American Churches are Killing Christianity
Matt Walsh’s latest book, Church of Cowards. A Wake-Up Call to Complacent Christians rips contemporary Christians a new one. Before he discusses the theologically sound aspects of the Christian church in America, he takes many of them to task along with their perverse theology. He admonishes Christians for their craven cowardice in the face of woke liberalism and perverse sexual ideologies. Walsh's justifiable diatribes are spot on. The Church in America must get aggressive about removing secularist practices. Among the complexities of the book, Walsh has this to say about pastors officiating at gay weddings:
When a large evangelical church in Colorado set out to become more "welcoming" recently, it decided that including open homosexuals in every level of leadership and ministry was the best way to achieve that goal. The Pastor also invited church ministers to "follow their hearts" on the question of officiating at gay weddings. This sort of welcome is increasingly common in churches around the country and to what end? You have only welcomed the world into the same unbiblical, relativistic view it had already long since adopted and proclaimed. Indeed, you have not welcomed the world at all. The world has welcomed you.
Walsh asks us to imagine that a "heathen horde" comes to America from a foreign land, looking to vanquish Christians and Christianity, so they look for a church where they can slaughter some Christians. A man directs them to one but the heathen are confused because the church looks more like a post office or a medical clinic. They go inside and find what looks like a "rehab center for wealthy drug abusers." The heathens enter and find people in casual clothing sipping coffee:
They had pictured an America filled with pious, modest, prayerful believers, but instead they find silly, shallow, oversexed nihilistic zombies who live vicariously through their phones which they have stocked with photographs of their own faces… They hear a band performing a pop song. Nobody is demonstrating anything approaching reverence. There is no sign that anything sacred is happening here, or that anyone believes it is.
He also singes casual, ill-conceived non-judgmentalism that has seen the Christian faith debased and desacralized:
In the old days, Christians wanted their churches to be beautiful. Now we go out of our way to make sure our churches are not beautiful, lest the beauty give anyone the uncomfortable impression that God is present… the blandness and ugliness of the physical building will often be met and exceeded by what is actually happening in it: People milling about in flip-flops and shorts, chatting loudly in the lobby and in the pews. A jeans-clad church band playing music too hokey to be secular but too secular to be sacred… Never a moment of solemn silence. Never a moment of contemplation.
Church of Cowards laments the casual approach to Christ and decries the "Jesus is my buddy" mentality among many Christians, not to mention the "health and wealth gospel" of some megachurches. He also has a few choice words for woke pastors and a justified blistering of many insipid, predictable, emotionally-manipulative faith-based movies and TV series. Portraying Jesus as someone who never had a harsh or judgmental word for anyone is not only inaccurate, but sacrilegious. Jesus spoke more about sin and hell than about love and never called His disciples, "you guys." While there is something to be said for more modern approaches to drawing younger people to the Faith, much of the time relevance becomes irreverence.
A church without judgment is a pathologically enabling church. When Jesus said, "Judge not lest you be judged," he was not saying never to judge anyone. He was saying that when you judge others, do so intelligently, rationally and do not do what you accuse others of doing. We are to judge each other; how else do we know who to avoid and who to embrace? Jesus judged everyone; his flaming diatribe against the Pharisees is a good example. The entire biblical story is about a God who judges, not a God who tells his followers not to sweat it but to eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow you’ll get rich because some shyster Gaia-worshipper says you deserve it. The "health and wealth" gospel is a…
…mercenary faith where the believer believes only so far as it benefits his temporal life… [the pastor] says nothing about sin, redemption, repentance, holiness or obedience.
What kind of weird, anemic religion is this? It is certainly not Christianity.
Christ preached sacrifice, hardship, suffering and death, even though His ultimate message was about the conquest of sin and death on the cross for believers. But today’s churches are increasingly offering the same get-out-of-hell-free cards the culture offers; whatever you do is good because you are being "true to yourself" and are "following your heart" and "your truth."
That is not Christianity; that is enhanced 60’s hedonism. Want to be gay? Why not? Want to be a woman, just shave, grow long hair, take hormones, dress up, wear padded bras, and join the Navy and the women's curling team. Want to mess with little kids? Have at it, but make sure parents don’t find out. Want to be an anti-white racist, a cop-hater, a Marxist, or a corrupt pro-Russia politician with a job that pays hundreds of thousands of dollars a month because daddy lives in the White House? Go for it. Want to make personal happiness your priority? Why not? After all, what is more important than being happy? Want to avoid being insulted or suffering any form of anxiety? We will move heaven and earth to give you that safe space. Want to shut people up you disagree with? Great, happy to close down our business or website because your delicate sensibilities are offended. Want to deny that Satan exists? Better still. In fact, best.
Too many of our churches have watered down Christianity into a church of cowards, too cowed to speak up. They are told that "Jesus would never behave that way." Jesus behaved exactly that way. He was strong, not wimpy. He got angry, He didn’t slink away when confronted with disbelief and evil. He challenged His followers to give up everything for Him, to be strong and courageous, not to wuss out. He went to the cross for fallen, sinful human beings and never shrank from His mission like many of today’s churches are doing. Those churches are insipid, lukewarm, beige imposters pretending to be real food and drink, real sustenance. In reality, their spiritual diets are poisoning their customers. All that being said, there is great comfort, happiness and true, deep joy in the Christian life when lived rightly and understood clearly.
The modern churchgoing experience is marked by its lack of reverence. It does not give a hint of anything sacred or mystical. There is nothing that forces the reality and presence of God into your mind. Church has become an extension of secular culture rather than an antidote to it.
To get those warm bodies into their doors, many heretical churches have sacrificed themselves on the fiery altar of culture and in the process have fed their hungry, worshipping victims secular venom. They are robbing generations of the satisfaction of personal responsibility, purity, and the joy of methodical accomplishment. The church of cowards is stealing everything Christ demanded of His followers: "Take up your cross and follow me" does not mean following Him in a Tesla to Aspen or a private jet to Davos.
These churches are doing Christians no good and in fact may be veritably killing them with kindness. Jesus wept.