Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Timid Clergy, A Tepid Church

James Lambert, columnist for shared his perspectives on the lukewarmness of today’s Church leaders.
Unfortunately the vast majority of America's leaders and Christian spokesmen, many of whom stand in the pulpit on Sunday mornings, cowardly ignore what is happening around them…

Complacency and apathy are the order of the day. May I present for your consideration ...

Case in Point #1: In 2005, only four pastors -- out of a community with more than 1,800 churches -- appeared before a San Diego City Council hearing to defend a 54-year-old historical cross from being torn down by government bureaucrats.

Case in Point #2: In California last fall, a state-wide initiative was placed on the ballot that would have allowed parents to have pre-notification rights if their child requested an abortion. Despite appeals from numerous pro-life groups inside and outside the state, little or no support was heard from the clergy on this measure.

Case in Point #3: Less than two years ago, Republicans in the U.S. Senate -- despite being the majority party -- could not even muster 50 votes for a constitutional amendment defining marriage solely as the union of a man and a woman. Appeals to Congress from conservative groups like the American Family Association, Focus on the Family, Coral Ridge Ministries, and others did garner substantial support (close to 3.5 million petitions) from the Christian community. However, considering the fact that millions of people attend church each week in this country, support from these pro-family organizations would have been even more significant if pastors and priests had actively voiced their support for the initiative from the pulpit.

Case in Point #4: With fatherless/out-of-wedlock childbirth at epidemic proportions in this country, one would think that leadership from within the Christian community would be spearheading the charge to denounce the type of behavior found at the root of this problem. Close to 70 percent of births in the black community are to single moms, and within the white community out-of-wedlock births have grown to approximately 29 percent -- a figure far higher than in past years. Obviously, promiscuity is rampant in both the white and black communities. Yet the clergy are simply afraid to tackle this problem. They are too timid to address the moral issues of today that incur huge social and spiritual costs.

Case in Point #5: Spreading the gospel is one of the main mandates of the Church. But according to Christian pollster George Barna, telling others about the Good News of Jesus Christ is done regularly by only about five percent of Evangelicals. If you're speaking of something that should be addressed by the clergy, this is it! I recall attending a concert a number of years ago in a high-profile Presbyterian church in Southern California. The senior pastors became appalled when the group performing in their main sanctuary extended an altar call to an audience comprised primarily of young people who were not church members. In some mainstream churches, some parishioners feel that church leadership is too timid to ask people to publicly commit themselves to a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Lambert’s conclusion was summed up like this:
What has become of America's commitment to moral and even biblical values? Possibly we are too consumed with what other people think. Perhaps our leaders in the pulpit lack the backbone to risk offending anyone. We need to be more concerned with the cost of offending a Holy God, who deeply cares for each of us.
Yes indeed, that ought to be our greatest concern. In Canada, regarding the apathy of Church leadership, we have much the same problem as Lambert has noted in the U.S. There is no other possible explanation as to why the majority of Canadian Christians go on merrily with their daily lives without much, if any, thought and concern over the fact that in their communities 100,000 unborn children are killed in the womb yearly.

Christians are responsible for the moral health of their nation.

Christians do have a mandate from God to ensure justice in their communities and nation.

Church leaders hold the key to the spiritual and moral vitality of their congregations.

Christians can effect the greatest and most immediate moral change in their nation through the voting process.

Abortion is the flagship of moral degeneracy in Canada and the world. It is very likely the ultimate act of rebellion against the supremacy of God and the stewardship of man. Other than personal repentance and daily conversion, nothing demands the Christian's concern and political attention more than the issue of abortion.

It’s not just one more issue.


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