What does the Church do when it is facing an anti-Christ culture?
The Church in the USA has not faced open persecution since the Revolutionary War. The Pilgrims fled the persecution of Queen Elizabeth and her son King James. They went to Holland first then to the shores of North America. There was some persecution by the British Soldiers and the Church of England in the colonies leading up to the Revolutionary War and during the war. After the War of Independence and the first Great Awakening the Church in the USA has enjoyed unparalleled freedom and acceptance.
That is, until now.
Following the Jesus People Movement and the charismatic renewal, apathy began to seep into the churches and humanism quickly followed.
The pulpits of the 90s and the first decade of the new millennium proclaimed self-help messages, pop psychology, and positive motivation. It was common to hear messages on good time management; victory over depression; and how to have a good self-image.
Sermons on godly living, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, repentance and the fruit of the Spirit were scarcely heard.
Altar calls, prophetic words, tongues and interpretation of tongues and other gifts of the Holy Spirit became a thing of the past. New people in the church might not understand and may get offended.
The "seeker-friendly church" had come full circle.
Church is no longer done to please God and to give full liberty to the Holy Spirit with the manifestation of God's glory among His people. Church is done to make sinners comfortable; entertain the crowd and to showcase the talents of a worship team and the charisma of the preacher.
How else can you explain using songs from the "Top 50" pop charts as people are entering and during the worship? Why are the house lights turned down and spot lights put on the singers, musicians and preachers, making them the focus?
Church is not being done as a gathering to seek God Most High. The focus is on man and pleasing man.
The Lord Jesus Christ Himself declared what would happen when the church exchanged the fear of the Lord for the fear of man; when the church sought to please man more than to please God and the presence of His glory.
"It is from then on good for nothing but to be thrown out and to be trampled underfoot by men" (Matt. 5:13).
That is exactly what has happened in the USA church. Our nation is no longer post-Christian. We have rapidly moved to anti-Christian.
Any faith other than Christianity is welcome for display in the public arena. The public schools honor and celebrate the Muslim holidays. School children are taught Muslim prayers and even encouraged to wear Muslim dress on special days. I have been in the classroom where students were required to learn the principles of Buddhism, Hinduism, and prayers and meditation of New Age Spiritism.
However, it was forbidden to give equal time to Christianity, unless a child asked. Then the answer must be limited and given no display.
ISIS is not the only one removing every visage of Christianity. The U.S. government did the same thing removing the display of the Ten Commandments in Oklahoma City; demanding children not wear Christian T-shirts on school grounds; covering up the display of the display IHS (Jesus' Name) when our president spoke at Georgetown University.
ISIS is not the only force martyring Christians. The gunman in Roseburg, Oregon was doing the same. He asked each victim if they were a Christian. If the person said, "No" he shot them in the leg. If they said, "Yes" he shot them in the head.
I find it very telling that the mainstream press and the POTUS avoided giving emphasis to that point.
The fault lies at the door of the church. We have left a power vacuum. In the church's passivity and compromise a great opportunity was granted to the forces of darkness. They have seized the moment.
They only appropriate response and effective course of action is for the church to humble herself in deep repentance for being lukewarm, carnal and proud. Enough with providing great entertainment and professional sound and light shows; it is time to seek the Lord of Hosts passionately and earnestly for the presence and the glory of God to fill His church again.
Open the door wide to Holy Spirit. Wait on the Lord in prayer and intercession until He comes again with "the sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind" and the church is baptized in the Holy Spirit and fire.
Then and only then will the church turn our nation upside down and bring spiritual transformation to our cities.
Dr. F. Dean Hackett has served in full-time Christian ministry since October 1971. He has ministered throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, serving as pastor, conference speaker and mentor. He has planted four churches, assisted in planting 15 others, and currently serves as lead pastor of Living Faith Church in Hermiston, Oregon. Dr. Hackett founded Spirit Life Ministries International in 2001 to facilitate ministries in Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina and to open a training center for workers in those nations. You can find him at F. Dean Hackett - Foundational, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest