The Evisceration of Casual Christianity

The world is winning its war upon the American church.

What Happened?

American Christendom wanes daily as the church falls from prominence, fading into the landscape of obscurity, receding from relevance.

Very few consider the church a factor in their lives. For most, church is a place to go on occasion, something to do periodically to satiate our innate legalism. We ought to be doing something, so we’ll attend a random church service.

Or, church has become a place to go and feel better about yourself. Church is but one of a vast litany of self-help programs to enable you to rise above your circumstances, to achieve and obtain, or just restore your self-esteem your sense of identity, whatever that means.

And Jesus is a great teacher, gentle and kind, certainly non-threatening. He would never make demands upon anyone as he just loves everybody. We can literally choose our own Jesus this day. I guarantee I can find a church that preaches whatever version of Jesus with which I am most comfortable.

And stemming from this incomplete and varied knowledge of the risen Lord Jesus stems an obvious byproduct—a casual and timid church.

Casual or Reverent

I loathe the modern casual approach to Jesus, to church.

The casual attitude permeates every aspect of church from worship to evangelism to the various ministries of the church. My son just returned from the Southern Baptist MFuge camp and I guarantee there were kids there sporting ‘Jesus is my Homeboy’ shirts. Before worship service, the students actually formed a conga line.

“Jesus is my friend,” is a popular refrain.

America is beset by a casual view of Jesus.

Irreverence pervades.

Why wouldn’t we be when we can pick and choose the aspects of Jesus we wish to acknowledge or consider legitimate? As we focus on kind Jesus, on loving Jesus, on friendly Jesus holding a lamb, surrounded by children, with a perpetually gentle smile gracing his countenance, we miss the very thing that would drive our reverence, our awe, our fear!

Scripture paints a slightly different vision of Jesus.

According to the Psalmist, God will speak to the nations in his wrath, he will terrify them in his fury saying, “As for me, I have set my King [Jesus] on Zion.” (Psalm 2:5) The Father will declare to the Son that the nations are His heritage, the ends of the earth His possession, and He “shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” (v. 9)

The New Testament quotes Psalm 110 more than any other Old Testament verse as God the Father says to Jesus, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.” (v.1) Of Jesus, the Psalmist declares that “he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath. He will execute judgement among the nations, filling them with corpses.” (v.5-6)

Paul tells us that the name of Jesus has been highly exalted and is the name above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-10) Every knee, even the knee of those who do not acknowledge Him, will bow at the mention of His name, either in submission or under the rod of His wrath, in judgement.

Does this sound like the Jesus you learned about in Vacation Bible School?

A complete understanding of the person of Christ will drive one thing, reverence.

John, standing before the glorified Christ, fell to his face as if dead. (Revelation 1) We ought to respond similarly. Confronted by the fullness of Christ, his mercy and love coupled with his wrath and justice, we are driven to our knees in awe and fear. 

Jesus demands reverence.

One may not trifle with He to whom everything has already been given.

Bold or Timid

A church worshipping this faux Jesus reeks of timidity.

Concession testifies to this.

The timid church makes concession after concession to the world, often in the form of denying sin, in an attempt to satiate the demands of the world. The desire of the timid church is friendship with that which by definition is antithetical to the Gospel. The world hates Jesus, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the most offensive thing that there is. How could the world ever befriend that which speaks death to it?

The options are truth or concession.

This is why we see large groups within the church, even entire denominations, conceding to the world things up to and even including the essentials of the faith, things that if you do not believe them you may not rightfully call yourself a Christian. This is where we get female ‘reverends’ issuing public blessings upon abortion clinics. This is where churches ordain openly homosexual ‘clergy’. This is where we get churches that ‘welcome’ and ‘affirm’ and refuse to preach the Gospel in all of its power and authority, with all of its teeth.

This is where we get the pitiable Jesus, the pleading Jesus.

This generates weak evangelism.

Jesus is a gentlemen, standing at the door to your heart, gently knocking. He’d never force himself on you. You have to open the door and invite him into your heart. He’s just pleading for you, yearning for you.

Excrement.

Jesus is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah who will one day return in power and authority and He will set all things right. Jesus is the owner of all things, not some things, but all things, including my heart.

