CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

No More Comfortable Christianity: Time For Prophetic Proclamation and Confrontation

Feb 3, 2019

There comes a time when business as usual just does not cut it. When the surrounding culture grows ever deeper and darker with evil, immorality, death, and destruction, Christians can no longer just ramble along as always. When satanic evil becomes mainstream, and when all that we hold near and dear gets trampled underfoot, it is time to lift our game.

When the assaults on marriage, family, life, faith, and freedom are at fever pitch, then it is time for all true believers to ramp things up – big time. When our very Christian faith is under direct threat, with more and more of it being criminalised, we cannot just pretend everything is peachy.

When we legalise infanticide and celebrate the destruction of marriage and family and promote gross immorality and wickedness throughout the land, the true Christian cannot just keep his head in the sand. It is time for every true believer to take a stand – regardless of the cost.

While prophets in the past tended to be specialists and somewhat unique, we now live in a time where all of God’s people must have a cutting-edge, prophetic role. We all must learn to stand like Elijah or plead like Jeremiah or contend like Isaiah. There simply can be no more business as usual.

Every Christian must seek to be a prophetic voice in this ever-darkening and demonised culture. We can no longer just sit back and hope a few others might step up to the plate and be counted. Now, more than ever, we need each and every person who claims to be a Christ-follower to take a prophetic stance.

And I put it to you that a major part of the reason why the world seems to be so rapidly and exponentially moving into pure evil is because the church has simply NOT been doing its job here. It has NOT been a prophetic voice, it has NOT stood against the tide, and it has NOT even cared about the downward spiral it finds all around it.

We wonder why each new day brings a new horror, yet most Christians have been asleep at the wheel for far too long. We have barely cared or taken part in the battles of the day that we should be involved in, so even worse forms of evil spring up all over the place.

I am reminded of a line from Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring (at least the film version). The nine heroes have just courageously fought off a band of orcs and a nasty troll, with countless more orcs in pursuit, when all of a sudden something worse confronts them, causing even the orcs to flee in terror. Boromir asks, “What is this new devilry?” Gandalf replies: “A Balrog. A demon of the ancient world. This foe is beyond any of you. Run.”

That to me seems like a pretty good picture of where we are at today. Some of us have been fighting to protect marriage and family for years, and as we deal with the evils of fake marriage, a whole new opponent raises its head: the radical gender bender activism.

We have spent decades fighting the abortion agenda, and seem to be making a bit of headway, when we all of a sudden find various governments now actually promoting, endorsing and seeking to legalise infanticide, as I just wrote about: billmuehlenberg.com/2019/02/01/yes-virginia-there-is-a-pro-death-scrooge/

For some of us who have been in the trenches for many years now, all we can do is cry out, “What is this new devilry?” And as I just noted in an earlier article of mine, so many Christians just want to sit on the sidelines and leave all the heavy lifting to others.

As Moses had asked some of the Israelites, just before they are to go in and possess the land, “Should your fellow Israelites go to war while you sit here? Why do you discourage the Israelites from crossing over into the land the LORD has given them?” (Numbers 32:6-7)

Everyone must be involved in these battles. There can be no more sitting on the fence. If we are not actively involved in the battles of the day, standing up for faith, family, freedom and life while we still have the chance, we are effectively going over to the other side. If we are not part of the solution, we really are part of the problem.

Several years ago Msgr. Charles Pope issued a wake-up call to his fellow Catholics. Surely all Christians need to heed his warnings and take to heart his pleas. He began his article this way:

We are at war for our own souls and the souls of people we love. We are at war for the soul of this culture and nation. And like any soldier, we must train to fight well. There is a growing consternation among some Catholics that the Church, at least in her leadership, is living in the past. It seems there is no awareness that we are at war and that Catholics need to be summoned to sobriety, increasing separation from the wider culture, courageous witness and increasing martyrdom.

It is long past dark in our culture, but in most parishes and dioceses it is business as usual and there is anything but the sober alarm that is really necessary in times like these. Scripture says, Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle (Psalm 144:1). Preparing people for war — a moral and spiritual war, not a shooting war — should include a clear setting forth of the errors of our time, and a clear and loving application of the truth to error and light to darkness.

But there is little such training evident in Catholic circles today where, in the average parish, there exists a sort of shy and quiet atmosphere — a fear of addressing “controversial” issues lest someone be offended, or the parish be perceived as “unwelcoming.” But, if there ever was a time to wear soft garments, it is not now.

He concluded as follows:

It is time, past time, to retool. It is time to prepare for persecutions that will get bolder by the month and year. The dark movements that marched in under the banners of tolerance never meant it. And having increasingly gained power, they are seeking to criminalize anyone who resists their vision. No tolerance for us. Religious liberty is eroding, and compulsory compliance is already here. The federal courts increasingly shift to militantly secular and activist judges who legislate from the bench.

