California, Have Our Consciences Been Seared?
The author of this article informs The Stream: In September 2019 I approached The LA Times about placing this op-ed as a paid advertisement. They stated, “We will not be able to accept the content.”
Many would agree that my home state of California is slipping into an ocean of political correctness. It ranges from forced vaccines and protection of criminals to the handcuffing of law enforcement officers to homelessness and financial woes. Are there answers? I believe there are, but it begins with the difficult process of self-examination and taking personal responsibility.
When We Allow…
I respect the offices of government. I assume that most of our leaders are sincere in their efforts, but we can be sincerely wrong. And the evidence is mounting: our consciences have been seared.
When we are worried about plastic straws but not babies in the womb, our consciences have been seared. I’m all for cleaning our oceans, but the safest place in the world — the womb — has become the most dangerous. Moreover, the state recently passed a bill that opens the door for abortions on college campuses.
When we call ourselves a sanctuary state but lack safety and refuge for our own citizens, our consciences have been seared.
When we allow drag queens to read to our children, and pass resolutions telling pastors to embrace LGBTQ beliefs, our consciences have been seared. The pulpits do not need to be silenced. They need to be unshackled and unhindered. Repentance is the only hope for anyone caught in a destructive lifestyle. Pastors who fear God more than man will preach the full counsel of God’s truth, including repentance.
… Our Consciences Have Been Seared
When Sacramento passes bills to protect pedophiles and harm law enforcement officers, our consciences have been seared. In August, our state approved one of the strictest deadly force measures in the United States. Officers can now be in fear of losing everything, including possibly being charged with murder if they use deadly force.
Do we really want to handcuff our law enforcement officers this way? Yes, there is always a need to improve, but this is not the answer. Did you know it’s no longer a crime in California to refuse to assist a police officer if they need help? God help us. We’re going to run off all committed officers and leave California crime-ridden and open game. To our elected officials: Do you not see the enormous lack of wisdom here?
When homeless people are treated like trash on the street without value or worth, our consciences have been seared. Not even multi-millions of dollars can build a solid edifice on an eroded foundation. We must acknowledge God and turn to His wisdom.
When we call all those who belong to a certain political party “racist,” we have clearly lost our way. Historically, conservatives rather than liberals fought against slavery. Did you catch that? It was the Republican party that opposed slavery to the point of war. When the media lies and twists our nation’s history to sway voters and cause chaos, their consciences have been seared.
The Solution: The Pulpit and the Pew
Sadly, it takes tragedies — like the ones we are seeing — to motivate most Christians. Yet there is hope. Colonial America was at a low point when the Great Awakening cleansed the land, as was England when George Whitefield’s fiery sermons “burned the chaff.”
I believe that a great move of God must begin in the pulpits and prayer rooms. As the father of five, I understand the desire to leave California to protect our families, but God often calls us to fight instead of flee.
For as California goes, so goes the nation. There is a time and a place for action, and it is in California, today. In the same way that the Federalist Papers urged and influenced citizens to get involved and ratify the new United States Constitution, we must speak the truth in love.
The silent pulpit is not God’s pulpit, and the passive pew is powerless. The day of the silent pastor must end. Are we pleasing God or men? Are we cowards or watchmen?
The game has changed — California changed its rules pertaining to voter ballots before the 2018 election. It’s called ballot harvesting. Now anyone can collect absentee or mail-in voter ballots and turn them in. This is how many of our politicians were elected in 2018 in California.
Millions of dollars were given to people to canvas the streets and collect votes. Can you imagine the number of illegal votes? It staggers the mind. While Christians turned on Netflix, grabbed a bag of chips, and went to sleep, the opposition was working overtime. We need to refocus our efforts and match their workload. Granted, the answer is not in politics, but silence has been our downfall. The silent Christian spoke volumes and lost ground while they were sleeping.
Return to Prayer
We have huge issues at hand. Nevertheless we’re called to be joy-filled Christians, thankful for everything that God has given us.
But we must act. We must once again call Sacred Assemblies (see Joel 1-2). Instead of banquets and fundraisers, while they have their purpose, we must return to prayer and seek God for revival and renewal. This is how we fight our battles. God does not direct His call toward Hollywood, Sacramento or the media, but to us. To paraphrase 2 Chronicles 7:14: If My people turn back to Me, I will heal and restore their land. Our hope is not in 2020, but in a sovereign God who rewards those who seek and obey.
So these are times to encourage, but these are also times to contend for what is right. Let it not be said of us today: “And there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD” (Judges 2:10).
(For more on what the Founding Fathers actually believed, download Shane’s free e-book, One Nation ‘Above’ God at ShaneIdleman.com. And listen to his hour-long interview on Fox News and watch a short clip, “This Pulpit Won’t Be Silent.”)
Shane Idleman is the founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Southern California and the creator of the WCF Radio Network. His program, Regaining Lost Ground, points us back to God and reminds us that although times change, truth does not. His books, blogs, and sermons can all be found at ShaneIdleman.com.