An Editorial by Eric Smith
(November 10, 2006)
My plan is that this be the first of a weekly blog. It
is possible that I will miss a week here and there, but I will do my best not
to. If you, the reader want to respond, please do. Feel free to email me here...
rohas1#11th-hour.info replace the # with a
@. (we have to do that due to so many spam programs scanning websites for
I would like to first to apologize. I have been lax in my
responsibility to this website, to all those who faithfully labor in this work
and above all to Jesus Christ. I have not contributed as much as I should.
Telling myself that I am too busy, at the same time my work load is half what it
used to be. I have let financial and family pressure distract me from what I
believe to be a very important task.
I have failed to notice that having less work equals more
time that should be split between writing and my family. As for the financial
problems…the bills are paid and no one is going hungry. God provides, not always
in a way that we want or even understand, but he does provide.
The question is, am I willing to conform to his will? He has
given me the time, the desire and he has promised to provide for my needs. The
Holy Spirit certainly has not stopped bugging me with the need to do more.
One of our number recently received a email thanking him for
an article that connected the dots for the author of the email. He said that he
had been wondering about problems he saw in the Church and now he understood
what was bothering him. His new concern was, “what do I do now?”
That is a very good question, what are we supposed to do now.
For several years we have been warning people that the apostasy Paul warns us of
in 2 Thes 2:3 is here now! Many think we are crazy. They look around;
they see church attendance up since 9-11 and ask, with so many people turning to
Christ how can we see that as a falling away.
I will grant them some ground, church attendance is up. What
did all these new Christians go looking for and what did they find?
In the wake of 9-11 most went looking for comfort. From those
who had never stepped a foot inside a church, to those who felt it might be a
good idea to renew their faith. Comfort is not a bad reason to go to church.
Comfort is something you will find in Christ. Is there anything more comforting
than the fact that God gave of himself so that sinners like us might be forgiven
and have a place in Christ’s Kingdom? I can’t think of anything.
They went looking for comfort and unfortunately they found
it. They found it in “Prosperity” Churches, in “Purpose Driven” Churches,
“Welcoming and Affirming” Churches and churches that don’t utter a word about
sin or repentance lest they should offend someone or scare them off. They found
comfort in churches that soothed their itchy ears with talk of Just War Doctrine
and Americas Christian foundations. They found Pastors that filled their heads
with the idea that electing the right people and passing the right laws would
make Gods face shine upon us as a nation once again.
Very few of them found comfort in Christ because; quite
simply they were never shown him. This is the apostasy Paul warned us of. It’s
not people leaving the Church. It is the Church leaving Christ. I can’t stress
Of course there are some Bible believing, Christ centered
churches out there. They tend to be small, unassuming and do not offer the
technology or social status of the larger warm and fuzzy churches. It is hard
for them to hold on to new members if they are unwilling to bend to the ways of
the world. This is not a complaint, just an observation.
So what do you do if you wake up one day and discover you are
in one of these apostate churches? Do you run for the hills, go looking for a
Christ centered church where you can fellowship with other like minded
Christians? This is an option and it is a good one for many people. I would
never question someone’s decision to do that, fellowship is important. Almost
twenty years ago I walked away from the church I grew up in because I thought I
could maintain my relationship with Christ all by my onesies. (And because some
people in the church did not like my Harley, might have been some pride involved
there.) I was wrong. It has been a long hard road, but I have learned that
fellowship with like minded Christians who seek to do Gods will is very
Esther 4:13 Then Mordecai commanded to answer
Esther, “Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house,
more than all the Jews. 14 For if thou altogether hold thy peace at this
time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from
another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who
knows whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
I am asking you to consider another option… Stand and fight.
This network we have here can’t reach everyone. You the reader, if you agree
with what we have been saying, know better how to apply it to the people you
share a pew with. I am not suggesting that you go to church next Sunday, boot
your pastor off the pulpit and take over. That won’t work. I would also caution
against trying to do anything from a position of leadership within your church.
I tried that, it doesn’t work. You can not involve yourself with the day to day
business of your church, which I guarantee you is not being done in anyway that
the Apostles would recognize, while trying to show them that changes must be
You find yourself conflicted, contradicting yourself, talking
to yourself and looking for excuses not to go to church at all. This is where I
found myself when we received the email I mentioned earlier. I had quit my
position telling them I was quite finished banging my head against the wall.
Before I knew it I hadn’t been to church all summer and realized that I had been
ducking my pastor’s attempts to meet with me.
My suggestion, if you choose the stand and fight option, is
to do so quietly but firmly. Attend the adult Sunday School class or the
Wednesday night Bible study. Be willing to challenge the teacher or pastor if
you hear something that does not agree with scripture. Try to always speak from
a position of humility and try not to let it become an argument. That takes the
attention off of Christ and the Bible and shines it on you. It isn’t about you,
it isn’t about me. It’s about Christ. My wife described something I said in
church a couple of weeks ago as putting someone in their place. I am sure that
is exactly how it came across to everyone else listening as well. This isn’t how
I intended it to sound, just a small example of what can happen when you forget
to put Christ first.
Don’t expect people to fall at your feet and thank you for
showing them the light. Instead expect exactly the opposite. As time goes by
they will begin to understand that you are challenging their beliefs. They will
not like that. You will be accused of all kinds of things. You will be called
judgmental, unloving even unchristian. You may never see any results or a change
in people, changing people is the job of the Holy Spirit.
Most importantly, and should have been stated first. Don’t go
it alone. Christ is your strength and your wisdom; let your words be his words.
Your most important weapon is prayer, never forget that.
Mark 13:9 But take heed to yourselves: for they
shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten:
and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony
against them. 10 And the gospel must first be published among all nations.
11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought
beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever
shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak,
but the Holy Ghost.
Luke 21:12 But before all these, they shall lay
their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues,
and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake.
13 And it shall turn to you for a testimony. 14 Settle it therefore in your
hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: 15 For I will give you
a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay
What a promise. No matter how
bad it gets, Jesus will provide the words through the Holy Spirit. You may never
get hauled in front of a judge or government official, but I believe this
promise stands whenever, wherever we speak Gods truth.
E. D. Smith
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