The Church Must Speak Out

Churches have remained publicly quiet for decades on the moral issues of the day so as not to appear too controversial or too political.  As a result, public debate is often left to those without a biblical worldview.  The consequences of this passivity have contributed to the unraveling of American civil society.  It is well past time to end the silence.

The Progressive Elites talk endlessly about "democracy," but their intention is typically a ruse to implement a top-down liberal agenda.  They allow normalizing pedophilia, trafficking children for sex, sexually grooming kids, encouraging transgender surgery for minors, and promoting unlimited abortion and gay marriage.  These actions are all against God's purpose, as the Bible instructs us.  While a few individuals and churches may be speaking out about these issues, their numbers need to grow to have any effect.

Churches are comfortable with business as usual at a time when we need to lean on God.  People realize that things are not the same as they were just a few years ago, and they are looking for the Church to guide them, and many churches are silently playing it safe on these core moral problems in our country today.  If the Christian community remains silent because we fear the repercussions of speaking out, are we living out our faith? Are we trusting in God? 

In his compelling book, A Letter to the American Church, Eric Metaxas notes the frightening similarities between the contemporary American Church and the German Church of the 1930s.  Of course, the German Church could not have imagined what was coming in the years ahead.  Who would have imagined the Holocaust could have happened in an enlightened and advanced Western nation like theirs?  Yet we in America today know what transpired and have no excuse if we fail to see the parallel warnings delivered by Dietrich Bonhoeffer to his fellow citizens. 

As hard as it may be, all of us who claim the name of Christ need to speak courageously against the evils afflicting our culture, something most pastors of Nazi Germany failed to do.  Metaxas encourages American Christians to speak out before it is too late and echoes Dietrich Bonhoeffer's prophetic call, "Silence in the face of evil is itself evil.  Not to speak is to speak, and not to act is to act.  God will not hold us guiltless."

As a church leader, Bonhoeffer did not remain silent and paid for it with his life.  We pray that level of persecution does not come to America.  Today, mainstream news is filled with political distortions that malign our inalienable rights to freedom of religion and speech.  Metaxas disavows the notion that fighting moral corruption politicizes Christianity.  As Bonhoeffer and others have insisted, the Church plays a crucial role in shaping the ethical culture of a nation and must be a beacon of light in the surrounding darkness.  The Christian community must be heard publicly now more than ever.

Many in the United States assume something like the Holocaust could never happen here because our human nature is above all that.  Well, think again.  Throughout history, human nature has remained the same no matter where you live.  Would your moral foundation enable you to give up your job, wealth, family, and life to oppose evil?  Or would you succumb to silence by the immediate need for self-preservation?

Of course, the central thrust of the Church is sharing the Gospel message of salvation by faith in Christ Jesus.  However, our work continues beyond this message.  The Book of James stresses that faith without works is dead.  The American Church should follow Bonhoeffer's example by declaring what is right and wrong in the public square. 

However, the American Church is not given a collective voice.  The Church has individual voices from the pastor and from individual members in the church.  Pastors should urge Believers to speak to all in their circles of influence concerning Biblical issues.

Regrettably, fear of losing congregants, donations, and tax-exempt status are often more pressing concerns for churches than speaking out publicly on moral issues.  Yet silence is an option we can no longer afford.  God calls us to do more.  Assured that this is the Lord's battle, we must overcome our apprehension and enter the fight armed with the power of the Holy Spirit.

Progressive Elites don't understand religious liberty because they lead their lives surrounded by their professions, personal interests, and like-minded neighbors and peers.  Their concerns are centered more around power, influence, and wealth.  They see religiosity as an uncouth obstacle to their entitlements, gender reassignments, and abortions.  They malign faithful Christians as "Christian Nationalists" to neutralize their public views.  What they do not realize is God calls all nations to honor Him. 

While the Christians celebrate America's founding virtues, the Left is destroying a culture founded on Biblical values.  They are tearing apart those bonds by indoctrinating and brainwashing our young in schools and universities, rewriting history, blurring biological distinctions, weaponizing governmental agencies, destroying families and cities, and suppressing free speech.  Regardless of the character of civil leaders, the Church and its people must honor God by engaging in discussions to guide them on how laws should follow moral principles.

If the last few years do not wake up the Body of Christ, what will? The Church was founded in this land to speak and worship freely and risked everything to do so.  They spoke about values, and they talked about right and wrong.  This resoluteness is what is missing today.  If pastors had a fear of God over the fear of man, we would not have passive churches.  People are looking for leadership.  Far too many churches have become complacent, and the country has strayed far from its founding values.

America was founded on the capacity for people to reason, speak and associate freely.  We, the People, have the right to elect and remove government officials in a constitutional process.  The Left takes full advantage of these freedoms, and so should we.  We are summoned to engage in the public debate vigorously.  The Church and its people must stand up and take full advantage of their rights before it is too late.   

John Quincy Adams once said, "Duty is ours, results are God's." Get involved in your community, encourage people to vote, and speak the truth against falsehoods.  If you believe in a Creator who endows us with certain inalienable rights, including freedom of speech, now is the time to be heard.  We are called for a time such as this. 

Jeff Lukens is a West Point graduate, U.S. Army veteran, and conservative activist.  He can be reached at

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