By Rev. Mark Creech
Christian Action League
November 20, 2020
One of my favorite quotes is from Tom Minnery’s book, Why You Can’t Stay Silent. It reads: “At the very time when the moral authority of informed Christian citizens seems to be desperately needed, there are powerful voices urging Christian people to burrow deeper into the sand, to stay undercover, to mute what might otherwise become a thunderous voice of moral righteousness.”
For the church to be the “thunderous voice of moral righteousness” in a culture that God means for it to be, pastors have to take right ground and preach, “Thus saith the Lord.” Too few pastors seem willing to do this.
Recently, a man shared with me that the church pastor where he attended had moved away, and the fellowship was now formally searching for another. Convinced America was in a moral free-fall like no other time in its history, the man told me that he sent the following letter to admonish the Pastor Search Committee to consider the following:
(The letter has been edited in places for clarification)
“As a backdrop to this correspondence, my wife and I had decided to talk with the (former pastor) about joining this church just before he recently announced his departure. Since we love this church, I am pleased our Lord has offered me this opportunity to challenge the Pastor Search Committee in its pursuit of new leadership.
“During WWII, celebrated German theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was quoted as saying, ‘Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.’ While safe in America, Bonhoeffer decided to return to Germany because he knew he had failed to speak out against the atrocities of the Nazi regime while living there before. Tragically, just before the end of the war, Hitler’s henchman had him executed by hanging. His outspokenness cost him a dreadful and painful death, strung up with piano wire.
“Also, during WWII, German theologian and Lutheran pastor, Friedrich Gustav Emil Martin Niemöller, who became a critic of Adolph Hitler, is best remembered for this quote: ‘First, they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out — because I was not a Jew. “Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.’ Yes, Niemöller was imprisoned, but fortunately survived to be freed by the allies once Germany surrendered.
“The two messages of these great men are complementary: the first identifies silence as sinful when evil is active, and the second reveals the eventual consequences of silence for all.
“Now I ask what Jesus would say to America about the following?
“Our U.S. Supreme Court has removed prayer and the Bible from schools and granted a so-called ‘constitutional right’ to abortion (1973). Since the Roe v. Wade decision, 60 million-plus babies have been destroyed in the womb. More are permitted to die at birth, if they were already targeted for an abortion. (Are they not orphans?) Doctors, nurses, and pharmacists are being coerced to facilitate abortions against their moral convictions. Our government attempts to make the citizenry pay for abortions against their consciences.
“The High Court has also granted a so-called ‘constitutional right’ to same-sex marriage. This decision by the High Court seriously conflicts with the religious liberties of those who believe same-sex marriage is immoral. Christian men and women are now being fined and jailed for standing up to the so-called LGBTQ Lobby.
“Libraries are permitting drag queens to have Story Hour with our children. Young males are dressed before them in drag, promoting this grossly immoral behavior.
“Schools present the theory of evolution as fact to our children. They decry the teaching of Divine Creation. Abstinence from sex is also disparaged. Instead, sex education classes encourage ‘protected’ sex and seek to normalize all aberrant patterns of sexuality.
“Major high-tech companies use all the power at their disposal to silence views contrary to the Political Left.
“Then there are the subtle and not-so-subtle forms of deception used by Hollywood to celebrate and advance sexual immorality and promiscuity.
“The Main Stream Media supports all of the above.
“And of course, let’s not forget the church’s attempts to cloak its sins of pornography use and sexual abuse by clergy and other positions of ministry.
“More could be added, but I did not intend to be exhaustive. What do you think Jesus would have said about these matters? Better still, what are pastors saying today?
“In my opinion, the Sinful Silence (See Ken Connor & John Revell) in the American church, yes, even the Baptist church, is an abomination and worthy of judgment. We are truly sinning, just like the German churches, which pretended to ignore the holocaust of 6 million Jews. On the last day, our modern-day church may find much more than expected disappears in the flames of God’s purification. However, if realized and confessed, this is correctable now.
“Ask yourself, how many times have you recently heard a sermon that fully and scripturally confronts the above or similar current issues AND not just some passing reference?!
“My point is simple: Unless the Pastor Search Committee (PSC) identifies a man of God, who will genuinely preach like a Shepherd, the inerrant word of God, identify sin like hitting the nail on the head, addressing the evils outlined above and more — yes, speak as Christ would, convicting sinners both in and out of the church to rescue them from hell, the Pastor Search Committee will have FAILED.”
Failed? Is this profound letter hyperbole? Hardly!
Here’s the way Jesus put it, “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men (Mt. 5:13).
I suggest America suffers no greater need than for salty pastors who lead salty churches.