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Secular vs. Traditional Church – Who is Brave and Who is Foolish

Our nation is polarized on many levels. One aspect can be found within the Christian church. The continued deterioration in attendance (see post) over the past 30 years has, as we all know, leaped in its impact following the pandemic. As church leaders see both a financial and spiritual crisis looming, many have chosen polar opposite approaches as a solution. On one side are the pastors attempting to placate their congregations by becoming inclusive, watering down, ignoring, or downright rejecting Biblical theology on controversial subjects such as sin, Hell, abortion, marriage, and homosexuality. On the other side of the spectrum are those leaders who hold fast to Biblical Christian traditional theology from the pulpit. Many suggest this latter group is either brave or foolish for this stubborn determination to preach and teach God’s truth. I would respectfully offer a counterpoint to that position.

This brief article is directed toward Christian pastors and teachers and not church attendees.

Biblical Christian Pastors are NOT the Brave Ones

Those who hold fast to a Biblical Christian worldview are neither brave nor foolish. If one truly believes the Bible is God’s word, then I would submit that it is the secularizing pastors that are the brave ones. They have…

“Exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.” – Romans 1:25

Perhaps a harsh verse applied to church leaders, many of whom are desperate for inclusion in a world drifting away from their traditional theological positions. However, the sad reality is that to teach and preach falsely in a dichotomous supernatural world falls outside of God’s desires and therefore must land on the other side of the proverbial coin.

These pastors and false teachers who have deconstructed their beliefs are the truly brave ones since they demonstrate fearlessness in the face of God….

“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” -Matthew 10:28

Biblical Christian Pastors are NOT the Foolish Ones

Secondly, those who preach and teach the truth in the face of ridicule from today’s shifting culture are not the foolish ones, but the wise. They have chosen God over man. More importantly, they have chosen to serve God over the evil one…

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. – Matthew 6:24

The Church is Hemorrhaging Members

Pew Research recently published a survey broadly defining the extent of deteriorating church attendance across America, making the statement…

“Only a few decades ago, a Christian identity was so common among Americans that it could almost be taken for granted. As recently as the early 1990s, about 90% of U.S. adults identified as Christians. But today, about two-thirds of adults are Christians.6 The change in America’s religious composition is largely the result of large numbers of adults switching out of the religion in which they were raised to become religiously unaffiliated.”

Pew Research How U.S. religious composition has changed in recent decades (here)

This is the reality we face as a nation, losing our faith. However, God will maintain a remnant (Rom. 11:5). He will honor church leaders who don’t capitulate to those who choose to yell the loudest. The Lord will protect those who gather and worship under the banner of His complete truth, not just the convenient truth. And, as we see more and more of a continued deterioration of attendance in the secularizing churches, I am prayerful that we will also see a resurgence in those congregations who maintain their stand on God and His holy word.

A Final Important Point

God honors those who submissively seek His truth. Further, He holds church leaders to a higher standard and liability because of their influence over others (James 3:1). This article is presented with that perspective in mind. In my view, issues such as abortion, marriage, sexuality, etc. are clearly taught by God in Scripture. The fact is that sin, in all its many forms, can be found in abundance in church congregations, leadership, and mankind in general. Fortunately, God offers a solution through His Son, Jesus Christ but continues to discipline His children as part of sanctification. We are all held accountable for what we know to be true, regardless of whether we choose to actively reject or ignore commands we don’t like or agree with.

However, there are those who sincerely believe the Bible speaks differently to them in these controversial areas and, as such, with good conscience, accept and teach theology that is non-traditional. In the end, on the other side of the grave, we will all find perfect truth. What is infinitely more important than one’s decision on controversial topics… is salvation. If we have a personal relationship with Christ and are born-again, there will be ample opportunity to discuss secondary theological issues with the One who wrote them.

Regardless of your theology in all the hot-button topics of the day… pastors and church leaders… preach and teach in a way your flock finds Heaven. All the rest is secondary.

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AuthorJeff Hilles | BCWorldview.org

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