Purpose, Mission, and Engagement of the Church
Bible 104: Christian Theology II
12 May 2021
Word Count: 2976
Ripped from the Headlines today
Churches Imposing Vaccine Mandates are Dividing Christians with a ‘Different Gospel’
John 17:23 states “I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me” (biblegateway.com) Separating people sends a clear message that unity is not the main purpose of the church. It destroys the importance of fellowship. It removes the spiritual nature of the church where it is constituted of God’s people. The celebration of equality is broken from we all belong to him and he belongs to us to feeling of not belonging. Why go to church if I am in the unwanted section. Jesus must not even want me. It also reinforces fear that presses into vulnerable people by removing that sense of belonging. I’m afraid the church is just mirroring our society right now as opposed to being led by Jesus Christ. We’re afraid of Facebook posts. We have become pleasers of the world, as opposed to the pleasers of God. Romans 16:17 has a warning about such behavior that divides congregations as it states “And now I make one more appeal, my dear brothers and sisters. Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them” (biblegateway.com). Leaders of the church are shepherds and should never draw a dividing line through his flock. The church must live out James 1:27 “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you” (biblegateway.com).
The Bible neither needs or finds authority outside of itself. It fully contains the will of God. It is forbidden to add or take away from the word of God. The Bible is the only cannon of truth. “God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work” (New Application Study Bible 2 Timothy 3:17). Churches need to stand up, stand strong, stand firm in Christ not allowing the pressure of division to take hold as compromise only leads to more until church is no longer stands out as a representative of God. Instead of bending to the world the church needs to educate, equip, inform, and engage its congregation. The Culture should not shape the narrative of the church. It should be based on God’s word. Make sure that the message is centered vertically with God and horizontally with all people. The purpose of the church is to welcome and bring them to Christ. Dividing people based on a secular ideology will only confuse and lose the souls of those lost who are coming to a church for acceptance, encouragement, and love. Jesus spoke of how to care for the least of these and separating them physically by labeling one group clean and the other unclean was not what is envisioned for churches today.
“The body of Christ is also universal. All ethnic and social barriers have been removed” (Erickson, 396). Paul addressed this by announcing that “in this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric uncivilized, slave or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us” (Colossians 3:11). The heart of ministry must be actively proclaiming the gospel. The apostle Paul insisted that the gospel was absolute, therefore nothing should be added or removed from it so Paul was determined to defend it. This is especially important today as the church must prepare its congregation to confirm the gospel and give reasoned arguments of it truths. The church has a responsibility to love and show compassion to believers and non-believers. “Social concern includes condemning unrighteousness as well” Erickson, 403). The church should show concern and take action to condemn evil, wrong-dong, and call out corruption. “Amos and several Old Testament prophets spoke out emphatically against the evil and corruption of their day” (Erickson, 403).
The church has a responsibility to equip its congregation with the spiritual tools and weaponry to give them courage to proclaim the gospel but to also not compromise truth. Refutation is recognizing and taking action against what is not right in the culture of this world. “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete” (2 Corinthians 10:3-6). The mission of the church works through the hearts of men, but world ideologies are at war with Christianity with falsehood and lies that are “reprehensible because they not only harm those to and/or about whom they are told, but they also blaspheme the vary character of God who is truth” (Baucham, 41). False ideologies the church must confront are: Critical Race Theory, Intersectionality, Social Justice, Conflict Theory, and Gender Theory. These sociological, psychological, and political theories have permeating our culture and making its way into Christ’s church. The teachings of the gospel is threatened and scriptures are being misrepresented. This leads people away from God’s grace and true salvation in Jesus Christ. “Values borrowed from secular culture are currently undermining Scripture in areas of race and ethnicity, manhood and womanhood, and human sexuality.” (Baucham, 235). These dangerous ideologies corrupt moral values. The challenge for churches is to not allow their influence to spread through biblical doctrines and principals.