I am here to testify that I never once sought Jesus. I never once searched for Him. I never once invited Him into my heart. He kicked in the door to my heart with all the fierce authority of the Lord on high and He said, “You are mine!”

“Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish,” the very words of Jesus. (Luke 13:5) Repent, surrender, submit to me, or you will die, I will kill you, ultimately. Again, is this the Jesus you learned about in Sunday school?

Our evangelism ought to sound similar. Repent or perish. Repent and believe. This world is under the judgement of God. There’s not much time! Turn to Jesus in faith, submit, surrender. Jesus is your only hope.

Urging people to invite Jesus into their hearts just isn’t working.

Closing

The world is winning its war against the American church…
…and I’m okay with that.

In a strange way, I welcome it. The decline of American Christendom has only served to reveal that which was hidden beneath our cultural Christianity, the uncomfortable fact that many people in the church were never actually of Christ in the first place.

Now, the façade is over, the pretenses demolished.

With no culturally beneficial reason to claim Christianity, the chaff is blowing itself away revealing a purified church, a church that may be reverent and bold…just as God intended it to be.

Bradford Smith

Bradford Smith

Author - Founder

Soldier, Pastor, Author – Bradford stays busy, with his wife Ami, raising their 9 children, serving the nation, pastoring, preaching, and writing books (#3 is due out October ’17).

THE 413 REPORT

If you loved this article, and would like to learn more about foster and adoption care, and to stay up to date on our projects, missions, and programs, as well as the release of Bradford's third book, Brave Rifles, please sign up for our Newsletter. The 413 Project is made up of common people empowering and serving others to accomplish an uncommon good.

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This is a powerful read in a small book. The subtitle hits the mark with its description of, "A Biblical Treatise on Adoption." The author poses a challenge to the reader to stop reading the book upfront if the reader does not want to be moved to action.

   Janice S. Garey  

The call that sounds for the incredible need of emotionally and physically abandoned and orphaned children and one that when answered manifests the love of Christ.

  Anne Rightler

This book is a must read for anyone affected in any way by addictions. So many of the situations in this book seem hopeless, but as Brad so clearly points out, Christ is the solution and the only hope of man. As long as there is breath, there is hope!

  Scott Doherty

In Scourge, Brad offers us more than cold statistics or a cautionary tale. Instead, he offers us the solution - faith backed by action - to overcome this insidious problem Insightful and provocative, Scourge is a warning flag, guide post and rally to hope for all of us.

 Chad Chasteen

C’mon Church, Quit Playing Checkers While the Enemy Plays Chess

In October 2005, Coalition forces in Iraq captured a letter from Al Qaeda’s #2 man, Ayman al-Zawahiri to their Iraqi affiliate leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (AMZ) detailing their plan for defeating America in Iraq.

The letter revealed AQ’s strategic view of the conflict. That they refer to their enemy as Crusaders and Zionists should have been a cue. For them, this is a generational conflict necessitating a long-term strategy. While American commanders were busy trying to minimize casualties and just make it through their year-long deployment, AQ leaders were looking to the future, globally.

They were playing chess…for an evil and doomed ideology, but chess nonetheless.

We were playing checkers, much like the Church today.

Checkers

As the newest pastor in the local association, I was privileged to attend a luncheon with the other pastors. These pious men of God truly love Him and desire to see His will accomplished. At the luncheon, they invited a high-level leader of our denomination to address us and he spoke about…tracts.

His church had developed a new tract around a great Bible verse and you could get them by the truckload and give them to your congregants and exhort them to get out there and hand them out and tell people about Jesus.

Last year, our state grew by 60,000 people but there were only 20,000 baptisms. We are losing ground and have been for years. Only 5% of believers actively share their faith. What if we could exhort 10% to share, maybe we’d get 40,000 baptisms! Yet, every year the church loses ground and every year we invent a new campaign to “get people out there”.

Insanity has been defined as doing the exact same thing and expecting different results.

This is checkers.

The Enemy plays chess.

More Checkers

Southern Baptists—I cannot speak for other denominations—have mastered the art of demanding as little as possible of our congregants while still giving them a sense of having done their duty, perhaps out of fear that they may leave and attend somewhere else, where less will be expected of them.

