The Decline and Fall of the Church in America
I preface this article with the following: I use the term Evangelical Church as a catch-all term intended to include the large and diverse collection of Orthodox Denominational Churches, Non-Denominational Churches, Independent Christians and others, all who adhere to a Conservative, literal interpretation of Biblical Doctrine, the Divinity of Christ, the Resurrection, ascension and position of Christ as the ONLY way to Salvation.
I use the term Apostate Church in the same way to describe the Liberal, Universalist, relativist, feel good Church Movements that have abandoned sound doctrine, for false teachings which dismiss the divinity of Christ, the Sinful nature of man and the singular way to salvation that is in Christ Jesus. These include everything from the ‘word-faith’ movement to the current relativism based liberal theology and the Emergent Church movement all of whom have abandoned solid Biblical Theology.
2Ti 4:1-5 Therefore I solemnly witness before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who is going to judge the living and the dead according to His appearance and His kingdom, preach the Word, be instant in season and out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine. For a time will be when they will not endure sound doctrine, but they will heap up teachers to themselves according to their own lusts, tickling the ear. And they will turn away their ears from the truth and will be turned to myths. But you watch in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fully carry out your ministry.
When I was growing up, in the mid-sixties, the popular culture of the day was built around an upbeat and perhaps slightly naïve picture of how life ‘should’ be. Despite the increasing horror in Vietnam and the death of JFK our society, as a whole, maintained a relatively positive self-image, a picture of who we were and what we stood for. While everyone knew that real families looked very different from the Cleavers, still, that was the model for how we saw ourselves. Back then most families went to church and while we all knew that we could never truly emulate Jesus’ sinless life, He and His life were admired and aspired to. Wholesome, I think, best sums up that national self-image. That was certainly the case in the Christian community and because Biblical Christianity was the moral center for the Country it translated to secular society as well.
While real America may have been something other than ideal, it was the fact that in our hearts we identified with the Cleavers, in our hearts we desperately wanted to live like Jesus and in our hearts we wished to be wholesome. Our hearts! That is what God is interested in.
Mat_13:15 for this people's heart has become gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and they have closed their eyes, lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them."
Somewhere in the early Sixties America lost that wholesome heart and in many ways America lost her soul. The late sixties and early seventies ushered in a period of time that changed our country in ways that have had devastating repercussions.
The moral compass for America has, since its founding, been the teachings of the Bible. The majority of our founders were believers in Jesus Christ and many were ardent scholars of the Bible. Even those who were not practicing Christians still believed in the value of the Bible for moral and practical guidance and the writings of the founders confirm this as do nearly all documents from that period. When America gained her independence, those who had risked everything to found a true Republican Democracy by and for the people gathered together and dedicated this new country to God.
After its founding the country grew and prospered. Even as she went through her growing pains the country gained strength and resolve. In every new town one of the first buildings erected was the town church. Sundays were devoted to God and families lived according to Biblical principles. The country flourished and I believe that it was in no small part because we were, for the most part, a Godly country. Of course there were those who had no use for religion or faith. There were those who simply had no interest or need that they could see for a God and of course there were the lawless ones who lived by no law whatsoever, man’s or God’s. If a church was one of the first buildings erected in a new town it was usually followed, or just as often preceded by a saloon.
That being said, once again it comes down to the heart. It was the heart of the country that counted and it was firmly in God’s hands! Humans are incapable of living sinless lives perfectly pleasing to God. But we are capable of wanting to! Until just a few decades ago the vast majority of Americans believed in the God of the Bible and, to one degree or another, desired to please Him. Even through the eras of Darwinian Evolution and the ‘new’ science America preserved its Christian heritage and its heart. That began to change drastically with the sixties and from that decade forward this country has seen a significant and increasingly vicious assault on the Christian Faith. The hedonism of the sixties with its ‘do whatever you want’ philosophy and simultaneous search for new sources of ‘spiritual enlightenment’ resulted in a generation that abandoned the values of their fathers (and the country’s founders) and forged a new moral benchmark which, for the most part was ironically devoid of morals altogether. “If it feels good – do it!” was the slogan of the day.
Romans 1:21-23, "For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures."
Throughout that period people kept asking: “Where is the church?”
The answer to that question is simple - For the most part, the churches were packed. Sundays would find the neighborhood church filled with distraught, angry and somewhat frightened Christians as preachers railed against the hippies, rock music and the satanic new age spirituality that was taking their children away from them. American society had changed so quickly and so drastically that the churches simply could not acclimate fast enough. The result was that their angry sermons did nothing to comfort or guide their concerned flock, only serving to frighten them all the more and widen the divide between the generations. Compounding matters, on the television, slick televangelists were bilking the well-meaning out of millions. As the elderly gave their last dollars so God wouldn’t call their favorite TV preacher home, that same preacher was using their money to support a lifestyle of shameless excess. Meanwhile, very few Christians were actually reaching out to try to save this lost generation. Although a number of Churches did attempt to point out to these lost sheep the error of their ways, their method of holier than thou condemnation and fiery judgmental finger pointing only served to alienate them further. Only a handful of churches were sending missionaries out to actually share Christ’s love with the lost sheep of that generation. Most churches would not even allow them in their doors because of their hair and the way they dressed – and smelled.
With the sixties the very nature of popular culture began to change as well. There was a new media as Television, now more reliable, sharper and in rich living color, fully came into its own. Other new technologies such as transistors and signals delivered over cable widened the scope of the entertainment industry. There began to be a great deal of money and, perhaps more importantly, influence to be had. Rock bands began to bring in millions of dollars and with their newfound wealth they indulged in a lifestyle of hedonistic excess that historically could only be matched by pagan Rome. The movie industry could take a nobody and elevate them to super-stardom over night. More and more young people were being attracted to this worldly movement of laissez faire immoral excess. The churches began to become empty of young people. Only their parents and grandparents were left to pray for them. Fortunately, their prayers were sufficient.
James 5:16, "Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much."
God can turn evil to good as we well know and in their search for spiritual enlightenment a large number of the ‘hippie’ generation were led straight back to Christ. A new Church movement was beginning and the nature of the Church was changing. Independent Churches with their relaxed dress code and welcoming attitude, supplemented with sound Biblical teaching began to bring in young people in droves. Freed from the rigidity and stuffy dogma of the organized churches, this new Movement was able to preach the Gospel to those who truly needed it in ways that engaged them instead of alienating them while still focusing on sound Biblical teaching. Services were often conducted outside, in large tents or even on the beach, baptizing new believers in the ocean, all to accommodate the tremendous numbers being drawn to Christ. All the while and most importantly, the Bible, in its entirety, was being preached and Jesus was being accepted into the hearts of the lost. A new harvest came out of these tumultuous times. I’ll bet satan didn’t see that one coming!
By the early eighties the Country had experienced a revival equal to those of the Great Awakenings of the past. Church attendance swelled and America had once again found her moral center. Independent Churches and Biblically conservative denominational churches flourished. Organizations such as Focus on the Family and The Moral Majority wielded tremendous influence and held the Country’s leadership accountable. Certainly sin was on the rise and there were new challenges in the wind as well. Satan was never one to take a break. However, the overall heart of our Nation was firmly in Jesus’ hands and God blessed the nation and she prospered. This was not to last however. A new power was rising out of the ashes of the sixties.
