US church leaders are now wolves in shepherd’s clothing
American culture is collapsing. Few people would argue otherwise. Whether you’re on the right or left of the political divide, we all seem to agree on one thing: something is seriously wrong.
The United States has become a divided state. “E pluribus unum” became “ex uno plures”. Where we were once a motley people coming together for a common cause, we now seem like a fractured country with no social and moral glue to hold us together.
A nation that just yesterday taught its offspring the value of axioms such as ‘give me freedom or give me death’ is now responding to a 99% survivable health ‘crisis’ by “I fear death, so everyone should lose their freedom.”
We refute each other at every turn. Those who claim to be tolerant cry out that they cannot tolerate the intolerance of others. People waving ‘love trumps hate’ banners declare they absolutely hate people they consider hateful. Teachers teach that truth does not exist. Preachers preach that they know nothing can be known. Politicians swear to honor and defend a Constitution which they then denigrate as an outdated document of systemic racism, intersectionality and white privilege.
Feminists deny the biological fact of women. Misogynists parade with MeToo. Child rights defenders defend the right to kill children. Proponents of prenatal health are now apologists for perinatal death.
The world is upside down.
How did we get there ?
Dr. Len Munsil, president of Arizona Christian University, recently said, “A vast majority of American pastors lack a biblical worldview, according to the latest findings from the 2022 American Worldview Inventory conducted by the Cultural Research Center. of the ACU. In fact, just over a third (37%) hold a biblical worldview, and the majority – 62% – embrace a hybrid worldview known as syncretism.
“Among senior pastors, [only] four in 10 (41%) have a biblical worldview. The second highest is 28% among associate pastors. Less than half of teaching pastors (13%) and children and youth pastors (12%) have a biblical worldview. Executive pastors recorded the lowest level – only 4% have consistent biblical beliefs and behaviors.
Dr. Munsil concludes, “Our research measured biblical understanding across eight key worldview categories and found that for seven of the eight categories, a minority of pastors hold a biblical worldview. … Lowest of all is a category one would expect to top the list: Bible-related beliefs and behaviors, truth, and morality (only 39% of pastors hold a biblical worldview in this domain).
Let those numbers sink in a bit. Only 41% of US senior pastors have a biblical worldview, and the numbers drop like a rock in water for the rest of the church staff. Associate pastors: 28%. Teaching pastors: 13%. Youth pastors: 12%. Executive pastors: 4%. And only 39% of all American pastors believe in the biblical definition of truth and morality.
And those numbers get even worse for para-church organizations like church-related colleges and universities.
When you see Evangelical and Catholic pastors, priests, and teachers tripping over themselves to embrace the Marxism of Black Lives Matter, the blatant racism of Ibram X. Kendi, and the elevation of class conflict and collective blame of critical race theory, you know those Christian leaders elevated Marcuse above Moses and social justice above Jesus.
The inerrancy, authenticity and authority of the Bible, and the corollary of self-evident truths based on natural law (i.e. school. These people have “worshipped the creation rather than the Creator” for so long that they can no longer think of coming out of a paper bag. They have “exchanged the truth of God for a lie,” and they have truly been “handed over to a reprobate spirit. In the spirit of original sin, they are declared “to be like God” and in return, “he who sits in heaven laughs! The Lord laughs at them.”
It has been said that wolves in sheep’s clothing are dangerous, but wolves in sheep’s clothing are downright deadly. American church leaders have become wolves in shepherd’s clothing. Our Christian pastors and teachers, who are meant to be the salt and light of a dying culture and a dark world, are but pale toast to milk for a nation in desperate need of the strong drink of Gospel. Christ himself said he would spit such a people out of his mouth.
How did we come here? Look no further than your local church and Christian school. There’s about a 60% chance that the guy standing behind the pulpit and the podium is a “shepherd” whose blood is dripping from his very sharp teeth.
• Everett Piper (dreverettpiper.com, @dreverettpiper), columnist for The Washington Times, is a former college president and radio host. He is the author of “Not a Daycare: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning the Truth” (Regnery).