Handing out tracts, engaging strangers is good, as a part of a broader construct. I have a friend who is gifted and excited about street evangelism and personally, when I participate with him, my faith and wits are sharpened. Christ is proclaimed; seeds are planted. The Kingdom moves forward.

Yet, we should ask more of God’s people.

Seeking out a stranger to tell about Jesus is one of the safest things a believer can do. There is literally no risk. You will never see this person again. Whatever happens in the encounter, it is likely that they will NOT plug into a local church and become a disciple.

Yet, we exhort the believer to “get out there”. We establish pre-planned corporate opportunities. I don’t even have to do anything, just show up to the booth and that’s it. We even add trinkets and props to make the process as easy and painless as possible.

At the cost of time and a bit of discomfort, the Christian can be well affirmed that he has done his part. If he has enough zeal, we’ll tell others that he’s “on fire for Jesus” or perhaps label him a “soul-winner” and after a few hours, he can return home satisfied. By itself, this costs us very little.

This is easy!

This is checkers.

We ought to always be prepared to offer a reason for the hope that is in us, to anyone, be it a friend or a stranger. (1 Peter 3:15) I find scant biblical precedent for seeking strangers in the manner of the contemporary American church as a central strategy.

The greatest indicator is that it’s not working! The American church continues to slide into mediocrity. The teenagers from the mission trip go right back to smoking weed with their hands down one another’s pants and the man you gave the tract to has forgotten all about you as he returns to the harsh existence of his reality.

Chess

While we tarry, the Enemy busily destroys the American family, effectively segregating children from the most effective evangelist, a loving and engaged father.

Way more shocking than the lack of baptisms is the lack of male engagement and presence in the home. For those homes with a father present, he is almost assuredly not the spiritual leader of the home and is likely too busy and/or uninterested in becoming one. The widespread feminization of the church is symptomatic of disengaged men.

Men currently abdicate their responsibility in almost every area of life: the leadership of the home, the leadership of the church, the defense of the nation.

The epidemic of fatherless homes epitomizes this abdication and apart from the engagement of a loving and godly father, everything tells us that the children will likely not become of the faith. Satan does everything he can to leverage this outcome, employing the weight of the world, the deception of the Church, and the lust of the flesh against the man and the family unit.

The enemy is playing chess.

More Chess

I see very little of American Christianity in the Bible. The biblical precedent is:

– Send missionaries/plant churches (The NAMB has a great campaign for this)
– Send money
– Disciple children

As Paul took the Gospel to the Gentiles, he planted churches and installed elders and then went back and checked on them. Yes, he did public preaching and evangelized strangers, but always under the auspices of accomplishing the above and it was always “as he went”. I can’t find where Paul intentionally sought complete strangers to spend a few minutes telling them about Jesus with no deeper intentions.

Oh yeah, they took up a collection and sent money to struggling brothers.

God’s very first command to the couple, “be fruitful and multiply”, reveals God’s primary method for evangelizing the earth—making disciples of our children. We exhort believers to get out their and win strangers to Christ when we ought to spend the bulk of our time exhorting them to make disciples of children, theirs and others.

Consider the efficacy of our current strategy. Pastors do cheetah flips to get a few men to hand out tracts to a neighbor or come to an evangelism event. Yet, we cannot get men to consistently engage their families as the spiritual leaders of their homes, to make disciples of their children.

And as you make disciples of your children, consider the thousands upon thousands of fatherless children, who will likely never know about or know Christ apart from the intervention of a man to say, “I’ll be your father. I’ll teach you about Christ.”

Our state has literally thousands of children available for immediate adoption and each year our nations graduates tens of thousands of children from the system who have never been adopted. These young men and women all struggle greatly with addiction, incarceration, homelessness, pregnancy out of wedlock, and most of them don’t know and will never know Christ!

Chess not Checkers

We ought to send missionaries to plant churches. We ought to send them money. We ought to disciple our children and exhort men to seek the fatherless to make disciples of them as well.

The difference between these things and what we do now is that these things come with a cost, be it time, money, and really, standard of living.

