The month of October brought a staggering wake-up call to many church members. Some had been in attendance for months, and some for years. A few had been active for a decade. They loved their church family and felt the pulpit was sound.
Their church has salvation right, and baptism. The music is acceptable, and the youth program is outstanding. It is missions-minded. And, after all, no church is perfect.
The Rude Awakening
But in October, many church attendees were going to get a rude awakening because too many hadn’t done a deep dive on all of the church’s theology.
Many had been grieved over the silence in the pulpit as it concerned Bible prophecy and current events. They accepted the flaw and got daily doses of those items online. After all, the church didn’t get involved in the cultural issues either. It is not unusual for a church to not take a stand.
Then came October 7 in Israel. What would the church response be that next day – October 8? What happened on October 7 was a game-changer! Surely, this would be front and center at their church!
It is true—the headlines, photos, and videos coming out of the latest Mideast conflict are not seeker-sensitive. They won’t make church attendees feel good. Talking about the sensitive situation won’t fit into any church-growth strategy. It won’t encourage anyone to become purpose-driven. It could even create divisiveness.
So, I should not have been so thrown when I began to get e-mails from across the country stating variations of the following:
Jan, I was very dismayed that the church we attended did not even make mention of what was going on in Israel on Sunday, October 8. Nor did the topic arise on Wednesday night—though there were several mentions of the Houston Astros game…
No One Can Say We Didn’t Know
Since then, there has been wall-to-wall coverage on all media outlets, day and night, for over three months. Can anybody claim they didn’t know? We have now all watched the sickening demonstrations begging the world to “gas the Jews.” Some are saying World War III is at hand. We have evil at a new level on display. The likelihood of terror cells embedded in America, Canada, Europe, and other places is a guarantee.
The Silence of the Shepherds Is Rooted in Theology
And yet, I was hearing many times a day about the silence of the shepherds! Could this silence be rooted in theology? A resounding “yes”!
I encourage all readers to do a study on modern theology. People hear terms that need to be explored: Replacement Theology, Covenant Theology, Amillennial Theology, Dominion Theology, and more. You just might not be in agreement with what all of these theologies entail! Most of these teach that the Church is the new Israel, that God has cast away His people Israel due to unbelief.
Prayer: The Only Effective Weapon
Human suffering has been on display since October 7, 2023. Media outlets that have a shred of integrity revealed the darkened hearts and deeds of Islamic thugs. There is only one adequate weapon in our arsenal: prayer, and better yet, corporate prayer.
Prayer from the pulpit. Prayer from a radio, TV, or Internet website. Prayer for innocent hostages, although now it is likely too late. Prayer for any innocent caught in a battle crossfire. Prayer for soldiers trying to liberate and set captives free.
And pastors, your people want you to lead in this effort! People are now tired of the silence of the shepherds. Our world is too volatile, too angry, and too evil to stand on the sidelines and be silent! You must take a stand and set theology aside.
Yes, your theology says you should minimize Israel, but then you marginalize the suffering, which Jesus would never do!
When Should I Leave a Church?
All of my radio guests have stated since October 7 that if a church will not relent on this, then it is time to leave. Period. God cannot bless this church or congregation. It is weighed in the balances and found wanting (Dan. 5:7). It is time to move on to much greener—and more spiritually fruitful—pastures.
Perhaps this is the next big church divider. Churches will either be for Israel or against her. Which side will you be on? Israel is to become the world’s burdensome stone (Zech. 12:3), but God will destroy ALL who come against Jerusalem (Zech.12:9). You want to be on God’s side!
In the new year of 2024, I pray that all in leadership will at least take a stand against evil, for much of the world is calling evil good (Isaiah 5:20). And evil is spreading like a cancer throughout the world as we trend towards the Tribulation.