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  • John Irvine

Pastors, Silence in the Public Square is Devastating the Church and our Nation

It's been a while since I've written anything. Something has been tugging at my heart and my conscience in which I can no longer keep silent. Those who know me, and if you've been paying attention recently to my social posts and podcast Light in the D, won't be surprised. This may or may not offend some who read this, but I must speak the truth in love and go out on a limb here. So here it is:

Dear Pastors, I love you, however, for many of you, your silence from the pulpit addressing the wicked and satanic state of affairs in our nation, and lack of discipleship encouraging your flocks to bring the Gospel of God's Kingdom to the public square is, very loud. I've heard the excuse we don't do politics from the pulpit, or maybe in reality it's fear. If we're honest, in America we Christians have had it pretty good. No persecution to fear like in China or the Soviet block. We've become super comfortable in our faith in America, so much we've come to believe sharing the love of Jesus and the Gospel means simply being "nice." Atheists can be nice too, just sayin'. The truth is, the result of our being "nice" and not speaking the hard truths of the Gospel is devasting the church and our witness for God's Kingdom, and the futures of our children and grandchildren. If we don't repent and change our ways back to God's soon, ultimately the church in America will be irrelevant.

Let me be clear, I am not painting a broad brush over all Pastors and churches. There are a mighty few warrior Pastors and their flocks out there who over the course of the pandemic and prior have stood up, are speaking out, witnessing and discipling their flocks for the times in which we live. In fact, I’m looking forward to November when I will have two of them as guests on Light in the D - Pastor Joel Webbon and Rev. Christopher Thoma - both coming from differing denominational backgrounds but with I believe to be similar perspectives of the body of Christ’s need to evangelize in the public square. I’m confident the conversations will be edifying and inspiring, and I look forward to sharing that with viewers and listeners.

But here's the thing...we need more Pastors and more disciple's boots on the ground evangelizing at public school Board of Education meetings, Town Hall meetings, encouraging Christians to run for public office, helping business owners who have been crushed by the unjust lockdowns and standing by and helping our brothers and sisters fight against these tyrannical vaccine mandates. And to some of the big EVA Pastors, please STOP misinterpreting Jesus and his command to "love your neighbor" by equating it to wearing a mask and getting the experimental vaccine...because if you were truly informed on the latest data, you'd know that the masks and experimental vaccines have a higher probability of causing short and long term harm to one's health including death than any of the benefits we were sold. More on that later.

We've Built a Soft, Lukewarm Church in America

In my now ten years since by God’s grace accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I’ve encountered three types of churches:

  1. The Social Club Church: Put a smile on your face, show up on Sunday and check the box to worship a Holy God who owes you nothing, yet gave you everything in His Son...or don't if your kid has a soccer or baseball game to attend.

  2. The Ted-Talk Mega-Church: Come one and come all! This is where the church is not like the church you grew up in! We're here to entertain you! Plus we'll help you fix your marriage or financial burdens, invite you to invite Jesus into your heart during an altar call, and oh, fun programs for the kids, all sprinkled with some Bible verses here and there. And don't you worry, we won't mention the "s" or "h" words, cause God loves you just the way you are! Light show, fog, and coffee bar are a bonus!

  3. The Leave Your Political views at the Door Church: Really code word for leaving your morals, ethics, and conservative values like you know, God’s standards, (ie His Law, His Justice), at the door.

This is what I've witnessed, it's almost therapeutic rather than preaching and teaching the hard truths and challenging us to "work out your salvation with fear and trembling"(Philippians 2:12). I’m not saying all this to attack, but again, I must speak the truth in love. I'm no prophet, but this is an ask and a prayer for our Pastors and us in Christ’s body, that we are truly set apart by courageously and boldly witnessing for Christ in a culture that loves its sin and depravity. It requires us to be in God's Word and share even the stuff the sinful flesh of believers and unbelievers alike hate, and be obedient to God's commands and live them out in the new life He's given us by His grace and mercy.

And when we don't? The hard truth is Pastors, you can try to ignore it all you like, but you and your flocks are going to be run over by a godless, leftist, Marxist, tyrannical government set on never letting a crisis go to waste (ie the pandemic). And you’re allowing it to happen by the witness of your silence on these issues of the day from the pulpit. A response to the division in our country is not by reminding your congregations that Jesus was not a Republican or Democrat. While that is true, our response should be the discipling of the flock to be in obedience to God’s creation, God's law, His justice, and not the world's social justice...and to be bold, courageous witnesses for His Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven. Certainly not sitting on the bench praying “Come Lord Jesus Come!” God expects more from His elect.