Yet, imagine the power. The Gospel exploded across the Roman empire in a few short years, not with a cheap faith that costs nothing. Imagine the power of a Church mobilized, done playing at faith, willing to actually pay a cost to further Kingdom, maybe by something as simple as opening up a home for a fatherless child.

Imagine the power of a Church done playing checkers.

The Enemy quivers at such a thought.

Bradford Smith

Bradford Smith

Author - Founder

Soldier, Pastor, Author – Bradford stays busy, with his wife Ami, raising their 9 children, serving the nation, pastoring, preaching, and writing books (#3 is due out October ’17).

THE 413 REPORT

If you loved this article, and would like to learn more about foster and adoption care, and to stay up to date on our projects, missions, and programs, as well as the release of Bradford's third book, Brave Rifles, please sign up for our Newsletter. The 413 Project is made up of common people empowering and serving others to accomplish an uncommon good.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

This is a powerful read in a small book. The subtitle hits the mark with its description of, "A Biblical Treatise on Adoption." The author poses a challenge to the reader to stop reading the book upfront if the reader does not want to be moved to action.

   Janice S. Garey  

The call that sounds for the incredible need of emotionally and physically abandoned and orphaned children and one that when answered manifests the love of Christ.

  Anne Rightler

This book is a must read for anyone affected in any way by addictions. So many of the situations in this book seem hopeless, but as Brad so clearly points out, Christ is the solution and the only hope of man. As long as there is breath, there is hope!

  Scott Doherty

In Scourge, Brad offers us more than cold statistics or a cautionary tale. Instead, he offers us the solution - faith backed by action - to overcome this insidious problem Insightful and provocative, Scourge is a warning flag, guide post and rally to hope for all of us.

 Chad Chasteen

Death to the White Empowerment Gospel

God slew His people, Israel, for a similar bastardization.

Israel worshipped Yahweh, God, but they likewise adopted the worship of the false gods Baal, Asherah, and others, blending them into a grotesque abomination. They employed temple prostitutes and instituted child sacrifice…on the altar of the LORD. For that, God raised up first Assyria and then Babylon as the rod of His judgment against His people.

For spiritual adultery, God slew His people by the tens of thousands.

A comparable betrayal exists today in the form of the White Empowerment Gospel.

A New/Old Fabrication

Similar to Black Liberation Theology and the Social Gospel (that really isn’t a Gospel at all), the White Empowerment Gospel focuses on the ancillary as an end, the incidental as an objective.

The Gospel should produce social change. Where Christ is preached, things should be better, men should cast off the yoke of oppression. Yet, we err in focusing on the ancillary. The Gospel and His Kingdom are distinctly spiritual, having redemption and eternity as their end. Social advancement, though a welcome collateral aspect of the Gospel, should never be mistaken for the Gospel itself.

As the white majority struggles to define its oppressor, it must necessarily invent one. Enter the White Empowerment Gospel (which really isn’t a Gospel at all).

Haters Gonna Hate

Popular author Ryan Holiday tweeted, “Those who have subdued their ego understand that it doesn’t degrade YOU when others treat you poorly; it degrades them.”

You’ve likewise heard it said,

         Whoever is trying to bring you down is already below you.

          There will be haters, there will be doubters, there will be non-believers, and then there will be you, proving them wrong.

          Haters only hate the people they can’t become.

Excrement.

White Empowerment Theology, as the white majority really maintains no physical oppressor, cultivates a distinct sense of me versus them. A mythical horde exists seeking to bring me down, seeking to rob me of my peace and my blessing, whatever that is. A sadistic group of my ‘haters’ will stop at nothing to undermine my progress.

White Empowerment Theology leverages a sense of comeuppance or even karma in exhorting a person to ‘rise above’ those who would otherwise ‘bring them down’.

This is not the Gospel.

Paul reminds us that “we do not wrestle against the flesh and blood.” (Ephesians 6:12) Our enemy is a spiritual enemy, Satan who leverages the flesh, i.e. our own vulnerabilities and weaknesses. The world will persecute the believer. Why wouldn’t it? They hated Christ so obviously they will hate His people. Yet, Jesus calls the believer to love his enemies, to bless his enemies, to pray for his enemies. (Matthew 5:43-48)

For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” (v.46)

Jesus’ words destroy the White Empowerment Gospel.

