New Research from George Barna Confirms That Our Pastors Are Willfully NOT Telling the Truth
Barna, who is the foremost researcher about Christianity in the United
States, recently communicated about a two-year research project he is
overseeing in which he studied why our modern-day pastors and churches are
so silent from their pulpits regarding current political issues. He actually
confirmed what many have been trying to tell the Church for years.
Barna, who is a research expert and the founder of The Barna Group, shared with American Family Radio information he's compiling at American Culture and Faith Institute over the last two years. He has been gauging where theologically conservative pastors are at politically.
Barna found that when his researchers asked the pastors about the key political issues of our day, 90 percent of the pastors agreed that the Bible does speak to every one of these issues. But when the pastors were asked if they they were teaching their people about what the Bible says about those issues, only 10 percent of the pastors said they were (or that they would do so).
Did you get that? Ninety-percent of America's pastors say they KNOW that the Bible speaks to all of these issues, but they are deliberately determined to NOT teach these biblical principles. That is an eye-opening admission!
It would have been one thing if the pastors had said that these political issues were not relevant to scripture, and, therefore, they didn't feel called to address them. But the pastors are admitting that, yes, they know the scriptures do relate to our current political issues, but they are deliberately choosing to not teach those scriptural principles.
Wow. James 4:17 says: "Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin." It seems to me that the majority of these pastors are failing to teach what they know they should teach, and that is plain and simply a sin.
German WW2 pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer stated that: "Silence in the face of evil is evil itself: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act." Bonhoeffer was martyred for resisting the Nazis. He is an excellent role model for those pastors who want to do the right thing. He also stated, "We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself."
I think we must not be ignorant about what our Christian pastors are doing. We cannot dismiss their silence assuming that they are just ignorant of what's happening in the world. I believe that we must call them on their silence. And we must build a fire under them if possible.
Before I left Hawaii, I saw this with my own eyes in my own home church. I spent a certain amount of time with my pastor playing racquetball and then fellowshipping with him. I shared with him my concerns about what I saw happening in our country. But never, in any way, did I hear him speak from the pulpit what the church needed to hear. No sense of alarm was being raised. No encouragement for the believers to get involved or to pray for our country. My pastor was a great Christian brother and teacher, but he simply was unwilling to broach any part of this subject from the pulpit. And unfortunately, I did not push him enough.
We must admit the truth: if your pastor is refusing to speak out on the issues which he knows the Bible speaks to, then he is DELIBERATELY refusing to teach those Biblical principles to you and your family. According to Barna, we are not dealing with ignorant pastors, we are dealing with deliberately disobedient pastors who are purposely choosing to remain silent.
Barna wondered why these pastors were having such a disconnect between what they knew and what they did. So he asked the pastors how someone would know if their church was successful. They revealed the five major factors which they considered were the best measure of their success: attendance, giving (or money), the number of programs, the number of staff, and the square footage of their facilities.
So the reality is that pastors care more about being successful than they do about presenting the truth. In most cases, they believe if they tell the truth to their congregations, their churches will probably not be as "successful." So Barna's research backs up that the vast majority of pastors believe church success is more important than anything else, including preaching the truth.
Where do pastors receive their definition of "success?" Unfortunately, it comes from men like Rick Warren, Bill Hybels and even Joel Osteen. These megachurch men have transformed how pastors think. Pastors read their books (and those of others) about how to create a "successful church" and then they attend "successful church" seminars. So they end up trying to mimic the tactics and strategies which these so-called pastoral role models are teaching. And part of this advice includes avoiding anything that is controversial; they are also encouraged to make salvation as easy for unbelievers to receive as possible; and they are taught to create a church which is the perfect stress free environment for seekers.
Now for years I was a senior pastor in a fellowship of churches that repudiated all of the seeker friendly church methodology and we did not directly promote any of those church growth principles. But many of the churches in our fellowship had also become mega churches simply by teaching the Word of God. So you can guess which of the pastors spoke at all of the conferences: those who had the largest congregations!
It just went without saying that if God was blessing your ministry, you
would grow large in numbers. When we met at each conference, usually the
first questions we would ask our pastor friends was "how's your attendance
going?" We all measured our "success" in the amount of giving, the number of
our staff and how the church facilities were progressing. Even though we
denied the "seeker friendly model", we were still into a "successful church
It's important that Christians realize today that most ministers—even of truly evangelical churches—have become more like CEOs than true pastors. They don't necessarily teach the Bible, as much as they offer a performance. They don't shepherd the flock of God, as much as they perform the duties of a hireling who is often pretty disconnected from his people. It seems that some of the warmest "pulpit personalities" were really cold and distant in one-on-one encounters.
It is high time for Christians to wake up and see what has happened to Christianity in America. Even the so-called evangelical church does not represent the fire found in the Word of God; instead, it represents an Americanized social Christian phenomena rather than the true and living God. Barna's research realizes that ignorance is not what keeps our pastors silent; it is deliberate disobedience.
And America's malaise towards the reality of evil in our world is directly due to the deliberate disobedience of America's pastors who are willfully not preaching the whole counsel of the Word of God. American Christians in the pews must not tolerate the disobedience of their pastors! We must stand up and be heard or evil will wipe us all out while our hireling leaders hide inside of their gilded offices.
According to the survey conducted by Barna, the number one reason why pastors choose to be "successful" and not "controversial?" You guessed it: fear of losing their IRS 501c3 tax-exempt status. So our churches are obeying Ceasar even when God says to proclaim the truth, all to keep from losing their tax-exempt status.
I've given my own take on Chuck Baldwin's original article. I invite you to read it here at this link: State-Run Churches Caught Red-Handed.