America’s Original “Community Organizers”
In a recent address and subsequent article, I explained how the apparent anarchy we are witnessing in the subversive activities of Black Lives Matter and Antifa are the work of Marxist radical thinker Saul Alinsky who outlined a program for the destabilization and overthrow of existing power structures. To foment social unrest, Alinsky endorsed what he called “community organizers.” This was his grassroots army for social and political agitation.
Consciously or not, Alinsky stole and then perverted a Christian model. As demonstrated above, you, dear pastor, stand in the stream of a great tradition of ministers of the Gospel who transformed souls and, in so doing, transformed society. Just as today’s pastors and priests in many parts of the third world are much more than preachers, so it was for most of American history. You are, in other words, America’s original community organizers and her best hope for national renewal.
But as Schaeffer notes, something, somewhere went wrong in the American Church and with it the American soul. Jesus transformed an empire with twelve. Today we have throughout our country mega-churches with more churches planted every day. Yet their societal impact is negligible. Why? How is it possible?
As the above quotation suggests, Schaeffer attributes it to a poverty of preaching: “Spirituality to the evangelical leadership has often not included the Lordship of Christ over the whole spectrum of life.” Too often a sermon says true things, but not relevant things. There is a subtle but important distinction.
Martin Luther put the problem this way:
If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the Word of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him. Where the battle rages there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle front besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.
If we were to represent the totality of human existence with a pie chart, many pastors know very well, just as I know as a writer, which pieces of the pie they may attack “boldly” without really risking anything. He can safely pound the pulpit and call for the feeding of the poor and care for the widowed and orphaned. He can passionately preach a series of sermons on the Exodus, the life of Joseph, and the miracles of Jesus, and say a great many true things and suffer no recrimination whatsoever.
But unless he professes with the loudest voice and clearest exposition that point of the Word of God which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, he is forsaking his calling as a pastor.
Today that means boldly addressing the evils of abortion; the LGBTQI movement; Black Lives Matter; Antifa; the attacks on social, economic, and political order; and the radical Left. If you aren’t addressing these things, you are the salt that has lost its savor. (Matthew 5:13)