I took a trip down to Leavenworth, Kansas where there is a wonderful work of God going on at Christ Church Leavenworth. I had several conversations with Christians about how potent the place seemed to be. These were Christians, many in their 30s with a satchel of kids. Several grew up Southern Baptist. Many tried out Acts 29. But through COVID, it was as if they joined that orphaned Arabian boy on a magic carpet ride. They came to discover a whole new world, a new fantastic point of view.
It was not merely a matter of disliking their spiritual leaders tying heavy mask burdens on their backs. These saints picked up on the sketchy root that produced the ugly fruit of their leaders bowing down before the CDC. They came to see the same through the BLM riots. The Reformed Worship and community of Christ Church Leavenworth, a CREC church, felt something like opening a steaming hot oven in the middle of a cold winter. It hit them in the face, and they were warmed, filled, deeply encouraged.
This trip reminded me of the state of Christianity in America. We really are dealing with a sheep without a shepherd situation. We are dealing with a chickens coming home to roost situation. We are dealing with a “we don’t know how many idols we’ve been bowing down to” situation. COVID and the BLM Riots were evidence.
They were moments of unmasking. They were not the substance of the problem. If you grasp this last point, then you will be in a good position to lead your family in the coming days. If this point doesn’t make sense to you, then you really must spend some time with it. So I’ll take another stab at it.
Your churches requiring you to mask, or your churches politely recommending you to mask with pastors cool shaming you if you didn’t . . . was a symptom. Now, many of the symptoms have passed. Even the United Airlines flight that I took back from Kansas City the other day didn’t require me to wear a mask. So the masking is behind us. And the big, fat, whopping rot that motivated Christian Leaders to prostrate themselves before the CDC and bind you with burdens to heavy to carry is still right in our midst.
The kind of reformation we need is one that will displace people. The kind of reformation we need is one that will dissolve many of the present evangelical institutions that we know and love and reform others such that you couldn’t recognize them after that reformation.
You can find plenty of Conservative Christians who are not satisfied with the present order. They don’t want Drag Queen Story Hour, no matter how David French touts it as “a blessing of liberty.” These right-minded conservatives are not happy with Obergefell. They will likely send their kids to Hillsdale or New Saints Andrews College. They will vote the right way in the coming election. And thanks be to God for all of that faithfulness. But here is the important message for these conservatives: The reformation work in front of us runs all the way down to the foundations.
Like the temple mount in Jerusalem, those faithful foundations are way down there. Our fathers would not have abided Drag Queen Story Hour. Our fathers would not have winked at boys using the girls bathroom at their local tax-payer funded school. Our fathers would have snuffed out any hint of sending their daughters into military combat. They couldn’t even conceive of the perversion we permit in our land. Moreover, the freedom that they had, which is the freedom that we must recover, would scare many saints.
Many of the sheep do not know exactly what is going on. They are sheep without a shepherd. But many of the leaders, and I am referring to evangelical leaders who have drifted slowly and over time, do know what is going on, or at least they should. But to reform now would require heading back down the mountain like Christian’s repentance in Pilgrim’s Progress. Reformation would cost something. And the present order in American Evangelicalism is something like the Titanic. It is a big ship, sinking slowly. If you have a nice cozy spot high enough on that ship, you can ride it out in prosperity, even if that means your people drown and your sons become eunuchs in Babylon, where they celebrate the rights of the kiddos to sit at the feet of the gyrating transvestites at the public library.
Several of these leaders are on their way out. And like Hezekiah, after hearing that all the treasure of the house which they lead will go to Babylon, after hearing that their very sons will be castrated servants in the palace of Babylon’s king, these leaders say, “Is it not good, if peace and truth be in my days” (2 Kings 20:19)?
Some may not care about the coming generations. But those who do must get down to the work of reformation. Here’s what a start looks like:
Find a church that cares more about what God thinks in its worship than what guests think.
Remove your children from governments schools immediately and sacrifice to put them in a Classical Christian School.
Refuse to use the pronouns, and be willing to be fired for it.
Reject the language of diversity, equity, and inclusion outright. And chuckle at the well-to-do white liberals with their BLM yard signs who actually know nothing about black people and black culture.
Rejoice over your children. Catechize them. Remind them always that they are holy, loved by the Father, and that Christ has sanctified them by the blood of his covenant. Train them. And do this training in a holistic way, imbedding them in a community and family that worships the Triune God.
Sing the psalms, and find a church that will serve the Lord’s Supper every Sunday and know why they do it.
Laugh, and make others laugh. Add to this hospitality with food. Kingdoms have been built from women who not only know how to cook but do it, and do it well. You cannot defeat people who are holy and having a good time. You cannot enslave women who laugh at the time to come and men who know that there are more with us than are with them.
My encouragement to you is that you find saints who exude this kind of faithfulness. These are those who believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. They are dead with Christ. And they are risen with him. They are happy with the stream that makes glad the city of our God. It is past time to join them. Sacrifices are in order. I make no promise that the changes necessary will be comfortable. It is far easier to point out all of the problems than it is to start building brick by brick on the right foundation. It is far easier to disobey and remain disgruntled.
But the hard way is full of joy. It is laced with word, water, bread, and wine.
Jesus said that the man who obeys will know the doctrine (John 7:17). But if you only observe the doctrine from afar without obeying, then you stop advancing in the truth. I have met several saints who eventually meet doctrines or practices that they know are biblical, but to actually believe and obey those doctrines is too costly. So they ponder them. They think about what it would look like if they actually got on with obedience. They debate the matter. But the debate is pointless. It is not a matter of them being intellectually convinced about what they need to do. It is a matter of them acting like men, and doing what God has said. They know what God has told them to do. But they will not do it. And they will pretend like they are not convinced of the truth to ease their conscience and keep their donor base, their comfortable circumstances,
Going out like Abraham seems like too far a leap. But he is our father. Going to the cross like Christ seems like too much. But he is our Redeemer and we are dead with him—”I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” (Galatians 2:20).