Power of Positive People

You’ve heard it said or perhaps said yourself,

          Once you let go of negative people…positive ones appear.

          Don’t expect to see positive changes in your life if you surround yourself with negative people.

          Surround yourself with people who are only going to lift you higher.

Garbage.

Key to White Empowerment Theology is the removal of all negative aspects of life to allow one to focus exclusively on the positive. Negative or toxic people top the list. How could one succeed and achieve with negative people poisoning thoughts and actions?

This is not the Gospel.

The Gospel divides, but not into ‘negative’ and ‘positive’ people. The Gospel divides men as sheep and goats, those who know Christ and those who do not. (Matthew 25) Further, just as Jesus sought and saved the lost, He calls His people to join Him in the work, to make disciples of all the nations, starting with our own household. (Matthew 28) Nowhere does He distinguish between those having an appropriate attitude and those not.

The Gospel tells us that we are all equally unworthy of mercy and salvation and by His sheer love and grace, He pours out His mercy on those who would believe and be saved. The idea of removing so-called ‘negative’ people from your life in order to preserve your chi is foreign to the true Gospel.

Self-empowerment

The Devil whispers, “You can’t withstand the storm.” I whispered back, “I am the storm.”

White Empowerment Theology maintains as its end, self-empowerment, endowing one with the ability to rise above circumstances or ‘haters’ or negative people and obtain, achieve, or accomplish. Self-actualization, self-realization, and self-esteem are all fuzzy, related concepts that serve as compatible objectives to empowerment or beneficial side-effects of the same.

Rubbish.

Coupled with an acknowledgement of utter helplessness, the Gospel demands the complete subordination of self to a higher Purpose, a grander call. The Gospel relegates self to a tertiary consideration. Scripture calls the believer to love God and love others, in that order. I’m not even sure self-esteem could be justified biblically.

From the Bible, I see in myself sin. I see the corruption of my flesh. I see rebellion against a holy and righteous God deserving of judgment. How could I ever esteem myself in any way? My only esteem comes when I am found in Christ, that’s it.

I find in White Empowerment Theology a fundamental narcissism. A man I know ranted on social media against all these people who were trying to bring him down. He wasn’t going to let them. He was going to rise above and not just survive, but prosper.

Pure delusion.

I wondered to myself how anyone could feel that other folks were so interested in them and what they were doing or so jealous of their success or so covetous of their position that they would become an official ‘hater’. Do haters know that they are haters.

A New Syncretism

If that was it, then okay. The issue is believers propagating this garbage, blending it with the Gospel to create a new/old abomination that is an affront against God.

At some point, the White Empowerment Gospel serves as a backdoor to the Prosperity Gospel (which is not really a Gospel at all) or even the all-inclusive and hard-to-define New Age theology. Joel Osteen finds himself a comfortable bedfellow with Eckhart Tolle and Deepak Chopra.

The Power of Positive Thinking.

The Power of You.

You can.

The true Gospel destroys the White Empowerment Gospel. It pleased the Father to crush the Son on behalf of all of those who might believe, that sinners might be reconciled to God and adopted as sons. I possess no merit aside from that which is given to me. As such, I suffer the world on behalf of Christ, counting it all as loss for the mere sake of knowing Him.

I cannot.

God can…and God does.

Bradford Smith

Bradford Smith

Author - Founder

Soldier, Pastor, Author – Bradford stays busy, with his wife Ami, raising their 9 children, serving the nation, pastoring, preaching, and writing books (#3 is due out October ’17).

THE 413 REPORT

If you loved this article, and would like to learn more about foster and adoption care, and to stay up to date on our projects, missions, and programs, as well as the release of Bradford's third book, Brave Rifles, please sign up for our Newsletter. The 413 Project is made up of common people empowering and serving others to accomplish an uncommon good.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

This is a powerful read in a small book. The subtitle hits the mark with its description of, "A Biblical Treatise on Adoption." The author poses a challenge to the reader to stop reading the book upfront if the reader does not want to be moved to action.

