The Unfaithful Shepherds of Today’s Christian Churches
A Call to Repentance
“But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming,
and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.” (John 10:12)
by Stuart DiNenno
If you are a Christian reading this article I am going to assume that you have both enough discernment of the times and a sufficient knowledge of history to recognize the wretchedly low condition of Christianity today. You would have to be completely blind not to recognize that both the institutions of Christianity and the influence of it has been on the decline in Western nations for a very long time. What were once Christian civilizations in Europe, North America, and other parts of the world have fallen away and become clearly anti-Christian. Immoral practices that could not even be mentioned above the volume of a whisper just a few generations ago are now openly practiced and encouraged — and even publicly praised. The general culture of our nations has almost completely fallen back to the savage degeneracy of ancient Rome. What is called the Christian church is becoming weaker and more worldly with every passing year, and it is fragmented into thousands of denominations and independent churches teaching a multitude of conflicting doctrines, and the so-called Christians today are, to a large degree, conformed to the apostate spirit of the age in their thoughts, their words and their deeds. If you have not recognized these blatant realities, at least in part, then you are not likely to benefit from this article.
Of course, it is a relatively easy thing to perceive the shameful condition and to point it out. But, there can be no cure unless the disease is diagnosed and the cause of it is identified, and that is the purpose of this article. Now the title of it sets forth an accusation: that the pastors and teachers of today’s so-called Christian churches are unfaithful shepherds. My assertion is that the infidelity of the modern-day ministry is the root cause of the disease that has brought both the churches and our civilizations to their present deplorable condition. Today’s ministers, and their predecessors of recent generations, have miserably failed in their duty to be watchmen over the flock. Just like the unfaithful shepherd shown in the painting on the first page of this article, they have abandoned the sheep to the wolves.
My purpose in publishing this article is not merely to find fault but also to correct the fault. It is a call to repentance directed at today’s professing Christian ministers. Now, it may be charged against me that I have no authority to make such a call, but that charge is immaterial. I believe the facts themselves and the arguments in which I will frame them will be sufficient to establish the truth of the matter and reveal the need for repentance. You can judge the matter for yourself, after I present the case in the following words.
So a charge of infidelity has been made against the modern-day professional Christian ministry. But before we can make a judgment about that charge, we have to establish a standard for making a judgment. We have to determine what is the primary duty of a Christian minister. What is the one responsibility so essential to ministry that if a minister fails to do it, then he cannot be considered faithful to his calling? If it can be shown that he is entirely or consistently failing in this one principal task, then we can say that he is unfaithful.
Of course, those in the Christian ministry have more than one duty but it is certainly obvious that preaching the truth is their primary responsibility. This is a point that should be accepted without controversy by anyone who professes to hold to Protestant or Evangelical doctrine. One of the cardinal doctrines asserted by the Protestant Reformers in their opposition to Roman Catholicism was the centrality of preaching. The Christian minister is to be first and foremost a minister of truth, and, if he is not that, then he is failing to do his duty, regardless of how well he may perform any other services to the church. Therefore, if we are going to judge whether the so-called Christian ministers in America are faithfully discharging their duty at this point in history, whether we are speaking of individual cases or collectively, then we must make our judgment according to the standard of their preaching — is it faithful or is it not.
Now most Christians would say that a faithful preacher is one who fully, accurately, and plainly expounds the doctrines of the Bible. But that answer is only half right, and, if you agreed with it, then you need to understand this point: a Christian minister could, over the course of his entire career, preach the equivalent of such magnificent theological works as Matthew Henry’s Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible, John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion, and the sixteen volumes of John Owen’s Complete Works — that is, he could preach the equivalent of all of these combined and not deviate on any point from the historic confessions of faith, and he could do all of this in a skillful, thorough, and captivating way, and yet despite all of this he could be very unfaithful in his preaching.
Now I imagine that some of you are scratching your heads and thinking: How can this be possible? How can a man thoroughly and expertly set forth biblical doctrine of the highest order for an entire lifetime and still not be a faithful preacher? Well, we all know that a minister can be unfaithful by preaching false doctrines. And there is no doubt that many false doctrines are being taught today in various denominations of professing Christendom. However, it is very important to understand this point: a preacher can not only sin in what he proclaims but also in what he fails to proclaim. In theology this is called a sin of omission.
You see, the truthfulness required to be a faithful preacher is very similar to the courtroom oath that says: “Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?” That oath consists of three clauses regarding the truth. The first clause requires you to tell the truth. But you could be mixing that truth with some lies, and so you are required to also keep the third clause by telling nothing but the truth. However, you could tell the truth and nothing but the truth but still leave out some important information from your testimony. In that case, you would be failing to keep the second clause by not telling the whole truth. And if you did so, then your account would be incomplete, your story would be distorted, and you would be in violation of the oath.
In a similar way, a preacher can proclaim truth and even proclaim nothing but truth, and yet not proclaim the whole truth. He can be unfaithful by failing to give his disciples the knowledge they need to effectively apply their religion to all aspects of their lives and to the societies in which they live. He can also be unfaithful by neglecting to provide them with the information they need to defend themselves and the church against the anti-Christs who are working to destroy them. So you see that he can appear to be faithful in his preaching because he is not proclaiming anything erroneous, but all the while he can be a spectacular failure because of what is absent from his preaching.
It is not that today’s preachers don’t preach truth — in fact, in some churches you can still hear much truth preached. But the truth that you do get is incomplete and today’s Christian teaching is especially lacking in the hard truths, that is, the unpleasant realities that need to be known. And I am going to show you how this is the case with the modern-day Christian ministry, apart from perhaps a very few exceptions.
