Friday, September 28, 2007

Coach Dave Asks: What Is The Church Hiding From?

Warning: Pro-Catholic bias contained in this posting.

So, with that little disclaimer in place, Coach Dave Daubenmire at asks the question: What is the Church Hiding From?

I gather from the Coach’s lament the following one paragraph summary:

Christians are becoming, more and more, a non-factor in the culture. American voters, many of whom claim to be Christians, ARE voting their values, except their values are about the same as non-Christians. This is because today’s pastors are cowards who are not contending for the Faith. They have lost sight of the ball. Yet we can’t win without the pastors. No matter how hard the “Christian activists” fight, we cannot win without the pulpit. Can’t anyone awaken the pastors? The sun is beginning to set on America. If the Church won’t take on the Devil, who will?

Now, I wish to make some bold observations about the Coach’s remarkable column. I make these observations only because I firmly believe a united strategy against evil by Christians everywhere is required to stop horrors like “legal” child-killing and rampant sexual perversions.

I don’t know the Coach, or anything about him. I haven’t seen him on the evening news or heard much about him until recently. It’s great to know that he is a “culture warrior” and busily involved with writing columns, making speeches and who knows what else.

What quickly caught my eye about his commentary was this: When he wanted to issue a nationwide call for action, to whom did he appeal?

Dr. James Dobson.

I don’t disagree with anything the Coach said. In fact it was refreshing to hear someone say again what he said. Speaking from my experience as a former Evangelical and pastor, I think the Coach made some absolutely terrific observations and offered some keen insight.

For example, it’s a sad fact that the (few) Christian activists the Coach speaks of are extremely busy pushing back against a culture that threatens at any moment to swallow up Christianity. I’m not sure how much time these activists have to likewise keep their pastors accountable in the course of their battle or whether that is even a part of their strategy. But nevertheless, Evangelical America is now so fractured and weakened that the Coach, distressed over its current state, wisely sought out a spokesman in an effort to remedy the situation, and his choice for that spokesman was Dr. James Dobson. Well, it seems like a tall order but no doubt Dr. Dobson has great experience in his field.

I noticed the Coach capitalizes the word “church” when he refers to the Body of Christ as a whole. This is somewhat unusual today because Evangelicals, in the longstanding tradition of their Protestant forefathers, wish to distinguish their doctrine and their assemblies from those who gather in the name of the ancient Church.

The Coach’s column asks, “What is the Church Hiding From?” Perhaps he really means, “What are Evangelicals Hiding From?” Ironically, could the answer partly be, “The Church?” Are Evangelicals hiding from the Church?

Considering that Christians of all stripes are being progressively forced into the same ever-shrinking small corner by our corrupt culture let me immediately propose two things for the Coach and the Evangelical community:

1. Acknowledge the Church—the first step towards a solution, bringing about real, not imagined, unity. This step will restore essential credibility to the Church and allow for the possibility of a real pursuit—a renewal—of the Church’s primary focus, as noted by the Coach: The Great Commission. Step 1 takes us to the all important place where each one of us knows that we are in agreement, on a precise and comprehensive level, with classical Christianity.

2. Engage Church hierarchy on the level of accountability to Church teaching. As I see it, this has always been the fatal weakness in the Church. The Magisterium of the Church is that pure kernel of divine DNA, the pearl of greatest price, but as long as the Church hierarchy fails in its duty to both teach it and model it in its fullness, countless souls will be on their way to a Christless eternity and the society subjected to such failure will continue to steadily corrupt itself. Therefore, Christians must always take aim and push back where pushing back will accomplish real results for God—and for society.

Yes indeed, the Coach is on to something important here. Exactly who is going to awaken the pastors?

It is us—you and I and the Coach.

But first things first. United we stand—divided we fall. It’s not THE solution, but it is the first step. And then we can’t be so busy fighting the culture that we fail to hold Church leaders—particularly the Bishops—accountable.

Even Dr. Dobson is not up to leading such a crusade.



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