Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Anger (01/24/05)
TITLE: The Gates of Hell
By J. C. Lamont
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Through the travesty of corruption, the pagan transmutation of beliefs within Christianity, the so-called God-ordained Holy Wars, and the buying of forgiveness demanded for salvation, led to the rise of the reformed church. Yet, over time, it separated again, into an ever-increasing number of denominations, some giving way to culturally liberal ideology, the bickering over doctrines, and the steady decline of weekly attendance. Such is the history of the church, of which Jesus begged of his apostles, at the Last Supper, to remain united.
Yet the church still stands. Bold steeples rise into the horizon of a country founded under the banner of “a nation under God.”
Where is God? so many people ask. Where is God when children are abused and killed by their parents? Where is God when poverty-stricken families starve and children carry guns because the streets are so unsafe? Where is God when terrorists attack our country? Is this not His country?
His country? The country that abolishes His laws, tearing them down from the courthouse walls? The country that kills its unborn? The country that uses His name as a curse word? The country which bases its advertising on the enticing of lust? The country that continues to chip away at the deity of Jesus and blasphemously claims that “all roads lead to God?”
The gates of hell have paganized the nation of the church.
But, you may say, the nation is not the church. The church still stands.
To which I say, is it not the church that molests its children? Is it not the church that condones female clergy? Is it not the church that now performs same-sex marriages? Is it not the church that muddles over doctrines and disagrees on interpretation of its Scriptures? One by one churches deteriorate. One by one they fall.
Well, you may say, they are not a church that represents true Christianity. There are churches that still hold firm to the Sacred Creed, that still preach the Gospel of Salvation.
True, but I ask you this: how do the lost find them? How do they separate orthodoxy from mendacity? How does of generation of people who grow up believing that their existence is an accident, that the only moral code they must hold too is the one they create for themselves, find true Christianity?
The Spirit will lead them, you say. And besides, the true church is God’s people, not a building.
True, but how does the Spirit lead them? The Spirit is indwelt in people, the true church. The people of God must stand up – united – and be a light in the world of darkness. But as we have already seen, the church can not unite, not in the mind of unbelievers, nor in the mind of the saved, for too many have given way to corruption.
Well, it is the “falling away of faith”, you say. We live in the last days, the age of disbelief just as God predicted.
True, so what should we do? Give up? I don’t have the answers, but surely that is not it. I don’t know what we are supposed to do. I realize that there are Christians out there fighting, evangelizing, and praying, but they are a flickering flame, threatened to be extinguished, in a world that loves the dark. Their numbers are decreasing. More and more Christians walk away from the faith, or live stagnate lives, or do nothing but wait for the end.
The gates of hell are prevailing.
Nothing in this life should make a Christian angrier than that.
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