The Bible describes itself as a sword. It is a weapon to be used against our enemies — the flesh, the devil, and the world. But like any weapon, it cannot be used effectively without an understanding of the opponent it is to be used against. We have to understand the forces working against us if we are to defend ourselves from harm and win the nations to Christ.
In military terminology, knowledge of the opposing forces is called intelligence. In modern warfare, intelligence is gathered through such methods as interviews with local residents, aerial photography, intercepting electronic communications, spies working clandestinely, and in many other ways. But gathering military intelligence is as old as warfare itself. You may recall that, in biblical times, Moses sent spies among the Canaanites in order to assess their strengths and weaknesses.
But suppose a military force lacked any knowledge of its enemies? Any competent military leader will tell you that even an enormous army with highly trained troops and the most excellent equipment cannot hope to defeat an enemy of whom they have no intelligence. If a leader does not know where the enemy is located, has no knowledge of his weapons or strategies, and cannot even properly identify him, then he has no possibility of being victorious over that enemy. All the careful training of his troops and the expense of his powerful weapons will be wasted.
And this is very similar to the failure of today’s professional ministers. Although it is true that men who are both very knowledgeable about the Bible and are theologically accurate in their teaching are in short supply today, there is actually a much worse problem, which is this: the knowledge and abilities that they do possess are not being used to combat the evil doctrines and practices that have destroyed our civilization and are destroying the churches. Even the few professional ministers today who are properly educated and are teaching accurate theology have little knowledge of the enemies that have been deliberately undermining Christianity and Western civilization for multiple generations, and so they are like a blind man leading an army — wandering around in the dark with no idea of where the enemy is or what he is doing, let alone how to engage and overcome him.
And as if this were not bad enough, not only do today’s church leaders lack knowledge of the enemy from their own intelligence sources, but the great majority of them are operating under the intelligence provided by the enemy. That is, their worldview and their understanding of history is, to a large degree, not of a Christian origin, coming from within the church, but of an anti-Christian origin, coming from the apostate world, and so whatever knowledge they do have is mostly interpreted through the lens of ungodly presuppositions and, therefore, it is distorted in such a way that it actually serves the enemy’s agenda.
Such ministers, of course, cannot teach truths to others that they do not know or are deceived about themselves, and so the result is that the great majority of professing Christians today, even those relative few who are being taught orthodox theology, do not have a Christian worldview, and they do not understand the forces that have been working against them for many years. Therefore, they are ill-equipped to defend themselves against the anti-Christs, much less are they able to militate for the furtherance of God’s kingdom in the world.
Now, if you doubt the assertions I am making about the ignorant state of today’s professional ministry, then try asking Christian ministers to give an explanation of Cultural Marxism. Most cannot even begin to define it, even though it is a philosophy and movement that has the explicit goal of overthrowing Christian morality. And it has largely succeeded in doing so, having infiltrated the thinking of almost everyone in North America and Europe today, to varying degrees, even the Christian ministers themselves.
Cultural Marxists are the ones who have given us the counterfeit moral code that has been introduced in recent years, and is expressed in such terms as racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, and anti-semitism. Now, it is beyond the scope of this article to go into detail about these anti-Christian concepts of sin and how they are being used against us. However, it is very important to know that all of these concepts are in direct opposition to biblical concepts of morality. And it is equally important to understand that they have been instituted specifically to be destructive to Christian societies. But you certainly won’t learn this in today’s churches. In fact, you are more likely to be told the lie that they are actual sins.
Inquire to Christian ministers about some of the most influential leaders of the Cultural Marxist movement such as Franz Boas, Antonio Gramsci, or Herbert Marcuse. Most likely, they will be unfamiliar with these names, yet, these anti-Christs have shaped the ethics and the worldview of modern Americans and Europeans far more than any Christian of the last couple of centuries. Cultural Marxism is an offshoot of the same philosophy that was previously affiliated with the name of Karl Marx. It is just another variant of the same atheistic and anti-Christian theme that is labeled Marxism, Socialism or Communism, and its adherents use these terms interchangeably as it suits their needs. Most of the thinkers behind other Marxist movements have been Jews, and this is true to an even greater extent with the Cultural Marxists.
Antonio Gramsci said in 1915, “Socialism is precisely the religion that must overwhelm Christianity…in the new order, Socialism will triumph by first capturing the culture via infiltration of schools, universities, churches, and the media, and by them transforming the consciousness of society.” Notice that Gramsci calls Socialism a religion, and an anti-Christian religion, and that this religion was to work gradually through indoctrination. This is a description of Cultural Marxism and its methods and it is what others of the same philosophy have called “the long march through the institutions.” That is, rather than gaining power by means of a sudden and violent Communist revolution, which other Marxists failed to do in Western Europe, North America, and other parts of the world, the Cultural Marxists would use a more subtle and insidious approach. They would work over a long period, infiltrating the institutions of society mentioned by Gramsci and taking control of them, and then through these institutions they would gradually indoctrinate the masses into their anti-Christian and counterfeit morality. Gramsci acknowledged that Western civilization was guided by its Christianity, and that the only way to achieve a Marxist revolution would be to break the Christian faith of the masses and to eliminate the moral system derived from Christianity, and this “long march through the institutions” was their plan for accomplishing it.
Max Horkheimer was one of the original Cultural Marxists from the Frankfurt School of Social Research in Germany. He said in 1937: “The revolution won’t happen with guns, rather, it will happen incrementally, year by year, generation by generation. We will gradually infiltrate their education institutions and their political offices, transforming them slowly into Marxist entities as we move toward universal egalitarianism.” In case you are not familiar with the term egalitarianism, it comes from the French word for equality and when Marxists use it, they mean an equality that does away with all distinctions — including class distinctions, racial distinctions, national distinctions, religious distinctions, and gender distinctions. This they have done, and are continuing to do, with great success. But it is very unlikely that you will learn about any of it in today’s churches.
