There’s a lot of confusion these days about the role of the church and how it interacts with culture (when I speak here of “the church,” I am talking about those who identify themselves as members of the Body of Christ, not the church as an institution, nor any particular denomination). A barrage of comments flying around Christian web sites and in small groups reveal that many of Christ’s followers really don’t understand their role on this earth, nor the relationship between the Body of Christ and how God moves and acts.
Part of the problem is that an element of the church doesn’t realize its struggle is against spiritual powers and principalities of darkness (Ephesians 6:12) and so they war in the flesh, rather than the spirit. But among those who understand the nature of spiritual warfare, there is an idea for some that we aren’t to speak out or try to influence the natural realm because it’s a spiritual struggle. Then, there is an element of the church which is simply fatalistic in its outlook. This large segment of the church mistakenly believes that everything which happens in a society is part of God’s sovereign will.
Because the culture is becoming so rapidly diseased and decayed, there is a great divide between what was previously understood to be right and lawful in society at large, and what the Bible teaches. I believe that this fissure in society is distinguishing the wheat from the tares (Matthew 13:24-30) – that is, the real harvest from the counterfeit weeds. Romans 8:19 says that “all of creation waits in eager anticipation for the sons of God to be revealed.” This cultural chasm is establishing the true Bride who is preparing herself for her Groom (Rev. 19:17) from those who’ve claimed His name but don’t really know Him: the religious, the complacent, the compromised, and the adulterous.
Confusion paralyzes action. When the Body understands its purpose and power, there is nothing that can stand in its way. Over the next several days, I will be addressing these misconceptions with the sum of scripture. Some of the most common are:
Myth #1 – What we see in government, culture, economy, and the media is all God’s sovereign will. Scripture said it would happen in the last days, so why do anything about it? Christians should accept what they see around them as part of God’s plan and simply wait for Christ’s return. They shouldn’t get too upset about or react to what’s happening around them.
Myth #4 – Taking a stand on an issue and calling it a sin is being judgmental and unloving, and will only drive away nonbelievers. Since we’re all sinners, we shouldn’t say anything when someone else is known to be living in sin.
Myth #5 – The western church is too sick and scattered to impact the world around it. We’re losing every battle we’re fighting.
All these lies are crippling when Christians choose to believe them. The church is fully equipped with everything she needs, bought by the blood of Christ, to transform the culture, the government, and the very world. I am seeing this happen on a practical level in a single city (my hometown), and on a larger scale, we’re witnessing the transformation of an entire region. If God is willing and able to pour out Heaven for one town in these dark days, He will do it for any town. If He’ll do it for any town, He’ll do it for every town, and that will transform the entire nation.