For example, when discussing the brave exploits of the passengers on board the Mayflower, people seem to have forgotten that the voyage was mostly the endeavor of a single church congregation. And don't forget that it was Pastor Jonas Clark's male congregants who withstood British troops at Lexington and fired the very first of the shots heard 'round the world. The famous French historian, Alexis De Tocqueville, credited the pulpits and churches of Colonial America with inspiring America's successful War for Independence and subsequent prosperity much more than its institutions of learning, halls of Congress, or industries of invention. From the very beginning, America's Christians and pastors were intricately involved in the establishment and building of this republic.
It is no hyperbole to say that without the influence, sacrifice, dedication, blood, sweat, and tears of America's early Christians, this country would not exist.
But what do we see today? We see pastors and church congregations who are, for the most part, totally ignorant of their own heritage and history. They have little or no understanding of the principles of Natural Law — something America's founders knew almost by second nature (no pun intended). They seem to know next to nothing of the Biblical principles of liberty and government. All they seem to be able to do is regurgitate some mindless interpretation of Romans 13 — an interpretation that could have been written by King George III or even Adolf Hitler. (Read my column regarding Romans 13 at http://chuckbaldwinlive.com/Articles/tabid/109/ID/187/Romans-Chapter-13-Revisited.aspx.)
Ignoring the great examples and exhortations of both Testaments, today's Christians seem to have lazily latched onto a modern-day "divine right of kings" philosophy, through which they have become the pathetic slaves of arrogant and pompous political wolves dressed (barely) in the sheepskins of legitimacy.
Where are America's watchmen on the wall? Where are the great stories of courage and commitment demonstrated by America's founders that once emanated from church pulpits? How is it that today's Christians know more about sports celebrities than they do America's heroes? How is it that these lying, conniving, con artists called politicians can sucker church members as easily as they do the un-churched? How is it that Christians do not seem to recognize the devilish doctrines of socialism, fascism, elitism, or globalism for what they are? How can they be so easily manipulated? How is it that these corrupt politicians — who vote to kill unborn babies, merge America into internationalist and global entities, strip Americans of their God-given natural right of self defense, promote homosexual marriage, or allow America to lose its identity, culture, and heritage through unbridled illegal immigration — remain in "good standing" with any number of supposed "Christian" churches?
Even though there are more churches in America than anywhere else in the world, the pastors and Christians of this country have, for the most part, become completely irrelevant to preserving "the blessings of liberty" — or even fundamental Biblical principles, for that matter.
Churches used to be respected as lighthouses in communities: places free from the jaundiced juxtaposition of political correctness and avarice. Today's churches are filled with both. Where once churches stood as guardians of truth, they have now become progenitors of error. Where once preachers stood in the similitude of Elijah and John the Baptist, they now grovel in the image of Joel Osteen and Rick Warren. Sunday Schools were once bastions of Bible teaching; today they are glorified coffee shops and playgrounds. The modern Christian home cannot even disciple its own children: how can it then be expected to "make disciples of all nations"?
I repeat: the modern American church has, for the most part, become irrelevant.
It is little wonder that more and more people are losing interest in the organized church. Instead of finding Christian love and kindness, they find the same kind of gossip, slander, petty bickering, favoritism, and selfishness that they might find at any office water cooler. Instead of hearing a prophet of God declare the Word of God, they hear a milquetoast minister meekly musing the latest self-help book.
The complete irrelevance of today's organized church in America to the preservation of Christian liberty and constitutional government is especially disconcerting to those of us who still have freedom's fire burning in our souls. Where do we go for respite and instruction?
I tell you the truth: there are hundreds of thousands of patriotic, freedom-minded Christians all over America who have had it "up to here" with these spineless social clubs called churches! They are tired of petrified pastors groveling before corrupt politicians and businessmen. They hunger for truth, and they are not finding it in most organized churches.
As an example, go to my list of people who have written me to let me know that they are desperately seeking a Black Regiment-type church that they can attend. The list grows by the day. See the list at http://chuckbaldwinlive.com/Resources/BlackRegiment.aspx
These people are not looking to be entertained or pampered. They do not care about social standing or making "business contacts." They don't care which church has the "most exciting" youth program, or how many softball teams it has. They want a church where the pastor isn't afraid to speak truth to power and take a stand for liberty. And, unfortunately, such churches are getting harder and harder to find.
In fact, I submit that the true church is not "emerging"; it is "submerging." As in totalitarian regimes all over the world, where there are basically two types of churches: the organized State-approved church, where people who worship the State go to put on a religious show; and the underground church, where real Christians go to worship God with honest, like-minded believers.
The "underground" church in America is not totally underground — yet. But the schism is taking place rapidly. Unlike the houses of State Worship, which enjoy large congregations and ornate buildings, underground churches are, for the most part, small and unassuming. Home churches are also mushrooming and must be considered part of the underground church movement. And, of course, Black Regiment churches are springing up all across the country. See the list of Black Regiment churches at http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com/blackregiment.php
I am convinced that it is through these independent, unaffiliated, unorganized, or underground churches that relevancy will return. It is in these churches where Christians can be taught the Biblical principles of Natural Law, where children who are disciplined and know how to behave are not considered oddities, where pastors aren't afraid to proclaim truth, where people are still committed to constitutional government — and understand the difference between a democracy and a republic — and where self-serving neocons are not regarded as heroes.
So, if you are a Christian and you want to be relevant to the preservation of liberty in this country, you need to get out of these establishment, State-worshipping churches and find yourself an "underground," unaffiliated, or Black Regiment church. And you need to do it quickly!
(This column is archived at http://chuckbaldwinlive.com/Articles/tabid/109/ID/192/Has-The-Church-Become-Irrelevant.aspx)
Dr. Baldwin is the founder and pastor of Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. He is a prolific writer/columnist whose articles and political commentaries are carried by a host of Internet sites, newspapers, and news magazines. Dr. Baldwin can be heard 49 times each week, on 15 different radio stations in Northwest Florida, lower Alabama, Central Florida, and parts of Virginia, Texas, and Utah. He has written two books, and he was the 2008 Presidential candidate for the Constitution Party.
© Chuck Baldwin