The Church and the Culture
A few years ago, George Barna conducted a poll entitled, "What Would People Like to Hear About in Church Sermons?" The poll showed the broad interest Christians have in topics regarding governance and related social issues. When asked about interest in these topics, a clear majority of Christians expressed a desire to learn more:
Abortion - 91%
beginning of life, right to life, contraception, adoption, unwed mothers
Religious persecution/liberty - 86%
personal duty vs. government duty, church response, global conditions
Poverty - 85%
personal duty vs. government role, church response, homelessness, hunger, dependency
Cultural restoration - 83%
appropriate morals, law and order, defensible values and norms, self-government
Sexual identity - 82%
same-sex marriage, transgenderism, marriage, LGBT
Israel - 80%
role in the world, Christian responsibility to Israel, US foreign policy toward Israel and her enemies
Christian Heritage - 79%
role of Christian faith in American history, the church's role in U.S. development, modern-day relevance
Role of Government - 76%
biblical view, church-state relationship, personal responsibility, limitations
Bioethics - 76%
cloning, euthanasia, genetic engineering, cryogenics, organ donation, surrogacy
Self-governance - 75%
biblical support, personal conduct, impact on freedom, national sovereignty
Church in politics/government - 73%
separation of church and state, legal boundaries, church resistance to government
Islam - 72%
core beliefs, response to Islamic aggression, a threat to U.S. peace and domestic tranquility.
According to Mark Burrell in his book Rediscovering the American Covenant, people were asking for biblical guidance on these issues, which are certainly some of the most relevant and important of our time. The survey also asked pastors if they had plans to discuss these topics from the pulpit. The results? Only 14% answered “Yes.”(2)
I wasn’t surprised to see these percentages - I’ve encountered far more opposition in the church from pastors and leaders than I have the average church member when speaking of these issues.
Most pastors either:
don’t see them as biblical topics (FIGURE THAT ONE OUT!);
are afraid of the IRS;
think the topics are too divisive (as though God’s Word shouldn’t be divisive at times);
are controlled by the fear of man (loss of members, job, status in the community, etc);
consider these subjects as “political,” therefore off-limits at church;
consider them as personal matters, and therefore, should not be discussed at church;
or, don’t want to take the time to study and research the topics well enough to bring informed, biblical teaching.
And if you think these stats are inaccurate, or that I am wrong about my assertions, ask yourself how long it has been since your pastor has addressed these issues. Sadly, most of you will have to answer, “Never.” Most pastors have chosen, for one reason or another, to ignore parts of Scripture.
Now you know why:
the majority of the church in America has an unbiblical worldview;
most Christians won’t make a stand against abortion and for life;
many Christians will vote for politicians who are liberal, woke, pro-abortion, and have other non-biblical beliefs;
many professing Christians believe there is more than one path/way to salvation/God;
many professing Christians believe homosexuality, transgenderism - including the permanent mutilation of children, adultery, sex outside of marriage, same-sex marriage, and other sinful lifestyles are fine;
many believers know little about America’s Christian heritage;
many churches are lukewarm social clubs; and last, but certainly not least,
we lost a generation to drugs, sexual perversion, and gender confusion; and also to godless, secularistic, humanistic, Marxist, and woke ideologies.(1)
This is why we contend for a Third Great Awakening, a sweeping revival of historic proportions, America’s only hope for true and lasting change. Then, and only then, can the reformations we need in all other areas occur. We must have both: revival and reformation. Today, as we command God’s foreword over America, I end with quotes from two of America’s great early patriots who had no problem mixing God and government.
The great Samuel “Sam” Adams was known as the “Father of the American Revolution,” instigated the Boston Tea Party, signed the Declaration of Independence, and called for the first Continental Congress. After the Declaration of Independence was signed, some wept, others bowed their heads in prayer. Samuel Adams rose and stated:(2)
“We have this day restored the Sovereign, to Whom alone men ought to
be obedient. He reigns in heaven and…from the rising to the setting of the sun, may His kingdom come.”(3)
Our sixth President, John Quincy Adams, the son of John and Abigail, was a brilliant man; he was actually serving America’s government at 14 years of age!”(4) On July 4, 1801, America’s 25th birthday, he made the following momentous statement:
“The highest glory of the American Revolution was this; it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity…”(5)
Pray with me:
Father, as we command the foreword today, agreeing with America’s Founders, we are also agreeing with You - saying what You said, which is the definition of biblical confession. We are decreeing Your Kingdom will and purposes; and we are producing the synergy of the ages, allowing You to perfect and complete today what You started through these early leaders (Hebrews 11:39-40).
We agree with Sam Adams, declaring that when America was born, the will of our sovereign God was released, He to whom alone men ought to be obedient. Our God reigns in heaven, and…from the rising to the setting of the sun, His Kingdom will come. We agree with John Quincy Adams, declaring the highest glory of the American Revolution to have been that it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity. We command these truths back into the core of American life and thinking.
We ask for fire to return to America’s churches, the fires of revival. We ask for bold, fearless, biblical preaching and teaching to be resurrected. We ask that passion for You and Your presence would return, an insatiable hunger for You and Your Word. Convict us where we have bowed to an unbiblical government, the culture around us, unrighteous education systems, and mooring-less courts and judges. Forgive us for allowing these and other things to steal the seed of Your Word, causing it to be unfruitful. We have built upon the sand, and our nation is crumbling.
Bring the merciful shaking of which You spoke and cause the unbiblical foundations to fall, then restore us to Your roots and foundations. Send revival here and around the world. We pray these things in Christ’s name, amen.
We declare that the shaking of America - here and coming - will be merciful and redemptive, restoring us to our God and His purposes.
Click on the link below to watch the full video.
Adapted from Rediscovering the American Covenant, Mike Burrell (Washington, D.C.: Ballast Books, LLC, 2022), pp. 28-29.
Marshall, Peter and Manuel, David. The Light and the Glory (Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell, 1977). pp. 307, 309.
William J. Federer, America’s God and Country (Coppell, TX: FAME Publishing, Inc., 1994), p. 23.
Ibid. p. 15.
Ibid. p. 18.