Is the Church in crisis? When we focus on only a small part of a whole, we tend to neglect the big picture. When we do that, we may conclude wrongly and take inappropriate action. For instance, we read, “On the basis of that testimony the Alabama Court of the Judiciary removed Chief Justice Roy Moore from office and stripped him of his reputation.” The government did not remove Judge Moore from office based on his beliefs about Jesus, but because he would not obey the order to remove the display.
The justices had not “stripped him of his reputation.” His reputation as the Judge of the Ten Commandments is still intact. It is our duty to obey the government. Judge Roy Moore could have had the display removed and he would have stayed in office with his beliefs in Jesus. It is not my place to say whether he was right or wrong in his stand – I only can say that Judge Moore made the choice with full understanding of the consequences.
Let’s be careful to reason from the information at hand and not blow it out of proportion. “It is becoming clear that our Government has taken the position that there is no God, which also means, that to the government, there is no Jesus Christ either, and in the end it will mean no church in America as we have known it.” The government has not taken the position that there is no God; rather, our government has the position of not establishing one religion over another. Since the government is composed of imperfect people who have differing views on a wide range of subjects, the government has enforced this standard unequally. If a law has been applied unjustly, then we should make our voices heard. We have an appeal process for this purpose. We have several political tools to wield to get the law changed, such by amendments to the state constitution. Let’s remember that the words of one man in government surely do not represent the government as a whole. Our government includes many men and women of faith.
The government does not try to acknowledge God’s existence or headship. Only people can acknowledge God. Only people can live for Jesus. Only people can have a relationship of love and obedience to God. If we want to change government, then we must introduce the people to the One who alone can change lives for eternity. Let’s encourage saints to minister to those in high places.
We have a democratic process where we may vote into office people with views like our own. As is frequently the case, we may be tempted to refrain from voting because we don’t like the field of candidates. However, because the next President has the power to staff the courts with like-minded people, it is imperative that we vote for the person who most closely subscribes to our views. He will appoint men and women to the courts who will change the course of the country for decades to come – perhaps far more than any one President will.
Let’s not make things worse than they really are. “. . . and in the end it will mean no church in America as we have known it.” As we have seen in China, the true Church, if persecuted by its government, will simply go underground. Those who really believe will not simply give up! It’s going too far to say that the church will cease to exist. The gates of hell shall not prevail against it – how much less shall men whose lives shall wither as the grass?
Because of the First Amendment, government cannot establish one religion over another. But it is not allowed to stamp out religion either. We have had plenty of victories in the religious sphere, such as teaching educators and other groups what the law says they can and cannot do in the classroom. This teaching material has opened the doors for religion to have greater freedom in the schools and in other civic spheres. Ignorance of what is legal and what is not legal has confused people in government, communities, and businesses. Disseminating brochures and articles that clarify the laws will show people that we have more freedom of religion than we think.
Christians have always been the odd men out, fighting against the tide of worldliness, the wisdom of the age, and the mystery of iniquity. This world is not our home, after all! But we can make our voices heard and remind people of where they have fallen, and draw them back to the true God and eternal life. This is the big picture. Misguided governments have come and gone, but the truth abides forever.
No crisis exists among holy believers, for they know that even amidst fierce persecution all things are working together for good. Rather, the crisis exists in the world, which is trying to stamp out the very light and life that would lead them to an ever-expanding liberty. We are the saints who will assuredly go marching in to a heavenly kingdom. Let’s hold up our lamps so those in darkness may follow.
When the religious powers were arrayed against Jesus on their ecclesiastical thrones to persecute God’s chosen, Jesus told them that He will return and sit on His throne. The day is coming when all earthly powers will be dethroned and the saints of the Most High will possess the kingdom. In that day, the Lord “will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you” (Rev. 3:9). Crowned, not crisis, is the church’s future.