Try also interrogating Christian ministers about the French Revolution. You will find that they know little about it, much less will they be able to tell you how its egalitarian and anti-Christian spirit, and the forces behind it, are still shaping our world today. The 18th century French revolution was the example and forerunner of all the later Communist revolutions and movements that are still very much active in our world today.
Christian author Otto Scott, who wrote a book on the French Revolution said, “The French Revolution is not taught in our schools…and this is a great educational crime, because the French debacle was the first secular revolution in all history. One would expect it to be taught in every school and in every church as an example of what can happen when men declare war against God.”
Scott also said, “By the time I got through with my research and I was ready to write this book, I felt anyone who understands the French Revolution will understand all left-wing revolutions. And anyone who doesn’t understand the French Revolution is going to be doomed to be victimized by a left-wing revolution.” Left-wing revolutionaries always target Christian churches for destruction, just as they did in the French Revolution, and the same is likely to occur in America, and so it is really a crime that today’s ministers know very little about these deadly enemies and are not warning their flocks about the danger.
American author William G. Simpson wrote, “The conviction that all men are equal [i.e., egalitarianism] was the driving force behind the French Revolution, and it has been the driving force behind every social revolution, or attempt at social revolution, since then. It is of critical importance that this be understood, for it is the very essence of the acid that Communism pours upon every society that it sets itself to destroy.” It certainly is of critical importance for every American, and especially Christians, to understand these things but, again, you will learn little of them in today’s churches.
The same is true of all the 20th century Marxist revolutions, such as those in Russia, China, Cuba, Cambodia, and other countries. Modern-day Christian ministers might be able to tell you some basic facts but they have no in-depth understanding of the revolutionaries and their motivations. Most would probably tell you that Marxism is primarily an unworkable economic system or a misguided attempt at social equity and justice. But this is far from the reality. At root, Marxism is anti-God and all of its so-called economic and social theories are merely incidental to the destruction of religion and national cohesion.
As 20th century Russian author and political dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn explained, “The world has never before known a godlessness as organised, miltarised and tenaciously malevolent as that preached by Marxism. Within the philosophical system of Marx and Lenin and at the heart of their psychology, hatred of God is the principle driving force, more fundamental than all their political and economic pretensions. Militant atheism is not merely incidental or marginal to Communist policy; it is not a side effect, but the central pivot. To achieve its diabolical ends, Communism needs to control a population devoid of religious and national feeling, and this entails a destruction of faith and nationhood. Communists proclaim both of these objectives openly, and just as openly put them into practice.” Oh and, by the way, America is now in the midst of a Marxist revolution across many fronts, but it is unlikely you would hear that mentioned by the leader of a church today.
Likewise, today’s Christian ministers know nearly nothing about the origin, influence, and direction of all the Jewish-led philosophies, movements, and organizations that have deliberately promoted almost every form of immorality that you can name in Western societies today, even though these have destroyed, and continue to destroy, millions of individuals, families, and even entire nations. This has largely been accomplished though propaganda to children and young adults via public schools, universities, television, films, and other avenues, and although it has been happening for several generations now right under their noses, the vast majority of today’s so-called Christian ministers seem oblivious to it all.
To give one particularly egregious example of a subversive Jewish-led movement, which is only one among many, there is the abomination known as Drag Queen Story Hour. This is where sexually deviant men dress as women, in the most hideous forms possible, and then tell stories to little children in public libraries. According to Wikipedia, they target children ages 3-11. This is not being done secretly but openly — they even have their own website where they say that the program “captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models.” They want to draw your children into their filthy way of life and destroy them.
Drag Queen Story Hour is not something that has just popped up spontaneously and organically. It has been carefully planned and is funded by some very wealthy Jews. This has been going on since 2015, six years now, and according to their website, they have 39 chapters in the US and 16 chapters in other countries. Of course, the Jews are not supporting it because they want to foster love and acceptance — anyone who believes that is a fool. They do it because they know it is destructive to Christian morality and social cohesion, which is a necessary step to them taking control over a society. If you want to erect a new structure that best serves your purpose you have to tear down the old structure first and this what the Jews and their allies are doing in America today. Your government officials at the local, state, and national levels are allowing Drag Queen Story Hour to happen in the public libraries, your church ministers are consenting to it by their silence, and all of them are traitors to the people.
As Canadian author William D. Gairdner said “All revolutionaries quickly see that to change the social order you first have to change the sexual order. The traditional family, after all, is a sexual, procreative entity that dictates much of our social reality (sexual roles, economic roles, socialization between the genders, etc.) So by redefining the sexual nature of the family, we can redefine society itself. The long and the short of this strategy is that those who wish to engineer society in any direction must first break all the traditional moral and religious sexual allegiances. Sexuality must be progressively divested of all its spiritual, procreative, and family meanings divested even of its connections with romantic love… and in its place must be put an increasing emphasis on raw sexuality as a pure and joyous expression of the autonomous self.”
Jewish pornographic magazine publisher Al Goldstein made it clear that Jews are in pornography because they hate Christ, they hate anything representing itself as His church and they use pornography to destroy Christian civilization. He said, “Pornography thus becomes a way of defiling Christian culture and, as it penetrates to the heart of the American mainstream (and is no doubt consumed by those very same White Anglo-Saxon Protestants), its subversive character becomes more charged.” Of course, your Christian minister will tell you that pornography is a sin but he won’t tell you that it is a weapon used by the Jews to “defile Christian culture” because he most likely doesn’t understand that himself or is too cowardly to say so.
