Know Thy Enemy
I dare say that many pastors have little idea of what they are facing ideologically speaking. This is not a criticism. It is, rather, an acknowledgement of the fact that it would be a very unusual pastor whose education included thorough examinations of Hegel’s dialectic, Marx’s Das Kapital, Lenin’s Bolshevik seizure of power, or Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals.
You must become acquainted with Marxist ideas and identity politics just as the Apostle John acquired a thoroughgoing knowledge of the Gnosticism of Cerinthus and St. Augustine become an expert in the teachings of the great heretic Pelagius. Marxism is a secular utopian anti-theology that replaces God with man while seeking to create heaven on earth. You must fight it. You must denounce it. You must expose it for the godless worldview that it is.
I have written about socialism extensively in the aforementioned book “The Grace Effect.” I have given a summary of it in this column. I will have a book out this October that also addresses the problem. Dinesh D’Souza has written about it. Eric Metaxas has written about it. So have many others. The point is, there are resources available to you. Get them. Read them. Understand the insidious nature of the evil permeating our culture. Staying “above politics” is simply not a valid option.
“Be Not Afraid.”
Something sat uneasily with me after a recent Q & A on this topic. Later that night as I lay awake in bed these words came like a lightning bolt to me: “Be not afraid.”
In that moment it occurred to me that at the bottom of every question I received that night was fear: fear for their future, their families, their livelihoods, being a target of the “cancel culture”--fear.
I’d like to think this little insight was the workings of the Holy Spirit. You see, the radical Left feeds off of fear the way a fire feeds off of oxygen. Without fear, they have nothing.
Your preaching must simultaneously move your congregations to action, yes, but it must also reassure them with the comforting reminder that they serve a sovereign God. No matter what the temporal outcome, in the end we win. Period. God still sits on his throne.
“Be Strong and Courageous”
“Trump is our only hope.” That refrain has appeared in numerous headlines and articles. Social media is full of it. I do not seek to diminish the importance of the role of the President of the United States when I say that he is not our only hope. Our hope is in the person of Jesus Christ.
And I put a great deal of hope in his use of you, pastors of America. Collectively, your voice is unmatched in its breadth and power. But you must use it. America does not need another capital campaign for yet another church building. In a generation (or less) they will be largely empty, and many will belong to someone else. And it does not need another irrelevant sermon.
America is on the brink of revolution and she is in want of a generation of ministers of the Gospel who are prepared to courageously fulfill their calling come what may. You must preach now with strict adherence to the Word with greater conviction, greater force, and greater urgency than ever before. And you have every reason to be optimistic of the outcome.
In addition to having God Almighty on your side, consider the data. According to Pew Forum, evangelicals alone number a whopping 26 percent of the U.S. population, while those calling themselves “Christian” account for an additional 50 percent of Americans. The American Church is a sleeping giant. However, its members need you to interpret the times, to give them strength and leadership, and to move them to action.
But you must act. In the words of our Lord, “We must work while it is day, for night is coming.”