Last week, a historical event took place in what is often called the Washington National Cathedral. In an effort to show how magnanimous they are, the Episcopal leaders of the cathedral invited a local Muslim group to use the church to conduct a formal Islamic prayer service. The unprecedented nature of an organized Muslim service in such a high-profile – perhaps the most high-profile – Christian cathedral in the nation stirred up a tremendous amount of emotion and opinion across the nation. Many conservative Christians saw this as a tremendously symbolic and portentous event marking a significant leap backwards in our nation's ongoing free-fall into spiritual decay. How ironic is it that a woman who stood up at the beginning of the service to declare that "Jesus Christ is Lord" was abruptly and forcibly removed from the church by security guards?
No doubt, this was a sad day for the United States. The same religious group that breached our nation's security system to bring down the Twin Towers on 9/11 have now been welcomed into the nation's very spiritual arteries.
On the other hand, is anyone really surprised? The National Cathedral, after all, is an Episcopalian cathedral. And though that building holds a place of profound historical significance, spiritually speaking, the leadership of this denomination has all but walked away from the faith Jesus represents a long time ago. This is the same group, after all, that allowed an openly gay man to serve as a bishop and that only a few months ago allowed a "transgendered" priest to give a sermon at the same cathedral "as part of the church's celebration of LGBT pride month." In truth, it has long been predictable that this den of apostasy would roll the red carpet out to accommodate and facilitate completely non-Christian groups to worship their false gods. (The true test of tolerance of course, would be to invite the Muslim imam to give a sermon on how the rooftop of the cathedral would serve as the perfect spot to toss off gays to their death, which is exactly what Islamic law commands Muslims to do to homosexuals like Bishop Robinson.) But I digress.
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My point is this: For my part, I shook the dust of this denomination from my feet a long time ago. In fact, I'm pretty sure that the majority of confessing Christians throughout the United States agree with me on this. The hyper-liberal Episcopalian leadership does not represent us. In every way possible, we renounce this shameful thing they've done, and we ask the Lord to have mercy on this great nation.
But I also think there is another incredibly important angle to all of this that we as conservatives must very soberly consider. As I read the various commentary pieces written about this, the response has largely been to express disappointment, sadness, anger and indignation. And all of these feelings are fully merited. But one thing I've not seen anyone asking is what we as conservative Christians – followers of Jesus – should be doing in response. Over the past few years, since the rise in popularity of books like Rabbi Jonathan's Cahn's book "The Harbinger," which serve as warnings as to what will come to this nation if we do not repent, I've wrestled a tremendous amount with what it would take to truly turn this country around. And one thing I am absolutely convinced of is that our go-to reaction of complaining and griping most certainly is not the solution.
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It may be a slightly overused cliché, but we need to remember that it is always better to light a candle than to simply curse the darkness. And if the truth be told, as I assess the landscape of the American church, on one side I see the liberals openly giving themselves over to apostasy, while too much of the conservative church excels in cursing the darkness – but is not nearly as adept at doing what is necessary to change the nation.
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As shameful as it is that the liberals welcomed Muslims into their church to conduct a prayer service, it is more shameful that we have several million Muslims living in the U.S., and conservative Christians are doing very little to reach them with the Gospel. The liberals may be engaging Muslims in a completely wrong way, but we conservatives are barely engaging them at all. Liberal "Christians" inviting Muslims into churches to have their services is how we cease being Christian. Conservative Christians inviting Muslims to their homes for dinner to get to know them, to love them and to share the Gospel is how we build the Church.
Are we Christians not those who have the words of life? Is the Gospel not the power of God unto salvation, for all who believe? Friends, we are the ones who carry the only message that can counteract the "gospel" of the Islamic caliphate now pulling at so many of the Muslim youth of the world.
As we enter into the last days – and I believe we are there – it is absolutely imperative that we Christians learn how to respond to the increasing darkness as Jesus would respond. Listen to me when I say that if we do not do this, the increasing darkness will consume us; the onslaught of daily bad news will kill us. If we are ever to see a genuine revival take place here in the United Sates, if this country is ever going turn around, we must stop reacting in such a carnal way and strive to become more like Jesus.
If we think that we can turn the country around by doing what we have been doing, then we are as delusional as the Episcopalian leadership. And on the day of judgment, we will be found just as guilty. Beloved, we can continue to curse the darkness day after day after day, or we can look to Jesus, and with him as our one and only standard, we can repent.