Christian Churches To Go Underground in America?
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
Back in 2009, I wrote a piece in which I asked if the Christian church in America was being forced to go underground. As I recently read the news that pastors were being sued for preaching that homosexuality is a sin, I saw clearly that yes, the “real” Christian church in America, in order to continue to stay true to their belief and to God, will be forced to do as the early Christians did – go underground.
At the risk of being accused of being a wild-eyed, bible-thumping, Holy Roller, I need to explain what I mean when I say “the REAL Christian Church” in America.
In the past three decades, or so, many of the mainline Christian churches have slipped away from their foundation on the Holy Scriptures and adopted more and more secular tenents and leftist, politically correct, philosophy until they have become only a shadow of the true followers of Christ. In my opinion, those denominations can no longer claim to be “Christian” churches simply because -- they are not.
A few years ago, I left my own denomination, one of the mainline denominations in America, because it had chosen to forsake the tenents of the Bible and the “Good News,” the Gospel, as enunciated by the very person from whom the church had received its mission.
Allow me, please to state, flat out, that I do not hold myself to be a better Christian than any other follower of Christ. Nosiree! I am nothing more than a sinner saved by the grace of God – no more, and no less. It was a gift from a loving God. There was nothing I could have done and nothing I can ever do, which would have either bought that grace – or -- made me worthy of receiving it. In the eyes of God, I believe, I am just as bad as the worst murderer on death row and just as good as the Pope. Our shared commonality is that we are all sinners.
Unfortunately, many of our mainline denominations have become nothing more than social clubs with many franchises nationwide. Their pastors “preach” feel good “sermonettes” about the environment, and things like “social justice.” In my opinion, that is not the mission of a church that purports to follow Christ. In fact, Christ, Himself, spelled out the mission of the church in what we refer to as The Great Commission.
After His resurrection and shortly before he ascended to heaven, he gave his followers this mission: 18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:18-20
That commission from Christ is the reason the church exists … period. To fulfill that mission the church MUST stand firmly upon the foundation of the Holy Scripture and the teachings of Christ. That means insisting that the standard(s) set by Christ are, and remain, the guiding force behind everything the church does. Of course, that means pastors are compelled to preach that those things the Scripture marks as sin are duly, and publicly, noted from their pulpits as SIN. If a church is reluctant to do this, or refuses to do this, then, in my opinion, that church is not a Christian church.
Today, in America, pastors are fearful of preaching the scriptures. They are fearful of pointing out man’s failings, man’s falling short of the mark. They are concerned that they will be dragged into court, and accused of slander or some form of libel because some sinner, as defined by the scriptures, has been offended or even embarrassed. It is a very real threat, especially to the evangelical church in America.
As a result those churches, which hold true to the gospel, now feel that they must consider meeting in secret for Bible classes, for worship services, or other bible centric gatherings.
The fact is, dear reader, America has deteriorated into such an ugly mess, that she has become the kind of country to which early America used to dispatch missionaries of The Gospel.
There is a clear attempt by the government (local, state, and federal) to criminalize biblical preaching and prevent thousands of churches and clergymen from practicing their faith without threat of penalty from our government.
So, yes, the Christian Church, I believe, WILL be driven underground in America, as it has been in other nations around the globe. Otherwise, it will cease to exist in this land many firmly believe was founded by Christians.
As much as it pains me to say this -- America is no longer a Christian nation. At least, America’s government no longer governs by men and women who base their convictions on the Judeo-Christian code of laws and beliefs.
And very soon now, I believe, the Supreme Court of the land will be in the hands of socialists, as well, and THAT will be the end of the experiment called “America” -- a nation which was to have been governed only by the voice of it’s people and their God.
The wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah could not hold a candle to the wickedness in America today.
If the true Christian church is to survive in America, it MUST go underground.
J. D. Longstreet