January 13, 2014

Taking Responsibility

This country in which I live continues to plunge toward moral, economic, and spiritual disaster.  In the world of the unregenerate, this would be no surprise; professing Christianity, however, is complicit to this looming tragedy, and no one wants to take responsibility.  The liberal mind bent on change has no measuring device.  It continues to create problems and generate difficulty for society, but is not willing to grasp or admit its error.  For some strange reason, liberals seem to think that more moral degeneracy will make things better.  The answers they offer are limited to the physical and the temporary, using such things as money to make things right.  In the end, this human- based system refuses to take responsibility for the suffering it creates.

On the other side of the coin is professing Christianity.  The problem here is that this crowd tends to be filled with unregenerate souls who have only a pretense of any true Christianity.  In the end, their charade provides no room to bear responsibility for the misuse of scripture and the practice of polishing liberal ideas.

The real focus of this article, however, would be those of us who are true believers, who understand that Christianity is not a thing - it is a life.  It is impossible to possess the gift of eternal life without its manifesting itself in the way we live.  Our words and actions should betray the life within us.  No one should have to search for evidence in our lives of the presence of the Holy Spirit; it is impossible to hide such power and reality.  We are not talking about perfection - that is God’s work; rather, this is about our spiritual life, the existence of which is undeniable.  The true believer must be careful.  This fleshly house in which we live can fail, and that failure is what this discussion is all about.


We love to shift blame.  It all began in the Garden: it was her fault; no, it was the serpent’s fault.  We all know better, so let’s face facts.  The growing disaster in our nation lies at the feet of believers.  Those of us who have tried to follow the clear teaching of scripture should have known better.  It is time to stop the denial and get on with our responsibility.  That means we will have to openly deal with those who claim the name of Christ, but who rewrite the Bible to cover their shame and disobedience.

The only way to begin work on this responsibility is to admit we have failed.  It means that we need to go back to the Eternal Word of God and let the text speak for itself.  This is something you will not get in the plethora of so-called evangelical publications now available.  We talk to each other, but seldom to the flawed society.  It appears that very soon speaking the truth of scripture is going to bring persecution.  For the believer, it is time for the whole counsel of God to be broadcast to the whole of society.  Stop hiding that truth under a bushel - take your responsibility.


In our busy world, we tend to become lazy.  We let everyone else develop our doctrine and then take little time to search the scriptures to see if what they opine is actually true. Almost daily now, those who should know better quote “false teachers” without any disclaimer.  The end result is that our listeners go to the writings of these same people and become buried in false teaching.  This is only one reason why we are responsible for the decline of a nation that is fueled by error; you can't share truths with a corrupt society when you don't even know the truth yourself!
One of the major reasons we have failed to communicate truth to our culture is the compromise of evangelical leaders.
We are told repeatedly that we are to stay silent in the open market.  The idea is that we need to have "hands off" when it comes to political subjects.  Now, that might be true if you are talking about political parties and candidates, but it is a serious error if you mean the discussing of biblical truths.  For the true believer to be quiet about abortion, sodomy, and other moral issues is patent disobedience to a Holy God.  God is the only one who has the answers to these questions, and we need to be willing to say what God says.  People in our culture are deceived because they go about sharing their ignorance while we are told to be deaf and dumb when it comes to truth.


We need to ignore ridicule from those whose father is the devil; we belong smack-dab at the center of any discussion on a subject to which God has spoken.  Followers of Satan need to be chided for their human theories and destructive opinions, and we must ignore leaders who scold us for saying what God has said.  If they choose to be cowards who are fearful of truth, we must not be caught up in their deadly silence.  Even if some true believers are fearful to enter into public discussion, we need to do our best to serve the Lord with courage and wisdom.

Liberalism is smart, but it definitely is not wise.  Liberals’ ability to debate is often disguised as right, when in fact it is merely foolish.  Moderate evangelicals talk a good game, giving themselves to love, the gospel, and going about doing “good”.
They don’t have time to stand firm or to dirty their white gloves with discussions, which are included in the whole counsel of God.
That arrogance doesn’t fool the wise true believer, though. Sure, those things may be good, but it amounts to disobedience if that is all one does with the great task God has given.  May we repent of our responsibility in the matter of national failure and move forward with true responsibility.

Shepherd’s Staff is prepared by Clay Nuttall, D. Min

SHEPHERD’S STAFF – January, 2014
A communication service of Shepherd's Basic Care, for those committed to the authority and sufficiency of the Bible.  Shepherd's Basic Care is a ministry of information and encouragement to pastors, missionaries, and churches.


  1. Dear Lou,
    I really enjoyed this quote early in the article.
    The real focus of this article, however, would be those of us who are true believers, who understand that Christianity is not a thing - it is a life. It is impossible to possess the gift of eternal life without its manifesting itself in the way we live. Our words and actions should betray the life within us. No one should have to search for evidence in our lives of the presence of the Holy Spirit; it is impossible to hide such power and reality. We are not talking about perfection - that is God’s work; rather, this is about our spiritual life, the existence of which is undeniable."
    That's a solid quote.
    Thanks for reposting.

