The Temptation to Compromise starts with staying quiet on issues of today’s culture: Will Church Leaders compromise?

Matthew 24:4, 9-10 ““See to it that no one deceives you. … They will deliver you over to be persecuted and killed, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. At that time many will fall away and will betray and hate one another, and many false prophets will arise and mislead many”

Important Takeaways:

  • Prepare To Stand: Will Church Leaders Compromise To Avoid Persecution?
  • How could deception creep into the church, and what could it look like?
  • The messaging from our culture is that pleasure and self-fulfillment are the highest values: Follow your heart. Be authentic. Be true to yourself. In practice, this means that I do what makes me feel good. My feelings determine my own truth, and I live according to my truth.
  • Many who identify as Christian deny the exclusivity of Jesus. They think there are multiple ways to God, and many don’t think Jesus’ demands for obedience apply to them.
  • Many church leaders are now hesitant to teach on the wedge issues because it will cause division.
  • Going forward, pastors will face tremendous external pressure to compromise, and those who do will be held up by society as examples of good and acceptable Christianity.
  • Some leaders will compromise to avoid persecution. But there’s a more insidious reason because it comes from seemingly good motives—the desire to protect their ministry: If I avoid certain issues, then I’ll be able to continue my ministry, which is producing fruit and serving people. But in the end, those leaders will lose their purity and their witness.
  • Jesus warned about this. He said, “Many will fall away and will betray and hate one another” (Matthew 24:10). Deceived believers will attack faithful believers. It is going to become very messy and confusing.

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Coach Dave Daubenmire warns the Church needs to speak out

Jeremiah 5:26-31 “For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men. As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich. They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge. Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?

Important Takeaways:

  • and the Pulpits Are Silent….
  • This commentary was originally written in 2006. Not much has changed.  We wonder why evil is flourishing.  It is worth another read.
  • Despite what the political parties would like you to believe, the problem in America is not the politicians, it is the pulpits. I hate to break the news to you, but most of America’s pulpits are filled with cowardly men.
  • While our nation is killing babies, our schools are indoctrinating Christian-kids.
  • Secular Humanism, and Truth has fallen in our streets. Our preachers are attending church-growth seminars, using “self-help” books to supplement the Bible
  • Legislation is introduced to remove the rights of parents and the pulpits are silent.
  • Children are told they can become the opposite sex and the pulpits are silent.
  • Tolerance trumps Truth and the pulpits are silent.

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Approaching the Tipping Point: Eric Metaxas; Urgent Wake Up Call to the American Church

Author and radio talk show host Eric Metaxas warns that America is fast approaching a dangerous cultural tipping point, although he says it’s not too late to reverse course. In his new book, Letter to the American Church, Metaxas writes of parallels between today’s America and pre-World War II Germany.

“It is the silence of the American church on a host of issues today that many people say, ‘Oh, that’s not a gospel related issue. I don’t want to be divisive. I don’t want to be political.’ It is that silence which directly parallels the silence of German Christians.
in the early thirties, and it led to the satanic evil of the Nazi takeover of that culture where they crushed the church.”

He believes if only another few thousand Protestant pastors had spoken out, the Nazis would not have succeeded. Instead, their silence doomed the German church and nation while leading to the Holocaust.

“This was not biblical. This was not what God was calling them to do,” Metaxas explained. “But the church hesitated enough and kept silent enough, for long enough for the Nazis to utterly take over and really do things so evil that we look back and
we think, ‘well, that can never happen again.’ And what I am saying in this book is that exactly the same thing is happening again today because of the silence of the American church.”

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Pastor Andrew Brunson warns we need a Mentality of Perseverance in the Church

Important Takeaways:

  • Brunson: A Dangerous Mentality Has Crept Into The Church, We Need A Mindset Of Perseverance
  • Jesus warned believers about this danger: “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap” (Luke 21:34).
  • I suggest that the pursuit of pleasure and self-fulfillment is, for many people, their controlling value. This basically means we do what makes us feel good. Our feelings and desires determine our path.
  • Many Christians think, God wants me to be happy, but the way of Jesus is very different. He expects us to accept suffering voluntarily for His sake. In fact, He says very clearly that hardship is part of the cost of following Him.

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A good question: What would Jesus do in a culture affecting church leaders?

  • 48% of Evangelical Leaders Are Getting Punished by Cancel Culture – What Would Jesus Do?
  • Worship leader Sean Feucht said he was a victim of cancel culture after his digital distributor blocked and banned his new album.
  • He told CBN News, then, that cancel culture was “coming for the church.”
  • Meanwhile, Phil Robertson told CBN’s Faithwire that his show, Duck Dynasty, was put on hiatus by A&E after he was asked his opinion on homosexuality in an interview with G.Q. magazine.
  • In August, Texas Pastor Ed Young said he was canceled by Meta, the media arm of Facebook and Instagram, after a paid advertisement for their sermon series “Woke or Awake” was removed from Facebook.
  • “As a society, we need to find a way to hold individuals and organizations accountable for their actions, but not punish people for holding beliefs that may be different. We need to encourage conversations across differences. Let us open our doors and ask those with differences to pull up a seat to the table. After all, that was the way of Jesus.”
  • Matthew 5:38-45

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Burnout in the Pulpit ‘Wearing on the Soul’

Daniel 7:25 “He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.”