   Janice S. Garey  

The call that sounds for the incredible need of emotionally and physically abandoned and orphaned children and one that when answered manifests the love of Christ.

  Anne Rightler

This book is a must read for anyone affected in any way by addictions. So many of the situations in this book seem hopeless, but as Brad so clearly points out, Christ is the solution and the only hope of man. As long as there is breath, there is hope!

  Scott Doherty

In Scourge, Brad offers us more than cold statistics or a cautionary tale. Instead, he offers us the solution - faith backed by action - to overcome this insidious problem Insightful and provocative, Scourge is a warning flag, guide post and rally to hope for all of us.

 Chad Chasteen

Brave Rifles: Sex in a Godless Army (part 1)

We simply cannot address the affliction of soldiers without addressing the penis and its proper usage, rather the implications of its improper use. We’ll address other afflictions wrought by pervasive godlessness, but sexuality rules the day. God made us as sexual beings. Sexuality permeates our very existence and as such, it must be accounted for.

Only a few dabble in a singular pervasive sin as afflictions imbricate and become indistinguishable one from another. Most of the afflicted suffer from a multitude of assaults upon their being which is to be expected.

A Godly Ethic

Like our nation, our soldiers are entirely confused about sexual ethics and what godliness in this arena looks like. Lines continue to blur and many descend truly into what would have been deemed utter insanity only 20 years ago. God clearly defines gender and sexuality leaving absolutely no room for vacillation.

The Bible records that the Pharisees confronted Jesus regarding divorce. His response addresses a number of issues.

          Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female…(Matthew 19:4)

Without hesitation, Jesus refers directly to the first decree in Genesis 1:27. God made them male and female—separate, different, not just good, but very good. (Genesis 1:31) Jesus goes on to reference Genesis once more saying,

          …Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. (Matthew 19:5)

It is a true statement that Jesus never expressly condemned homosexuality. He also never expressly condemned bestiality, or pedophilia, or incest. He did promote marriage between a man and a woman, as He condemned adultery, lust, and by inference, fornication. Jesus condemns any sexual activity outside of that between a man and a woman in the context of a biblical marriage. (Matthew 5) The rest of the Bible concurs. Only an extremely painful and distinctly dishonest exposition of Scripture will yield any conclusion other than this.

God made them male and female, separate.

They are different, distinct. This distinction is a good thing. God made them in His image, unique and with different passions and purposes. To the man, He gave the mandate to work, to have dominion over creation in the Garden, and to teach His wife what God had given directly to Him. God creates woman as man’s ‘helper’. (Genesis 2:20) Lest any think this a derogatory or diminishing term, consider that God frequently refers to Himself as man’s ‘helper’. (Ex. 18:4, Psalms 33:20, Psalms 70:5) Woman is to come alongside man and ‘help’ him in exercising dominion over creation.

God designates separate roles for the man and the woman. First, the man is to serve as the spiritual leader, to have authority over his wife and family. Immediately we begin to encroach upon contemporary thought patterns. The Bible speaks clearly on the matter. Nowhere does God direct the man to rule or dominate the woman, this is solely of the Curse. (Genesis 3:16) God does direct male leadership.

Many pull Ephesians 5:21 out of context when Paul speaks about believers “submitting to one another.” They propose a sort of mutual submission between the man and woman. However, this is a weak assertion tempered by fear of rejection and poor exegesis, clearly not the godly intent.

Paul does tell Christians to submit to one another, but then he goes on to explain what he means. “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” (v.22) “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” (v.6:1) “Bondservants, obey your earthly masters.” (v.6:5a) Paul says, everyone submit to one another and here is how:

  1. Wives submit to husbands,
  2. Children submit to parents, and
  3. Bondservants submit to masters.

Long ago, western society applied a derogatory connotation with the concept of submission. The Bible never quibbles. Nowhere does God call the husband to submit to his wife. The husband is the head of the household, indeed the head of his wife, “so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.” (v.24)

Peter agrees, “wives, be subject to your own husbands.” (1 Pet. 3:1)

This straightforward biblical concept generates intense and immediate ire. Antiquated, masochistic, chauvinistic—the notion of male headship drives those who object into a veritable frenzy. They simply cannot believe that someone would advocate such a blatantly discriminatory and hateful belief. I understand how some might object without considering the full counsel of God’s word on the matter.

