Where Was the Church All This Time?

By Al Benson Jr.

Back during the 1970s and 80s Francis Schaeffer wrote a whole series of books that catered to a broadly evangelical audience. I didn’t read all of them but I did read a few, and some of them, to be honest, left me a little flat. Dr. Schaeffer passed away in 1984, I believe, but toward the end of his writing career (which was only one part of his ministry) he wrote a couple books that seemed to me to indicate that something had awakened him to where the country and the church in this country were really at.

He wrote A Christian Manifesto in which he noted through biblical history how many people that the Lord had blessed had disobeyed their rulers because their rulers were acting in open defiance of God’s will. One Bible verse he noted in this aspect was Acts 5:29. This was in reference to Peter and the other apostles preaching about Jesus and His resurrection in Jerusalem. They had been forbidden by the Jewish religious establishment from doing this. They were dragged in front of the high priest and the council for this and the high priest asked them directly, as noted in Acts 5:28 “Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” How conveniently they forgot their own statements, uttered in Matthew 27:25, when, after Pilate had washed his hands, they stated: “Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.” Remember that statement guys? Oh I realize you got the multitude to shout it, but it was your sentiment. Has it ever occurred to you that you got only what you asked for?

But in reply to the religious establishment’s command to stop preaching in Jesus’ name, Peter said: “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). The Bible sets a precedent, regardless of how Romans 13 is misrepresented, that says there are certain places where it is the bounden duty of believers to resist and disobey government. If government commands you to do that which is contrary to God’s will, then you have to obey God rather than man.

Another interesting book that Dr. Schaeffer wrote toward the end of his life was The Great Evangelical Disaster. I had this on my shelf for years and never got to it, but in recent weeks I pulled it down and opened it and was surprised at how accurately Dr. Schaeffer had described what is going on in this country, and others, in our own day.

He wrote, in 1984 (the year is interesting) that: “Something happened during the last sixty years—something which cut the moral foundation out from under our culture. Devastating things have come in every area of our culture, whether it be law or government, whether it is in the schools, our local communities or in the family. And these have happened within the lifetime of many who are reading this book. Our culture has been squandered and lost, and largely thrown away. Indeed, to call it a moral breakdown puts it mildly. Morality itself has been turned on its head with every form of moral perversion being praised and glorified in the media and the world of entertainment.” And, at this point in time, you could add the federal government to that list. Sounds just like today doesn’t it? And this was written over thirty years ago. While I might not totally agree with Schaeffer’s timeline for all this (I think it started earlier) the thing is that he has seen the problem. He noted the great burst of freedom brought about by the Protestant Reformation, and he said: “The freedoms which grew out of this were tremendous; and yet, with the forms grounded in a biblical consensus or ethos, the freedoms did not lead to chaos” as much of our so-called “freedom” today does.

And Schaeffer noted, quite accurately, that: “Sixty years ago could we have imagined that unborn children would be killed by the millions here in our own country? Or that we would have no freedom of speech when it comes to speaking of God and biblical truth in our public schools? Or that every form of sexual perversion would be promoted by the entertainment media? Or that marriage, raising children, and family life would be objects of attack? Sadly we must say that very few Christians have understood the battle we are in. Very few have taken a strong and courageous stand against the world spirit of this age as it destroys our culture and the Christian ethos that once shaped our country.” He noted that this is a “life and death struggle over life on this earth.” He asked also “Why has the Christian ethos in our culture been squandered? Why do we have so little impact upon the world today? Is it not because we have failed to take the primary battle seriously?” He asked penetrating questions—questions that most Christians today do not even begin to want to deal with. Having to wrestle with these things would require Christian responsibility and much of the church today is not having any of that. Years ago I spent a goodly amount of time in an evangelical church and looking at the things those folks didn’t want to deal with was an exercise in futility. In most cases, for some of them, it was much easier to just put the messenger out of his misery than it was to deal with anything he said. I recall, one time, they had a guest preacher for one Sunday morning (he never got an invite to come back) and he told the congregation, quite plainly, some of the issues they needed, as Christians, to be aware of and he named names as to people and organizations that were contributing to the neutralization of Christianity. You could feel the discomfort in the congregation. They didn’t want to hear it. One man said, on the way out, “we don’t need any of this right wing stuff.” Yes, you did need it, but you didn’t want it and it wasn’t “right wing stuff” it was the truth! I told the preacher as I was leaving “You didn’t make any friends here today.” I agreed with his comments and there was one other lady there that was not unsympathetic, but his sermon covered territory evangelicals should have known about and didn’t want to be bothered with. The rest couldn’t get out fast enough!

Sadly, this is where most of the church is today. If you try to give them any truth you are some kind of a “right winger” or even worse yet, you are being “negative.” And that’s the most cardinal sin in evangelicalism today—being “negative.” Many Christians would much prefer a lot of “lovey-dovey” nonsense than having to deal with the truth—because the truth is often negative and history is often a real mess, and yet we have to deal with what is, not what we’d like to have.

What Dr. Schaeffer may not have recognized, (at least he didn’t write about it) is that much of the horrible downturn in our culture has not been by accident or by natural degeneration, though that has occurred.

Look at the history of the public school system in this country since its inception. It was the creation of Unitarians and socialists and they had a worldview that contributed to the cultural downturn due to their anti-Christian worldviews. I have always found it interesting that one of the first things the federal government did in the South after they were victorious in the shooting part of the War of Northern Aggression was to bring the public education system, replete with Yankee/Marxist teachers, into the South to “educate” the “rebels’ children.” This was cultural genocide, still being practiced today, and it’s a real downer when it comes to uplifting the culture. This was not by accident.

