In what was described by LifeSiteNews.com as a “barn burner speech,” Senator Ted Cruz called for churches, preachers, and pastors in America “to wake up.”
Cruz, who recently spoke in Kissimmee, Florida at the annual conference hosted by the Faith & Freedom Coalition, excoriated religious leaders who fail to defend Christian morals and values.
“If we are going to defeat the woke assault, then all of us need to wake up,” the staunch conservative exhorted.
“The slumbering Church needs to wake up…,” Cruz continued. “We need to wake up. We need to energize. We need to engage….”
The headline caught my attention for two reasons. (1) I’m speaking tonight at the Cornerstone Church in Centerville, Ohio, on the topic, “The Role of the Church in Society.” (2) The admonition to Christians in today’s Bible reading.
“But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.” (I Thess 5:4-7)
Warren Wiersbe’s title to this chapter was “Don’t Walk in Your Sleep.” Christians must be spiritually awake. Aware of the dangers around us. Alert to Satan’s schemes to distract us. And attentive to how we’re living in a corrupt culture that seeks to seduce us.
Senator Cruz is right regarding preachers, pastors, parents, and churches need to wake up. Dr. David Jeremiah in a 2019 interview with Christian Post reporter Leah MarieAnn Klett, observed, “Many U.S. churches today have ‘forgotten’ their purpose, becoming entertainment-driven social organizations eager to blend in with secular culture instead of focusing on biblical discipleship.”
Additionally, with all due respect to the Senator, the answer to America’s moral crisis will not be solved through political activism. Conservative Cal Thomas was right when he warned that politics had become a false god for too many Christians.
While we have every right to support candidates that share our moral values and voice opposition to legislation that is opposed to the principles and precepts of God’s Word, the underlying need is for Christians to be “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world,” as Jesus admonished in His timeless mountain message (Matt. 5:13-16).
“Children of light” Paul reminded, are watchful, sober-minded, and self-controlled. We not only repudiate the works of darkness, but we discipline ourselves not to engage in them. In this Thessalonian text the apostle uses the metaphor of the Christian as a soldier whose breastplate is faith and love and wears the helmet of salvation’s hope.
In the prepared manuscript for tonight’s lesson, we offered this insight.
Apparently, some have forgotten in the heat of elections and partisan posturing that the answer to our country’s problems and the ills of the world is not a particular political party. Or a specific candidate.
Not long ago, I heard someone lead a public prayer asking God to touch the hearts of our national leaders to be guided by His Word. Then adding “so that we might be able to reach the lost.” Really? I thought the power to reach the lost was through the gospel. (Rom. 1:16).
I’m sure the brother leading the prayer meant well. And no doubt is concerned about the perilous direction of our country. Yet, the success of evangelistic outreach is not dependant upon which political party occupies the White House or is elected to Congress. The answer to what ails America will not be found in newly elected political leaders. Our real problems are spiritual. The root cause is sin. And the answer is Jesus Christ.
Cruz, is right, churches, pastors, and preachers need to wake up. Let’s wake up to our divinely ordained mission to take the gospel into all the world. Let’s wake up to proclaiming the soul-saving message revealed in God’s Word. Let’s wake up to a collective and individual ministry that serves one another and seeks “to do good to all men” (Gal. 6:10). And let’s wake up to 21st methods that energize Believers and engages our culture. I would encourage more churches to follow Cornerstone’s lead and address relevant issues pertaining to Christians in our culture.
Paul’s call to wake up has never been more relevant.
“And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts (Rom. 13:11-14).
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman