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October 1, 2014, 11:05 AM

The silence from the pews

A friend that I have known since college is regularly asking me and challenging me concerning what he sees as a "silence from our pulpits."  We communicate often through Facebook, texting, email and occasional phone calls.  I commend John for his diligence in keeping on top of the political as well as church culture of America today.  He wonders why it seems that so many churches/pastors seem to be silent in regard to preaching sermons that address more of the social decay and political corruption of America.  He questions the "silence of pulpits" in regard to these issues that I agree are very relevant and important today.  However, I have shared with him that the pastors that I know are very bold in their preaching and unapologetic and unashamed to declare the truths of God's Word.  And when in how they feel the Holy Spirit leading them with sermon preparation they come to a passage of scripture that deals with an issue of the day, they approach it with great boldness.

Last night as I tried to fall asleep the thought dawned on me seeing it from the pastors point of view, and now as someone who has the opportunity to be in a number of churches on a regular basis - what about the silence of the pews?

Why are the pews of our churches so silent on matters of the day?

Think about this folks, any given Sunday in America the number of people attending Bible Believing churches is a number so large that we should be able to make a radical difference in this country drawing it to righteousness, to truth, to justice.  And yet, our country is spinning out of control and as the saying goes "going down the toilet" at an exponential rate.

The political corruption and division is higher than it's ever been in our history (Benghazi, Fast & Furious, IRS, ISIS or ISIL or IS as a JV team).  Economists tell us that it's not a matter of "if" but "when" we will see a financial collapse like never before, add to that the $17 TRILLION debt (thank you Mr. President) that we now have.  Radical Islamists have begun to exercise their will on innocent people right here in America, that is, submit to Islam or die.  There is seemingly no moral compass anymore.

Why the silence from the pews?

Add to the situations in our own country the global situation.  The tender box known as the Middle East, Israel under constant attack, Ebola in Africa which as of this week has made it's way to our shores right here in the great state of Texas, the Southern Border somewhat erased and under attack.

Why the silence from the pews?

Are these things not enough to drive us to our knees?  Why are we not hearing of spontaneous or planned special prayer meetings where the people in the pews crowd the altar to cry out to God for help?

Why during the invitation time at the end of the service are the altars not crowded with people from the pews asking God to move among our nation again?

Is the world situation not serious enough yet?  What does it have to get to to be that serious?

I don't lay the blame at the foot of the pulpits but the pews.  The average church attender is there because they expect the pastor to be on call for their every need, the church is there to meet "my" needs and desires and those of "my" family.

And there is such quick action if the pastor seemingly ignores me, or misquotes a scripture reference, or the music is too loud, or the sanctuary is too hot or too cold, or the service ran long, or the committee didn't take my suggestion...

All the while the lost outside the church wonder why no one cares about them?  All the while the world around us is spinning out of control without any helpful direction.

I know this reads rather harsh, but let's be honest with each other.  There are more people in the pews than pastors in the pulpits. 

It is past time for the Christian church to take it's stand.  A line from a song that my all time favorite Christian group - DeGarmo & Key - sang says "There is a time to be on our knees, and there's a time to stand and fight."

It's time to make sure the atheist who is SO offended by a small cross sticker on the back of a football helmet to be told to get over it!

It's time to tell the atheist who is SO offended by the cheerleaders praying to go get a coke at the concession stand during the prayer if you don't like it!

It's time to tell the media and the politicians that we all understand that what happened at Ft. Hood and recently in Oklahoman was not workplace violence by an upset employee!

And as Christmas approaches it's time to tell the atheist groups that  Christmas IS Jesus and the Nativity scenes are going to stay!  After all, we Christians don't complain about their holiday on April 1st.

There is a time to be on our knees and there is a time to stand and fight.

Why the silence from the pews?

I know there are pockets of great activity where God is at work, I know that there are churches that seeing people come to the Lord, often in significant numbers.  But why is it not widespread?  Why are the pews so silent?

The challenge is to begin to live boldly, to live as singer Steve Camp one time sang - to live abandoned to the cross!

Take the stand that needs to be taken, speak out in the name of Jesus boldly, firmly and yes, with grace!

Get to the altar at your church and ask God to move in you and in your church and in this nation again!

We cannot afford any longer to have silent pulpits or silent pews. 

 

 


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