But the Christian ministers of the past were not afraid to condemn the Jews for their wickedness. If you want to see proof of this, then after you read this article, you can go look in the Articles section of this website, and then go to the Anti-Christ section where you will find an article entitled Righteous Condemnation of the Jews in Christian History, which is a collection of quotes against the Jews by prominent Christians in past ages. It is interesting to note that no one in the history of the Christian church spoke out against the Jews more strongly than Martin Luther, the man God used to start the Protestant Reformation in the early 1500’s, but today’s so-called Protestant ministers won’t speak a word against them, despite the fact that Jewish subversion of Christian civilization is far worse today than it was in Luther’s time.
Now, I don’t want to go too far afield into Jewish conspiracies against Christianity. That could be a very lengthy article in itself. My point in mentioning these things is only to demonstrate the fact that today’s professional ministry is entirely failing to educate their flocks as to such dangers. Of course, it also true that most of the people in their congregations don’t want to hear about these things, and their ministers know that, but avoidance of difficult truths is only further evidence of the general apostasy of the church and it does not excuse the professional ministers from at least attempting to make the truth known about such things.
By the way, I am not suggesting that any of the topics I have mentioned necessarily be addressed in the weekly sermon to the congregation. Perhaps messages from the pulpit should be strictly limited to the preaching of the gospel and Christian doctrine. However, there is a desperate need for Christians to be informed by their ministers about the things that their enemies are doing to destroy them, their families, their churches, and their nations, and this could be done by way of classroom teaching, articles posted on the church’s website, video presentations, or in groups of Christians meeting in private houses. It doesn’t really matter where, when, or how they are taught, but it is imperative that Christians be informed of these matters and today’s ministers are completely failing to do so. As it is now, the only way you can learn about these things is to ferret out the information yourself through the Internet, such as in discussions with other Christians on social media, and if you do participate in those discussions, you will find that the professional ministers are almost entirely absent from them.
Now, at this point, some of you may be thinking, “I also have never heard the names of the Cultural Marxists you mentioned and I don’t know much about the movements you are describing.” Well, this is not surprising. Certainly, the anti-Christs running the education system, the news media, and the government are not going to teach you about them, and if your so-called Christian ministers are also not doing so, then how would you know about them? Most likely, not only will your local Christian minister be unable to inform you about any of it, but he will dismiss much of it, out of ignorance, as so-called “conspiracy theories,” and even find fault with you for asking about some of these subjects.
They do this because they lack the wisdom or courage, or both, to question, rather than uncritically accept, the anti-Christian worldview and narrative of history that is spoon-fed to them through the mainstream sources. All the aforementioned ideologies, and the campaigns to indoctrinate them into our minds, have destroyed the moral fabric of Western, formerly Christian nations, and have largely subverted the churches as well. But so-called Christian ministers are almost completely uninformed of them. They do not know and you will find that, in most cases, they do not want to know. Paul the apostle in 2 Corinthians 2:11 said that he was not ignorant of Satan’s devices. Today’s ministers are not only ignorant of them but willfully so. They are unfaithful watchmen who have not blown the trumpet in warning to the people.
Ezekiel 33:6 says “…if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.” We need to understand that God holds responsible those ministers who fail to sound the alarm to their congregants by failing to inform them about the dangers that are destroying the church and their nation, and this is exactly what the modern-day so-called Christian ministers are failing to do.
For the most part, the religious professionals in America have turned Christianity into an ineffectual and emasculated religion that is devoid of spiritual power and virile boldness. It has become a religion that only desires to hide away from the world while evil takes dominion over the society beyond the four walls of its meeting places. Now, there are some churches that still retain the form and profession of true Christianity. But, in most cases, this is just a hollow veneer. In reality, today’s Christianity, across all the denominations, has degenerated into a compartmentalized, inward-looking religion that only concerns itself with an intellectual comprehension of doctrine, some aspects of personal piety, and the things practiced in the few hours of the church’s weekly assembly.
Christian writer Joseph Boot put it well when he said, “Since the so-called Enlightenment, Christians have steadily surrendered the various organs of culture — education, law, arts, charity, medicine, government — almost entirely to the increasingly machiavellian humanistic state. We have progressively retreated into a pietistic bubble, concerned largely with eternal verities and keeping souls from hell, and we have faithlessly limited Christ’s jurisdiction to the institutional church. The result has been the marginalization of the Christian church and a change of religion in the public sphere.”
Overall, I agree with what Mr. Boot has said, although it is not really true that the churches have been very concerned with keeping souls from hell. If they were, then they would boldly preach a gospel message that thoroughly convicts men of the guilt of their sin and makes them understand their utter hopelessness apart from the grace of God. This they would do through the application of God’s law and an exposition of the Bible’s teaching about human depravity. Instead, because they fear offending men, they preach a watered-down, non-confrontational message that fails to bring forth repentance and does not cause the hearers to truly grasp their deperate need for a savior. The result, I fear, is that few conversions are actually occurring in today’s so-called churches. For a thorough examination of today’s gospel preaching, please read the article entitled The Gospel Is Not Being Preached in America Today.
What is called Christianity today is no longer a militant force for converting the people and transforming the culture. The modern-day churches have a truncated form of religion that lacks the power to overcome the forces of Satan which are conquering the world. This is blatant infidelity. As 20th century theologian R. J. Rushdoony stated, “A piety which concerns itself only with man’s soul and leaves the world to the devil is a profane piety.” Not only does today’s profane form of Christianity fail to stand against the spirit of the age but it continually and increasingly conforms itself to that spirit.
