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It’s bland. It has little taste, color, or smell. It goes down easy, really easy—no chewing necessary. I’m not talking about oatmeal. I’m talking about evangelicalism. It’s mild, plain, and vapid.
It’s been told to stay in the corner and it has for years. It has been told to stay within its four-walls and it obediently has done so.
The secularists have built a fence called separation of church and state. The pulpits have built fences, too, separating the Kingdom of God from the Kingdom of man. The secularists like the rules. If there is no God in the public square, they get to sit on the throne. The pulpits like the rules. If they’re confined to ecclesiastical matters, they get to excuse themselves from the messes of the world.
When Herod stole his brother’s wife, John the Baptist’s approach was straightforward and simplistic. He went to the palace and told him it was unlawful for him to do so. In today’s world, Herod would have told John to go back to the wilderness where he belonged and work on his sermon. Do you think John would comply? Are you kidding? A guy who wore a garment of camel hair and ate locusts and wild honey would not be silent. In today’s world, evangelical pastors would have told John to stop meddling in politics. Do you think John would comply? I think his response would have the phrase “brood of vipers” in it.
How did we get to where we are today? It began several yesterdays’ ago. And the sad and frustrating part about the matter is the church was asleep at the proverbial wheel. Things have been crumbling for decades but it is only as of late, when the secularists confidently and boldly began overplaying their hand, that some in the church have awakened.
Abortion has been around for 50 years, killing its millions upon millions. But recent revelations of selling cut-up baby parts and the occasional botched abortion where the baby is left to die outside the womb has revealed the hellish soul of this industry.
Gay rights have been pushed for the same length of time. But not until homosexual marriage became law and bakers, photographers, and everyone else was ordered to celebrate sodomy has the extreme agenda of the movement’s kinkiness been revealed. They have been playing the long game. Only recently has their playbook been exposed. Gender is fluid, so is sexuality they say. That means bathrooms, locker rooms, and pronouns are for the individual to decide.
When the church does not recognize Jesus is Lord everywhere, is he Lord anywhere? For the oatmeal churches, pastors, and Christians out there, answer me these. Does Jesus want us to vacate the public square? Does he want it to be secular? Does he want his authority limited to the spiritual realm? It appears your answers are yes, yes, and yes.
Which is why all the other nonsense is on full display. Churches can be told to shut down. Christians can be told to get shot up or lose their job. All the while the secular gods get fatter, louder, and more brazen.
One-hundred years ago Chesterton saw it coming, writing “We shall soon be in a world in which a man may be howled down for saying that two and two make four…in which people will persecute the heresy of calling a triangle a three-sided figure, and hang a man for maddening a mob with the news that grass is green.”
And here we are. Oatmeal Christianity to blame? At least in part.
It is time to take back the public square. Not so we can crow as Christians. So, we can burn all the idols erected there since we left (Deuteronomy 13:12-16).
Pastor Rich Hamlin
October 7, 2021