While at first it appeared that the country had been saved from a sudden descent into an amoral abyss, slowly and inexorably that old attitude of moral laissez faire began to re-assert itself. During the hedonistic sixties and seventies satan had won several significant victories. Abortion law, pornography and a new interpretation of the Church and State language in the bill of rights had begun an insidious infection in American culture. During those decades, satan had invaded our public school system, removing Biblical teaching and replacing it with Secular Humanism. With the exception of those from Christian homes, this new generation had come up with no concept of God or Biblical morality. Couple that with a significant increase in the power and influence of popular culture and the money, excess and corruption surrounding it, more and more Americans were trading Biblical morality for a ‘what’s in it for me’ philosophy – a philosophy that, to this day, continues to eat away at our society. From the liberal sexual revolution and the impact it had on disease, unwanted pregnancies, exploitation of women and the decline of the family to conservative bankers scheming to steal the retirement funds of the elderly, no one is beyond its insidious reach for none of us is immune to temptation. The religious were not immune either. The PTL scandal as well as the very public fall of several high profile television evangelists fueled the antipathy of those already prejudiced against Christianity. A new air of cynicism began to spread across the country.
Timothy 6:9-11, "But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many a pang."
Despite the growing darkness Christians continued to be an important voice in American society and politics. Presidents Carter, Reagan and both Presidents Bush, and even President Clinton sought the counsel and the support and approval of Conservative Evangelical Pastors and Churches and the large community of believers they represented. Decisions on moral issues were always vetted by Christian advisors before policy was considered for advancement. It is widely known that Presidents Carter, Reagan and George Bush Sr. regularly prayed, studied their Bibles and attended church - and it showed. Despite what was festering underneath, the heart of the majority of the country belonged to God.
A reasonable analogy, I think, would be the TV show, Happy Days. We all know that sitcom is based on a happy, whitewashed reminiscence of an era that was, of course, very different than how it is portrayed in the show. However, as naïve as it may seem, that portrayal is exactly how we wish to remember those days. According to interviews that played a large in why the show was so popular. I’ll use the word “Wholesome” again. It’s the same way we perceived our country and ourselves. It may not be entirely accurate, but it is how we view them in our hearts. That provides us with a window to the state of the Country’s collective heart. Sadly, the heart of this country was about to be, once again, suddenly and radically changed and the Christian Church was to find itself unprepared, weak and ineffectual in the face of a new and overwhelming attack by satan and the powers of darkness.
1Pe_5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
It was with the mid 1990’s that the country began to have a different “feel” to it. Overwhelmingly, pop culture and the media began to demean Christians, morality, family values, patriotism and anything to do with the God of the Bible at a level far in excess of anything before. The news media began giving up all pretense of objectivity. Television shows went out of their way to treat anything wholesome with utter contempt while, at the same time, promoting sinful behavior such as sodomy, drunkenness, violence and promiscuity. Cartoon shows encouraged children to rebel against their parents, portraying parents as witless buffoons and children as clearly superior to adults. In a society with both parents working and their young children being raised by strangers, taught by a school system that was Godless and their adolescent children free to do as they wished, the foundation of the family was being eroded as if by a flashflood!
Proverbs 22:6, "Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it."
Then, with the events of September 11, 2001, there came a new level of ferocity in the spiritual warfare that rages unseen all around us.
Eph_6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the world's rulers, of the darkness of this age, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
For a very short period after September 11 people flocked to Church. Prayer vigils and services dedicated to the fallen kept people looking to God. As time passed and interest waned, so too did people’s enthusiasm for God. During this period our nation’s descent into darkness accelerated. The media continued its attack on Christianity and its associated values. More and more, God and the Bible were forced out of schools, public buildings, parks and other public properties where they had existed for years. The adolescents of the mid 1990’s, brought up on Homer Simpson and Evolution, became the young adults of the 2000’s. The family was further falling apart and the rabid hatred for Christ was becoming more and more evident in the media and in the actions of those who were dedicated to eradicating God from America. It’s as if the enemies of God could taste victory and no longer needed to mask their true feelings.
Joh_7:7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its works are evil.