This is no new phenomenon. “There is no new thing under the sun.” It has always been the tendency of fallen men to reduce the worship of God to mere external forms and professions, rather than to demonstrate genuine obedience by applying the law of God to every facet of their own lives, and working to conform their societies to biblical principles. The Bible testifies that this was the case repeatedly with the Israelites, and historians have said the same about Christians during the Middle Ages. Here’s an interesting quote about that from a history textbook I own: “They [meaning Christians during the Middle Ages] fulfilled all the external obligations of the faith and they would have been shocked if they had been told they were not good Christians. But they tended more and more to put their religion in a separate compartment where it would have little influence on their daily life.” Doesn’t this sound a lot like today’s Christians?
It is the duty of Christian ministers to heed the biblical warnings against this sort of hypocritical behavior, and to learn from history the consequences of it, so that they can recognize and correct it. Instead today’s ministers participate in the hypocrisy by lamenting the tremendous amount of evil in Western nations today but being blind to the fact that the reduction and compartmentalization of Christianity that they teach and exemplify is the very thing that has allowed the evil to proliferate.
It is of vital importance that Christian ministers in all eras gain a thorough knowledge of their present culture, understand the driving forces behind it, and stand against the destructive spirit of the age. As 19th century Christian writer J. C. Ryle said: “…it is a most important thing to understand the times in which we live, and to understand what those times require. Next to our Bibles and our own hearts, our Lord would have us study our own times.”
Protestant reformer Martin Luther stated: “The duty of every believer in every age is to find out the spirit of the age and stand against it.” Here is another quote often attributed to Luther: “If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the Word of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him. Where the battle rages there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle front besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.” The battle is raging today but the professional Christian soldiers have abandoned the fight and hidden themselves away behind stacks of theology books.
As Presbyterian minister J. Gresham Machen said a little more than 100 years ago, “Shut yourself up in an intellectual monastery, do not disturb yourself with the thoughts of unregenerate men, and of course you will find it easier to be a Christian, just as it is easier to be a good soldier in comfortable winter quarters than it is on the field of battle. You save your own soul — but the Lord’s enemies remain in possession of the field.” Perhaps some of today’s Christian ministers will save their own souls but I believe it is more likely that if they continue in such disloyal behavior they will be condemned along with the unfaithful servant mentioned in Matthew 25 who likewise buried his talent in the earth rather than putting it to use to further the kingdom.
The vast majority of Christian ministers are failing both to educate themselves about the forces working to destroy Christianity and failing to preach against the same. What the motives are for their behavior differs from one individual to another. In some it may be cowardice: a fear of either losing their jobs or receiving the scorn of colleagues, friends and family members if they speak out and swim against the tide. In some it may be a desire for a form of profit: conforming to the infidelity of the times, or at least not resisting it, in order to gain money, receive prestige, or advance their positions. Others may be apathetic and lazy: just punching the time clock and collecting a paycheck while doing only enough to keep up the appearance of fulfilling their ministerial obligations. Still others may sincerely believe that they are properly fulfilling the duty of a Christian minister because they judge themselves by what the other ministers in their churches or denominations are preaching and practicing, failing to recognize that a form of infidelity has pervaded them all. Also, it should not be doubted that there are some in the professional ministry who intentionally are undermining true Christianity, being blind guides themselves and helping to lead others into a ditch.
But whatever the case for each individual, what was said by John of Salibury in 1159 A.D., about the Christian ministers in his day, is largely true of Christian ministers today: “For there is no spirit of liberty or independence in them to lift up their voices against the powers of the world. No valor to protect the truth in time of danger. So long as they prosper in their own concerns, so long as they realize the objects of their ambition or avarice, they hold in small account the loss of the things of Jesus Christ.” Doesn’t this sound a lot like today’s Christian ministers?
What drives each man to do what he does, we do not need to know. It is enough to examine the unfaithful actions of the professional ministers collectively and render a judgment.
Now here is a question that surely reveals the infidelity of the modern-day Christian ministry: If they are preaching genuine biblical Christianity, as they claim, then why are they never persecuted? If we were living in a society that had already experienced a strong revival of Christianity and a comprehensive reformation of the church, then we might expect the churches to be unmolested. But should we expect them to be at peace in an utterly depraved and anti-Christian culture such as we have today in Western countries? To ask that question is to answer it. There is an undeniable inconsistency here. The early Christian church was surrounded by a degenerate pagan culture, just as we have today, and it was bitterly persecuted. The Bible tells us in 2 Timothy 3:12 “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” It testifies that John the Baptist was beheaded, Stephen was stoned to death, James was slain with the sword, Paul received the “forty lashes minus one” five times from the Jews, Peter was imprisoned twice and beaten by the authorities at least once, and all the apostles suffered persecution of some sort.
Likewise, the recorded history of the early church in the first few centuries after the time of the apostles tells us that many Christian ministers were martyred for their faith, and there is no doubt that many more of them suffered other forms of persecution. The same happened during the Protestant Reformation when the Reformers stood against the apostate church of Rome.
In stark contrast, today’s professional ministers are at peace in nations that have not seen similar levels of public wickedness since ancient Rome. It is certain that none of the Christian ministers in this generation are going to be added to Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. In fact, except for a very few pastors in Canada who were jailed recently for refusing to close their churches during the so-called Covid pandemic, it is doubtful that anyone watching this can name even one so-called Christian minister in a Western nation who has suffered any real persecution of any kind. The fact that such persecution is almost non-existent today is, in itself, damning evidence that today’s professional ministers are not preaching authentic Christianity but only an eviscerated counterfeit.
