We could list columns of names and situations of those filling pulpits who took responsibility for the condition of their flock, their community, and their nation. However, beginning sometime in the last 100 years, a new "Gnosticism" asserted itself, an old heresy asserting that only the spiritual has value and that all things physical are evil [in this Gnostic view, politics and government service were "dirty" and, thus, Christians should stay out, which relegated the public sphere to non-Christians and even enemies of Christ--a total disaster which greatly aided the takeover of Christian-based America by anti-christ forces in day.
Also, the same heretical view in the Church was applied to entertainment, and Hollywood was treated the same, viewed as a "dirty thing Christians should strenuously avoid," so Christians withheld their participation in film production and did not go to films and express their preferences of which films they liked and thus this enormously powerful influence over American life and morals became Satan's tool for the advancement of his kingdom and the conquest of America.
Only now, in 2009, are many Christians waking up to the disaster and trying to rectify it by invading politics and also entertainment, but it is a generation late, and a generation already has been lost, and with them America's soul has seemingly been lost too.--Ed.].
As Christian historian Timothy Paul Jones describes the distinction exposing the lie of Gnosticism, "For Christians, salvation isn't a spiritual retreat from the physical realm; it is a renewal that unites and restores both realms." Our salvation brings hope for redemption to every aspect of the physical creation and created order [we would like to present the article by a theologian which details the aspects of this mandate given man of stewardship over the earth, granted by Almighty God the Creator when Adam and Eve were created by Him. Please look for it soon, as it counters the Darwinian views that are now prevailing, that man is just another animal species, a higher primate who has usurped sovereigty over the earth and its species and is "destroying" it by his use of it, whereas God granted soverignty to man exclusively over the earth and its species as His chief stewards.--Ed.].
From the first-century Christians on, the Cultural Mandate given by God to his stewards in Genesis was accepted to mean that everything on earth is under God's sovereignty, under our stewardship, and therefore "our business." As false teachings crept in over the last century, the Church moved into a sacred-versus-secular separation that opened the door wide for many kinds of evil to triumph.
In "The Late, Great Evangelical Church," by C. Vaughn Doner, nationally renowned theologian, and biblical scholar, Dr. Jay Grimstead the author states, "The studied creedlessness of American Protestantism...its ignorance of the teaching of Scripture, its preoccupation with millennialism, its anti-sacramental and anti-ecclesiastical bias are all indications of an essential Gnostic world-view."
Does it really matter as long as we "preach Jesus crucified and rose again"?
Thankfully, there are many pastors and theologians who would say there is much more to Christianity than just preaching the salvation message, doing Bible studies, and waiting for the Rapture. Among them was legendary evangelist of teh first Great Awakening, Charles G. Finney, who wrote in "The Decay of Conscience" in 1873:
"Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours in a great degree. If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislature, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics becomes so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this fact, my dear brethren; but let us lay it to heart, and be thoroughly awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of our nation."
We are at a point when thousands of pastors across America must take the challenge, honestly assess whether we are accepting the full mandate in every area shown above and providing the "offensive" leadership that the Church so desperately needs. The cost of not doing so can already be measured in the broken lives and a weak nation. Our God demands more and our people deserve better, so bring it on!