Letter to the editor: The coming trouble and the church

I do not know what it is, but I feel compelled to write this letter and I know it will offend some of the general reading audience. But I believe in the very near future that the United States may be in the “fight of its life” (I know I’ve said this before)! That said I realize that it is normal to be occupied with the local happenings in our communities and families. But I think that what is coming to the United States will be so severe, that it will “wrench us” from our confined mindsets and force us to take notice. We will do this, because we will have no other choice! 

Over the past few months we have witnessed a brazen North Korea that is determined to be a nuclear power at any cost with its sole intent being the destruction of America. We have stood by and watched them detonate a hydrogen bomb and successfully test fire missile after missile, with the latest one passing over Japan. We have also been told by China, (a covert supporter of North Korea) and who manufactures the vast majority of the products that we now consume, as well as providing North Korea with much of its missile technology; that any preemptive strike on North Korea will be considered an attack on them. In addition, several of our destroyers in the Pacific have been hit by other ships, with no explanation as to how this could have possibly happened in the first place! 

On the domestic front, the fourth largest city in the United States (Houston Texas) has been severely damaged by a major Hurricane with over 50 inches of rain. Now the state of Florida has been hit by yet another monster of a storm. Predictably, the call has gone out to Congress that the federal government which is already bankrupt and running trillion dollar annual deficits every year now (if off budget expenditures are included) to begin the process of bailing the states out who’s cities have been devastated! 

Add to this, President Trump who campaigned as a reformer, now capitulating to the opposing party, by not only signing a debt level increase when we are already broke and should be doing everything we can to control spending, but openly proposing the debt ceiling be abolished altogether!? 

Something is up! I am not quite sure what it is, but I can make a good guess, and say that very shortly we may be in a major war. This war will be costly and there will have to be the ability to borrow or in our case to “monopoly money print” massive amounts of dollars in order to fund this venture (therefore no debt ceiling). Add to this the fact that we will most likely also have to endure the massive restructuring of our 20 trillion of debt at the same time we fight this war (resulting in a colossal devaluation of our currency), and you have the makings of a true national disaster.

This of course brings me to the church’s role during this coming time of trouble! Once again, as the federal government becomes increasingly unable to fund its various welfare programs due to bankruptcy and currency devaluation, it will fall upon the local churches to take over this function. During this transition there will be numerous churches that will “go under” and literally be forced out due to declining revenues. This will have the effect of radically shaking up the internal structures of the American church. 

Increasingly congregations may be forced (and not willingly at first) to redirect the bulk of their funds away from the salaries of their staffs and various expansion projects and directly into the communities that they represent. During this transition the traditional power structures together with the “church expansion strategies” that had been adhered to for decades as a formula for building successful churches, will change because they will no longer work. 

The ruling bodies of the American church “may be forced”, due to cumulative hardship to relinquish their gatekeeper status (together with the pride and sense of control that often accompanies it). Relying more and more on God for that function rather than themselves, as much of the power and safety of their churches will literally be out of their hands.

In addition, it will be during this time that much of the “health and wealth” and “church marketing” strategies (highly sought after by some ecclesiastical bodies) will be exposed for what they really are. Which is simply a covert way of running the church on one’s own terms rather than God’s while often appearing to others as if God’s way really is the chief interest. 

Due to further hardship, it will become increasingly evident that churches may not always be called to produce ever-larger congregations through clever marketing techniques, but to preach the gospel and care for the poor in spirit regardless if the church grows or not.

Finally, during this time we will learn firsthand what had been previously swept under the carpet due to our pride and that of our leaders. Namely, that God is about grace and that traditional holiness on our part as a means of pleasing God is irrelevant! We will understand that God is more concerned with our willingness to accept His works in place of our own rather than in our desperate and futile attempts to manufacture them in order to gain his acceptance. Many of us will accept this truth (God’s grace) because in many instances we will be tasked to our limits and have no other alternative but to reject our traditional works and performance based understanding of God. In the end, it will be God, loving, accepting, and providing for us when those around us including ourselves are incapable of such action.

An Article Five Convention of The States, you bet! But that does not mean, that we are not going to go through some very challenging times. [email protected]

Steven Howard

Monte Vista


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