Monday, December 14, 2009

It's Time To Wake The Sleeping Giant

Shortly after the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, Admiral Isorku Yamamato, the Japanese fleet commander was speaking about The United States when he said, "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant". His words proved to be true, as shortly after that attack the U.S. entered into World War II. We had become apathetic in our pride, and we needed to be reminded of the truths and values that America had been founded on and the fact that those truths were worth going to battle over. I see the church as a sleeping giant and I ask you today, "What will it take to wake you?”

Christianity is under attack, and it's ugly out there. That truth is absolutely evident during the holiday season. "Happy Holidays" has taken the place of "Merry Christmas", and school choirs are no longer allowed to include "Silent Night" or "Hark, The Herald Angels Sing" in their Winter concert repertoires. Churches are being burned to the ground, believers are being fired from their jobs, and God's values are being mocked. Christianity is being silenced all over the world in the name of "religious tolerance", or "political correctness", when in reality our freedom to express and worship is under serious attack and we are not defending ourselves. We have taken a very passive and peaceful position from our overstuffed pews under the roof of our mega-church. Jesus told us to take up the sword and fight, and yet we sit still.

In Matthew, chapter 10, Jesus tells his disciples that they should not plan on winning any popularity contests as long as they were carrying the cause of Christ to the people. In verses 17 and 18 He says, "Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles." Jesus continues on in verse 34 with the admonition, "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword."

I am NOT advocating violence like the crazy radicals that bomb abortion clinics, or chant anti-American slander outside the funerals of soldiers. Quite the opposite! Jesus isn't telling us to pick up weapons of mass destruction, but rather we are to put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians, chapter 6). We are to take with us the sword of the spirit, the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, and we are to walk in peace and know that we are covered with the promise of salvation. If the people do not receive God's word as truth, then we are to simply walk away. Matthew 10:14 tells us, "If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town."

Wake up church! Stand for truth, speak truth, and support one another in truth! We are a sleeping giant, and I don't know what it will take to wake us, but I know we need to wake up! If people refuse to hear the truth, then we are to walk away and continue on, covered in the armor and carrying the sword of the spirit. Shame on us for sitting passively in the pews of our newly remodeled sanctuaries! As disciples, we should be uncomfortable until the whole world knows. Wake up, get off the comfy pew, take up the sword! It's ugly out there! Get off the pew!

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