Important Takeaways:

  • Pastors battle skyrocketing burnout amid politics, pandemic: ‘Wearing on the soul’
  • Barna Group suggested that unprecedented numbers are thinking about quitting the ministry. The poll showed that rates of burnout among pastors have risen dramatically during the past year, with a staggering 42% of ministers wondering if they should abandon their vocation altogether.
  • That number marked an increase of 13 percentage points since Barna’s similar poll in January 2021, when just 29% felt that way. Such pastors named stress (56%), loneliness (43%) and political divisions (38%) as the top reasons they have wearied of the job, as well as the toll it has taken on their families (29%).

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Pastor Che Ahn: Threatened with prison and fines for his congregation for attending Church and Bible Studies

  • Harvest Rock Pastor Ché Ahn Explains Why They Fought To Overturn Gov. Newsom’s Lockdown Orders On Churches
  • “It was a total lockdown not only for services but also bible studies, prayer meetings in people’s homes,” Pastor Ché Ahn told FlashPoint presenter Gene Bailey.
  • He explained how and when they decided to file a lawsuit, saying that he was counseled by his attorney Matt Staver that the lockdown is an “egregious violation of their first amendment rights” because “the state would neither create a state church or religion nor interfere with the free exercise of religion,” and that it is clear that Gov. Newsom’s treatment of churches violates those rights.
  • In August, [2020] the pastor said that he received a “very dark nasty letter” from the city prosecutor informing him that he would be arrested and imprisoned for a year. The letter also said that each church member would also be penalized a thousand dollars for each service that they have attended from Pentecost Sunday on May 31.
  • “Now the context of this is that, Newsom was releasing all these prisoners- rapists, criminals, because of COVID crowdedness and so with that backdrop, I’m thinking to myself, ‘This is madness!’ because they want to arrest law-abiding citizens who pay their taxes just simply because we want to worship Jesus and yet they’re releasing criminals and I said, ‘This is madness. We’ve come to Isaiah 5:20 where the Bible says, Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil.'”
  • All of their efforts were eventually rewarded when they were able to win a permanent injunction against California Governor Gavin Newsom in order to prevent him from implementing prohibitions on church-related activities ranging from corporate worship to personal bible study and prayer meetings.

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Pastors if you don’t stand for your right to assemble you may not get the chance later

Hebrews 10:25 encourages believers to stir up one another and to not forsake meeting together.

Important Takeaways:

  • There’s A Time to Preach & A Time To Fight: Pastors Warn They Won’t Comply Next Time The Gov’t Tries to Control, Shut Down Services
  • Some pastors are recruiting other church leaders to sign a document promising to keep their churches open the next time government tries controlling worship or shutting down services. It’s called the Acts 5:29 Statement. “We ought to obey God rather than men.”
  • To provide more context, the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states:
    • Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble…”
  • Stephen Mannion said this movement of American pastors is a warning to a secular government to not try closing the Church again. “It won’t go so well next time.’”
  • In 2020 when government(s) closed or severely limited churches, it affected charities, in-person Bible studies,…
  • We saw dramatic increases in fear, isolation, and anger, alcohol and drug use including deaths associated with these factors. Depression skyrocketed and suicide rates spiked to record highs, claiming more than 186,000 lives in America alone.
  • Part of the Acts 5:29 Statement reads:
    • “…we reject any Presidential or gubernatorial decree requiring us to disobey the word of God. We will resist any attempt by a Federal, state or local official to restrict or prohibit the free exercise of our Religion or place restrictions thereon.
    • …we affirm our submission to lawful civil authority as instituted by God himself; but when rulers exceed the scope of their Constitutional and God-given authority, they act contrary to their office and the public good and effect the ruin and misery of society.”
  • Their goal is to get 5,000 signers and to then send the document to local, state, and federal government officials.

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With Crime rising through our nation Police reach out to the Church

Matthew 24:12 “And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.

Important Takeaways:

  • As Crime Surges in US Cities, Strained Police Forces Turn to Houses of Worship for Help
  • Major American cities are facing a perfect storm. Violent crime is growing and law enforcement agencies are struggling to keep officers on the job.
  • In Gresham, Oregon, Sgt. Travis Garrison says a crime spike is forcing his department to choose which calls and crimes they can send officers to. “We’re only able to investigate murders,” Sgt. Garrison said. “We’ll routinely respond to shootings but if the person is going to survive, we are not going to follow up on that.”
  • In Philadelphia, police disbanded their abandoned car unit. In Los Angeles, police cut their homeless outreach and animal cruelty teams.
  • In an unprecedented move, departments are turning to houses of worship, hoping faith can help reduce that trend.
  • More than 25 law enforcement groups joined prominent faith leaders on Capitol Hill, Tuesday – inviting communities to participate in the National Faith and Blue Weekend.
  • Chief Patrick Ogden, Associate Chief of Police at the University of Delaware, sees these partnerships as key to building stronger and safer communities.

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Gallup poll shows increase in lack of trust toward Pastors and Churches

Matthew 7:15-20 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire

Important Takeaways:

  • Pastors and Churches Face Historic Lack of Trust
  • Gallup’s most recent annual surveys on Americans’ institutional confidence and honesty ratings for professionals found trust in both the church and pastors reaching their lowest points in the history of the surveys.
  • After dropping 5 points last year, the church suffered another 6-point fall in 2022. Currently, only 31% of Americans say they have quite a lot or a great deal of confidence in the church or organized religion, with just 14% expressing a great deal of confidence.
  • In 1975, a high mark of 68% expressed a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the church.
  • In addition to small businesses and the military, the church currently ranks behind the police (45%) and the medical system (38%), both of which also saw their confidence levels fall 6 points this year.

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