Church leaders must take some responsibility for society’s downward spiral:
Hot on the heels of a very worrying federal election result, we need to take stock and ask some hard questions. But it is not just political considerations that we must take into account. As believers, a much more important course is to deal with the moral and spiritual dimensions. What follows is my big picture take on this.
When the church has lost its way, you can expect the surrounding culture to lose its way. When the churches do not sound the alarm and proclaim truth, then we should not expect the world to do so. When the pulpits are filled with those who parrot the values and morals of the surrounding society instead of those of God and Scripture, you can be sure that society will further degenerate.
As the church goes, in other words, so goes the world. The world is in real bad shape right now in good measure because the church is in such bad shape. Instead of speaking out on the things that matter, most churches have been silent. Churches used to be filled with faithful watchmen on the wall, but now we mostly have sleeping guard dogs instead.
What Isaiah said long ago about Israel’s sentinels fully applies to us today: “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” (Isaiah 56:10). Or as we read in 1 Corinthians 14:8: “If the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle?”
The rot in the churches will of necessity have an impact on the rest of the culture. And quite often we have top-down rot occurring. When our pastors, priests and church leaders fail in their roles to faithfully lead the people, then we all suffer. As Sir Weary Dunlop is said to have remarked: “The problem with Australia is that we have wimps in the pulpits and cowards in the pews.”
Whether or not he actually said that, the sentiment is entirely correct. And with the devastating Australian election results now upon us, we can make this case even more forcefully. Just how many so-called Christians actually voted for Labor and the Greens, or the teal independents?
Yes, one can be a Christian and vote for those folks, but as they increasingly become more and more hardcore secular left, waging war on Christian values and beliefs, you really have to ask why any true Christian would vote for them. But this is sadly happening much more than we might think.
Just as far too many believers fully bought the panic porn of the Covid craze over the past few years, merrily bowing down to everything the Big Brother State told them to do, and fully embracing the harmful lockdown madness, including the closing of our churches, so too it seems many have succumbed to things like Chicken Little climate alarmism.
‘We are all going to die’ if we do not act now to radically alter our economies and societies to somehow save the planet. So let’s vote in parties that want to ruin our way of life, our economy, our freedoms, and our basic human rights, all in the name of going greener. Never mind how disastrous this has been elsewhere, and how little it has actually done to achieve any beneficial results.
The victors in Australia’s election are claiming that the people have spoken and we must act now on climate change. Um, not so fast. Yes many did buy the green hysteria and are happy to jump on board with a new Klaus Schwab and Bill Gates global tyranny to somehow fix the problem. But Morrison lost for all sorts of reasons. See my thoughts on this here: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2022/05/22/on-the-albanese-labor-win/
But as to the climate change activists and how they now want to remake Australia in their radical image, I like what Rowan Dean of the Spectator said about the election outcome:
Scott Morrison and the Coalition did not lose government last night. They lost it on November 1 last year, when Scott Morrison stood in front of an adoring crowd of climate cultists in Glasgow and committed Australia to the ridiculous pledge of ‘Net Zero by 2050’. Attacking and resisting Climate Change alarmism had been the secret winning weapon of the Liberal and National parties at every election since and including the landslide win in 2013. The most pathetic scenes in this election campaign were watching Liberals and Nationals stand impotently by as they were attacked on Climate Change.
Rather than going on the attack by pointing out the energy crisis in Europe and the spiralling inflation in the US are all the result of climate alarmism, thanks to Scott Morrison and the bedwetters within the Liberal party, they played along with the pretence that we can close down our coal mines and still maintain our prosperity. Scott Morrison, through his cowardice on the climate issue and so many other issues – in particular the abandonment of the nation during Covid to the outrageous human rights abuses of the Labor premiers – and cultural issues such as religious freedom, has decimated the Liberal party. https://spectator.com.au/2022/05/rowan-deans-election-comment/
But jumping on the radical and often reckless climate change bandwagon is just one of the ways that too many Christians have simply cozied up to the world and its values. There are plenty of other ways in which the priorities of the world – be they trans and LGBT rights, or the slaughter of the unborn – have become the new true values that so many believers now latch onto.
