Sunday, July 19, 2009

"Guardians of the Faith"

“Guardians of the Faith”
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

I saw this in the news sometime back now (well over a year ago):
“The Archbishop of Canterbury is backing secret plans to create a "parallel" Church for American conservatives to avert fresh splits over homosexuality.” (From www.
You can read the full story

If you are familiar with the ongoing battle in the Anglican Communion then no explanation is necessary. It is the old battle between folks who are conservative and those who are liberal. The bottom line is: The conservatives have had enough and want out. Those tolerant Liberals, on the other hand will not tolerate them leaving and a battle royal has ensured. The battle is threatening to destroy the worldwide Anglican Communion. The Episcopal Church USA is the American branch of the Anglican Church.

This battle has been coming for some time. I witnessed it from the pews.

I must hasten to add that I am not a member of the Episcopal Church. I am a Lutheran who attended the local Episcopal Church, as we had no Lutheran Church in our town. It may be well to note here that other mainline churches in America, mine included, churches may well be facing the same problems as ECUSA very soon now.

As a conservative Christian, I cannot tell you how distressing it is to watch a church turn from the scriptures and embrace a modern day, nearly godless, form of, well, something or other. It certainly isn’t worshiping. It is more like a political meeting of leftists when the ministers speak of social justice, saving the earth from non-existent global warming, lobbying Washington for this or that.

See, folks, I go to church for one reason and one reason only. I want to hear about a fellow who lived over 2000 years ago. A man who, I am convinced was the Son of God, Himself. I want to hear the message that Man had, and has, for me. I want to hear Jesus Christ preached from the pulpit…. Not politics!

I am firmly convinced that when one attends church once should leave one’s politics at the door, and that includes the pastors, ministers, preachers, or priests.

The mainline denominations in America have become infested with politics. It is a cancerous rot at the very core of the church and it is destroying the religious community and in a nation founded on the beliefs of the Judeo-Christian faith, it is rotting the core out of our nation, as well.

Look, if I want to hear someone ramble on about politics, I will turn my TV to Fox News, or CNN, or get on the Internet and read blogs. That is NOT what I go to church for. I go simply to hear the word of God preached, and to enjoy the company of fellow believers.

The hierarchy of the many of the mainline churches has taken that away. As a result, these days one can find as much inspiration, or more, at a civic club meeting as at a so-called church worship service.

Now… here’s the other thing: The hierarchy of the mainline churches does not seem to understand the fact that the majority of Americans are not interested in their brand of leftist pabulum. If they were, Americans would be flocking to the mainline churches. But just the opposite is happening. The evangelical churches are growing by leaps and bounds while the mainline churches are shrinking. Americans are going to churches where their spirituals needs are met.

As a Lutheran, you may suppose that Martin Luther is a hero of mine. You would be correct. And as I consider the Reformation sparked by his attempt to simply “straighten out” The Church of his day, I am convinced we need a New Reformation today. The Christian church, today, as a whole, is in as bad a shape as the church of Luther’s day ever was!

The “church” has lost its way. This is not at all surprising. As St. Peter (while walking on water towards Christ) sank into the sea when he took his eyes off Christ, so the church is sinking… as a result of the exact same exercise. The church has allowed it’s attention to be diverted off things spiritual and onto things secular… and the twain cannot mix. The church, like individual Christians, “cannot serve two masters”.

I have spoken to national bishops of these matters… and my concerns. They indulge me… and then brush me off with platitudes, which interpreted mean: “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

So, here, as I see it, is the bottom line for the Christian Church in America, indeed, in the world. The existence, into the future, of the Christian church lies with the Evangelicals. Of all the branches of the Christian church in America, they seem to be alone in their daily efforts to live into the tenents and the dictates of the Christian faith. They have become the modern day “Guardians of the Faith”.

J. D. Longstreet


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