By Doug Newman
February 26, 2006
Posted at Liberty
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I did not go to church last Sunday. It is not that I have stopped going to church. It is not that my church has suddenly become a "synagogue of Satan." Nor have I turned my back on God. I am just so frustrated with what goes on in churches that I decided to take last Sunday off.
My decision not to attend church was prompted by an e-mail a friend sent me a few days before. The subject line read “How to handle the DaVinci Code movie.” The body of the e-mail urged Christians not to go see this film as it “wears its heresy and blasphemy as a badge of honor.” There was nothing wrong at all with the e-mail.
So why am I making an issue of this?
Christians are right to be indignant about The DaVinci Code, The Book of Daniel, Harry Potter, Britney Spears’ “Cruci-Fixin’s”, etc. However, their indignation is highly selective. I don’t have to watch this stupid junk. No one is going to send me up for my refusal to watch it.
However, I run huge risks – fines, prison, death -- if I run afoul of a totally out of control government. Yet, I never hear sermons condemning it. And my church friends almost never e-mail me condemning it.
Evil is not made good just because it happens in the halls of government. Government is made up of people like you and me, and their actions are just as subject as yours and mine to the scrutiny of God. And yet 99 percent of America’s pastors are silent about it. Indeed, far too many of these pastors have jumped in bed with it.
When will we ever hear a sermon condemning the totally oppressive thievery of the Internal Revenue “Service”? I know, I know. We need to render under Caesar what is Caesar’s. However, the message that emanates from the contemporary American church (CAC) is that we must render unto Caesar everything Caesar demands and then sit down and shut up. There is a world of difference here. Scripture tells us that certain things are Caesar’s and the rest are God’s, while the CAC would have us think that there is no limit to what is Caesar’s. (1) The guy who audits your taxes imposes far more harm on you and yours than Larry Flynt or Howard Stern ever could.
When will we ever hear a sermon condemning the Supreme Court’s ruling in Kelo v. New London, which allows the government to take private property and give it to another private entity? Yes, the gub’mint can now take your church and the land it sits on, which doesn’t generate tax revenue, and give the land and building to a for-profit taxpaying entity. What part of “Thou Shalt Not Covet” does the CAC not understand? And what has your pastor said? Nothing I bet.
When will we ever hear a sermon condemning government involvement in education? Public education has no basis in either Scripture or America’s Founding Documents. It is a policy prescription of the Communist Manifesto. It cannot be “reformed” or “made Christian” no matter how many Christians are elected to school boards or hire on as teachers. God places the duty of childrearing on parents, not on the state. The state cannot act as a parent. Has the CAC forgotten about Proverbs 22:6 and Ephesians 6:4? The issue is not prayer or condoms or evolution or any of that. These would all be non-issues if the government did not run the school system. And has your pastor ever said anything about this? I'll bet he has not.
When will we ever hear a sermon condemning Congress’ failure to invoke Article 3, Section 2 of the Constitution? This clause empowers Congress to restrict the scope of the judicial branch. We do not need to wait for the right judicial nominations much less a constitutional amendment to put an end to Roe v. Wade. If we had congressmen, senators and a president with courage they could, tomorrow morning, forbid the federal courts from ruling on abortion, school prayer, etc. Quit blaming the ACLU!
When will we ever hear a sermon condemning America’s policy of perpetual war? America now reserves the right to wage war wherever and against whomever it wants. While the Bible talks about war, it does not condone all war. There is nothing godly about invading a nation that has never done anything to you and killing tens of thousands of innocent people. God hates hands that shed innocent blood. Period. There was very widespread support in the CAC for the totally unprovoked invasion of Iraq. There is now similar support for war against Iran and Syria. You reap what you sow and if you live by the sword you die by the sword. Hundreds of millions of Muslims hate America not because we are free and pure and good, but because we insist on endless military and political meddling in the Arab world. Either America stops this nonsense of perpetual war or it is only a matter of time before somebody “pre-empts” us. God forbid that they do it with a suitcase nuke in Times Square.
And when will we ever hear a sermon condemning the cult of personality surrounding George W. Bush? When, in 2000, he said one thing about Jesus, millions and millions of otherwise intelligent people disengaged their brains. George W. Bush is a tyrant (he acknowledges no limits on federal police power), a socialist (his budgets run 40 percent larger than his predecessor’s) and a reckless warmonger. He is not pro-life and he does not oppose the homosexual agenda. He says he is fighting a war on terror, and yet the Mexican border resembles a screen door on a submarine, a company from the United Arab Emirates is about to take over several of America's major ports and mainstream news sources tell us that terrorists are actively training in upstate New York. We have it on good authority that he has referred to the Constitution as “a g**d***** piece of paper.” The only difference between him and any Democrat is one of rhetoric. And yet millions of Christians are in total denial refusing to inspect the fruit on Dubya’s tree. Many would rather die than read this paragraph.
I could go on for hours about this. Maybe I should write a book.
