The Day The Church Lost the War.
A Short Story by Jonathan David Faulkner
You are on a long narrow road, dust stirs around your feet as a light breeze rustles your hair. You continue walking down the road to an old house where two men are sitting on the front porch playing a game of chess. They do not seem to be playing, though occasionally one moves his chess piece, a pawn is taken here, a bishop there, one castles, the other takes a drink of tea. Though they are only half playing, they are fully engaged in conversation. You do not want to ease drop, but you cannot help yourself. Everyone has been talking about an event, a decision made by a court of men on the other side of the country.
“Twenty years, twenty years I have faithfully preached the gospel ot the American people.” One says “I have stood up and defended it and what has happened? The world has become a darker place, society continues to degrade and my congregation continues to react in such a way that says they are not listening.”
“We were promised this would happen.”
“Yes, but to lose the war over marriage like this?”
“It upsets me too, I preached the same thing, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and we were slaughtered.”
“But not like lambs” the first man said “more like dogs”
“What could we have done?”
“We could have stood up, been bolder, instead of responding with hatred, as oh so many of our congregations already have, we should have lived in love. Fought, with love, stood firm, with love, shown grace, with love, we could have encouraged those we were called to shepherd to be the Gospel of Love and grace. It may have saved them from their angry responses to what happened today.”
“But they will, people will claim that this nation is going to come under the condemnation of Jesus Christ, that we are the next Sodom and Gammorah.”
“they have been claiming that for years.”
“Yes, but who do you blame Charles? Who do you blame?
“I do not know…I wish I did.”
“You blame us, we lost the war, we got too caught up in insisting on fundamentals that we forgot to preach a gospel based love. Those who did try to accommodate sacrificed sound doctrine for acceptance, forgetting that those two go hand in hand. Like the Presbyterians, conceding to the progressive notion that Jesus would approve of pastors practicing unbiblical lifestyles.”
“We chose hate over love then?”
“Some chose close mindedness, demanding tradition be upheld over reaching the lost. Others chose hatred, spewing anger and bitterness at others who believed differently. Some chose to ignore the gospel and follow the masses. We all tried to approach it differently, none it truly approached the problem with grace, dignity and love. We forgot to pray for all people, to live quiet and dignified lives before them. We forgot that God desires all to be saved and so we must fight the good fight but do so out of love that issues from a pure heart, good conscious and sincere faith. How many of us have done that? We thought that Godliness was defined by our social status, not by the way we served other in line with the Gospel. We used out supposed “Holiness” to put others down rather than build up a generation of thinkers and believers. We bowed to the media and social media and listened to every voice with an opinion.”
“I see what you are saying, we abandoned the truth so we should only get upset with ourselves over this decision.”
“That is, my good friend, exactly what I am saying.”
You sneak away having heard enough, an interesting conversation, two pastors blaming the church for what had happened. The church abandoned the gospel of the truth of Jesus Christ, the gospel that, by its very nature, shared love.
We lost the war because the church abandoned the Gospel, refusing to stand up and profess Godliness in a world that so desperately needed it. We have no one to blame, but ourselves.
Thank you Gentry Sutton for pointing this out to me.