Churches used to be respected as lighthouses in communities: places free from the jaundiced juxtaposition of political correctness and avarice. Today's churches are filled with both. Where once churches stood as guardians of truth, they have now become progenitors of error. Where once preachers stood in the similitude of Elijah and John the Baptist, they now grovel in the image of Joel Osteen and Rick Warren. Sunday Schools were once bastions of Bible teaching; today they are glorified coffee shops and playgrounds. The modern Christian home cannot even disciple its own children: how can it then be expected to "make disciples of all nations"?I repeat: the modern American church has, for the most part, become irrelevant.
It is little wonder that more and more people are losing interest in the organized church. Instead of finding Christian love and kindness, they find the same kind of gossip, slander, petty bickering, favoritism, and selfishness that they might find at any office water cooler. Instead of hearing a prophet of God declare the Word of God, they hear a milquetoast minister meekly musing the latest self-help book.
The complete irrelevance of today's organized church in America to the preservation of Christian liberty and constitutional government is especially disconcerting to those of us who still have freedom's fire burning in our souls. Where do we go for respite and instruction?
I tell you the truth: there are hundreds of thousands of patriotic, freedom-minded Christians all over America who have had it "up to here" with these spineless social clubs called churches! They are tired of petrified pastors groveling before corrupt politicians and businessmen. They hunger for truth, and they are not finding it in most organized churches.
As an example, go to my list of people who have written me to let me know that they are desperately seeking a Black Regiment-type church that they can attend. The list grows by the day. See the list "here."
These people are not looking to be entertained or pampered. They do not care about social standing or making "business contacts." They don't care which church has the "most exciting" youth program, or how many softball teams it has. They want a church where the pastor isn't afraid to speak truth to power and take a stand for liberty. And, unfortunately, such churches are getting harder and harder to find.
In fact, I submit that the true church is not "emerging"; it is "submerging." As in totalitarian regimes all over the world, where there are basically two types of churches: the organized State-approved church, where people who worship the State go to put on a religious show; and the underground church, where real Christians go to worship God with honest, likeminded believers.The "underground" church in America is not totally underground—yet. But the schism is taking place rapidly.
The phrase true church can be put to mischievous uses, and it will be, if one forgets that a Christian fellowship ought to be true (loyal, faithful) to Jesus as our spiritual head. Also, I would be wary lest a "black regiment" congregation elevate rationalistic, Lockean theory to the same status as Scripture. Nevertheless, this exodus looks like the work of the Holy Spirit: God calling His people out of doctrinal compromise with a diabolically evil political system.
Baldwin's choice of words is admirably precise. He calls for the church to be a place of respite and instruction. In the context of modern tyranny, this means respite from official propaganda and instruction in truth and discernment. It also signifies (or will come to signify) a temporary freedom from pro-government snitches and busybodies, i.e., the true church is a place where neighbors do not betray you to unwarranted punishment.
In matters of politics, almost all American churches have become irrelevant, except perhaps as shills for the regime. Their record of exposing evil in high places, and exhorting believers not to partake of it, is almost as miserable as that of the churches in Nazi Germany. See Mark Dankof's essay, A New Barmen Declaration for American Evangelicals?