Christians suddenly found themselves facing a sudden and stunning increase in the ferocity of the Spiritual Warfare being waged. The times ushered in a new level of viciousness in those dedicated to eliminating Christianity from the American landscape. In the face of such unreasoning hate the Church found itself being backed into a spiritual corner. With almost every facet of the popular culture arrayed against them, Evangelicals were stunned into paralysis. Out of this stasis a new movement that had long been marginalized and confined to Television Evangelists began to take a new shape – the Apostate Church. Re-Packaging themselves as Evangelicals and amassing huge followings drawn to their feel-good message, a number of Mega-Church Pastors preached this new take on Christianity. Forgoing the essential doctrine of Man’s sinful nature rendering him unfit for a Holy God and the need for redemption via Grace through Faith in Jesus Christ, these pastors preach a Universalist all roads lead to God, feel good, we are all good inside, sin is “subjective” type doctrine that is decidedly un-scriptural to say the least. They added to their number by tolerating sin, even going so far as to approve same sex marriage, ordaining practicing sodomites and declaring that the one true God and the god of Islam are one and the same. Assuming the label of ‘Evangelical’ was a well-planned strategy as it allowed this new Apostate movement to appear legitimate and, at first, to be accepted among the more orthodox Churches largely without question. Though there were many who worked tirelessly to expose this movement for the wolf in sheep’s clothing that it is they were too few and there were too few listening. Now, the wolves have become voice for the Evangelical Church despite the fact that their doctrine in no way reflects that of the established Evangelical Church. We will see how that happened shortly.
2Ti_4:3 For a time will be when they will not endure sound doctrine, but they will heap up teachers to themselves according to their own lusts, tickling the ear.
At the same time a new player in the Liberal Churches began to make its presence felt. Islam, long lying dormant in America as it quietly grew in number and influence, suddenly burst forth. Aligning themselves with the new Apostate movement and gaining the support of several Liberal “Christian” organizations and influential mega-church Pastors, an unholy alliance of Islam and Apostate “Christianity” was born. Espousing the false doctrine that Allah and the God of the Bible are one and the same and that all roads lead to the same place their leaders are seeking to package them as one common religion. Dubbed Chrislam by its detractors, it is a growing movement in this country.
As Islam allied itself with the Apostate Church it was growing in political influence as well. Beginning with a small number of Islamists portraying themselves as mere defenders of their faith, with direction from their leadership in the Middle East, a re-packaging of Islam was begun. By brazenly capitalizing on the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks they put forth the case that Muslims were suffering at the hands of white Americans bitter because of the attacks. Claiming that Islam was truly a religion of peace and that they simply wished to be free of persecution from angry whites these connivers made significant inroads into American politics. With unlimited funding from supporters in Saudi Arabia and other sponsors of terrorism, their movement has grown and several powerful pro-Islam organizations now exist in America with the express purpose of controlling the narrative on Islam. As the movement grew they found willing dupes in Liberal Democrats who were always looking for the next special interest group they could milk for votes. Ignorant about Islam, the Quran and the vile nature of Sharia, these stooges, hoping to foster peace with the Jihadists, bought into their false representation of Islam and soon the ideological religion enjoyed a new and influential position in American society. The political and religious influence of this new alliance of Islam and Apostate Christianity must not be underestimated!
During the years since September 11 satan’s blitzkrieg attack has caused a significant change in our culture’s values. With the election of Barak Obama our Nation has taken a course directly in opposition to that set by our founders and in opposition to God. This President, by declaring publicly that The United States “is no longer a Christian Nation,” by supporting sodomy and sodomite marriage and by publicly embracing pop culture icons known for their hedonistic ungodliness and anti-American rhetoric, our President has defied our Holy Creator and spat upon our Founders designs for this country. All the while the Apostate Church smiles and nods its approval of the President and his anti-Christian, pro-Islam platform.