The fact is that today’s churches do not even preach the foundational message of salvation. That is they do not preach the Christian gospel. As I said earlier in this article, they preach a watered-down, non-confrontational message that does not convict its hearers of the guilt of their sin and so it does not bring forth repentance. This is a topic that needs to be addressed more in-depth and I intend to do write another article about it sometime in the future.
However, it is very important to understand this point: the reason that persecution never comes upon today’s churches is not because their ministers do not preach any truth. In fact, there are still some churches where a great deal of truth is taught. The reason persecution never comes upon them is that they only teach what might be called comfortable truths. That is, they largely focus on matters of personal piety, corporate worship practice, and abstract theological doctrines. Of course, there are truths in such things that need to be taught but the infidelity lies in the fact that the modern-day ministry shrinks back from teaching those things which cause offense to the unconverted and they especially avoid preaching about anything which would bring them into conflict with the world outside of their little church building safe spaces. They preach and practice a religion that takes pains to be innocuous and so it allows them to live in a fantasy land, pretending that all the degeneracy in the larger society is not going to overtake them. It is a cowardly strategy that requires continual retreat and compromise, and it will end in the loss of whatever life such churches have left in them.
This behavior is what some Christians have called pietism. In its derogatory sense, pietism means overly focusing on matters of personal piety and matters of the church while withdrawing from the world so as to have no influence in it. There is even a theological system being taught today called Radical Two Kingdom theology, or R2K, which teaches that Christians are not to try to press their religion in the public sphere. It’s really just a theological justification for a cowardly retreat from the world. Most churches don’t teach R2K theology, but even the ones that do not are pietistic in practice, and so there really is no difference between the ones that teach it and the ones that don’t.
This is not the way Christian ministers behaved in past centuries. During the Protestant Reformation era they not only exposed evil when preaching to their congregants, but they spoke out against wicked men in high places and even confronted rulers to tell them what was their duty in the sight of God.
One notable example was John Knox in the 1500’s who confronted Queen Mary of Scotland and told Mary to her face that her subjects had the right to resist her rule if she did not do her duty to God by suppressing wickedness in the land. While being questioned by Queen Mary about his view that subjects could lawfully resist their rulers, Knox said to Mary, “If their princes exceed their bounds, Madam, it is no doubt that they may be resisted even by power.” In other words, Knox was telling her that private individuals could even violently resist wicked rulers in some cases and not be in violation of biblical principles.
Knox taught that private persons had the right to disregard civil laws and even overthrow their rulers if they were trying to impose evil practices upon them or failing to prevent others from doing the same. He wrote: “Let a thing here be noted, that the prophet of God sometimes may teach treason against kings, and yet neither he nor such as obey the word, spoken in the Lord’s name by him, offend God.” And he said “But hereof be assured, that all is not lawful nor just that is statute by civil laws; neither yet is everything sin before God, which ungodly persons allege to be treason.” When Knox spoke of “the prophet of God,” he was speaking of Christian preachers. Today’s Presbyterians claim to be following in the footsteps of John Knox. But can you imagine any of them speaking as boldly as this against evil rulers? It never happens.
Charles Hodge, a Presbyterian minister in the mid-1800’s, spoke against theological teachings that would neuter the church, such as we have today with Radical Two Kingdom theology, when he said, “To adopt any theory which would stop the mouth of the Church and prevent her bearing her testimony to the kings and rulers, magistrates and people, in behalf of the truth and law of God, is like one who administers chloroform to a man to prevent his doing mischief. We pray God that this poison may be dashed away, before it has reduced the church to a state of inanition and delivered her bound hand and foot into the power of the world.” In case you are not familiar with chloroform, it was an early form of anesthetic. And a “state of inanition” means to be in a state that is emptied of vitality. This is what we have in Western societies today: a pietistic church that has been anesthetized, emptied of its vitality, and surrended to the ungodly powers of the world, and which even tries to formulate theological justifications for its cowardice and its powerlessness.
If it is true that a Christian minister is no better than the evil he fails to stand against, then it must be said that today’s ministers are, for the most part, woeful failures. Because it is a fact that very few of them have forcefully taken a stand against the doctrines and movements that have been destroying the institutional church and Christian civilizations for many years.
How many of them speak out against all of the egalitarian lies in which we are told that everyone is equal regardless of race, gender, religion or sexual practice?
How many of them speak out against the feminism that has made many American women into pseudo-men, which has largely destroyed motherhood and the family, and has resulted in the murder of innocent babies on a scale that makes Herod or Pharaoh look like amateurs?
How many of them speak out against all of the sexual perversion and confusion that is running rampant through our society, into which American children are being indoctrinated and by which many of them will be destroyed?
How many of them speak out against all of the unjust warfare that our government has been prosecuting for more than 100 years now for the benefit of mega-corporations, the bankers, and the so-called Jews and their counterfeit Israel, resulting in many millions of deaths with no end in sight?
How many of them speak out against the grand larceny of socialism that has made all Americans participants in thievery for at least the past 80 years and which is increasing every year?
How many of them speak out against our fraudulent money system and the usury of the banking establishment?
How many of them speak out against the fact that our country is being flooded with many millions of foreigners bringing with them a multitude of alien cultures and false, anti-Christian religions?
How many of them have even bothered to educate themselves as to the sources and driving forces behind these destructive movements? That is, how they came into being and who is running them? The reality is that most of the professional ministry is almost entirely ignorant of these things, being not only uninformed about such things but also even largely indoctrinated into them.