Consider the call given to the husband. “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church.” (Ephesians 5:25) A husband is to love and honor his wife in the same way that Christ loves the church—to die for her, literally. In this context, the notion of mutual submission seems like a paltry concession for the sake of bristled sensibilities. Consider the power of husbands loving their wives as Christ loved the church and wives submitting to husbands in a godly fashion.

Again, submission does not imply subjugation or lack of equality or worth. God calls all Christians to submit in some way. God calls all believers to submit to the government (Romans 13:1, 1 Peter 2) and to the leadership of the local church (Hebrews 13:17, 1 Peter 5). It is the wife that God calls to submit to the husband “as to the Lord”, not as if he is the Lord. Her ideas, thoughts, and beliefs possess merit; she is just under his headship.

God said that this is the best way. The curse from Genesis 3 opposed this godly pattern from the beginning. Resistance or outright refusal is merely symptomatic of this curse. God made them male and female, in His image, with different roles, but of equal value. This is the essence of biblical complementarianism, a foreign concept to the unchurched and increasingly, even to the churched, as popular unbiblical thought patterns continue to invade the body of Christ.

Marriage has the mission of procreation and discipleship.

The very first command given to the couple was “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it.” (Genesis 1:28) God commanded Adam to know his wife Eve in the strictest biblical sense of the word and to have children and to bring them up in the ways of the Lord. This is the way that God’s people were to spread across the entire earth, subduing it. The Fall did not negate this mandate. Repeatedly, Scripture confirms the primacy of teaching our children the ways of the Lord.

God calls us to make disciples, starting with our own children.

Here we see the unique role and ability of the woman to steward life, to give birth, and her unique bend toward nurturing. Secular culture minimizes this unique capacity to mother as women desperately seek to usurp what was not given to them in the first place. What an amazing thing, to mother, care for, and nurture life from its very conception. I stand in awe of this capacity as should any godly society, holding the desire to mother as a truly sacred desire.

Please do not hear me say that a woman cannot and should not work or pursue a profession. By all means, I merely proclaim the sacred call of motherhood and the disparate ordained roles for men and women.

Marriage has the mission of proclaiming the Gospel.

Most importantly, as I love my wife as Christ loved the church and she submits to me as to the Lord, we display the Gospel to a lost and dying world. A biblical marriage is a visual depiction of the Gospel. The Bible frequently refers to the Church as the Bride of Christ and its relationship with Jesus as a marriage.

Based upon these purposes, is it any wonder that Satan and the world have continuously sought to undermine the sanctity of marriage, driving a wedge between man and woman? They often rely upon factors from point number one in distorting and perverting godly roles to exacerbate the conflagration between the two sexes.

Our nation continuously drives further from the godly standard, taking our army with it. Like the populace, our soldiers possess intense confusion over issues of masculinity, femininity, and sexuality. This resonates in their actions and vast affliction.

Ignorance of, and practice outside of, the biblical sexual ethic generates intense personal struggle and pragmatically, weakens our force. 

Bradford Smith

Bradford Smith

Author - Founder

Soldier, Pastor, Author – Bradford stays busy, with his wife Ami, raising their 9 children, serving the nation, pastoring, preaching, and writing books (#3 is due out October ’17).

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This is a powerful read in a small book. The subtitle hits the mark with its description of, "A Biblical Treatise on Adoption." The author poses a challenge to the reader to stop reading the book upfront if the reader does not want to be moved to action.

   Janice S. Garey  

The call that sounds for the incredible need of emotionally and physically abandoned and orphaned children and one that when answered manifests the love of Christ.

  Anne Rightler

This book is a must read for anyone affected in any way by addictions. So many of the situations in this book seem hopeless, but as Brad so clearly points out, Christ is the solution and the only hope of man. As long as there is breath, there is hope!

  Scott Doherty

In Scourge, Brad offers us more than cold statistics or a cautionary tale. Instead, he offers us the solution - faith backed by action - to overcome this insidious problem Insightful and provocative, Scourge is a warning flag, guide post and rally to hope for all of us.

 Chad Chasteen

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