Silent Pews: Is the Church MIA in Today’s Battles?

By Todd Huff Published on October 23, 2023

My friends, as I’ve shared over the past eight weeks in this column, I believe that the vast majority of average Americans share much more common ground in their beliefs than many folks realize

I believe that common ground can be used to bridge the divide and build genuine unity between many of us today.

However, as much as I want to continue this exploration (and we will), the events of these past few weeks have caused me to put that discussion on temporary hold to address another issue.

A Christian and a Constitutional Conservative

Leadership goes beyond merely aligning with the majority’s desires and vocalizing them. It’s about taking a stand for what is right and true, even if you find yourself standing alone or in the company of only a few.

By now, you know that I am both a constitutional conservative and a Christian. Allow me to elaborate on what I mean by these two descriptors.

When I say I’m a ‘constitutional conservative,’ it means that I believe in the individual liberty of all Americans. This means that I respect everyone’s right to have their own dreams, aspirations, priorities, interests, beliefs, thoughts, and lifestyle. I also believe that we should have the smallest government possible that can both protect individual liberty and perform the duties and responsibilities assigned to our government in the Constitution.

When I say I’m a ‘Christian,’ it means that I’m a follower of Jesus Christ. I recognize that He is the Son of God and that He is given as a sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. I believe, as the Bible teaches, that anyone who calls upon the Name of the Lord will be saved from the penalty of those sins.

In essence, by being a constitutional conservative, I respect everyone’s right to choose their own worldview and live their own life as they see fit. And by being a Christian, I am acknowledging that I personally believe the teachings of Christ are true and that everything contrary to those teachings is false.

In other words, I have personally recognized that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. And I respect the rights of my fellow Americans to agree or disagree with that statement.

I am in no way, shape, manner, or form a theocrat. I outright reject a theocracy because choosing to have faith in and worship Christ is an inherently personal decision. The truth is, God allows us the freedom to choose to enter into a relationship with Him or to outright reject such a relationship. It’s our choice, and we should all be able to exercise that choice.

Where is the Church in Today’s Public Discourse?

However, it is also true that rejecting a theocracy does not mean we should seek to silence those Americans who have religious beliefs.

Quite the contrary: a representative government should seek to create an environment in which all viewpoints, popular or not, are permitted access to the marketplace of ideas via public discourse.

I openly welcome everyone to engage in that public discourse. Christian, Muslim, Atheist, Jew, Agnostic – whoever. All I ask is that the government does not pick winners and losers in this debate. Instead, worldviews and ideas should be forced to battle it out in the public square. From there, the individual can choose for himself which ideology he accepts as true. After all, we each hold a worldview upon which we base our decisions, political or otherwise. 

I say all of this to ask this question: Where is the Church in today’s public discourse?

It’s easy to blow this off and say that the Church is discouraged from entering the public square. To that I say, “So what?”

As a syndicated conservative talk show host and columnist, I can personally attest to the fact that not everyone welcomed me to the public discourse with open arms. But here I am. 

But where is the ‘capital-C’ Church?

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No doubt there are individual churches and Christians who do engage, and to those, I say, “Keep up the good work!”

But far too many congregations in the Body of Christ sit on the sidelines when people need to hear from the Church.

Where was the Church on the same-sex marriage fight? Where is She on transgenderism for minors? What about abortion?

And, most recently, where is She when it comes to the brutal act of terrorism being waged against the Jewish State?

I’m not implying that there is 100% silence from individual churches and Christians. What I am saying is that these are softball issues, and the Church should be poised to speak the truth – in love – without any concern for the consequences.

While far from a universal truth, larger congregations often choose to sit silently on these issues because they’ve bought into the argument that these are political issues.

Years ago, I remember reading these words: “Sometimes silence is golden, but other times it’s just plain yellow.”

The World is On Fire … And the Church Can’t Sit It Out

My friends, the truth is simple: the world is on fire, and far too many churches choose to preach sermons with 3 points and an anecdote instead of preaching timely, important, relevant truth in love.

Maybe keeping things on autopilot is easier. Less controversial. Better for church finances.

Candidly, I don’t care about any of that. Truth in a world that loves lies is always going to be controversial.

Like Joshua, we need to ‘choose for ourselves this day whom we will serve.’

Like Moses, we need to stand firmly in the face of abject evil.

Like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, we need to be willing to step directly into the metaphorical fire. 

Or like Daniel, into the lion’s den.

Perhaps we need, like Queen Esther, to come to the realization that maybe, just maybe, we are in this position ‘for such a time as this’

I could go on and on, but I think you get my point.

Serious times call for an engaged, practical, fearless Church. 

After all, She holds the keys to the only real, genuine, enduring source of truth and hope that the world has ever known: Jesus Christ.

Amen. 

Todd Huff of The Todd Huff Show is an entertaining syndicated radio show host and podcaster, a dynamic columnist, and an insightful political/cultural commentator. His journey began in 2015, podcasting from his closet, a testament to his grassroots approach. Hailing from the heart of small-town USA in flyover country, Todd embodies the spirit of common sense in today’s discourse, proudly advocating a conservative but not bitter perspective.

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