When will we as a Church finally say to the bureaucrats who demand we comply with evil laws: “We will not comply. If you fine us we will not pay. If you seek to confiscate our buildings, we will turn maximum publicity against you, but we still will not comply. If you arrest us, off to jail we go! But we will simply not comply with evil laws or cooperate with evil.”

Right now, most of us can barely imagine our clergy standing so firm. Quiet compromises and jargon-filled “solutions” will be a grave temptation to a Church ill-prepared for persecution. Call me alarmist or call me idealist, but I hope we find our spine before it is too late. It is usually a faithful remnant that saves the day in the Biblical narrative. I pray only for the strength to be in that faithful remnant. Will you join me too? Let’s pray and start retooling now. Only our unambiguous faith can save us or anyone we love. Pray for strong and courageous faith.
m.ncregister.com/blog/msgr-pope/comfort-catholicism-has-to-go-it-is-time-to-prepare-for-persecution?fbclid=IwAR1pLG5nCHnMiEfrKmsv9BjKpMb4pkhwKQfQ7IWzhf8YuLMd6BujHuO6ZW0

Yes all believers need to find their spine, and find it fast. More than ever the church of Jesus Christ today needs prophetic warriors, not couch potatoes, compromisers and cowards. Where are those who will stand up and be counted?

Where are those who will face the many challenges we find all around us, and say ‘this far, and no further’? Where are those who will renounce comforts, pleasures, and the praise of men, and take a stand for their Lord, regardless of the repercussions? Without them, the church in the West appears to be all but gone.

As A. W. Tozer put it, “Yes, if evangelical Christianity is to stay alive she must have men again, the right kind of men. She must repudiate the weaklings who dare not speak out, and she must seek in prayer and much humility the coming again of men of the stuff prophets and martyrs are made of.”

Sure, such prophets will be hated not only by the world, but by the comfortable and craven pew-warmers as well. As Vance Havner said, “Prophets are very disturbing to smug church members who like to sit half-asleep in church on Sunday morning while the minister drones platitudes that offend nobody.

And again: “Prophets have never been plentiful, and the species is threatened with extinction.” And one more: “We need a John the Baptist in America today to call the nation and church to repentance.”

But since I have already referred to Tolkien and his masterwork, let me offer one more quote from it (this time from the film version of The Two Towers):

Frodo: I can’t do this Sam.
Sam: I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding on to Sam?
Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.

[1725 words]

28 Responses to No More Comfortable Christianity: Time For Prophetic Proclamation and Confrontation

  • Yes, yes and yes! I’m so tired of comfortable Christianity, with a lot of “wish bone” but NO “backbone”. I’m just one 69yr old woman fighting on my own, in my own home. I’m considered too strong for most Christian men, and apparently I intimidate them with my faith!! well I just don’t care what others think, my only desire is to bring souls into God’s Kingdom, and warn those “luke warm” Christians who go into Church every Sunday, but who choose to ignore what’s going on around them.

  • Wow Bill, so well said. I woke this morning with the very same thoughts you opened your article with. We can no longer be silent, we need to stand and be bold and call out the truth, whatever the cost. There is a false sense of our need not to “offend” certain groups, but as I’ve heard before wrong is wrong, even if everybody is doing it and right is right even if nobody is doing it. There is so much wrong in our world today and the majority of people know it. Time to stand and fight for what is right, what has always been right and will always be right. Thank you for what you do.

  • Dear Bill.

    I do not know how you find the time and energy to continue with what at times must seem a losing battle. Take heart. I have read the book. I know how it all finishes.

    I can not believe how deluded some people are. However, I do believe most actually know that, but it has become almost impossible – for a number of reasons – for them to change.

    Take heart. I know in the future, you will be welcomed as a good and faithful servant.

    Kindest regards

    John

  • Bill, i certainly stand with you … and have been what is called a Keyboard Warrior for three years …also get into Labor’s pages and harass them from there.
    What else can I do? other than take part in Prayer Meetings?
    I know the Church to be more interested in spreading The Word Of God in preference to the Political situation. Think they’ve heard too often that Religion and Politics don’t mix.

  • Hi Bill,
    This message needs to be shared with other Church leaders and pastors.
    If more Sunday morning sermons included the above, then maybe we can turn the tide.
    Kyle

  • Another excellent article Bill. I never cease to be amazed at how incredibly you point out every evil event that’s taking place. Your description of the church is 100% right on!

    A few years ago while living in Orange County, Calif. I prayed and asked the Lord to guide me to a repenting church & His answer back to me was, “Don’t Pray, you’ll never find one.” That’s the problem the church is not repenting because we’re not seeing our own evil sins of silence. Too much prosperity has blinded us.

