During the reign of Josiah, King of Judah, the Lord’s Temple in Jerusalem was renovated after a long period of neglect. As the repair and cleanup work proceeded, a priest discovered something.
Hilkiah the priest found a book of the law of the LORD given by Moses … And Shaphan carried the book to the king … saying, Hilkiah the priest hath given me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king.
And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the law, that he rent his clothes … saying,
Go, enquire of the LORD for me, and for them that are left in Israel and Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the LORD, to do after all that is written in this book (2 Chron. 34:14b-21).
The Holy Scriptures had been left on the shelf and forgotten, and the young king was appalled.
The church in America has not yet reached that point-not yet-but according to a new report by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, we may be on our way.
“On average,” Pew reports, “Americans correctly answered 16 of the 32 religious knowledge questions on the survey … Atheists and agnostics average 20.9 correct answers. Jews and Mormons do about as well, averaging 20.5 and 20.3 correct answers, respectively. Protestants as a whole average 16 correct answers; Catholics as a whole, 14.7.”1
This article was written in 2010.
I bet it’s definitely worse now.
Except… for those Christians who are homeschooled.
The future rides with them, to the extent that they use what they have learned to expand the Kingdom of God, and are willing to pay the price for victory.
And there WILL be a price.
No Christian stands above Jesus Christ, His Master.
“The flames of destruction are licking at their world, and the walls of discipline, which are the mainstay of civilization, are crashing down around them, and they are busy straightening pictures on a burning wall. One minister spent a morning recently preaching against the rise of ‘gosh’ and ‘darn.’ Another spent the evening hour preaching against the miniskirt and dress.
“Is this what men are called by God to do? Is this the gospel, or the great commission given to all Christians? Are we to preach on trifles, or do we truly have a great commission?”6
Yes, the problem is in the church-more specifically, with the preaching and teaching in the church. And since Rushdoony wrote those words in a California Farmer essay sometime prior to 1991, the situation has gone from bad to worse.
Tibetan prayer chants, goddess worship and “feminist theology,” same-sex “marriages” or “commitment ceremonies,” dance interludes, and so on and so forth, have all been seen in churches lately, in lieu of Bible-based preaching and instruction. At this year’s Presbyterian Church USA General Assembly, some of the “worship services” were indistinguishable from Mardi Gras: there is video available for those who need to see it before they can believe it.7 It is difficult, if not impossible, to imagine how anyone could learn anything at all about Christianity in such a church environment.
6. R. J. Rushdoony, A Word in Season (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 2010), 69-70.
7. See, for instance, “Liturgical Abuse: Puppets (WCCTA 2008),” May 14, 2008, (video)
Not all churches are worthless… but far too many, certainly the majority, are.
God’s people, who hew close to God’s Law-Word, are going to have to support each other. And build each other up, when it comes to the essential of the faith.
These essentials definitely include the authority of the Bible and the authority of God’s Law, but it includes more than that.
Our law-hating, Rapture-escape Christian forefathers have created the situation we are in, far more than any number of humanists or deviants or immoralists or socialists. Neglect of duty, cowardice, faithlessness, and complacency have their reward.
We must repent, and follow the instruction of Christ, if we are going to leave a better inheritance for future Christians.
And it doesn’t start with the denominations.
It starts at home, with homeschooling.