Consider this as offered – a plea for Reformed Christian (Pastors and teachers) to read the room.
If you will not take the time to consider my entire argument then read this much:
Something significant has shifted in the world. I realize our view of eschatology, and our reliance upon an unshakable faith that God has a plan and all things happen in His time shapes much of how see the world, politics, and even history. But something has changed. The change was subtle thirty years ago and has accelerated. Preachers, teachers, and laymen owe it to others to both acknowledge this and to provide Biblical and doctrinal answers to it.
I get it. Rushdoony and North et al. really tainted the water with errors about our role in the world. Reconstructionism is dangerous and wrong. Add to that our brethren in denominations influenced by dispensationalism and raw nationalism resulting in their vocal and avid support of personalities and parties; it is unsavory to us. We also remember the foolishness that Baptists and Charismatics attempted in the 1980s-90s, their utter failure in politics, and where they are now.
I am not suggesting we enter that fray. I am not suggesting we fight the cultural war. That war is over. Read the room, look around. If you do not yet fully understand that the cultural war was lost and that we are now entering into a cultural revolution, you are not using good discernment.
I am suggesting, we have to come to terms with the world as it is and as it is about to be. The implications of the growing hatred of Christianity cannot be overstated; these cannot be ignored. We may or may not, right now, be imminently close to the eschaton but we are much nearer than we were two years ago. What was, in terms of culture and assumptions about our place in culture, no longer hold. Any honest and reasonable assessment of what is and what is to come says that things cannot go back, short of a divine act.
People see this change, people in your church see this change. A cliché related to Presbyterian ministers is that if you ask about end times topics you generally get an answer along the lines of “it is complicated” “Revelation is often overstated”, or “God Wins”. All true, and nobody suggests we channel an IFB pastor’s prophecy preaching once a month. But we need to talk about these things. We know we have been in the end times for 2000 years, and may be for another 2000, but things are getting worse and we are approaching the climax.
Failure to talk about our diminished status, the growing hate, the danger – that is foolish. Telling a man to “have no fear Christian’, is correct, failure to acknowledge that danger is afoot, borders on immoral.
I will say it plainly. You (we) do our duty related to church government and affairs, we do our familial duties, we work and provide. We believe God knows all things, that all things are according to his plan and that taken to a logical conclusion because things are foreknown, they are already determined. Yet, we do our duty in the work we have been provided. But the big things, the end of the story sort of things – just ‘too complex’, ‘too overdone’, ‘God knows and has a plan.’
Pastors need to teach the complex and intricate Reformed eschatology, and not just the literal parts in Mathew, Thessalonians and Peter. People see that the world is changing. If reformed pastors do not teach the full Word, people will look elsewhere to folks that are very happy to teach error.
“that there is nothing put forth in Scripture which it is not profitable to know.”― John Calvin, Commentaries
Some of you need to become a little uncomfortable and begin rebuking the error that flows daily in the form of churches and organizations around us. People are being led astray in flashy corporate services and Gnosticism masquerading as The Way. Many of those organizations will eventually become part of the great apostasy – what are you doing today to help the elect not be deceived? How many of you even understand the philosophical influences and sociological plans behind the megachurch movement? Have you ever spoken out and preached against this communitarianism and worldly ideology? Are you afraid of being labeled a ‘hater’ or a square? You need speak truth, the core of this is not just church with smoke machines, it was designed for a purpose.
Those of you that do not fully believe the world has changed need to step away from your comfortable seclusion and isolation, look around, listen and learn. Get off your soft butts, make yourself uncomfortable and see the ugly truth that is becoming our reality. Find new friends if those you surround yourself with only reinforce your isolation. Preach and teach the whole Word, not just the comfortable stuff. Prepare and guard your flock by giving them full knowledge of the Word.
One day, maybe hundreds of years from now, perhaps in five years, every church that teaches the Word will be put out of business. All of the time and effort spent on church government (as necessary and important as that is) will not matter then. What will matter is the truth, that is revealed in the word, and what is inculcated in the hearts of believers. Part of that happens when teachers and preachers talk of the whole Word.
Do your Job!