And even in the 20th century, when the Frankfurt School and John Dewey were putting the final socialist touches on American public education—where was the Church? Why didn’t they have some clue as to what was going on? Did they even care? Because it seems that they had no clue, we have the educational mess we have today and sadly, many Christians rush to defend that against such “primitive” concepts at Christian education and home schooling. Yet another example of many Christians coming down on the wrong side of history. Instead of defending what the Church was doing, though the Church didn’t do it perfectly, they opposed it and stood up for what Marx’s disciples were planning for their children. When the pastor of your church comes to your house and tries to talk you into putting your kids in public school instead of giving them a Christian education at home, then you have to realize that the Church has major problems!

So you will have to pardon me if I ask “where was the Church all this time?” It seems we’ve mostly been out to lunch for the past 150 years! Please understand, there are exceptions to this, but unfortunately, not enough. Not what there should be. The leadership in this country, in just about all areas, is at war with the Christian faith and their agenda is to destroy it—and maybe replace it with the Muslim faith. I have to wonder when the Christians will wake up and smell the coffee.

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7 thoughts on “Where Was the Church All This Time?

  1. Well said sir! I have heard of, but have not read his work. Perhaps I should. The Lord didn’t bless me with a family(my loss), so it may be easy for me to say, but it’s a shame when Christians send their children to government schools! It’s almost all indoctrination & the parents seem to be clueless & then cry about how they turn out! They don’t seem to see a connection! Not all children that go to government schools turn out wrong, but why take the risk? I have a book from years ago called “Like Lambs to the Slaughter” about this very thing. The title says it all!

    • Larry,
      It’s truly a shame when Christians send their kids to public schools and then get angry when someone tries to tell them what those schools are really all about.

      It’s also tragic when you see Christian parents who have been awakened to what goes on and they try to resist, only to be beaten down (literally) by government for daring to protest the junk their kids are being fed. Another book you might find informative along that line is one I have mentioned in the past–Protester Voices–the 1974 Textbook Tea Party by Karl Priest. It has to do with the textbook protest in Kanawha County, West Virginia from about 1974 to 1976. You can still find it on Amazon I believe. Mr. Priest, a former public school teacher, and now the head of Exodus Mandate for West Virginia, is a Fundamentalist Christian who now dedicates his efforts to getting kids out of public schools.

  2. WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE CHURCH? BY STEVE FINNELL
    The question has been asked “Of what church are you a member?” I am a member of the church that Jesus owns.

    WHAT CHURCH?

    Acts 20:28 Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

    I am a member of the church of God which Jesus purchased with His own blood.

    Romans 16:16 …..all the churches of Christ greet you.

    I am a member of the church of Christ.

    Galatians 1:22 I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea which are in Christ.

    I am a member of the church that is in Christ.

    1 Thessalonians 2:14 For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea……

    I am a member of the church of God in Christ.

    I am a member of the church of the Messiah.

    I am a member of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    I am a member of the church of the King of Kings.

    I am a member of the church of the Lord of Lord’s.

    I am a member of the church of the Lamb of God.

    I am a member of the church of the Prince of Peace.

    I am a member of the church of the Son of Man.

    I am am member of the church of God’s only begotten Son.

    I am a member of the church of the Living God.

    I am a member of the church of Jesus Christ the Son of God.

    My church membership is written in the Lamb’s book of life. (Rev. 20:15, Rev. 21:17)

    The Lord adds the saved to His church. (Acts 2:47 … and the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.)

    Jesus gave the instruction on how to be saved and added them to His church. (Mark 16:16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved….)

    THE CHURCHES I AM NOT A MEMBER OF

    The church of King Henry the VIII.
    The church of Alexander Campbell.
    The church of the Pope.
    The church of John Calvin.
    The church Eudorus N. Bell.
    The church of Alexander Mack.
    The church of Mary Baker Eddy.
    The church of Joseph March.
    The church of John Knox.
    The church of Freemasons.
    The church of Charles Taze Russell.
    The church Martin Luther.
    The church of Menno Simons.
    The church of Joseph Smith.
    The church of George Fox.
    The church of William Booth.
    The church of Ellen G. White.
    The church of Herbert W. Armstrong.
    The church of John Smythe.
    The churches of Catholics.
    The churches of Lutherans.
    The churches of Baptists.
    The churches of Methodists.
    The churches of Episcopalians.
    The churches of Pentecostals.
    The churches of Mormons.
    The churches of the Salvation Army.
    The Christian church.

    Christians do not own the church. All Christians are part of the body of Christ, however, they did not purchase the church. Christians are part of the Lord’s church, but it is not their church. I do not belong to the “Christian” Church.

    You can join a denomination, but the Lord adds the saved to His church.

    YOU CANNOT JOIN THE LORD’S CHURCH!

    YES, I AM A MEMBER OF THE church of CHRIST. Why, because the Lord adds the saved to His church.

    THE LORD ADDS ALL THOSE, TO HIS CHURCH, WHO HAVE OBEYED HIS TERMS FOR PARDON.

    FAITH: John 3:16
    REPENTANCE: Acts 2:38
    CONFESSION: Romans 10:9-10
    BAPTISM: (IMMERSION IN WATER) 1 Peter 3:21

    THEN, THE LORD ADDS YOU TO HIS CHURCH!

    Posted by Steve Finnell at 11:18 AM No comments:
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