  2. The Holy Spirits objective in this dispensation is the salvation of souls by faith in the crosswork of Christ. Sodomy and abortion are sins that the individual offender needs pardon for, just like every other violation of Gods holiness. The desire for a conservative, Christian voice that bears on anything besides salvation will only produce frustration. The Lord is calling out His church from Jew and Gentile, not establishing political kingdoms and Christian lands. The Christian is the offscouring of the earth and ought to be rejoicing when this unsaved worlds rejection validates what God says about us and them. The problem with a well meaning admonition like this is maintaining consistency in separtism. I would guess that John MacArthur and I would agree politically on most things, while I wholeheartedly reject the works salvation that he counterfeits as the saving Gospel of grace. I would never allow an adherent of Lordship salvation in our pulpit to speak on the biblical truths of salvation, consequently I wouldnt insult their dignity by finding pseudo fellowship in shared conservative political ideals. I dont question Mr Nuttals motives in writing this , I question the wisdom of encouraging believers to engage an unsaved world about sin with some type of social agenda. An agenda that all too often sacrifices the truth of salvation for a counterfeit unity around conservative principles. A conservative Catholic or conservative Mormon society is ungodly because of what they believe about Jesus Christ, not what they believe about sin. Nobody funds the pro -life movement more than Rome, and the works salvation they share with the Lordship salvation crowd ends in hell. There are better battles to fight than the degradation of America.

    1. Clay Nuttall1/16/2014 6:33 AM

      Adams thoughts are appropriate and worth considering. In reading the article you will note that none of the admonitions are about politics or solving problems in government. The article is about publicly declaring the whole counsel of God. We certainly begin with the message of the cross but to stop there in our declaration of the whole of God's Word is a serious mistake.

  3. Hey Lou,
    After really looking into what is for you a controversial issue regarding John MacArthur, I went back and listened to an interview with MacArthur and the 4 sermons he did to introduce the issue before his book hit the market. Interestingly, that quote by Dr. Nuttall pretty much sums up what MacArthur stated in the interview and sermons I listened to. I like the words Dr. Nuttall uses "impossible to possess", "impossible to hide such power" and "the existence of which is undeniable". Those are powerful phrases and pretty much put as strongly as MacArthur puts it in relation to his idea of what happens when a person trusts Jesus. I would have to echo Dr. Nuttall here. How is it possible that a power such as the Holy Spirit (the very Spirit of Jesus) can come into a person and they not be changed or recognizably have no change in their life? I agree with Dr. Nuttall, the existence of that Spirit is undeniable.....not perfectly, just undeniably.
    God Bless,
    Jay Edwards

    P.S. I do apologize if Dr. Nuttal feels I have tried to link him to John MacArthur in any way.

  4. The article seems to trumpet the forward progress of America and our sense of righteousness in America rather than the Good News...The “growing disaster” as the author states it, lies at the feet of sin, Satan, the evil mindset of the world and the Fall. The church is not Israel, nor is our country Israel, nor do individual believers hold some similitude to national Israel. The author speaks of these as though they were. In the presence of Messiah and then the greater "benefit" of the Holy Spirit working in and through the Apostolic church, Israel remained in apostasy and unbelief. Where is this ever laid at the feet of the leaders of the Apostolic church? Through divine revelation this is laid at the feet of Israel’s unbelief and God's sovereign plan. We do not have revelation so specific for this country, so we must go with what we do have.

    Who are those who will not speak openly about the sins of this society? If the author means so-called conservative evangelicals, they speak often and much of these ills. Often they speak of them as though America was Israel—see Franklin Graham’s chiding of pastors for not promoting some sort of support in their churches for the foolish remarks of the Duck guy. If he means some of the fundamentalist luminaries, they speak of it more than some are willing to admit.

    Although the author points to the Good News as the answer to our nation’s ills, he weakens his message by having a thread of “saving America” (societally not salvifically) which reminds some of us of the wrongheaded work of Jerry Falwell, et. al. The Church needs to rally around seeing sinning rebels becoming Christ-following, God-loving, Spirit-indwelled disciples who manifest this through godly, holy living and a faithful confession of truth. There will be differences in what that holy living looks like, and in what some of that understanding of truth is, and not all of us can get in harness with each other, but that is to be expected. As we challenge “leaders”—whoever they are, with the notion that they are to be doctrinally and practically biblical, let us direct our greatest efforts at our own hearts. May God glorify Himself in the Good News through the making of disciples who turn from idols to follow the true and living Christ!

    As we speak against sin in the society and the standards we hold dear, will the blind see the Good News? Or will we be sure to show our disgust at the sin, so they see only the disgust and never hear the hope? Sam Hendrickson

  5. I don't believe that believers automatically show fruit in their lives. It takes time, effort, training, etc to learn to walk in the Spirit and put on the new man putting off the old. I think often times what happens with new believers is that they are born again but some fall into a lordship style church with their law keeping style of progressive sanctification. Believers under the weight of law keeping or under fear of possibly not persevering are not going to grow like they ought and will not be of much help to others. Likewise, teaching a LS style gospel does no good. America is full of those types of churches but where is the fruit of all that? If we want to see change in America, start with the truth gospel and true method of Christian growth. Anything else will yield the same result.

    I do take responsibility because it belongs to believers as we are responsible to spread and defend God's truth.

    Jim F