Mat_7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
As the Apostates and their new all-inclusive religion rose to prominence they have usurped the place once held by conservative Evangelicals. President Obama with his affinity for Islam and un-disguised disdain for Evangelicals has given the nod to the Apostate Church and as a result, they have become the new voice for Christians in this ungodly age. Those who formerly held positions of influence as representatives of the Christian community to the Administration have suddenly found themselves without a platform and, as far as the Administration is concerned they have become irrelevant. Those Christians who do have the opportunity to speak out in opposition to the President and his policies are ostracized and their character assassinated by the President’s propaganda ministry. With ‘Chrislam’ or as I sometimes call it, ObamIslam, the new voice for Evangelicals, the genuine Evangelical “Church” has been relegated to irrelevancy in the eyes of the Administration, the MSM and consequently by much of America. The Church is surrounded on all sides by those sensing its weakened state.
Psalms 18:2 The LORD is my strength, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my rock; I will trust in Him; He is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower.
18:3 I will call on The LORD, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.
To summarize what we have gone over so far: The “Evangelical” Church – as I use the term - has been the source of moral and spiritual guidance for this country for decades. In the past forty odd decades this influence has waxed and waned but for the most part remained indisputably relevant up until the reign of our current President and his administration. President Obama, with his Marxist social policies and decidedly anti-Christian, pro-Islam religious views helped to spawn, out of the ooze of Apostate Churches and Liberal religious organizations, a union between the Apostate Church and Islam. This powerful union has proved to be a toxic recipe of anti-Christian poison which has, to date, crippled the Evangelical Church. This is not to say that Evangelicals are silent or completely undone. The Evangelical voice is still alive and the Country is still hungry for un-adulterated Bible teaching and solid spiritual guidance. There is also a rising concern for this Country’s relationship with God that is bringing new faces to church seeking answers. Evidence of this is the success of Jonathan Cahn’s novel, Harbinger, and the related videos which have rocked the publishing world with their popularity. However, as a united body the Evangelical Church truly has fallen.
That’s right, the Church has fallen. Instead of uniting to fight the false doctrine of the Apostates, reclaiming the voice of Evangelical Christians and standing as one to condemn the President for his unchristian ObamIslam agenda, the Church has tripped over the same old stumbling blocks that have plagued us in the past. Silly nit-picking over minor doctrinal differences, rehashing old grievances coupled with plain old apathy and laziness render the church divided and ineffective. Even worse: In the face of the Apostate’s success in attracting large congregations, some Evangelicals have decided to make peace with the wolves in the hope of benefitting from their success. Last and perhaps most shameful, many Christians, Pastors and Entire Churches have just become fearful. Afraid of alienating their flock, Pastors are unwilling to engage on social issues such as sodomy, sodomite marriage or political issues such as our nation’s leaders and their anti-Christian agendas. Church boards and Pastors quake at the thought of offending one of the ‘special-interest’ groups and becoming the target of a hate campaign. These same groups who cry out for tolerance, acceptance and individual freedom, change their tune when it comes to Christians. Where the Church is concerned they spew out hatred and venom so vehemently it is as if they were possessed. Disorganized, disrupted, off balance and intimidated, the Evangelical Church has indeed fallen - knocked off is feet by the ferocity of this knew satanic one-two punch.
But there is still hope.
1Jn 4:4 You are of God, little children, and you have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
John 16:33, "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."
Psalm 125- 1-5 Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,
which cannot be shaken but endures forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the Lord surrounds his people
both now and forevermore.
The scepter of the wicked will not remain
over the land allotted to the righteous,
for then the righteous might use
their hands to do evil.
Lord, do good to those who are good,
to those who are upright in heart.
But those who turn to crooked ways
the Lord will banish with the evildoers.
I am no great theologian, preacher or prophet. That is no secret. But I can see with the same discernment given by The Holy Spirit as the next believer and what I see is a long planned, well thought out and well executed all-out frontal assault on the Evangelical Church in the spiritual war that has gone on since the fall of man – and this time it has caught the Church flat footed and knocked us flat on our backs! The right time and combination of circumstances have allowed satan to take his war to another level, unleashing his fury and power in, what I believe he hopes will be a knockout blow to the Evangelical Church in America. At present the Church is still flat on its back.
