Pastors it’s time…Take off your robes.

Reverend Johann Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg throwing off his robes, by Stanley Massey Arthurs, circa 1920.

Reverend Johann Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg throwing off his robes, by Stanley Massey Arthurs, circa 1920. Credit: Courtesy of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Photography by Sara Mummert

It was Sunday morning early in the year 1776. In the church where Pastor Muhlenberg preached, it was a regular service for his congregation but a quite different affair for Muhlenberg himself. Muhlenberg’s text for the day was Ecclesiastics 3 where it explains, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted….”1

Coming to the end of his sermon, Peter Muhlenberg turned to his congregation and said, “In the language of the holy writ, there was a time for all things, a time to preach and a time to pray, but those times have passed away.”2 As those assembled looked on, Pastor Muhlenberg declared, “There is a time to fight, and that time has now come!”3 Muhlenberg then proceeded to remove his robes revealing, to the shock of his congregation, a military uniform.

Marching to the back of the church he declared, “Who among you is with me?”2 On that day 300 men from his church stood up and joined Peter Muhlenberg. They eventually became the 8th Virginia Brigade fighting for liberty.

Read the rest here:  http://www.heritageofthefoundingfathers.com/article11.html

Holy Lattè Lazarus!

America has enjoyed a time in history unlike any other. A time of Grace. We’ve enjoyed peace, protection, and the ability to worship when, where, how, and if we choose to worship at all. We’ve not experienced too many negative consequences living out our faith in the public square.
In fact, I think it’s fair to say,  if you called yourself a Christian, you were probably celebrated!

During this time of grace, we’ve been very busy replacing outdated churches with massive beautiful mega temples filled with skinny jeans, coffee shops, books, and pillows. Happiness and sunshine has been our motto. Need a support group? We’ve got the one you need!

83_3214338For the most part, our churches have been divided, with walls between each other so we don’t have to interact. In my own small county, we have over 130 churches. Some are built on the same neighborhood block!

Because of the big buildings and massive operating costs, churches are forced to fill the pews. To this end, pastors have faced pressure to “lighten up” their sermons in effort to not offend anyone.  Sermons have turned into performances and beautiful additions to our latte lavished self-help books!

Our worship pastors have also felt the pressure to comply. In order to appease a new generation, worship services have turned to concert like atmospheres with lights, cameras, and even fog machines to add ambiance. The songs have turned from parallel worship (us to the King) to horizontal worship (about ourselves).

We are comfy critters!

Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with cool buildings, comfortable chairs, or styles of worship. Heaven knows there is nothing wrong with COFFEE!

The problem comes when our earthly creations and empires overshadow Jesus and become “too big” for the true gospel to be preached.  The problem comes when we pick and choose parts of Jesus and shut out the war that is raging for the heart and soul of the people.

The deadly problem rears its ugly head when we become so big we have to cleanse our sermons, bible studies, and worship services from anything that might offend someone.

We have been so overloaded on caffeine, fellowship,  and support groups, we didn’t notice what was happening outside the doors of the church. We have been so busy cleansing our religion, that we forgot to put on our spiritual armor and fight against the spirit of the age that is now literally at our doorstep.

158_2563467 (1)This month as Indiana tried to pass the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a massive war cry sounded from the left. We didn’t hear it.

The attack came, and we found ourselves with whipped cream on our top lip, and our mouth hanging open in SHOCK.  Surely this didn’t just happen in the Heartland of America…did it?

Many unsuspecting people of faith stood puzzled as they thought, “Ouch, that poke from the left hurt! Someone turn down the heat, someone called me a bigot!”

This battle even took out some of the good guys!

Thankfully the poke bothered us just enough to get our attention before the second wave began. Oh, yes, the second wave was just launched friend. The left has been empowered. They are playing for keeps. While we were jumping from potluck to the latest Christian concert, the enemy was loading their guns for the 2nd round.

What is the second round, and how can you prepare yourself?

Let me tip you off. The second round is a massive statewide push to pass LGBT anti discrimination laws. They would ultimately like to accomplish this at the statehouse level, but will be pacified to do it city-by-city. If they are able to accomplish this, your religious freedom, your right to believe in the biblical definition of marriage, and your right to live your life according to those principles will be gone. This kind of legislation brings in the laws like the gender neutrality bathrooms, ENDA, and the right of conscience to operated your businesses and churches. Some states have exemptions for religion, others don’t.  Government forced LGBT anti-discrimination laws and religious freedom cannot coexist.  You can have one, but not the other.

UntitledA perfect example of this is Elaine Photography. She would not photograph a same-sex wedding ceremony because of her biblical convictions, so because of the anti-discrimination laws in New Mexico, she was found in violation.

This is one example of thousands of possibilities. Many of the current, ongoing examples are written about in the book Undeniable. These are real cases with very serious consequences, and they are coming to the state of Indiana like a freight train if people of faith do not wake up.

You can bet the farm, the left will demand Indiana lawmakers pass a bill to create a protected class based on a sexual act. I imagine they have already whipped the votes. We saw a sample of the weak leadership and lack of spine two weeks ago when Brian Bosma and David Long tripped all over themselves to say that conservatives and religious freedom loving Hoosiers don’t speak for them.

It’s here, how do we prepare?

I opened this blog with the answer. It begins with our pastors and is followed by the people. It is time that pastors and religious leaders take off their robes, become citizens, and lead the fight to protect our religious freedom. It is time the congregation put down the cappuccino and put on their spiritual armor. It is time we stop playing games. As Pastor Muhlenberg expressed so long ago “There is a time to fight, and that time has now come!”

Pew sitters… I’m going to talk to us first. Lets take the shackles off our pastor’s feet and let him preach the Word of God. Determine now, to no longer have “roast pastor” for lunch every Sunday after church. It’s time we stop complaining about the worship, the length of the sermon, or the color of the pastor’s suit. We need to take our place and begin to pray for our leaders.

790_4550262It’s time we stop threatening the offering plate every time we don’t get our way. It’s time we be “Aaron and Hur ” for our pastors so when the darts begin to fly, they will not grow weary. Friends, we are responsible for the silent pulpit. Free your pastor. Most importantly, pray for him like you have never prayed before.

It is now time for believers in Jesus to rise up and take your place. It is time that we take a crash course on how to fight spiritual wars and WIN. It’s so late in the game, you might need the cliff notes version! It is time we stop bickering over the little things and unite for the cause of FREEDOM! It is time we fall on our knees and repent for our apathy. When we repent… he has promised us he would hear us and heal our land. I believe that promise.

Pastors, Shepherds, Leaders… You are free. It is time to finish your sermon, remove your robe, and as Muhlenberg did, put on your military uniform, only this time the war is spiritual, and unlike anything we’ve ever faced.

Put on your spiritual armor and take back what the enemy has stolen.

Will you lose some of your congregants? Yes, you probably will.

Will you offend your congregants? Yes, you probably will.

Will you lose your 501c3? Probably, but frankly, you are going to lose that anyway.

Do you trust God to handle the details? 

Look again at the story above.  Three hundred men followed him out of the church. Americans are starving for leadership. They won’t find it at the white house. They won’t find it at their state legislature… will they find it in the house of God?

 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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