We need to understand that preaching accurate biblical doctrine, while certainly a commendable attribute, is not the only test of a faithful Christian minister. A man may not be teaching any doctrines that could be called heretical, but if he is manifesting timidity, cowardice, and an obvious faint-hearted tendency to avoid opposing evil, in an age like today when there is a desperate need for him to do so, then he is a heretic. Actions speak louder than words, and inaction often speaks the loudest. The orthodoxy of Christian ministers must be judged not only by the doctrines they proclaim but also by the virtuous, principled, manly behavior they exemplify, or fail to exemplify, and whether they will boldly stand against evil or fearfully shrink back from it.
Now some might claim that I am setting forth a new doctrine. That is, some might say that orthodoxy was not judged in such a way by the historic church and that I am only setting my own standards. If anyone believes so, then let him reference, on the Internet, an act from the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, dated August 3, 1648, which is entitled “Censuring Ministers for Their Silence and Not Speaking to the Corruptions of the Time.” As is obvious from the title, in this act the general assembly of the Church of Scotland directed every church in their realm to be intolerant of those ministers who did not speak against the evils taking place in the society around them. And the same act says that those who would not do so were to be disciplined for their unfaithful ministry and even excommunicated if they persisted in the same behavior. Keep in mind that this is a document produced at the time of the Westminster Assembly by the churches that most fully adhered to it. Also, this general assembly of the church in Scotland would have included some of the same men who were involved in drafting the Westminster Standards, which by many is considered the highest achievement of the Protestant Reformation. Furthermore, in the same act, the ministers who authored it referred to two other church documents from earlier periods of the Reformation which supported their position. So you see, this standard of judgment is not an innovation; it is the established position of the most faithful Protestant churches that ministers who fail to speak against the evils in the society around them are unfaithful to their calling.
A question naturally arises: How do churches come to have unfaithful ministers over them? In Paul’s second epistle to Timothy the cause is explicitly stated. 2 Timothy 4:3-4 says: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” The people get unfaithful ministers because it is what they really want. A large part of the reason that today’s Christian ministers don’t preach the hard truths is because they know most of the people in today’s churches don’t want to hear those hard truths. Of course, that does not excuse them from holding back the truth because in doing so they offend God. But the reality is that they are, to a large extent, only catering their message to their audience.
I have a friend named Mark Chambers who is an elder in a Reformed church. He put it well when he stated: “God’s rule is always from the bottom up. Corrupt men become leaders of God’s people as His punishment for their infidelity. The problem is in the mirror. The pulpit is a symptom, not the first cause. The people are the reason the leaders are there, and so it must be the people who are responsible for their removal. When God’s people see their own condition and repent, they will purge the pulpits of the ignorant, the deceiver, and the infidel. We the people are the cause of the rebels in the pulpits and we the people will be the cause of their removal.”
It has been said that a religion which never costs you anything will, in the end, be worth exactly what you paid for it. This being true, then what will become of the overwhelming majority of today’s professing Christian ministers and their supporters? Not only do they suffer no persecution but they rarely have to endure even minor inconveniences or discomforts for their so-called faith. This is because they preach and practice a reduced form of Christianity that never brings them into conflict with the world. Surely, there will be nothing good for them in the end unless repentance is forthcoming. Infidelity brings God’s curse on both individuals and nations but the cure is a simple one, regardless of the offense and no matter how God’s punishment is manifested.
That simple cure is repentance, as stated in 2 Chronicles 7:13-14: “If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
In conclusion, there is no hope for a better future in our formerly Christian lands unless Christians and their ministers turn away from preaching and practicing a worldly, compromising, and compartmentalized pseudo-Christianity. Christian ministers must repent of their self-serving and people-pleasing ways, their cowardice, and their hypocrisy, and embrace the bold and militant religion of the Bible. And doing so necessitates exposing, speaking out, and doing battle against the anti-Christs who are destroying us, regardless of the cost for doing so. Either this must happen or an entirely new crop of leaders will have to rise up and show the way, because the modern-day Christian ministry is almost entirely failing both to warn the flock about the dangers around them and failing to oppose the forces that are determined to ruin them. They are unfaithful shepherds who have abandoned the sheep to the wolves. They delude themselves and their followers into believing that they are being faithful to their calling because they teach biblical truths, but they simultaneously fail to expose and stand against the onslaught of the ungodly and so they are unfaithful. Because of them not only has the general culture been lost to the anti-Christs but even their own churches have largely succumbed to the same. If we are going to be faithful to God we must call to repentance those who are failing in such a way and if they refuse to reform themselves, then they either must be excommunicated by their churches or the faithful must abandon those churches which show themselves to be apostate by failing to take action against such ministers.
23 thoughts on “The Unfaithful Shepherds of Today’s Christian Churches”
Far too many clergy, and their congregations, believe that by withdrawing from the world and allowing the corruption to continue they are hastening the return of Christ.
That is true, Harry. They are hastening their own judgment.
WHERE did you learn to think? WHERE did you learn to write?
I am floored by your expertise in analyzing the crux of our rapidly deteriorating society and by your ability to communicate the central reason civilization is crumbling.
I observed what you are delineating now thirty-five years ago.
Thank you, Lanie. I am trying. Please post links to this article wherever you can.
And, yes, the reduction of Christianity has been ongoing for a long time — long before our time.
Thank you Stuart for these insights…. I have been stunned from time to time by those with professional ministerial degrees who cannot relate to the simple call by Jesus – “Follow me…” In the Reformation, Martin Luther gave us keen and needed understandings regarding what our obedience to Christ’s teachings brings as payment for our salvation… Nothing. Since that time, however, Reformed Preaching has moved away from calling nearly anything as sin. As you point out, scripture is clear that following Christ requires that we are not a friend of this world and it’s teachings.
Thank you, Bruce. Please refer others to the article. With God’s blessing, it will bear some fruit.