We like to say, God Bless America. But can we really believe a nation that is filled with idolatry, one that has murdered over 60 million of God's image-bearers in the womb, rejected His standards of what is a man and woman, defiled marriage, destroyed the family, lives by false witness and is covetous...I could go on. Do we sincerely believe that we as a nation deserve God’s blessing? Do we believe our churches' disobedience to God’s Word and His law doesn’t deserve a response? Do we even take His Word seriously? See Deuteronomy 28 and Romans 1. Or have we bought into what Dietrich Bonhoeffer called, cheap grace?

I understand there are some denominations that believe in Two Kingdom Theology. That is, the heavenly kingdom is separate from the kingdoms of men here on earth. From my short research, it appears there are differences in opinion where the two intersect. Admittedly, this is an area like eschatology that I’m interested in learning more about. Under these two kingdoms, some believe there are areas of life that must remain neutral or areas in the world in which the Christian should not deliver our influence or impact, including the public square or politics. I believe neutrality is a myth and cannot be accepted. It is our duty to be bold and courageous witnesses for Christ in the public square and fight against the godless cultural satanic standards being coerced on us.

Jesus said, "All authority in HEAVEN and on EARTH has been given to me..." (Matthew 28:18).

Do we believe that Jesus has ALL authority on Earth? And with that authority, what did he tell us to do? GO! Make disciples of ALL NATIONS. Do we believe God is sovereign? His will is done...through us! Do we believe we are called to be salt and light? As followers of Christ, we are called to be a holy people (1 Peter 1:14-16) and do ALL to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)

If we are truly in Christ, we must not allow the spirit of fear (satan) to rule over us. Because when we do, when we retreat, the result as history has proven is devastating.

To everything, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

I believe we are in a time of war, a spiritual war in the United States and we need more Christian boots on the ground including Pastors in the pulpit and at school board meetings, and we Laymen need to get off the Sunday pews by standing up boldly and speaking up as witnesses for Christ in the public square. We do not cower to fear but accept the cost as our Savior did. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. God expects His will to be done through us, His children.

By the way, this is NOT Christain Nationalism as some evangelicals have expressed their criticism. Trump nor any politician, Republican or Democrat, is our savior. But when we are in Christ, and follow God's law, His is conservative values that are most aligned to what is right and wrong by God's standards, and certainly not leftism. When God's standards are lived out in a nation like America, we are a light of hope to other nations and those suffering from the persecution from godless governments. That's now being destroyed, and the forces of evil having rejected God want to put our light out. Isn't America and its virtues built on Christian morals and values worth fighting for and preserving?

How did a nation built on Judeo-Christian values end up here, decaying? I’m the father of two teenage daughters in the Public School System. I'll admit, if my wife and I could start over or they were younger, knowing what we know now about the public school system, we would have chosen to homeschool or send them to a private Christian school.

Over the past 6 months, I’ve come to know and be a part of a community of approximately 150 parents, many of whom are Christians. We all have a common understanding that we are at a precipice in our nation, where our government of We the People, for the People, and By the People and our God-given unalienable rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness are being threatened and on life support. I believe this is the result of our lack of witness for Christ in the public square, we stopped addressing sin, immorality, what is right and what is wrong, and it's having a devastating impact on our nation and the future of our children and grandchildren.

We parents organized online, have met and spoken up at Board of Education meetings, without a Pastor insight mind you, all while trying to stop our school districts from forcing masks on our children and indoctrinating them into Marxist ideologies like critical race theory, intersectionality, equity over equality, and pushing LGBTQ+ on our children.

Michael O’Fallon of Sovereign Nations puts it this way, "The lessons of what happened in Nazi Germany that began in the 1930s, what we once believed to be unimaginable are now taking place right here in the United States:"

  • An obsession with race

  • Declaring an ethnic group collectively guilty

  • Shaming, humiliations based on ethnicity and social status

  • Lootings, arson, racist violence, intimidation of opponents

  • Cancel culture

  • The controlled dissemination of news

  • The censorship of free speech

  • The controlling of people’s free movements

  • And, indoctrination of children in schools

  • The overhaul of history

  • A new language imposed, new terms imposed, new definitions imposed

  • All in the name of a more just culture

  • We are a nation that has rejected God, and put government over God.

Of course, there's Covid and the tyrannical vaccine mandates in which jobs and livelihoods are being threatened and lost. I've heard of some churches that are segregating their congregations between the vaccinated and unvaccinated. Seriously. We've lost all ability for critical thinking and given up having spirit of no fear to the spirit of the age, all-in pure fear.

Pastors, I implore you to read Jeff Childers' 3-part article “What the Church Needs to Know about Covid-19” on that. He's done an amazing job putting forth the latest data, and appealing to Pastors and the church to address is the number one topic impacting all of us.

Pastors, we've got a battle on our hands. Will you lead us from the pulpit, join us in the public square? Or do we Christians who are willing to stand up and fight need to go it alone without you? We are in need of a great awakening! It should start in the pulpit.

I'll end here with Jesus' command to all of us...

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28: 18-20

Let's take our Lord seriously...and go!

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