The Greatest Threat
By: Jim O'Brien
Several years ago, a U.S. President made the shocking statement that the greatest threat to the United States was not the Russians or the Chinese but the public education system in the United States which has undermined a belief in the values of the country. He went on to say that if an enemy power had done this to us, we would go to war against them.
His words echo Abraham Lincoln who said, "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."
Recently a political commentator agreed that today, the greatest threat to America remains, the public school system which undermines the God-given rights outlined in our constitution.
It may seem unpatriotic but I disagree with the above statements. The greatest threat to America is the churches in this country. There has never been a time in our national history that Christian churches have been so opposed to the clear teachings of the Bible.
At this time a major denomination is going through a division that is defined by a leading Bishop who outlined five categories of contention. First, she contends that the Bible is not the inspired word of God. In her opinion, and the opinion of other church leaders, the Bible is no more the word of God than any other religious book. Second, she believes that Jesus was not born of a virgin. Third, she states that the concept that any god who would offer his son to die such a cruel death to pay for sins committed by another is both unjust and untrue. Fourth, she believes that Jesus did not rise from the dead and fifth, that Jesus is not returning to the earth in any form to establish a righteous reign on earth.
If this learned Doctor of Theology were the only person in her denomination who believed such things, it may not be significant. However, the majority of the denomination’s leaders either agree or are too timid to resist. Because the church is splitting over these issues.
If this were a small denomination, or the only one that was facing such a crisis it would be less noteworthy. But Christian churches are splitting over moral questions such as abortion, marriage, homosexuality, and sexual identification.
Recently a teacher in a Christian school attended by three of my grandchildren graduated from a prominent Protestant Seminary. He has a wife and three children and has been teaching elementary school for several years. He has decided that he is homosexual, has left his wife and children and decided to pursue a career in theology. He claims to be supported by his seminary friends. More to the point, he says that any man who loves Jesus is a de facto advocate of homosexuality.
Guess who he blamed for his choice to get married and become a father? He blamed the Church. The Church was such a controlling factor in his life that it coerced him into doing things he did not want to do—like marry a woman and become the father of innocent children.
Now, he sees the Church as repentant since it has encouraged him to reject his family and start a new life pursuing his passions.
Is this a denominational aberration? No less a figure than former President Jimmy Carter has said, "I believe that Jesus would approve of gay marriage."
Maybe you’ve heard of Chrislam. It is the term used to describe churches that are a combination of Christian and Islamic beliefs. It sounds ideal to have unity. The problem is that Islam rejects the concept of the divinity of Christ. He was just a nice guy but not God in the flesh.
These teachings are not new to the world. Paul wrote to the Church at Corinth to ask, "how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?" Then Paul declared, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith." If those words were not strong enough, Paul continues, "If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins." And this is followed by one of the saddest statements in the Bible. "If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied" (1 Corinthians 15:13-19).
Intellectuals, even theological intellectuals, have a right NOT to believe the Bible or not believe the patriarchs. But they have no right to call themselves "Christian" when they reject Jesus as the Son of God. It would be as if the state of New York called itself Texas. It is not Texas; it is New York. Neither is a church Christian when it doesn’t believe Jesus is the resurrected Son of God.
Our nation is founded on the concept that our rights come from God. Schools could not abandon that teaching if Christians and Jews did not permit it.
The greatest threat to our nation is Christians that don’t believe.
Until next time,
November 4, 2022
Pastor, Church of God Cincinnati
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