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In The Pits: Part 4

Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you... “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?... In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples."

Luke 14:28-33 NIV¹

“The conquering of the city of Troy is one of the famous stories of ancient history. Greek soldiers had laid siege to the city for over ten years, but were unable to conquer it. In exasperation, Ulysses, a brilliant strategist, decided to have a large wooden horse built and left outside the city walls as a supposed gift to the unconquerable Trojans. The Greeks then sailed away in apparent defeat. The curious and proud Trojans brought the wooden horse inside their fortified walls. That night Greek soldiers hidden inside the horse crept out and opened the city gates to let their fellow soldiers into the city. The soldiers massacred the inhabitants, looted the city, and then burned it to the ground. Ever since, the Trojan horse has been a symbol of infiltration and deception.”² The church, like the city of Troy, has been infiltrated by religious ideas, but Christianity is still here and this is not the first generation that has presented a challenge.

In his book, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy³, Eric Metaxas deals with the fundamental problems of leadership that cause a leader to inevitably be an idol or ultimate authority. “It is a profoundly misguided concept of leadership that’s rooted in zero submission with a messianic aspect.” Whereas true leadership is expressed in the form of a teacher, a statesman or a mother amongst many other forms. Leaders with ultimate authority take on an independent God complex. Although Christianity became the state religion in Rome, its core values were put to the test. Christians had to be obedient to the regime because woven into the very fabric of the Roman belief system was the idea that state rule was supreme and not to be questioned. The church wiped away suffering physically, but was taken captive philosophically and morally. Emperors, bishops, priests and politicians dominated worship houses. Raw power ruled, and its real goal was to destroy the core values of the Christian faith. The wedding of the church and state positioned the church for power to influence Rome in the right direction, but at a cost of causing confusion and division. God became a facade and man the ultimate authority. The church in the physical pits of Rome stood solidly on the word of God by the Spirit of God for salvation. The church in the politics and ethics of Rome sought prestige and influence. Although the church survived when Rome fell, it was severely fractured into religions and rites. 

Today the church is in the pits of AI being bombarded with technological and scientific advancement that make christianity seem like a heap of mystical out-dated nonsense. The church is not on a mission — it is the mission. In the face of increased secularization, decreasing biblical literacy, and declining church attendance, “reinventing the church requires faith and trust in Jesus, the foundation of the church. He alone can navigate the church through the choppy waters of the 21st century.”4

1 The Bible. New International Version.

2 MacArthur, John. “Discernment: Spiritual Survival for a Church in Crisis.” Grace to You, gty.org/library/articles/45DISCER. Accessed 10 March 2020.

3 Metaxas, Eric. Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. Thomas Nelson, 21 Aug 2009.

4 Raymond, Erik. “How Will the Church Survive?.” Christianity.com, 12 Jan 2014, christianity.com/church/how-will-the-church-survive.html. Accessed 10 March 2020.

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