This is a fantastic article. The rebuke is necessary when so many who call themselves Pastors or Elders refuse to preach the whole counsel of God! Thank you for writing this piece.
Thank you for the good review, David. Please pass along a link for others to read it.
You are most welcome Stuart! I wanted to let you know that I am on a 30 day Facebook ban so I can’t reply to your message there. I did not receive any notification that you had replied on here.
That is a great article Stuart and wish it had a larger audience. My comments below should not be taken as a criticism as I agree with everything written in it. Rather it is as an adder addressing causality.
1Sa 12:13 “Now therefore, here is the king whom you have chosen, whom you have asked for, and behold, the LORD has set a king over you.
1Sa 12:14 “If you will fear the LORD and serve Him, and listen to His voice and not rebel against the command of the LORD, then both you and also the king who reigns over you will follow the LORD your God.
Above we see that the quality of leaders over God’s people is the result of the fidelity of the people. When the people are faithful God blesses them by appointing the faithful over them. When they are unfaithful those leaders become a curse and one of the means God uses to punish.
2Ch 7:13 “If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people,
2Ch 7:14 and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
If the above is true, and it is most certainly true, then it is equally true that had his people remained faithful he would have preserved them and their land.
2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,
2Ti 4:4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
Finally we see the cause of faithless leaders explicitly stated. They are what the people want.
God’s rule is always from the bottom up. Faithless enemies as leaders of God’s people are his punishment for their faithlessness. The problem is in the mirror. The pulpit is a symptom, not the first cause. Since the people are the reason the leaders are there it must be the people who are responsible for their removal. When God’s people see their own condition and repent they will purge the pulpit of the ignorant, the deceiver, the infidel. We the people are the cause of the rebel in the pulpit and we the people will be the cause of their removal.
Thank you, Mark. I incorporated your comments and the Bible verses you quoted into the article.
Thank you so much for this. The whole truth indeed.
I am glad you found it worthwhile, William.
I did manage to have a whole denomination excoriate me and the Church I serve in a Synodical gathering though admittedly they did so referring to me and us anonymously. (They were smart enough to be aware of lawyerly implications if they started naming names.) Still, I count it as a resume enhancer that a whole denomination felt obliged to land on and rend one tiny church because it was “racist.” All of that is a long way from “Foxes Book of Martyrs” status but it is a start. 😉
Thank you for pointing these matters out and for being faithful.
Regards to Sally,
Thank you for your comment and your faithful ministry, Bret.
I “praise God from whom all blessings flow” that He has showed me the true nature of today’s so-called churches.
Your well articulated call to repentance is exhaustively supported by our circumstances and today’s state of Christianity. And as you and Mark Chambers noted congregants need to repent as much or perhaps more than those in pulpits. People have listened and conformed to Satan’s cultural outreaches and abandoned Christian teachings.
The church buildings within which our faith has been compartmentalized and isolated may be a contributing factor if they are mortgaged. One episode where Christ seemed on the verge of losing His temper occurred as He drove the moneychangers out of the temple. We may have let them back in. Every Pastor knows his church must collect enough in offerings to pay church salaries, maintenance, overhead, and the mortgage. He cannot afford to offend congregants who fill out the offering envelopes. That encourages him to avoid controversy and cover benign topics like those you mentioned. None of them would dare preach this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eraYOJGmVgU
I still seek a local church to attend and join. I find local pastors consistently preach what is politically correct rather than what is scripturally correct. Meanwhile I continue Bible studies with men who share my thirst for His word.
Thank you, Big John. Are you the guy the song was written about? 😉
Along with what Mark has written, I commend this article to any and all. Bless you, brother! Your writing is life-giving indeed; though it cuts deeply, it will ultimately be a healing balm to many souls, if taken to heart.
May the Lord give us sincere repentance. May the Lord give us a second reformation, more comprehensive than the first. Amen.
Thank you for the comment, Randall. Please pray that the Lord will use this article to bring forth repentance where it is needed.
Brilliantly penned.You hit the bullseye.Almost a modern day Nathan.Truth teller.I can’t wait to share this.So I shall do so now.And re-read. I also thought of Ezekiel 34:1-10. Thank you for this.All readers here no doubt feel the conscience pricked.Lord, give us hearts of flesh and not of stone. O Lord, hear.O lord, forgive.Instruct us and grant us boldness,despite consequences. Maraming salamat,Stuart!
Thank you. Please send a link to this article to everyone you believe might benefit from it.
You’ve outdone yourself on this, brother.
I’ve been on the receiving end of some rather gracious compliments from some really impressive folks from time to time about my own writing, but when I read things like this I feel like a complete casual. haha!
God truly does give grace to the humble, and this is rather evident in the brilliance with which you articulate the extremely neglected points of concern in your article.
It’s rare to find something that is so hard-hitting and so engaging that you find yourself anxiously examining your own activism and endeavors—as you’re gripped by the unsettling realization that literally no one should EVER consider themselves exempt from the admonishments of your article—that is yet characterized by charity and graciousness towards not just those who inevitably come to mind as targets of this call to repentance while remaining tactfully unnamed, but whoever else might feel convicted by the piercing insights you’ve elucidated here as well.
Thank you for taking the time to write this. God bless you and strengthen your for your candor and earnestness. I’ve shared this article on every social platform on which I’m active, and am of a mind that a professional documentary should be made by Paul Wittenberger, Colin Gunn or someone with comparable talents that incorporates this article verbatim into its script so that the powerful message it contains could be amplified to reach a broader audience.
I can think few messages more timely and important to shout from the rooftops right now than this.
Thank you, brother. I put a lot of time and effort into it but praise God from whom all blessings flow. May He bless it to the good of many!