In 1918, Pastor John Quincy Henry of First Baptist Church in San Francisco, held an outdoors meeting and blamed the churches for the Spanish flu epidemic. He said, “Churches have been lamentably weak in moral and spiritual leadership and have not yet risen to the august occasion confronting them. Our churches have become conventional, cowardly and worldly. Not only the people, but the churches must repent their sins, and when they do the plagues will cease” (The American Influenza Epidemic of 1918-1919: A Digital Encyclopedia). The situation hasn’t changed in nearly 100 years. The bottom line today, as then, is that America needs to repent of her wickedness before God, and that is doubly true for the churches. Radical political action and multi-trillion dollar national debts will not solve America’s ills, because the fundamental issue is her terrible sin against the God that has shown her such light and mercy. And the very root of it all is the apostasy, corruption, compromise, worldliness, and lukewarmness in the churches. And that includes the majority of the most staunchly conservative, evangelical, “fundamentalist,” Baptist! From my perspective, most Bible-believing churches in America are lukewarm at best. One pastor wrote to me recently as follows: “Will independent fundamental Baptist pastors cancel their services and keep their church doors closed if this goes on for months? If they do, I believe that their people will get so used to watching church online that they won’t see the need to assemble together as a real church.” I replied, “I would say that if church members would stop attending church because of a few week’s closure, they shouldn’t be church members in the first place. That isn’t a regenerate church membership. And this is truly the fundamental issue–the sad spiritual state of the vast majority of so-called Bible-believing churches.” I believe that the promise of God to Solomon at the dedication of the temple has a proper application to God’s people in America today. “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). What happens in God’s house dramatically affects the White House. It’s high time to exchange a frivolous, fun and games entertainment program with a thin veneer of religiosity, for a program of serious prayer, serious Bible study, serious Bible preaching with exegetical substance and plain reproof and rebuke, serious holiness, serious separation from the wickedness of this fallen world, serious pilgrim Christianity, serious Christian living in the homes, being serious about the fathers being the heads of the homes and the mothers being the keepers of the home, serious about putting God’s will before economics, serious training of children and discipling of youth, and above all, serious about a regenerate church membership!
(Friday Church News Notes, April 10, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)