“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
I’ve been listening to a lot of sermons against “polarization” in the church.
Specifically, about tension that has, supposedly, been created in the church by strong opinions held by Christians. Which range from views on social, political, and even spiritual matters.
Many leaders are warning their people against those whose opinions could be controversial, “divisive”, or which might cause “disunity” in the body of Christ.
However, how in this world, can a Christan who is zealous for the Lord and for His truth be anything but polarizing?
Especially since the word of God supernaturally “separates” Truth from Error. By creating a separation, even within the church, that is rarely pretty.
A separation which the Lord Himself designed His words to bring about.
Is Passivity “What Love Demands”?
There is a harsh reality that exists among Christians today.
It is that some believers embrace the Lord’s truth while other believers don’t.
And this has always been the case.
There have always been those who refuse to compromise with the culture; and those who do compromise with it.
Some Christians compromise to avoid persecution or to avoid whatever form that persecution may take. Others compromise to, supposedly, “win the culture for Christ”.
“Winning the culture” is the most popular excuse for change that is used in Evangelicalism today. It’s what we can always count on contemporary pastors to tell us that we must do.
As they say, “It’s what love demands“.
The Myth of Neutrality
So, where is this focus against “polarization” in the church really coming from?
Some say it’s just to stop Christians from fighting with one another. To just be kind to one another. And all that good stuff.
Because the watching world will see us fighting. And they will not see our “love” and, therefore, will reject the gospel. That’s the logic.
But, let’s get real here. Let’s take a look at what’s really behind the curtain.
Basically, this new focus can only occur due to a strange pattern of blindness about spiritual unity and spiritual obedience to Christ.
Consider, as an example, the hypocritical, uneven hand of those who are telling us to abandon our Conservative cultural and political ideas. To abandon our identification with the Republican party (Which Evangelicals have commonly supported in the past). And to stop listening to the “divisive” opinions of Conservative talk-show hosts.
We are increasingly being told that Patriotism is idolatry. And that Conservatism is idolatry. And that loving American Freedom is idolatry. And that we have made the American Dream our idol.
It seems like everything that is good these days is considered an idol by leaders in our churches. Everything, of course, except for the actual practice of physical idolatry!
As in bowing down before statues or images or to a wafer held in the air by a priest that has somehow become the physical body of Christ.
Our spiritual leaders are talking about our many good traditional things as if these things existed in a vacuum.
As if, the political and cultural worlds around us are somehow unaffected by the spiritual decisions of Christians and unbelievers alike.
As if, somehow, a Christian can adopt a mythical, fairy-tale mentality where he can be neutral with the culture and politics. Especially, by moving us away from identifying with Conservative principles or politics.
Because that is precisely what they want us to abandon. Not to forsake all “good things”. Just those idolatrous things that the Progressive Christians don’t like.
The Rise of the Spiritual Left in the Church
Strangely, those who are crying the loudest against Christians, specifically against Conservative and “Right-Wing Christians”, are the same ones who are, themselves, subtly pushing a Progressive and Liberal agenda. Pushing this corruption on both the cultural, political and spiritual worlds.
And, by the way, we are even being discouraged from using the term “Liberal” anymore to identify the wickedness of the culture. To stop criticizing those who support abortion, or those who call homosexuality a normal thing, or those who support the Socialist takeover of the American system.
To speak out about such things is considered “divisive” by our enlightened spiritual leaders. We should become “moderates” – whatever that means.
We are told to shun such “divisive” labels. And not jump to conclusions about what “Liberalism” truly is. We must now pretend that we are not being overrun in our government and culture by a wicked Liberal spirit. Or to pretend that our churches are not sliding down the slippery slope of Mainline denominational apostasy.
Instead, we are told to adopt a middle-of-the-road Christian ideal. As we are shown some new Third Way that will bridge the gap between the old, intolerant Christians and the new, kinder, enlightened, and loving Christians.
We are being herded into a kind of passivism in our churches. To shut up and stop making waves.
Defending the Faith or Compromising It?
We are facing a sad, hard reality.
That the Evangelical churches are grooming a new kind of Christian who, supposedly, will be more effective in engaging the culture. Who will be able to win the culture to Christ by focusing on good works, social needs, and all other kinds of social engagement that will keep the church from being marginalized by the world.
Which is like giving hundreds of millions of dollars to a terrorist regime so that they will leave us alone. And think nice things about us.
What our churches are doing is like bribing the world so that it will come to Christ. By giving them a social payoff so that we can earn the right to give them the spiritual gospel.
Even while those same churches continue to spiritually compromise what the gospel really is – by watering it down. By minimizing the truth we must believe, by rubbing out the lines between good and evil, and, thereby, reducing or destroying its effectiveness to those we hope to bring to salvation in Christ.
And while disobeying the truth the Lord has commanded us to believe and to defend.
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