Let me give just one quite sad example of this. A Melbourne pastor that I have written about before continues to be a mouthpiece, not for biblical Christianity, but for the editorial pages of the Guardian and the ABC. He seems to love to champion all the secular left agenda items, while constantly attacking real deal Christians and conservatives.
In a recent woke offering on his social media page he ripped into Victorian MP Bernie Finn and his supporters. Finn may well be kicked out of the Liberal party tomorrow for daring to stand up for the unborn. He believes the right to life is a basic human right, even in rare circumstances of the so-called hard cases. I defended Bernie several times now, including here: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2022/05/17/dying-political-parties-and-dying-babies/
But check out what this trendy leftist leader said about this:
I notice that some conservative Christian voices are lobbying to stop Bernie Finn from being expelled from the Liberal Party for being pro-life. To be clear, Bernie Finn’s comments were not pro-life. His suggestion that a woman who had been raped be made to carry the baby to birth is offensive. Finn is unaffected by the consequences of his own statement. He is unlikely to be raped and will never be pregnant. His statements restrict another’s freedom while bearing no cost himself.
Consider the words of Jesus to the Pharisees, “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” Bernie Finn would do well to learn what mercy for a rape victim looks like. Btw, the Pharisees never learned what mercy looks like. (See Matthew 12:7)
Good grief, this is so bad on so many levels. Talk about a moral and mental meltdown. So the Christian thing to do is to kill babies who through no fault of their own are conceived in a particular way? Um, just where is the mercy this guy talks about for the baby? In his view babies seem to be non-persons, without any rights at all – just how we used to consider Blacks back when slavery was defended.
So his idea of mercy is to simply kill babies because that is somehow what Jesus would do? ‘Restricting a woman’s freedom’ is all that matters here. He might as well condemn people like Wilberforce who stood up for the humanity of another group of invisible people: Blacks. ‘Wilberforce is unaffected by the consequences of his own statement. He is unlikely to be a slave-owner. His statements restrict a slave owner’s freedom while bearing no cost himself.’
And what in the world does what Jesus said about mercy and sacrifice have to do with baby killing? Jesus of course was quoting Hosea 6:6, and the prophet was contrasting real love and obedience to God with outward religious observances and fake religion. That has nothing whatsoever to do with seeking to justify killing children in the womb.
It seems that a good part of this woke leader’s ministry involves regularly attacking and judging others who do not share his hard-left viewpoints. It may be that it is he who needs to get out more and meet real people. In the article I linked to above I spoke about the many women who kept their babies after rape, and all the people who were conceived in rape. They all are so grateful for life.
As but one example, consider these moving words: “I, having lived through rape, and also having raised a child conceived in rape, feel personally assaulted and insulted every time I hear that abortion should be legal because of rape and incest. I feel that we’re being used by pro-abortionists to further the abortion issue, even though we’ve not been asked to tell our side.” https://thelifeinstitute.net/learning-centre/abortion-effects/children/conceived-in-rape
But this guy seems to have swallowed hook, line and sinker the anti-biblical idea that killing babies is some terrific option that we should support at all costs. What did Jesus say about those who would harm little children – and by extension, unborn children? I think he said something about millstones and the like.
As mentioned, this guy has been heavily promoting unbiblical agenda items for decades now, including things like homosexuality and fake marriage. And he was happy to attack pastors and Christians who dared to suggest that worshipping God was in fact an essential service during the Covid lockdowns.
Having just looked at his page again, I was further appalled to find yet another mind-numbing remark: “If you received a text about a ‘WHO Pandemic Treaty,’ please know that it’s yet another conspiracy spread by the so-called ‘freedom movement.’ It’s a last-minute scare campaign. Don’t fall for it.”
Yeah, right, it is all make believe, despite the actual pronouncements coming from WHO, WEF, Gates and others, and despite all the documentation that I and others have produced on this, eg: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2022/05/19/tyranny-and-the-pandemic-treaty/
With church leaders like this, no wonder this country is in such a mess. No wonder some believers have been led to believe that the hyper-left Greens and Labor are somehow the apple of God’s eye and worth supporting and voting for. No wonder the church has so little prophetic voice left when we have compromised leaders in the pulpits preaching the world’s gospel and not the biblical gospel.
We must keep praying for these leaders. Lord have mercy.