The Church has been under assault in this country for over 100 years--primarily, or initially, by the modernists, the "higher-criticism" crowd, the "Jesus was just a good man" crowd, and so forth. In the past 30 years or so, a new front opened by forces within the Bible-believing church. This front is waged upon the ground of God's sovereignty vs Man's ability. Decisionism and various aspects of pelagianism and semi-pelagian theology are involved on this front.
During the time I've been watching this war, a new front opened and I just about missed it. Maybe it hasn't had much action yet, but I can see major battles forthcoming in this area. In the back of my mind, I've been aware of what I'll call the "Americanization of Christianity"--the conforming of church practice and teaching to the underlying tenants of American cultural fundamentals. Politics and this Americanized Christianity are often melded. Churches have big patriotic services on national holidays, do the pledge of allegiance, feature American flags on the podium, allow politicians to stand in the pulpit, etc.
The American concepts of democracy, freedom, individual liberty, etc, are incorporated into some theologies as fundamentals of the faith. Essentially, men have taken the Biblical Christianity which was born in Eastern culture, in enslaved nations, among enslaved people, and labeled it: Made in U.S.A. In order to pass as genuinely American, however, some changes had to be made! This nation of rugged individualism, self-made men cannot be brought down to the point of submission, humility, and meekness called for in the Christianity of the Bible. Some modification required.
Just today I saw some signs of what might be the beginning of the end for Biblical churches in the United States. Right-wing politics has always been more comfortable in the Bible-preaching world than left-wing politics. The lefties, if claiming Christ at all, tend toward the social-gospel, liberal churches. At least one right-winger, would-be presidential contender, Chuck Baldwin, is touting on his website a new organization of churches.
This is a group called "Black Regiment" churches. (Named after a Revolutionary War situation, apparently. I'm not certain if there is any historical accuracy in that). Baldwin is creating a directory of churches which "will courageously preach and promote the principles of liberty and independence....Men who support and defend the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence."
In all the qualifications for making this directory, the Gospel is not mentioned; the Bible maybe once. What is important to them is the political structure of the nation. Baldwin states that his list has churches which represent a wide divergence in theology, but he leaves that to us to "discern"......Never mind they're heretics, boys; they're on Our Side!
The really scary part of this to me is that I can see it being very popular. I've written before about church members who have their worldview shaped and influenced by Fox News, etc, rather than by the Word of God. Those folks will fall right into this mess. Churches led by men whose grasp of the Bible is weak and shallow, by men who can more easily play on the emotions of patriotism and nationalism, than preach with power in the Spirit of God, will thrive in this environment, especially during these days when we are seeing the destructive effects of left-wing government for the first time, up close and personal. It will be very easy for men to be swayed into answering the siren call of political activism, nationalism, even revolution, rather than resting in the promises given by a Sovereign God in His Word.
Churches in this movement will abandon the Gospel, if they have not already done so. The political icons will be seen as equal to or greater than the Word of God (if they are not already so seen). Men will follow the politicians with the loudest voices and most appealing agenda.....and they will be led down this path of destruction by "pastors" in such movements as this.