Here's the Deal, by Matt Barber

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Church Is Facing a Dietrich Bonhoeffer Moment

Dietrich Bonhoeffer believed he must stand up to evil in whatever ways necessary.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer believed he must stand up to evil in whatever ways necessary. (YouTube)

To those trying to convince us that these are America's greatest days and revival is breaking out, I humbly challenge this perspective. Granted, there are "pockets" of some encouraging spiritual activity, but by and large the church is successful numerically but unsuccessful influentially.

How we need to take seriously the 2 Chronicles 7:14 promise:

            "(If) My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

In the meantime, opposition to Christianity is becoming more aggressive and hostile. Nowhere is this more evident than in the areas of natural marriage and sexual purity.

Who could have fathomed just a decade ago the ABC family network would feature a primetime show, "The Fosters," with two lesbian "parents," a transgender teen and two 13-year-old boys kissing?

How about rampant perversion and pornography a "click" away on kids' and youths' smartphones?  Should it surprise me when our state newspaper, The Tennessean, features a front-page article that our college rape reports are up 77 percent?

How about laws being passed allowing men to share public restrooms and showers with our 10-year-old daughters because they identify themselves as a "transgender"?

One more ...

After 5,000 years of Western civilization defining marriage as the union of a man and woman, we are on the precipice (barring miraculous intervention) of the Supreme Court imposing homosexual "marriage" on all 50 states. Marriage referendums passed by the overwhelming majority of citizens in state after state are probably going to be obliterated in this watershed moment and the floodgates opened for homosexual "marriage," polygamy, polyamory and whatever.

Recently the largest Protestant denomination, the Presbyterian Church USA, changed the wording of its constitution to fully embrace sodomy-based "marriage." Influential and heretical author Rob Bell stated on Oprah Winfrey's TV program that the Christian church in America is "moments away from embracing gay marriage."

I'm praying and fasting this not becomes reality but I'm also aware of how far the nation and church have fallen away from God. Judgment comes in diverse ways.

All of this means we must be prepared for greater risk-taking and courageous action in these "perilous" times foretold in 2 Timothy 3:1-9. Are you ready?

 Taking Risks—A New Non-Negotiable

Ron Wayne was one of Apple's three co-founders. He was present at the birth of Apple along with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. He designed the company's original logo, wrote the manual for the Apple One computer and put together the new partnership agreement that gave him a 10 percent stake in Apple.

In his autobiography "iWOZ," Wozniak recalls meeting Wayne and thinking, wow this guy is amazing, he seems to know all the things we did not. He played a major role in those days. However Wayne was risk averse due to a business failure five years earlier. Twelve days after he signed the agreement for 10 percent of Apple stock, he decided that the wild spending of young Steve Jobs wasn't worth the risk. He sold his shares back to Apple for $800. Today those shares would be worth $22 billion dollars!

To be successful we must be risk-takers. And with what's happening in America, we must get ready to take risks in standing for truth, especially as it relates to marriage.

 We are facing a "Dietrich Bonhoeffer Moment." You recall that he chose civil disobedience and disobeyed Nazi law that stated that protecting Jewish people was against the law. He was hung for his stand. He also said prior to his death, "Silence in the face of evil is evil itself. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act."

Biblical Christianity shows us times when man-made laws contrary to divine laws are disobeyed. Moses was hidden for three months; Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego didn't bow to the idol; Daniel continued praying when it was illegal; Esther was willing to risk her life to approach the king; Peter and John would not refrain from preaching the gospel.

The Bible tells us, "The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber" (Rom. 13:11). A jolt in the night is right around the corner! Brace yourself and prepare to face new challenges requiring risk-taking as the new normal in an increasingly secular society.

Larry Tomczak is a best-selling author and cultural commentator with more than 43 years of trusted ministry experience. His passion is to bring perspective, analysis and insight from a biblical worldview (see "Is Gay OK? 10 Things Everyone Needs to Know" now on YouTube). He loves awakening people to today's cultural realities and responses needed for a restored, influential church. Please visit larrytomczak.com.

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