It is important to understand that groups tried to box Jesus in politically and socially, but he would not allow it. Jesus never swayed from his purpose which was to bring the gospel and share with people the Kingdom of God not liberalism or socialism or Marxism. Jesus wouldn’t permit his character to be defined by socio-political ideologies. Jesus told his disciples to feed his sheep because Jesus himself was the shepherd willing to lay down his life for his flock. The -isms are moving society away from Christianity to many forms of secular religions. These -isms entice people who “want to belong to groups, including ethnic, racial, religious, and economic groups. People find identity, commonality, purpose, and even self-worth with such attachments” (Levin, 8). These paradigms are potent because it exploits people yearning for happiness. They are built on illusions of removing God as he is a human invention. Religion just reflects the heart of a heartless world. It is the soul of soulless. Karl Marx promoted that Christianity is dangerous because it held each individual accountable to the one true God. “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13). Marxism removes individualism for classism. “The individual is dehumanized and nothing unless he identifies with a group—the oppressed and victimized group” (Levin, 8). Individuals who oppose or do not conform to the collective is condemned and loathed as an enemy. Scripture is quite clear that this is contrary to Jesus’s teachings while he was on Earth as the Son of Man and even more he went to the cross for the salvation of the world. The church is the hope of this world who are to be salt and light. “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is not longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot” (Matthew 5:13). “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
Anti-Racism, Equity, and Inclusion Policy adopted by Clark County School Board
Education has taken out how to be a good citizen who values God given rights of life, liberty, freedom, and individual pursuit of happiness. It is replaced with this new morality and ethical standards that uses the separation of church and state as a weapon because if educators can eliminate the power of values in society because there is a growing hatred of “the traditional morality believes the nation was established on sound moral, religious principles that were to have enduring influence on life and law” (Feazel & Swain, 57).
“The new morality believes that distorting truth or presenting falsehoods constantly over time will one day result in those distortions being regarded by impressionable minds” (Feazel & Swain, 59). This is a reason in the timing of Critical Race Theory that at first educators said it was only being taught in college laws schools to discuss ethics through the lens of race. Today, it is found in the classrooms of your kids even in elementary school. Then the teacher’s union came out with a statement that they would fight against parents who don’t want their kids learning about CRT. Then stepped back and tried to explain their reasoning of it is just history and educators just want to make sure students learn about slavery. CRT is no where near in the shade of gray they want to portray. The truth is:
Problem: Only the oppressors are the sinners in the world and those oppressors are white, cisgender, heterosexual, able-bodied, native born males.
Problem: All the oppressed are without sin which are everybody else excluding the white-privileged
Problem: The more oppressed you are the least responsibility you have and more moral authority you are given
Problem: Intersectionality is introduced-measured by your degree of oppression which is being black, LGBTQ, transgender, etc...and the more categories you can check off the more oppressed you are
Problem: It is not just a conversation of race, but a lie as we come to find that CRT and BLM and Marxism is interrelated vehicles used to destroy the greatest nation God created.
Critical Race Theory doesn’t stop at just distorting history regarding slavery which pushes America’s July 4th, 1776 which celebrates diversity should be eliminated. Insert the 1619 project which is the year established as the founding of America when black slaves arrived in America. This world socialist view has spilled into other minority races who will challenge their conquest of American history. Enter LatCrit(Latin Critical Race Theory) which suggests that whites are the illegals in America so the indigenous (Native Americans & Latino/Chicano) are the legals. There is a focus on anyone who took over territories from the indigenous people are the outsiders including those black slaves. It’s an attempt to use race as a mechanism for redefining our society-redefining what it was based on and how it impacts everybody, and it wants people to believe that race is the most critical determinant of who you are and what happens to you in our society.
Mask mandate to remain in place into 2022, Nevada office says
The faceless entities sit with other faceless entities. It is not Covid itself that has led to the mass epidemic of child suicide, but society’s response to a virus. Fear is a natural human emotion, but government and media pressed the presence of danger that threatened to harm every family member. The only option given to humanity was to threaten their emotional and psychological freedoms. Kids were isolated for no good reason. All routines were restricted. They were made to wear masks and deprived from the ability to see their friends faces or to be seen. They are seen as an elemental and fundamental human experience in society. They were treated as though they were diseased and locked away. We made them afraid of social contact and people. We allowed them to even be afraid of the air they breathe. Leaving them with a computer screen as their only access to the outside world. Kids’ minds altered deprived of a sense of full potential and identity. Students so lost they try to bridge some sense of identity to they gravitate to the LGBT 50 labels that changes by day by day. These kids have no sense of identity. They have had nothing firm or consistent to anchor themselves to in cyberspace.