    You are a double-edged sword. You bring conviction but you also bring comfort knowing there are those like you that have the Father’s Heart enough to speak truth & life into the church.

    Louise
    “God’s Not Silent” [on evil] Prayer Partner

  • You’ve nailed it Bill. Thankyou. Will share this article with as many as I can. God bless you.

  • Bill,
    Bless your ministry! The western world has accepted the LGBTIAQ language which means secular people change the original meaning of words for their own “inner feelings, thoughts and voices in their head.” The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation wants registered nurses and midwives to use the pronouns “he” and “she” as if these words have no true meaning, and can now be used to self-identify a legal “person.” Also, the words “male” and “female” have no true meaning as their relationship can now be an “opposite-sex” or a legal “people,” and they’re equally the same as same-sex partners because they’re legal “people.”

  • I have noticed much in my spirit, in my Christian walk of 28 years. It has had the cost of my daughter and son walking away from Christianity. My son is pro homosexual, so I have cried to God many times for my son. I have even said to God, that I greatly fear his judgement, but would endure punishment for my sons eternal life. Eternal death, being alienated from God, eternally. This weighs down my own heart. I mention things to my children, they just roll their eye’s at me. But this does not stop me sharing my faith with them. My grand children, are apparently off grounds to my preaching, but I share with them the love of Jesus. The problems, I have encountered are more in believers. Believers who reject God’s will, and resist the Holy Scriptures, and harden their hearts, to the sinful nature. They resist the Holy Spirits promptings of repentance. Many believers are assured of their eternal salvation, but don’t see how close to hell they are walking. I have stood very alone many times, with believers rejecting warnings about how they ought to surrender to God’s will, and fulfill God’s pleasure. How is it, when believers, will be called to give account to God? What will be their response. Did we not cast demons out, heal the sick, and do many wonders in your name. How is it, that Jesus response is I never knew you, depart from me you lawless people. I read the word, with the awareness that God is watching. I am in the battle, and have been for many years. God be with those who are genuine in the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Amen and Amen. Thank you Bill.
    Would you please consider doing a series to train us all up to be the people we need to be for our Lord, in effective action in our communities in these rapidly darkening times? We are soldiers ready, willing and able, but yearning and needing to be equipped – met just with blank stares when seeking discipling from pastors.
    With hopeful anticipation – and praying the Lord bless you!

  • Thanks Suzanna. See the three links I offer in my reply to Josie above for starters.

  • Bill, I’ve said it time and again for many years now – the trouble is that underneath it all, most Christians in the west simply do not believe the faith to which they profess and do nothing seriously to act upon it. Q.E.D.

  • Bill,
    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”, Edmund Burke.

    While here on earth are we to accept this evil? Are we only waiting to embrace Jesus in heaven? Are we here to accept Jesus as our Savior, go to heaven and nothing else, with no participation in life, waiting for the Day of Judgment, ignoring wrong, or are we supposed to actively wait for that moment that we meet our creator? By actively, I mean fight the evil that has overcome our secular world. The power we have as Christians is in our favor and overwhelming numbers but we do not utilize this powerful tool. It is an enigma to me.

    We have grown to accept evil based on the secular of tolerance, the political correctness phenomenon. The church has grown soft and weak for fear of the secular, for fear of the government taking away their tax exemption status or being forced to marry homosexuals or participate in their way of life without reprimanding their life style. God will be the final judge of those who dance with the devil. Christian churches have become a plethora of cowardly behavior, fearing the secular and government. Not finding the courage to speak out and defend our beliefs and way of life. We need to knock over the tables in the temple.

    Remember our numbers are greater than those that have forced evil changes by utilizing man’s laws and neglecting the laws of God. If we stand back and do nothing about evil, we are just as guilty as those who create evil or endorse evil.

  • Dear Ross,

    I think the problem here is you indulge your son while takes your grandchildren to Hell.

    In my Maronite Christian community the church and family are central. If one of our sons disrespected our values by being pro-homosexual he would be excluded from the church and disowned by his family until he gave up his wicked ways.

    It’s tough love. But Jesus’ love is tough love.

  • I just wish the church had gotten this message 50+ years ago.

    this reminds me of a story from the catholic church earlier years where the pope or a bishop or someone was showing someone around the Vatican and showed them the immense wealth they had and said “no more do we have to say ‘gold and silver have I none’ to which the person replied ‘neither can you say arise and walk’!”

    the apostles and the early church were monetarily poor but spiritually rich. todays church is the opposite monetarily rich but spiritually poor. how many of todays church are like the religious jews of Jesus time and wouldn’t recognize him if they saw him. Just as they didn’t know the time of their visitation (1st coming) most of the church today doesn’t know the time of our visitation (2nd coming/tribulation).

