that through this bad preaching, this lack of truth, and this anemia to engage the culture with anything resembling Christianity, the nation has slipped from blessing to cursing. We have become a nation of baby-sacrifices, of money worshippers, of inept leaders, of boy leaders, of woman leaders, of Sodomites, of adulterers and fornicators; children rule their parents, and leaders rob the people blind. A fall is coming, no nation could possibly stand under such sin and judgment, America will fall and be just like every other godless nation, robbed of rights and blessing, crushed under a lack of biblical preaching.

For one of the greatest curses God ever sent on Israel was not starvation, war, or plague, but a famine of godly preachers. That famine is here, and has been for a long while. God's major contention is with the priesthood, the Christians who became idolaters to comfort and did not notice, care, or complain when the Bible and Christ became bywords in the pulpit. A crushing curse rests on the land, and should God be gracious and raise up preachers to bring the Word of Life, they must not ignore the call. They must not preach only what they want to preach, but must preach the true words of Christ. They must not ignore verses that say God hates the sinner, nor verses that say there is wrath and fury, tribulation and distress for every human who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek. They must not ignore that God is against certain lifestyles, or that he has a plan for marriage. They must not ignore that Christ is king and the Constitution, not a man, is meant to guide the nation by God's authority. They must not remove crosses from their churches because of the offense, and they must preach Christ crucified and resurrected for the justification of only those who repent and believe.

The preacher must preach Christ and him crucified, calling all to a total repentance. He must be a Christian on a crusade, not for blood, but for souls. He must be confrontational, firm, and truthful. He must not temper the message, but know that it is foolishness to some, a stumbling block to others, but to others it is the power of God to salvation. He must preach in season and out of season. He must bear the reproach for the One who loved him and went outside of the camp to suffer and die for his sins.

Apart from this preaching, the nation will perish and the peoples will die in their sins. Many promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption; those who declare freedom in anything but Christ are the most enslaved, they are called waterless wells and mists driven by a storm; they do more damage than good and God has prepared the gloom of Hell for them.

Dear Christian, there is one freedom from sin, it is Christ who created, sustains, and saves men. Apart from the freedom of Christ, there is only slavery. Preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, do not temper it to men, fear God and preach his Word, and watch God do amazing things through the foolishness of the cross. Do not face God with the blood of a dying nation on your hands, preach the gospel, call sinners from darkness to light, death to life, and corruption to freedom. If the Son sets them free, they shall be free indeed. He is the only way.

Arise, shine, for your light has come,
__and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
For behold, darkness shall cover the earth,
__and thick darkness the peoples;
but the LORD will arise upon you,
__and his glory will be seen upon you.
And nations shall come to your light,
__and kings to the brightness of your rising.
- Isaiah 60:1-3

1 comments:

Michael Coughlin said...

Insightful, bro. Thanks.