THE BEST AND BRIGHTEST
By Paul Proctor
February 19, 2005
In its ongoing pursuit of the culture and its favor, today�s compromised church continues to imitate the world it wants to �reach� for Christ, demonstrating clearly to those with eyes to see and ears to hear that something has gone terribly wrong in and around the pulpit and that very few of those in leadership are aware of it or are willing to address it with any honesty or conviction.
Though openly fought battles against liberal strongholds like euthanasia, fetal stem cell research, human cloning, abortion, gun control, homosexuality and public education are proudly waged by many highly visible conservatives, giving the illusion of progress, a Christianized humanism and ecclesiastical socialism are sweeping the country right now and rotting the church from within while its celebrated shepherds bask in the glory of their newfound stardom under a �born again� White House.
If it isn�t a pastor being introduced by announcing the size of his congregation, it is the number of books he has sold or the degrees he holds or the people he knows that is heralded far and wide to rally accolades, attention and applause. Is this what Jesus taught His disciples by example in the upper room? Hardly�
Let me give you an example of just how this kind of corruption subtly undermines the call to repentance and faith in Christ:
It was reported in a recent Agape Press article that Dr. Jimmy Draper, the outgoing president of LifeWay Christian Resources, formerly The Baptist Sunday School Board and provider of, among other things, most Southern Baptist educational materials, has �urged LifeWay to pursue several strategic challenges as its ministry advances deeper into the 21st century. Among those, he includes attracting and retaining the best and brightest people to the ministry..."
Now, I�m curious; just how would a Christian company go about �attracting and retaining the best and brightest people to the ministry?� Would they do it by offering prospects a competitive salary, generous benefits and better working conditions? Maybe an impressive job title would be tempting.
To the non-Christian, biblically ignorant or undiscerning, this �challenge� might seem perfectly legitimate, if not honorable and in keeping with the Peter Drucker, way of doing things. However, if it is God who calls one into the ministry, what business does LifeWay or any other company have �strategically attracting and retaining� ANYONE into God�s service? If the Lord has not specifically called an individual into the ministry, THEY HAVE NO BUSINESS BEING THERE � best, brightest or otherwise which may explain why there are so many wolves and goats running among the sheep these days and why the church is in such disarray and decline morally.
If this was just an isolated incident and wasn�t business as usual, I wouldn�t bother to address it; but I live near Nashville, Tennessee, the home of LifeWay Christian Resources, and I see and hear quite regularly the Total Quality Management mindset at work in the church by many of those on its payroll and/or under its influence � those Draper and Drucker might call some of the �best and brightest.�
The end result is a lot of businesses becoming ministries and ministries becoming businesses while pastors become CEOs and presidents become de facto priests. And, if that wasn�t enough, thanks to Big Brother Bush�s Faith-Based Initiative, you can now throw Uncle Sam into the mix so that in due time, your community and mine will all be �served� (run) by what amounts to one great big chain of government owned groupthink outlets; federally funded � faith-based franchises that are socially sensitive, politically correct and environmentally friendly; sacred super centers chocked full of passionate do-gooders from every lifestyle and belief system that are certified purpose driven and guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the United States government to be �all things to all people� both here and abroad.
There�s your New World Order, friends.
�Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.� � 2nd Corinthians 6:14-18
Tell me, when Jesus was choosing His disciples, was He careful to select only the �best and brightest� for ministry? I know that going to scripture for such answers is a little old fashioned nowadays and I confess, I don�t keep a copy of The Purpose Driven Church on hand to check these things out; but I DO KNOW from reading 1st Corinthians 1, that God does not use the LifeWay template.
Here are a few words from the Apostle Paul on God�s choices:
"For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence." - 1st Corinthians 1:26-29
Do you think LifeWay would have a problem with this? I know Peter F. Drucker would.
Now, with these sobering verses in mind, check out the February 7th issue of Time magazine and tell me if you think �The 25 Most Influential Evangelicals In America� meet the criteria for LifeWay or the Lord Jesus Christ; and if you really believe that the Kingdom of God is flourishing here on the global mission field and revival is underway.
It will help you know what to pray for and prepare for in the coming days.
�For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.� � Isaiah 55:8-9
� 2005 Paul Proctor - All Rights Reserved
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Paul Proctor, a rural resident of the Volunteer state and seasoned veteran of the country music industry, retired from showbiz in the late 1990's to dedicate himself to addressing important social issues from a distinctly biblical perspective. As a freelance writer and regular columnist for NewsWithViews.com, he extols the wisdom and truths of scripture through commentary and insight on cultural trends and current events. His articles appear regularly on a variety of news and opinion sites across the internet and in print. Paul may be reached at [email protected]�
The end result is a lot of businesses becoming ministries and ministries becoming businesses while pastors become CEOs and presidents become de facto priests. And, if that wasn�t enough, thanks to Big Brother Bush�s Faith-Based Initiative, you can now throw Uncle Sam into the mix