With the Texas church shooting fresh in our minds, we need to understand that what happened there in ten seconds is a microcosm of the relationship between the church and the culture. Just as in Texas yesterday, the church is under assault from those who would dilute its witness, wreck its families, and destroy Christianity altogether were it possible (it’s not). The swift, skillful, and Godly action of the congregant brought a fitting and timely end to the wicked intruder before much more and worse damage could be done. Yet there will still be those who suggest that sitting by “non violently” while more carnage is borne out upon innocent people is somehow a “Christian witness”. No, the witness of those armed congregants was just fine, thank you.
It was a perfect microcosm. Our Christian culture, built step by step, piece by piece, brick by brick by countless Christians, some named and some forgotten, over centuries, is under severe attack by a generation that is bent on destroying it. And we have churches full of people…too often pastors…who insist that the only path, the only solution is to “just preach the gospel”, and even at that, a gospel that is pretty much limited to a personal “get out of jail free” card for present troubles and a free ride to Heaven.
Christians need to be out engaging the culture, applying God’s Word to the burning issues of the day. Christians need to be visibly opposing the onslaught of humanism and anti-Christian wickedness, as churches and as individuals. Christians need to get outside the walls of our comfortable churches and be true witnesses to what God says about all that is going on around us. It would have done no good in that Texas church to invite the gunman to vacation bible school. And it does little good for Christians to share a truncated pietistic gospel message when what is called for is a wholesale comprehensive application of our faith to the culture that engulfs us. The church needs to be a place for equipping believers, for training them (for a season, not endlessly), and for sending them out to change the world for Christ. Failure to pass the Christian culture that we inherited to future generations would be tragic.