As students return back to school, they are still under an invisible lock downs. Still sitting faceless behind masks. Unable to socialize due to social distancing requirements. No connection to teachers or each other for six hours a day is still mentally unhealthy and a form of torture for kids who naturally gravitate to reading each others’ facial expressions and accepting smiles. They have forgotten how to have real-life shared experiences. They anger easily so students react violently to one another and any form of authority. These kids are lost and ready to be plucked up by the evils of this world. “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20).
Massachusetts school offers ‘safe space’ for students of color
Parents need to understand that public schools are a government institution so if your child’s cultural and religious views can be implemented by them and not you then they capture the culture then political control will follow. Enter the analytical framework of Intersectionality. This is defined as “the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.” This is seen through the curriculum of Critical Race Theory. These are tied together so students will only rely on their racial cultural view that promotes victims in society so when young people share their anti-American displays is accepted as normal. Expectations of programs like paying people to stay unemployed is acceptable in society. Manipulating elections is almost expected for the betterment of of minority communities. Victim hood includes “trigger words” and now the need for “safe spaces.” Then on the other spectrum is the bullying name calling to diminish the message of other opinions which transforms into “wokeness” and “cancel culture.”
Drag queen story hour in America’s Bible Belt
The new morality teaches their brand of morality. “Our schools have forsaken the moral compass that the founders believed to be vital to public education” (Feazel & Swain, 95). Students are being exposed to subject matter that they are not psychologically or emotionally equipped. Parents are reporting their elementary students are being introduced to sexual content to start building their tolerance to view sexuality as pleasurable at age 2, 6, or 16. Society has accepted a multitude of sexual orientation and behaviors, but this free-sex philosophy that is found in classrooms taught by people with educational degrees. At one time teachers warned of stranger danger, unwanted touching, warning of students being groomed, isolated, and then the abuser was exposed and punished. Teachers have become complacent on introducing material that makes a child predator a neutral family friend. Educators are entrusted with the most precious gifts parents have so public schools have no right to determine the correct view or practice of sexuality to teach students. This new morality and its efforts to normalize pedophilia must be stopped.
The mission of the church is to be the hope of the world. They need to be engaged in today’s issues without fear of speaking out. God entrusted the church to make a difference for the kingdom of God. A faith to build bridges that will reach from one generation to the next. It is time for churches to develop leaders who build strength within communities. To ensure that God’s kingdom continues to grow into the future which is a significant part of the ministry. “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” ( Ephesians 4:11-13).
The purpose of the church is to stand firm in God’s words in truth ready to battle against the darkness that wants to eliminate freedom. The freedom that Jesus provided on the cross when he gave a path for us to have the courage to not compromise his truth. “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. For it is better, it it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil” (1 Peter 3: 15-17). It is time to take for the church to take on the armor of God. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his might power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Ephesians 6:10-11).
“Access Your Bible from Anywhere.” BibleGateway.com: A Searchable Online Bible in over 150
Versions and 50 Languages., https://www.biblegateway.com/.
Bauchman Jr., Voddie T. Fault Lines;the Social Justice Movement and Evangelicalism's Looming
Catastrophe. SALEM BOOKS, 2021.
Erickson, Millard J., and L. Arnold Hustad. Introducing Christian Doctrine. Baker Publishing Group, 2015.
Feazel, Steve, and Carol M. Swain. Abduction: How Liberalism Steals Our Children's Hearts and Minds. Christian Faith Publishing, 2016.
Levin, Mark R. American Marxism. Threshold Editions, 2021.
Life Application Study Bible: NIV. Zondervan, 2019.