I believe that all Christians who agree on the essential doctrines regarding Jesus: His divinity, Godhead, Death, Resurrection, Ascension and Place as the one and only path to salvation must put aside all other differences and unite under a single banner for the purposes of re-establishing a large and powerful national presence. I’m not suggesting some sort of all encompassing ‘Church of America.’ I believe the churches must retain their individuality and independence. However, in the area of the morality of our culture and our Government it is time for the Evangelical Church to rise to its feet, muster our combined strength and prayerfully and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, unite on these matters!
Satan has struck a mighty blow, however we have Almighty God on our side and we must not go down without a fight! I do not believe that God is done with the United States. There are hopeful signs. Polls indicate that the country is becoming disenchanted with President Obama and the progressive movement which has wreaked such havoc on our country. These polls continually show growing dissatisfaction with politicians, the so-called news media, The President and his policies and the moral decay that accompanies progressive social policy. Fear, apathy and petty bickering must be overcome for the Evangelical Church/Community to regain its voice in this country and, if God so wills it, then perhaps there is one more Great Revival just waiting for Jesus’ Church to get up off the floor and show them the way!
1Co 1:10 But I exhort you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you; but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
I challenge the Pastors and Elders of America’s Evangelical Churches to unite and, as one, rally their congregations and publicly unmask the false Evangelical churches, pointing out in detail the danger of their false doctrines. At the same time we must identify and focus the light of truth on Politicians, judges, media outlets and Public Figures who negatively influence our culture, morality and we must act to remove them from whatever position of influence they hold. It is time to take off the gloves. There is no doubt that this will result in resentment, hate and a media backlash of immense proportion. But, we have already fallen. Satan has already knocked the wind out of the Church. Those that hate us, barring the working of the Holy Spirit, will continue to hate us. We cannot change that. But we must fight for the undecided. There is a tremendous population of the confused and frightened out there who are scared by what is going on in the world and what they hear about in their very own Government. Polls indicate the majority of Americans no longer trust the Government, their President or the MSM. There is only one source of peace and eternal security they can trust and it is not the Apostate Church and their ‘we all worship the same god’ chrislam. We have to introduce them to the True and Living God and let He and His Holy Spirit work in their troubled Hearts!
If we roll over and yield to the Apostates, popular culture and our current anti-Christian government now, what kind of nation will our children and grandchildren inherit. How will we answer God when He asks us why we did not fight back?
There are many, many wonderful organizations fighting to preserve Orthodox Christianity. There are several who are trying desperately to stem the rising tide of Apostasy while others fight the legal fight in the courts and legislature. The problem is forming a united front. Something must be done and it will take a combined effort. I am praying that God will lead His church in a bid to re-capture the heart of this country. I believe it can be done, but only if it is done now. Just imagine this. An enormous assembly of Christians united for the purpose of influencing the course of this nation. Even in this wicked age that would be a group well over a million strong. Imagine this assembly uniting to boycott any business supporting pro-abortion organizations, legislation etc. Imagine every member of this assembly calling or writing their legislature about important issues such as re-visiting the subject of Church and State. We could flood the White House with such a tide of letters and phone calls that they would be unable to ignore the voice of God’s people. In the past, organizations such as the Moral Majority had a significant impact on this country. It can be that way again. There are certainly enough of us. But we must fight off this satanic oppression, this apathy that plagues us and we must unite.
I ask each of you to search your heart on this subject. Pray. Ask the Lord for direction. Then talk to your Pastors, your elders and your fellow believers, friends and family. Challenge them to stand up, to unite. Jesus didn’t fear who he would He would offend when He cast the money changers out of the temple. Jesus didn’t fear offending the religious leaders when He challenged their hypocrisy. Jesus preached the TRUTH knowing it would offend many but also knowing that the Father would draw men to Him and His message.
Together there must be a way we can bring all of our disparate communities together to address those issues of faith that are common to ALL of us and fight back against this tide of Apostasy, ObamIslam and Anti-Orthodoxy that is consuming the Evangelical Church!
The church has fallen. Do we have the heart to get back up?