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Ray Rooney, Jr.: The Good Fight
Friday, May 02, 2014 10:40 AM

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 not good. 

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 anymore.

 

Ray Rooney, Jr. 

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