Jesus had some very strong words for those who are supposed to be leading God’s flock, but are not. False shepherds, or irresponsible and reckless shepherds, got a real serve from Jesus. He said in John 10 that he is the Good Shepherd, and he contrasts his work with those who are mere hirelings:
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep” (John 10:11-13).
There are many ways in which the shepherds are greatly letting down their flocks. One major way is for them to refuse to sound the alarm, to warn of danger, to stand up in a time of crisis. When the church and its teachings are under direct and sustained attack, then the church leaders must be doing all they can to protect their people and rise to the challenge.
The church of Jesus Christ stands at a crossroads today. It can either defend its heritage, its commitment to the Word of God as the ultimate authority, and to the divinely ordained institutions of marriage and family, or it can sell its soul for an ugly bowl of politically correct porridge.
At perhaps no other time in the church’s history has the institution of marriage taken such a fierce battering as it is now. It is being undermined on all sides, not least of which by the militant homosexual lobby. Yet so many church leaders are doing nothing and saying nothing about this.
The shepherds have failed in their duty to warn of the homosexual assault on the church and on marriage, and the danger this poses. They have been just as Isaiah described them: “Israel’s watchmen are blind, they all lack knowledge; they are all mute dogs, they cannot bark; they lie around and dream, they love to sleep. They are dogs with mighty appetites; they never have enough. They are shepherds who lack understanding; they all turn to their own way, each seeks his own gain” (56:10-11).
These shepherds have completely let down the church in this regard. Of course it is not just the homosexual lobby’s war on marriage which has been the problem. Christians have done a pretty good job of destroying the institution as well. We have held in light regard God’s high standards here.
Thus the church must repent, and repent deeply, over the way it has allowed the institution of heterosexual marriage to decline and become a laughing stock. It needs to repent for taking such a lax and poor view of God’s design for marriage.
It needs to repent for allowing divorce rates – even in so-called Bible-believing churches – to equal that of the surrounding secular culture. It needs to repent of its utter disregard for God’s standards for faithfulness, holiness and purity, both personal and in the marriage bond.
The war over marriage
As to the biggest fight we have right now, the push for homosexual marriage and adoption rights, I have written an entire book outlining the sociological, medical, scientific, political, theological and biblical reasons why we must resist this with every ounce of our being. I refer readers to that book for the full case on why we must withstand the radical homosexual agenda.
But of real concern is the fact that so many churches and church leaders have caved in here big time. Sadly we already have traitors in our midst. Sadly many have already effectively gone over to the dark side, and have bought into the entire homosexual activist agenda, hook, line, and sinker.
They somehow have gotten so confused and adrift of Scripture that they actually believe the homosexual propaganda that homosexuals are born that way and cannot change, and that same-sex marriage should be the Christian thing to do. They are effectively calling Jesus a liar, and are claiming to be more compassionate than he is.
Jesus is in the business of changing people, and setting them free from the chains of the enemy. He is not in the business of allowing people to wallow in the stench of their sin and deadly addictions. Any pastor who thinks Jesus endorses homosexuality and wants people to remain in their chains is no friend of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
But what about so many other pastors and church leaders who have not bought the lies of the enemy, but are still too cowardly or intimidated to speak out to protect marriage and family, and see homosexuals released from their bondage? To those who object that the pulpit is no place to discuss “politics” let me say that if they cannot defend the authority of Scripture and God’s most fundamental of institutions, then they might as well get out of the pulpit.
I believe that despite all the thin excuses being offered, the main reasons why pastors and church leaders are not speaking out is because of fear, cowardice, and the insatiable desire to simply please men and just get along. If that is the case, they should leave the ministry immediately. They have no place there if that is the situation.
If the shepherds of Jesus Christ are not willing to stand up and speak out at such a time as this, then they might as well just stop playing games, close their churches, and forget about all the hot air they spew out. This matter is far too serious for timid and limp-wristed leaders to sit on the sidelines and somehow pretend they have no role to play in this important battle.
Indeed, our abject apathy, cowardice and indifference cries up to the heavens. We Christian leaders need to repent of our desire to be men pleasers, to be empire builders, and to be popular, liked, and soaking in celebrity-status. We need to repent of majoring in minors and minoring in majors.
We need to repent for failing to speak out when it was so vitally important that we did speak out. We need to repent for not caring enough about the lost, the broken and the imprisoned, that we chose to go along with the world’s agenda. We need to repent for allowing all this to happen on our watch.
Perhaps the best way to close is to offer this sobering quote from a German eyewitness to the Holocaust, who reflected on why the church essentially did nothing about this great evil. Every single one of us needs to read this and let it break our stony hearts and seared consciences:
“I lived in Germany during the Nazi Holocaust. I considered myself a Christian. We heard stories of what was happening to the Jews, but we tried to distance ourselves from it, because, what could anyone do to stop it? A railroad track ran behind our small church and each Sunday morning we could hear the whistle in the distance and then the wheels coming over the tracks.
“We became disturbed when we heard the cries coming from the train as it passed by. We realized that it was carrying Jews like cattle in the cars! Week after week the whistle would blow. We dreaded to hear the sound of those wheels because we knew that we could hear the cries of the Jews en route to a death camp. Their screams tormented us.
“We knew the time the train was coming and when we heard the whistle blow we began singing hymns. By the time the train came past our church we were singing at the top of our voices. If we heard the screams, we sang more loudly and soon we heard them no more. Years have passed and no one talks about it anymore. But I still hear that train whistle in my sleep. God forgive me; forgive all of us who called ourselves Christians yet did nothing to intervene.”