  • Dear Mark, I want blasphemy laws to protect Christians BUT NO OTHER (SO CALLED) RELIGION.

    With a federal election coming up, who should people like me vote for?

  • We are in desperate times Bill, no doubt about that. At times I feel sorry for pastors that would like to spell it all out as you do in these blogs. Keeping the flock happy Sunday after Sunday without treading on too many toes is not easy. But hey, yes we must all stand firm to be counted in this battle.
    I do as much as I can through the social media, where there are lots of people desperate for some sound, deep and meaningful conversation. I loved what Josie Ingrim wrote above, she is a warrior, and takes every opertunity to defend the faith.
    Bill Heggers.

  • Great article Mr M. I have been grounded from my computer for nearly a week since I got a letter home from my teacher for backchatting her. I did backchat her since we were having a class debate on abortion and she tried to silence me, which I didn’t take as silencing me but the babies being murdered without a voice of protest. My dad said I was right to fight for what was right but I am not under any circumstances to step over the line that is applicable to my age. I do not really know what that means and I didn’t want to ask since he may have meant I’m still a child and I am not, and I do not want to hear that I am.

    There are many who want and do speak up for Christian principles and values but their voices are silenced by the- I’m offended people and by the- gentle Jesus meek and mild people. If we speak over such people we will find the only arguments they have is sending a letter home to your dad or the equivalent adult purveyor of unjust punishment!

    There is a church that has made it their mission to save babies and they are seeking to partner with other churches to save more babies. They offer to cover the cost of expenses of keeping the baby and have lawyers to help with adoption. I would love to look after one of those babies until it was adopted if the mother didn’t want to love it, but my dad would never let me. I think the other problem is that if this church that makes it their mission to save babies is not the denomination of choice of some of the members of the partner church they will start to argue denomination while babies are being murdered. The left, the baby slayers, will partner with satan to get their way where we often won’t partner with another Christian to save an innocent baby!

    We applauded a banner saying – “We Christians love Muslims” well not all, and yes I did see that post when I was not to use my computer, (I was furious) but I did not use my computer, my friend, Kate did. We won’t all stand outside a modern-day concentration camp with a banner saying, “They murder babies here”. I certainly would!!! You see loving Muslims is cool and loving babies isn’t, we need to do more of “isn’t”. You could check out APOLOGIA CHURCH and do an article on them since it would inform the Christians you are in contact with that there is a group of Christians who are making it their mission to bring light and hope to mothers who up until the likes of APOLOGIA CHURCH only had the abortionist to turn to for help. If that church is willing to partner with another church so we become one voice instead of being divided on issues that means a baby has to perish while we debate points of our different theology. I am sure in the war men in the trenches fought the enemy as one, while arguing, theology and who supported the best football team. We need to bring Jesus to bear in our fight for the life of one of his little ones and when we have done so then we can go back to debating our differences on theology. I would partner with a Mormon, atheist or a Jehovah’s Witness to save a baby, as doing so doesn’t only save a baby, but it gives us the opportunity to challenge them on their beliefs and they on ours while we save babies. I would love to have one of those little babies that nobody wants.

    There is a lady (Abby Johnson) who used to work for Planned Parenthood who is bringing a film out at the end of March about her experiences-

    https://www.lifenews.com/2019/02/01/watch-trailer-released-for-unplanned-movie-about-planned-parenthood-director-abby-johnsons-pro-life-conversion/

    I am hoping I will be able to watch it online. I know it will make me cry and have nightmares, but it is important to suffer with those who suffer so you may be driven to do more.

  • Well done Sarah. Keep standing strong.

  • We need to get on our knees and pray! One of the most powerful prayers that will change our world, comes at the end of the Christian movie (and book), The War Room. Dianne Rowe (from the first comment), sounds a lot like a Clara, the powerful prayer warrior, in this movie scene:

    https://youtu.be/_WpfkFyG5qQ

  • Thanks again Bill and everyone for walking the walk. More than ever we need to be biblically informed from Genesis to Revelation for righteous living. Resources – time and money alongside how the Holy Spirit guides us is also helpful. I must confess I haven’t give money to you yet Bill, but your bank account at the top of the page isn’t just there for a sunny day!

  • So, here we are, right where men like Francis Schaeffer and Dave Breese said we would be…we won’t be arrested and charged with being Christians. No, we will be guilty of civil disobedience, not towing the party line, as it were. I wonder if those who will persecute us, all the while actually persecuting Jesus, as Jesus made clear to Saul/Paul on the road to Damascus…well, will they take comfort in denying they are punishing us for what we believe while they claim we are instead guilty of being enemies of the state? I guess that self-deceiving interpretation must provide them with some comfort and legitimacy????

Leave a Reply