#538

August 06, 2017

The Future of the North American Church?

Dear Dr. Craig

I am writing you because I am quite in desperation. The church in which I have been a member all of my life has turned into a politically correct hellhole. The transformation which took place in the last few years can only be described as through and through evil and anti-Christian. It’s really hard to give an adequate explanation about just how badly my church has gone the way down. After banning the cross from the church (“because it could offend Jews and Muslims”) the madmen we have as a pastor has decided now to read “Das Kapital” by Karl Marx and “Also sprach Zarathustra” by Friedrich Nietzsche in our church and has decided not to read the holy Bible again, because it is “a racist and misogynistic book”. The apostle Paul – shockingly enough - has been called a “Nazi” and “a woman hating bigot” by the pastor and our very forefathers are constantly attacked for the crusades and their supposed homophobia. The pastor has also started to curse the Lord (in ways which I am not going to repeat). I and some of my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ have stopped attending my church altogether and have chosen to boycott this monstrosity of a church and the deeply blasphemous movement that has taken over. We have politely tried to speak with the leaders of our church, but all negations and discussions have utterly failed. I cannot and will not tolerate such a perversion in my life as servant of Jesus Christ.

Dear Dr. Craig, I know you through your work and writings as a man of great faith and as a good, traditional Christian, who loves our Lord and Savior and who has thought wicked enemies of Christ numerous times. I was wondering, whether you have a suggestion, what I and my friends could do in this terrible plight. We just want to follow the classical teachings of our traditional Christianity. We are looking towards our American brothers and sisters, because they have something we have lost: a traditional form of Christianity that hasn’t been wiped out by the forces of aggressive political correctness (the great Biola University is truly a blessing by the Lord!). We have also heard from Brothers and Sisters from Canada and Germany, who have told us very similar stories about the downfall of their churches. What can we, what should we do?

Thank you for your answers

All the best,

Uli

Switzerland

I take your question, Uli, not because I have much to say by way of answer to your desperate plea, but rather because your letter serves to warn Christian brothers and sisters of what awaits the church in North America if present trends continue unchecked.

Your letter so vividly describes what happens to a church once it cuts itself loose from the anchor of biblical truths and allows itself to be carried along by the currents of secular culture. Under the errant leadership of your pastor, your church has now become apostate and should have the name “Ichabod” (I Samuel 4.21) pronounced over it. Since it refuses to discipline its clergy by removing this apostate pastor, you and your friends are right to cease your attendance there.

But you must not make the mistake yourselves of no longer worshipping and serving in a corporate Christian community. Such involvement is an inherent part of Christian discipleship. You need to search out a local church where the Gospel is still faithfully preached and where you can worship the Lord meaningfully. The odds of finding such a church in Switzerland will be greater if you look among the Freien Evangelischen Kirchen rather than the state churches (which is what I imagine you have been attending up until now). I’d encourage you to devote your energy to building up such a local fellowship rather than to squander it in a vain attempt to rescue an apostate church.

Moreover, one of the blessings of living in the Internet age is the ready accessibility of online resources to help you in your Christian walk, even if you cannot find such helps in a local church where you live. Here’s a suggestion for you: why don’t you and your friends arrange to get together once a week and watch a video-taped lesson from our Defenders class on Christian doctrine and apologetics? Each lesson is only about a half hour in length. You could watch it and discuss the content together. Begin with the first lesson in Series 3 and proceed from there. That will give you instruction in the whole body of Christian doctrine.

Finally, those of us in North America need to ponder long and hard on what has happened to the church in Europe, as so graphically described by Uli. This cancer, as Uli notes, is already invading Canada. What is tragic is that such compromise is so unnecessary. As my many debates with secular scholars so vividly illustrate, Christianity can well compete with secularism in the arena of ideas today. I have elsewhere warned the American church of some of the dangers that lie ahead of us if we continue down our present path and suggested some antidotes for arresting this slide (“In Intellectual Neutral”). May God give us the clear-sightedness to recognize the dangers and the firm resolve necessary to overcome them!