Many times, I have spoken about the deafening silence of the spiritual leaders in this nation.
Oh yes, we do occasionally hear them speak about the housing shortage, the rising cost of living, climate change, but not the moral issues facing the generation of today.
Churches today are consumed by numbers, whether it be those falling on Sunday, or if yours is a traditional church.
Pentecostal and Charismatic churches on the other hand. are concerned about the rising numbers of attendance and then baptisms.
Either way numbers do count for many reasons and mostly financial.
Being a realist, I know the equation of bums on seats relates to dollars in banks, but that is not what church should be about.
Now I don’t want to be negative towards the churches in New Zealand, as many do a fantastic job being the “hands and feet of Jesus” with their social ministries in food banks, shelter, and social services.
There are a number who are running their social services as “big business,” capitalising on the needs of others.
They compete in areas like healthcare and social services with other non-governmental organisations.
But being the hands and feet of Jesus is one thing, but can I suggest that the churches in New Zealand remove their hands from the pockets of others and takes the foot out of their mouths and return to their core business of adding salt to the culture and providing the light in an immoral world.
The churches in New Zealand refuse to teach on the key moral and spiritual matters afflicting its people today
They have given up being the shepherds, the watchmen on the walls, the moral and spiritual teachers.
Recently I read a post which asked the question of why it is the church is worried about Homosexuality rather than adultery which is listed in the Ten Commandments?
I pondered the question for some time and came to the same conclusion about both, they aren’t worried about either as they have accepted both.
You don’t have to look far to find an openly gay minister or stories about the shepherds of God who have strayed in some form or another.
There was a recent article about the abuse of power in one large charismatic church.
Coming back to the silence from church leaders.
Why is it they can openly have opinions in the media about social services, social justice, and housing?
But you never ever hear church leaders speak out about abortion, adultery already mentioned, blasphemy, the lack of integrity, the lack of community, and the general state of moral leadership.
If you are a member of any church in New Zealand I ask, could you explain your position on such matters and I believe you would be able to respond.
But if I asked the question in another way e.g., explain your churches position would both opinions align with each other, then take both opinions and see if they align to Gods Word.
Silence from the church is not all about speaking out about issues.
If it were, they would be in the news every day, but they’re not.
Silence from the church sad to say goes even deeper than that.
Silence in the church also comes from within as church leadership looks at what is relevant to them, and it comes back to what I mentioned at the beginning, bums on seats.
So, what happens is Church leaders shy away from teaching the Bible,
They don’t want to talk about morals, integrity, sin, or judgement.
They want to talk about how you are owed an inheritance,
They want to tell you that Grace will be afforded to you in these last days.
They want to baptise you to be a part of their family of God.
They do, however, forget to tell you this all comes with a price.
1Peter 4:16 says as a Christian you will suffer but not to be ashamed.
Luke 9:23 Jesus said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
For some this may be news to them but unfortunately churches are silent on these things.
Churches are more concerned with baptism but not catechesis evangelism but not discipleship, seeker sensitivity but not the teachings of scripture, claiming that God’s moral law might put people off.
They make a lot of noise, flash a lot of light, have very enthusiastic congregations but are they doing the job they were delegated to do.
You see we can all bop and bounce all over the place but when it comes to really teaching the word of the bible, they remain silent.
These hypocrites who stand on the pulpit of truth today but deny their calling.
It is they who should be the ones with sight, leading the blind so we do not fall into a pit.
The Reformation (rightly) sought to put Bibles into the hands of laypeople, to get them to read scripture themselves and study it together.
But with this, they also delegated the responsibility of thinking and the job of theology to the ordinary person. Somewhere along the line, the Church stopped teaching complex doctrine, history, and ethics, and instead it became our responsibility as individuals to do it all.
No wonder we are divided, and often feel overwhelmed in the modern world.
It is a beautiful thing for the Church to wrap its arms around the average person, to shepherd them and lift the heavy burdens from their minds; to teach them and to shield them.
But what happens when the teachers stay silent?
Well, the issue is no longer that I am Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist or Pentecostal or any other denomination
Now the issue is me.
I must be against abortion because I have internalized misogyny or some other personal bigotry that I’m using my religion to justify.
The Church stays silent, protecting itself from attack, and yet, I am expected to absorb the blows of culture.
That is a heavy burden to place on one soul.
I want the Church to shield me, but instead it uses me as a human shield.
You tell me that I don’t understand the complexity of Synod. But it is you who are called to teach God’s people.
You tell your people that it is the job of the elders and pastoral team to set out the Christian position on key matters.
Let me ask you what your job is when they fail to do so.
You tell me that I don’t understand the importance of Church unity. But unity is not a cover for moral compromise.
You tell me you need time. But you had plenty of time. What have you done with it?
You are late, like the virgins who waited until the very last minute to purchase their oil.
You tell me that not every issue needs to be spoken about. I would agree.
But staying silent to attract as many as possible is a politician’s compromise, not a spiritual communion.
Your silence does not serve the sinner who enters your doors believing it is a safe space and then gets a nasty shock when they share.
Your silence does not serve the druggie, the gay person, the thief, the alcoholic, who makes the daily sacrifice of abstinence, which you ignore or reduce to a ‘personal choice’.
At most you champion them in private, calling them courageous and prophetic, but you do not stand by them in public; you simply watch while they are thrown to the wolves.
Your silence does not serve God. Your silence serves only yourself.
I am not asking you to constantly beat people over the head with controversial positions.
I am simply asking you to teach the congregation
The church is silent and true believers are no longer prepared to spend my life serving your fractured house, so please – will the teachers of the Church stand up?