2013 has been a very interesting year indeed for Christians. The end of 2012 saw the “Mayan Calendar” propaganda being spread as people around the world wondered if the end was upon us, and that is a pretty tough act to follow, but 2013 had its interesting moments.
We watched Rick Warren address continued challenges that he was covertly promoting Chrislam by allowing “Kingdom Circles Theology” to be taught in Saddleback Church—a charge Warren vehemently denied. But proof was presented that the charges were true, and Warren spun into damage control, going as far as hiring a PR firm to present Warren and Saddleback in the best possible light.
In 2012 Mormon Mitt Romney was the Republican nominee for President. Leading up to the election, several Christian leaders, in their zeal to unseat Barack Obama, started calling Mormonism a Christian religion in order to help Romney win the election—proof that politics does indeed bring out the worst in many people. Well, 2013 saw a steady stream of Evangelical leaders head out to Utah to meet with Mormon leaders about partnering on social conservative issues that the nation was facing. Some stood their ground, clearly defining the uncompromising differences between Mormonism and biblical Christianity—others not so much.
Some Christians saw no problem in Evangelical leaders partnering with Mormon leaders on social issues—others are convinced this is continuing the trend toward religious syncretism.
Speaking of religious syncretism, T.D. Jakes, Rick Warren and Joel Osteen partnered with New Age promoter Oprah Winfrey on a series of television
appearances, and I am sure by mere coincidence, at a time when each was promoting his latest book. Some saw it as very sad and disturbing that these Christian leaders would appear with Oprah given her obvious heresy on the nature of Jesus Christ. Others saw nothing wrong with it, citing that any opportunity to speak to a world wide audience as a Christian was a good thing.
Well to those of you who thought this was a great opportunity for Christian leaders to address a world wide audience, I ask you this: Was the gospel presented? No! Because the gospel is offensive and foolishness to those who are perishing and the last thing leaders like Jakes, Warren and Osteen want to be seen as is foolish—it just isn’t good for book sales.
Some very interesting Christians died in 2013, among them Harold Camping who loved to predict the date of the Lord’s return repeatedly, and Paul Crouch who built a multi-billion dollar Christian television network promoting prosperity preachers like Benny Hinn and Kenneth Copeland.
But I think the most intriguing story of 2013 is not something that happened—but rather something that didn’t happen. The Church had a chance to stand up and be heard, but hardly a whisper was heard at all when the Supreme Court opened the doors for homosexual marriage in 2013. For the most part Christian leaders and churches sat back silently as the Supreme Court put its stamp of approval on the depravity of man and turned its back on God’s definition of marriage. And if the church cannot find the courage to stand up and protest when the biblical definition of marriage is changed, just what would it take for the church to act like the church?
Satan probed the depth of our conviction as Christian leaders—and found it soft and vulnerable. In our zeal to be seen as loving and accepting as churches, we have opened “Pandora’s Box” and enemies of biblical Christianity are having a field day.
Yes, 2013 was a very interesting year and on the whole the temptation is to say not a very good year for the church. But I think it was actually a very good year for several reasons: First we had a chance to see the true colors of many who hold themselves up as leaders in the church. We have a much clearer understanding for the values and principles—or lack thereof—of those who are held up as our leaders.
And second, we are one year closer to the time when our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ triumphantly returns to this world and ushers in His eternal Kingdom. He will rescue the faithful and judge the wicked and His Kingdom will have no end.
So we say farewell to 2013 and welcome in a new year. No doubt, it will have its own challenges. We will probably see greater compromise within the church and the continued preparation of the one world religion that will lead many astray in the coming years. And while we will continue to
report and comment on these events, I for one choose to be positive about 2014. I plan on sharing the gospel of salvation whenever I can and spending more time in prayer and in God’s Word. And I will continue to wake up every morning; look to the East, and wonder if this is the day the Lord returns to redeem His faithful. What a great time to be alive!