Twenty eight years behind the pulpit and there is so very
little to show for it. I’ve made both
friends and enemies preaching and pastoring but when it comes to making a
difference in this world…so little to show for it. I have found that church people want to be
saved but they don’t want to be bothered.
They want sermons to be interesting but not convicting. They want grace without repentance. They want to go on mission trips to foreign
countries but they don’t want to talk to their neighbors about Jesus. Most of all they want their churches and
pastors to stay out of politics and away from cultural hot button issues.
What it boils down to is that many in today’s church simply
do not want to face or deal with the reality and consequence of sin; in the
world and their own lives. They
desperately need a wakeup call but they keep hitting the snooze button. Mark’s version of the Great Commission is
more up my alley than Matthew’s. Mark
says the mourning disciples refused to believe resurrection reports from Mary
Magdalene and two who “were walking in the country” that had seen and spoken to
the resurrected Jesus. When Jesus did
appear to the remaining eleven Apostles “he rebuked them for their unbelief and
hardness of heart because they had not believed those who saw him after he had
risen” (Mark 16:14). He then admonished
them to go into the world and proclaim the Gospel keeping in mind “Whoever
believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be
condemned” (v. 16).
Condemnation doesn’t come for speaking the truth. It
comes when it has been spoken and then rejected. Many in the church have bought into the lie
that merely speaking the truth about
what sin is and where it leads deserves condemnation. You see, your average churchgoer is more
concerned about being condemned as a narrow-minded bigot from their fellow man
than they are concerned about their fellow man being eternally condemned by sin
for his rejection of the truth!
I live near Tupelo, Mississippi where tornados recently
touched down creating a wasteland of businesses and neighborhoods. There is an issue, in the aftermath,
concerning the civil defense sirens.
Nobody can remember hearing them sound as the tornado bore down on the
city. Officials are saying they did but
people who live within sight of them said they never went off. It is not a major news story because no one
lost their life in the city but I think had there been lost lives this story
would be leading every local news cast.
The Church is God’s siren that sounds as hell bears down on
the lives of unsuspecting sinners. Jesus
Christ died on the Cross to conquer sin…not accommodate it. He rose from the dead that neither sin nor
its consequence (death) should have dominion over people (see Romans 6). Are churchgoers so concerned about ourselves
and our comfort and being socially accepted that we are willing to sit silently
by while the whirlwind of hell comes to take life? Read the book of Ezekiel in the Old Testament
to find out what penalty awaits the assigned “watchman” who fails to alert the
people that destruction is coming. It’s
The Bible teaches to intentionally promote holiness and
defend the truth. It doesn’t say to get
all the goodies from God that you can and then bury them in the back yard so no
one can take them away from you. As a
matter of fact, Jesus spoke about that in the parable of the talents (Matthew
25:14-30). It didn’t turn out well for
the guy who buried his either. So if the
Church has decided to be more about accommodating sin rather than warning
against it, it is time to join those who are willing to sound the alarm in
culture and society and deal with the blowback.
Church is wherever God is worshiped, holiness is promoted,
and truth is defended. Consequently, I
am leaving the pastorate and joining the American Family Association so that I
can fulfill my call to make a difference.
I will continue to worship God but I will also be fighting for faith,
family, and freedom…something that many churches have decided is not their calling
Ray Rooney, Jr.