Save the American Church—Elect Pete Buttigieg
Maybe VP Biden would work, as a nominal Catholic. Infused grace is no friend to imputation, as history aptly demonstrates.
Senator Booker’s liberation theology could do the trick.
Kamala Harris married a Jew and was raised by a Jamaican Christian and a Hindu mother from India. We should shy away from her as she seems to lean baptist, though her ecumenical roots could push her in a useful direction.
So, let’s stick with Buttigieg. As a married homosexual and avowed member of the ‘religious left’, Mayer Pete is probably the American church’s greatest hope for revival…but maybe not how you think.
The western church needs revival.
Every year, the western church cedes a bit more.
Each year, the American church ebbs further into irrelevancy.
The only western churches growing are the large churches, the megachurches. Call it the Walmart effect. The large churches offer programs, resources, facilities, shiny objects, whatever, things that your typical smaller church cannot.
Hundreds of smaller churches shut their doors each year.
Each passing generation becomes more unchurched. Most Americans still identify as Christian, but very few are active in a church in any way. Few ever attend a Sunday service, the most basic of all Christian activities.
Look no further than Europe to see the brimming cesspool of a dead church, a church with no life, a church with no mission, no witness, no Spirit.
“We need revival!” you’ll hear some proclaim. Well roll out the tent, get the praise band fired up, and get to preachin’! If you’re not picking up on my sarcasm, please forgive me. Haven’t we tried this?
The western church needs…something. But what?
The church was born of blood.
The blood of Christ, specifically.
The Gospel has always been accompanied by bloodshed. To the unregenerate man, the Gospel message is a message of death, either way, so why wouldn’t he hate the message as well as the messenger?
History bears this out.
Stephen, standing before the high priest and shouting, “Brothers and Fathers, hear me,” (Acts 7:2) before proclaiming Christ and Him crucified and being summarily stoned to death, Stephen stood first in a long line of those chosen to die for their faith.
Saul went about “breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord.” (Acts 9:1) He literally went door to door, dragging men, women, and children off to prison and death for being followers of the Way.
John the Baptist – beheaded
James – killed by the sword
Peter – crucified
Paul – beheaded
The list goes on. Despised and hated by both Romans and Jews, Christians wore a target squarely on their backs. The general persecutions of early Roman emperors gave way to the Great Persecution of 304-05 A.D. Christians were burned, stoned, crucified, and yes, thrown to the lions in the arena and amazingly…
…the Church exploded across the Roman empire.
Consider that within a generation of the Resurrection, there was a functioning church in Rome, the very seat of persecution.
Consider that the only thing that distinguished Christians from Jews, to the Romans, was the Christian refusal to rebel or resist. Rebellion doomed the Jews. Their third rebellion, the Bar Kokhba revolt, turned into a practical genocide.
Consider that the more Rome tried to annihilate Christianity, the faster it spread.
Consider that Constantine issued the Edict of Milan in 313 A.D., shortly after the Great Persecution, forbidding all forms of persecution against Christians. In 380 A.D., the Edict of Thessalonica established Christianity as the official religion of the Roman empire. That turned out to be a nearly fatal blow to the church, but the point is, the harder Rome tried to kill the church, the more it thrived, the more it grew.
Persecution purifies the church. Persecution strengthens the church.
It’s always been that way.
Christendom is the enemy of Christianity.
Liberty, though a great blessing, always leads to collusion. The sinful hearts of men guarantee it. Coerced virtue is not really virtue, especially virtue coerced at the hands of government or perceived benefit from that same virtue.
Western Christians revel in luxury.
We benefit from a society founded on Judeo-Christian principles, a society and culture, until recently, largely in cahoots with the Christain faith. A majority of Americans still identify as Christian though the fastest growing demographic is the ‘religiously unaffiliated’.
I may say what I want, preach what I want, proclaim where I like…for now, anyway, and what is the yield?
Comfort. Contentment. Inertia. No urgency. The religious equivalent of a 98-pound-weakling cowering in silence while the bully kicks sand in our face and steals our girlfriend.
The western church is persecuted subtly.
Peter describes Satan as a lion, prowling around to see who he might devour. (1 Peter 5:8) A Lion does not always charge right in for the kill. Sometimes he stalks his prey, encircles it, leads it unwittingly into a favorable position. Sometimes he works in a team.
Satan steadily, obscurely, tightens the noose around the collective neck of the western church.
Daily we feed our children into the fires of ungodly and intentional indoctrination that are our public schools. We send them to the university where the conversion is complete. Young people abandon the faith in droves.
We drown in cultural wickedness, swim in licentiousness.
Much persecution in the west consists of reviling, as the enemies of God leverage LGBTQ+ issues, women’s reproductive rights, and other issues to mischaracterize Christians and slander the Lord. A Christian today can expect to be categorized as hateful, mean, bigoted, spiteful, close-minded, narrow-minded, and discriminatory. The enemies of God will even use our faith against us branding us Un-Christlike, Un-Christian, Hypocrites even.
They grow in their audacity daily as reviling leads to social, political, cultural, and inevitably, legal ostracization. Look no further than to our friends to the north to see into the future of religious liberty in our nation.
At some point, you will be forced off the fence. You will have to pick a side. They will demand it.
And perhaps that is exactly what we need, maybe the sooner the better.
I pray for revival in the western church.
Maybe we need a good dose of hardship to get us there.
I hesitate in saying we ought to pray for persecution.
I pray that we’d utilize the liberty God has afforded us to continue the work of our fathers before us. I pray that we’d embrace political freedom as a tool of spiritual freedom, a means to proclaim truth. In military terminology, we’d use the freedom of maneuver afforded us in the west to advance the Kingdom of God.
It seems like we’re moving in the opposite direction. Chinese Christians, under great duress, literally cry upon receiving the privilege of owning a Bible, the very word of God. Most American Christians would have to blow the dust off of theirs.
God will build His church. Jesus promises it. I believe it.
It’s always been watered by the blood of the martyrs. Why would today be any different?
Maybe Trump has been good for the nation. Perhaps. Perhaps Clinton would have been better for the church, or Kim Jong Un. Perhaps we could’ve moved past collusion and into obvious opposition, which maybe, just maybe, is exactly what we need.
Okay, okay, I don’t know if Mayor Pete would get us there. I don’t know if he would institute outright and obvious persecution against the church, but it’s coming. It’s coming here in the west. Make no mistake. The nets are drawing up around us, even as we speak.
And though I don’t anticipate it, perhaps a healthy dose of hardship and persecution is exactly what the western church needs, to filter out pretension, burn away the chaff, and usher in revival.
Are you ready?
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.