I think it’s time to acknowledge the state of our campaign and admit defeat. We should admit our ineffectiveness and concede this age in church history for America as one in which the Kingdom has given ground to the Adversary. In short, we concede that our fear of being labeled has rendered the church silent and ineffective, virtually impotent in this present age. And a lack of confidence in the veracity and applicability of the Bible to our present culture has muted our voice and has minimized our influence.
Our attempts to become culturally relevant have resulted in an unexpected timidity; confrontation and controversy are avoided as something inherently wrong rather than used to gently and appropriately demonstrate genuine love and thereby effect a positive change. This timidity has been fueled in part from the much publicized accounts of hypocrisy and judgmental attitudes. We sadly accept that in many cases these claims have a basis in reality. Far too often, we have judged the sinner along with the sin, and we have valued a virtue over the worth of an individual. In the process, we have ignored the very hope of our own salvation: God’s mercy and grace, which overlooks our own short-comings in preference to His great love for us.
In addition, we recognize the effectiveness of our Adversary’s “fundamentalist” campaign which has convinced both the general populace as well as Christians that God’s word and our experience of God’s truth is somehow an inappropriate input for our dialogue with others in: the work place, the street corner, schools and homes. In essence, we have chosen to rely upon other sources of information for our apologetic and passively agreed by our actions that God’s word is an opinion rather than fact, and by implication, it is an opinion to which we only meekly agree and which carries no more weight than any other man’s belief. We have refused to use our one weapon in demolishing unhealthy thought patterns: the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.
This acknowledgement, however, is not one of resignation. Rather, it is a pronouncement of resolution: “though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again” (Proverbs 24:16) In the grace and power of God, we shall overcome. Every day is a new beginning and today is such a day. We will start anew, knowing what has transpired and eager to apply our knowledge with greater vigor. Learning from our history, we shall not repeat it. With God’s help we will learn to discern the sinful behavior that destroys lives while lovingly engaging individuals ensnared by the twisted lies of our common Adversary. And with God’s help, we will enter each discussion with a care for winning the person rather than the argument.
NOTE: the continuation of http://mitchellmalloy.blogspot.com/2012/07/scriptural-perspective-on-spiritual.html will be published in the future.