This is not about my party versus your party. Indeed, it is not really about politics at all. This is about the grand battle between God and Satan that the Bible talks about from Genesis to Revelation.
The Bible mentions the word “king” – as well as variations on it such as “kings” and “kingdoms” – almost 2000 times. Yet for some reason, the CAC would have you think that we should never discuss politics in church.
In the twentieth century alone, governments killed 170 million of their own subjects. But we cannot talk about government in the CAC.
If your church's 501c3 tax exemption, which sounds benign, is holding your pastor back, I would ask him what God he is serving. 501c3 muzzles what pastors can say about politics from the pulpit. Step out of line and you can lose this exemption. 501c3 entices pastors to water down God's Word and to bend the knee before the graven image of the IRS.
And may God have mercy on your pastor's soul if he accepts one penny of Uncle Sugar's “faith based” money. Not only does it violate II Corinthians 9:7, but it will also no doubt stifle preachers even further. You know the Golden Rule: if you want Uncle Sugar’s gold, you must also play by his rules. Those fornicators with the world system who sponge out of Caesar's trough will tailor their sermons to please Caesar.
Adolf Hitler solidified his totalitarian rule over Germany because almost all of Germany’s pastors were deceived into going along with him. For the 5663rd time, George W. Bush is not Adolf Hitler. However, millions of Christians have put their blessing on limitless government. There is no guarantee against America coming under a totalitarianism. We are not there yet, but we are certainly on a bobsled ride in that direction.
I host a web page called the Fountain of Truth, which averages 75 hits a day. On it I discuss Christianity and politics with Hosea 4:6 as my guiding light. Hosea lamented that God’s people were destroyed for lack of knowledge. This is just as true in 2006 as it was in Hosea’s day. I know pastoring is tough. However, to know God is to know His Word in its entirety. Pastors who water down God’s Word and leave out the unpleasant parts of it cheat their congregations and blaspheme God's Name.
I know that Bono and his band U2 come at things from the left, but I can fully relate to these lyrics from a U2 B-side called “The Wanderer”.
I went drifting through the capitals of tin,
Where men can't walk,
Or freely talk,
And sons turn their fathers in,
I stopped outside a church house,
Where the citizens like to sit,
They say they want the kingdom,
But they don't want God in it.
Jesus’ Kingdom is not of this world. (John 18:36) He had no political agenda. So when the CAC glorifies mega-government, it exalts a kingdom that is not of God. And when Christian pastors sin by their silence about tyrannical government, which is most definitely not of God, they only aid and abet evil.
(1) In America, what is Caesar's is spelled out in the 18 clauses and 431 words of Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. The Tenth Amendment forbids Uncle Sam from engaging in any other activity. (Back)
Letters, I get letters...You'll never hear a sermon about abortion, either. Wouldn't want to do anything to run off the collection plate contributors and all... The largest mass murder in history is swept under the rug. Stalin would be proud. Hitler didn't even come close to 45 million and Stalin was 43 million, tops. This is a great article and reflects my biggest pet peeve against mainstream denominations. It's also why I quit attending. -- Indie
Thank you for sharing your latest article. As usual, I found it passionate, profound and informative.
Part of this phenomenon is political to be sure. Christians actually vote for those who kill babies and who hate them and their God! But, I'm seeing that at least some of this insanity is due to the church doctrines themselves... I'm convinced that many of our doctrines teach people to have a "hands off" attitude and just let God "fly the plane". Had our founders done that, we would all be having high tea and speaking with a thick English (or perhaps even French...now, there's a thought). As it is we're having to learn Spanish to survive (you almost can't get a job here locally in my part of CA if you're not bi-lingual).
I really love the Hosea 4:6 reference and use it regularly. There is another that is equally important and dovetails with it. It's Isaiah 5:13, "Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst". Our nation is headed for captivity on greased skids and it's not going to be a pretty sight. In fact, you may already sense that "things" are wrapping up fairly quickly (especially with the help of "Fearless Leader Bush").
My prayers are with you as you press against the darkness. The Lord strengthen you and upgird you with the right hand of His righteousness. The Lord grant unto you wisdom in all things as well. The blessing of the Lord be upon you as you serve Him in peace. -- RMYes I believe you should write a book. You do an excellent job of getting to the point and in a manner that everyone should be able to understand unless, of course, they are a complete idiot. -- MS
Oh my goodness Doug! Where have you been? We share the same "song-Master" and you're singing a song I've been seemingly doing solo!
My wife and I love the body of Christ, but refuse to be apart of the "machine" that it has become. The precious tax exempt status that they covet, is blasphemy in the highest order! Jesus rightly pronounced that we cannot serve God and mammon. Isn't watering down His words to meet the prerequisites for tax exemptions serving mammon? -- MS
If you wish to post or link to this essay, please e-mail me and include this URL. Thanks! -- dfn
Freely Speaking: Essays by Doug Newman