"WHERE HAS THE CHURCH BEEN?"
Rev. John Stephen Brown
Kirk Fordice, one time Governor of Mississippi, said that "the less we emphasize the Christian religion the further we fall into the abyss of poor character and chaos in the United States of America." Pseudo state-churches and Churches beguiled by defective doctrines producing antinomianism, and escapism have de-emphasized the Christian religion and have caused people to ask questions about the Church.
It has become quite fashionable to ask: "Where has the Church been"? Where was it in the 1913 when the federal income tax came into existence to support the federal reserve notes that replaced constitutional money? Where was it in the 1960's when prayer and Bible reading were dismissed from the public schools across America, where was it in 1973 when the murdering of unwanted babies was deemed acceptable, and where is it today in the year 2003 when the sodomy laws of Texas and the rest of the United States of America were considered unconstitutional? Blame-shifting will do no good. By the way for those who are so quick to raise the question: "Where has the Church been?" I would like to know where were you, friend?
The LORD�s Church -- the true Church -- has been ignored. The LORD�s Church is the repository of truth (1 Timothy 3:15). Down through the corridors of time the Church has been, and is being, misunderstood, marginalized, maligned, manipulated, and in many cases its members murdered by those who adamantly refuse to hear the message it bears.
While it is now stylish today to cast blame upon the Church in the wake of some pitifully vile court decisions that has opened the flood gates to despicable practices that has flowed across the political and religious horizon like raw sewage throughout the land, the truth of the matter is that the Church and her preachers have been for the most part silenced by either bribing them with 501 (c) 3 benefits or they have imbibed upon an erroneous theology that is conducive to a noninvolvement in the affairs of life. Actually the retreatist, defeatist theological views of dispensationalism have, in fact, fostered the current state of affairs we have witnessed developing over these past fifty to one hundred years.
Without a doubt the status of being a religious, not for profit, tax exempt, 501 (c) 3 "church" is rank idolatry. The LORD�s Church has only one head and that is Christ Jesus our LORD (Ephesians 1:22-23). Therefore, when a group of born again, blood bought, Spirit indwelt, baptized believers which comprises the visible local church turns from their head -- Jesus Christ our LORD -- and seeks approval, favor, and benefits from the state, they have violated the first two commands of the Decalogue and have committed gross idolatry. (Exodus 20:3-5). In order to maintain the financial benefits provided by the state, 501 (c) 3 groups posing as Churches must preach "public policy" or risk losing their favored position.
Since the "public policy" of our era condones, yea, rather promotes all sorts of evil (e.g., tax confiscation to fund public schools, baby butchering, same sex unions etc.) in the name of tolerance and diversity, it is quite easy to see how these 501 (c) 3 groups will permit wickedness to grow lest they forfeit their benefits.
Coupled with the idolatry mentioned above misguided preachers have swallowed whole the defeatist, retreatist eschatology that advances the idea that evil shall overwhelm the church, notwithstanding the promise of Jesus regarding the Church that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18). Through a practice of text-tearing Scripture from its historical, grammatical, geographical context a system of "proof text" preaching has contributed to the dismal, disillusioned church that has been debilitated. In fact, with every moral set back, there is a sense among those adhering to this mistaken theology that the time of Christ�s second Advent is drawing nigh.
Where is the Church -- the LORD�s Church, the bride of Christ? The true Church remains even while the pseudo state church is mistaken for the LORD�s Church. Christ loves HIS Church and gave HIMSELF for it (Ephesians 5:25). It must be remembered that the Church is comprised of saved sinners set apart and called saints. Jesus is sanctifying and cleansing "it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish" (Ephesians 5:26 27).
The Church -- the LORD�s Church -- is near the heart of God. With Jesus and HIS law/word, the Church has also been rejected by our current hostile society. The LORD�s Church has never, nor never will, promote sodomy, same sex marriages, murder of babies, theft in any form by the state or individuals, or any other plague that is undermining our once glorious country. Come out from among the pseudo state-Churches and the spiritually confused assemblies. Stop blame-shifting and repent of your noninvolvement and "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" James 4:7.
"I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. What I can do, I should do. And what I should do, by the grace of God, I will do." - Edward Everett Hale
� 2003- Rev. John Stephen Brown - All Rights Reserved
Rev. John Stephen Brown, Pastor has served our LORD Jesus Christ as pastor for nearly eighteen years at the Eternal Grace Baptist Church located in New Maysville, Indiana; it is an independent, unregistered, historical, particular assembly that preaches and promotes the victory of Christ in time as well as throughout all eternity. [email protected]
"Without a doubt the status of being a religious, not for profit, tax exempt, 501 (c) 3 "church" is rank idolatry. The LORD�s Church has only one head and that is Christ Jesus our LORD..."