To Asian Christians
|When an organization seeks leadership, the organization
usually elects or has appointed a leader who represents to them
the idealized values of their group. This certainly is the case
when a congregation “calls” preachers or ministers. If not
elected by the congregation but assigned by Bishops and Bores
the members will tell the Bishops and Boards just what kind of
individual needs to be appointed.
Leadership is often a narcisstic and “echo” experience. The leader appointed by his agreement on values, preaches down to the valley and the valley echoes his values (indirectly their values because they have elected him) back. In too many cases the preacher and the congregation simply echo each other. In the shiny middle class congregations of America this too often takes place. And the preacher is often “Little Sir Echo.” Liberal to liberals.
The problem then becomes one of: How is the will of God or the thinking of God to get through to people amidst such a happy narcissism of echoes?
What is the will of God? One of my objections with the liberals is they identify the will of God as whatever nonsense is modern, novel, fashionable, and trendy. The liberals throw out as God for the time WHATSOEVER IDEAS ARE FASHIONABLE, IMAGINATIVE, AND EYE CATCHING. Believe me these ideas will hardly be the still, small voice of God. Such ideas might be considered, but if wisely weighed, most are soon dismissed. Not necessarily all, but certainly most.
We should all remember the history of mankind demonstrates a desire to change and show off new costumes. The costumes of the ages change, and people are fascinated by the changes, but the people inside the costumes of the ages have the same needs, desires and wants in all ages.
It is not the duty of the churches to put on the costumes of the age. It is the duty of the churches to minister to the needs of human nature that beneath the costumes is always there and basically unchanging.
Among the resources humans need that religion furnishes can be seen as an interior relationship with God that helps to supply communities, families and individuals with compassion, Christian service, humanitas, sympathy, patience with others, trust in others and a desire for harmonious living together. Many other virtues and religious blessings might be counted also.
It is often forgotten in an age obsessed with godless materialism and constant materialistic bickering over things that communities need more than the satisfaction of materialistic wants to survive and prosper. The foundations of civilizations do not rest only on materialistic satisfactions. Man does not live by bread alone.
I think churches should minister first to the eternal wants and spiritual needs of humanity that remain inside people and communities regardless of the trendy intellectual and social costumes of the age. On the other hand liberals are obsessed with fitting the churches into the trendy costumes of the modern age.
What I question is if liberal religionists understand that what is fashionable today may be just old fashioned and laughed at tomorrow. Churches must first deal with human need for a relationship with God and reassurance of immortality. These needs will always be present in human nature.
But how can you supply mans' needs for God in a liberal church? What of supposedly religious clergy such as the gentleman vicar of the Church of England who is a priest and vicar of a parish but proclaims he does not believe in God? I believe, (and isn’t it freaky to have to say this,) that a minister, preacher or priest who does not believe there is a God should NOT serve a parish or a congregation at all. The fact we even have to make a statement like this shows the rock bottom apostasy and tragedy of many of the churches presently in Western Civilization.
Eastern Churches, Beware. Such is not New Testament, Reformation or any respectable Biblical Christianity. I tell you frankly, brother to brother. Do not look to Western Churches for real leadership when permeated with liberalism as they are.
Be courteous, always be kind, always be polite, but avoid the churches rotting with liberalism. Those churches are beyond the pale. How can you be in the Christian Church and not believe in God? Yet many Western Churches are permeated by such rot and liberalism. They have a cirrhosis of belief.
In Matthew 16:35 “it asks,” is a man profited if he gain the world, and lose his own soul? Is it not obvious to you (use common sense) that much Western religion is ruined by inner rot? The West has paid a huge price for its money and technology. Do not let the money and the shiny technology makes fools of you in the East as it has done in the West.
The West is a parable for the world. It is the land that exchanged its soul for riches and technology. What of those countries whose spiritual beliefs have been traded for money and technology? Many, but not all, in Western countries now have little involvement in faith. Their lives are money. Their spiritual history is SIMILAR TO A TALE OF JUDAS RETOLD... a sale for money.
As Eastern countries and Asia take up Christ, do not, as many Western nations have done, lay Him aside for ease and money. Do not give up Christ as a price of gaining technology as much of the West has done, but use your new technology for the glory of Christ and to help mankind. In this let the East prove itself wiser than the West. For to lose Christ is to lose your soul. Nothing is worth that!
As the Apostle in Romans 8:38-39 said let not death, nor life. nor angels, nor governments, nor the powerful, nor what is now, nor what is to come, nor who is high or who is low, nor any creature, should be allowed to separate us from the love of Christ that is in Christ Jesus. Let us not allow anything anytime to divide us from the love of Christ.
Dr. James MacLeod may be contacted through the Neill Macaulay Foundation.