Craige McMillan, Novelist ©2018. Armageddon Story. Reader's page.
Dispatches Across Eternity. A novelist looks at Earth's Final Kingdom.

Why the Church

Can't Fix the World

by Craige McMillan
Since the 1970s and probably before, the Christian church has been struggling to fix the world, or at least the West. How has that worked out?

The Catholic church succumbed to homosexuality in the ranks of the priesthood, which spread outward to children in the congregation. That scandal didn't kill the church, but the hierarchy's response greatly weakened the church's moral authority.

While the protestant church gloated over the fall of Rome, they began to find pastors having adulterous sexual affairs with parishioners. The reaction to discovery sometimes seemed to indicate relief that the difficulties were heterosexual and adult. Usually. The erosion of moral authority however, was the same for both sides of the great divide.

The result in the eyes of the world was a greatly diminished church.

In this crippled condition the Western church mobilized its forces on Sundays and fought valiantly at election time to stem the decline of the culture from idolatry down to depravity. But the damage within the church had already been done. The sexual breakdown weakened marriage, and thus the family, and children paid the price.

In the West we moved from a culture that valued and sacrificed for the next generation—to a culture that viewed children as a nuisance when measured against career and lifestyle. The state decided it would be a good idea to pay for the disposal of inconvenient children if the mother was unable to do so. Thus the state used its power to force the culture of death upon all of us. It made all of us killers for our own convenience.

Once Western culture viewed it as OK to exterminate an unborn child because it was inconvenient or otherwise burdensome that that particular child should arrive at that particular moment, abortion changed the character of the nation—and indeed the entire Western world. Death became coequal with life.

The Christian church sought to stem the tide. It went through several iterations: The silent majority, the moral majority, and finally the silent minority.

Within many churches today the view persists that it should be possible to reverse the flow of depravity by regaining the levers of power, legislating morality, and then enforcing penalties for bad behavior. A true majority may do so through social pressure alone; a more tenuous majority requires further action. We need only witness the Islamic response to homosexual behavior. A minority may perhaps enforce its behavioral norms upon a large majority, but only with adequate surveillance and police power, and only at the eventual cost of government's consent of the governed over time.

What the Western church forgot while fighting God's battles…was God. The effect of this forgetfulness has crippled the Western Christian church and indeed, the entire Western world. Yet the slide into a modern age of darkness has only begun.

The Western Christian Church has forgotten Jesus' dialogue with his disciples as recorded in Matthew. Here it is:

13 When Jesus arrived in the villages of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "What are people saying about who the Son of Man is?"

14 They replied, "Some think he is John the Baptizer, some say Elijah, some Jeremiah or one of the other prophets."

15 He pressed them, "And how about you? Who do you say I am?"

16 Simon Peter said, "You're the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God."

17-18 Jesus came back, "God bless you, Simon, son of Jonah! You didn't get that answer out of books or from teachers. My Father in heaven, God himself, let you in on this secret of who I really am. And now I'm going to tell you who you are, really are. You are Peter, a rock. This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out.

19 "And that's not all. You will have complete and free access to God's kingdom, keys to open any and every door: no more barriers between heaven and earth, earth and heaven. A yes on earth is yes in heaven. A no on earth is no in heaven."

20 He swore the disciples to secrecy. He made them promise they would tell no one that he was the Messiah. (Matthew 16:13-20 MSG)

Jesus never told his disciples that they would build His Church. Jesus told them He would build His Church. The early church let Him do it. Rome wasn't overrun in a day—but it was overrun!

Then the church became large, comfortable, and bureaucratic. The emperor Constantine incorporated the church into the government, where it has been (either formally or informally) ever since.

But now the church has fallen from favor with government. Christ's mission of building His Church has eluded the Western Christian church. The depravity of man now cries for the church's blood. In many places across the world they are having it.

The Western church is consumed with a job that Jesus never gave it. In the process the churches working so hard have fallen away from Him. Does not wisdom dictate that the Western Christian church repent of its delusions of grandeur, admit its failure before its Lord, humbly ask forgiveness, and pray the Lord do what He promised He would do?

Or will the Western Christian church persist in its error and let those around us pay the price for our continued failure due to our disobedience to our Lord? Will God abandon Generation-X and the Millennials, a quarter to a third of whom were murdered while still in the womb?

God, it would seem, is the last best hope of the Western Christian church, as well as all the rest of us.


NOTE: The inconsistent capitalization of the word "church" is intentional and consistent with God's Church.

Photo courtesy of Public Domain


Pen graphic for contacting novelist Craige McMillan, creator of the Armageddon Story; Judgment, Interrupted novel series

Copyright 2018 Craige McMillan. All Rights Reserved.
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