Advancing Life and Liberty Through Action

Who Are Our Watchmen?

Sep 27, 2021

By Darrel Smith

A watchman warns people of threats. America is now embroiled in a transformation that challenges the very foundation of who we are. Who should be the watchmen for Christians—and Americans?

Should pastors and church leaders explain the impact of this critical transformation? If not Christian leaders, then who? Will society be persuaded by academics, media, entertainment, social media, bloggers, commentators, business leaders and politicians? Who should be clarifying the many opposing ideologies threatening the biblical worldview and traditional American society?

The Bible speaks about watchmen many times. Let’s consider some of these scriptures:

"Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain” (Ps. 127:1).

"On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have set watchmen; all the day and all the night they shall never be silent. You who put the LORD in remembrance, take no rest” (Isa. 62:6).

So why have Christians and Christian leaders watched and disapproved what is happening in our society without an effective response?

"Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me” (Ezek. 3:17).

Christianity served as the foundation of both Western and American civilization. Today our faith is being excluded and demonized.

“I will take my stand at my watch post and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint” (Hab. 2:1).

“The word of the LORD came to me: ‘Son of man, speak to your people and say to them, If I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and make him their watchman, and if he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people, then if anyone who hears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet and did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But if he had taken warning, he would have saved his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman's hand. "So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, O wicked one, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked person shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, that person shall die in his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul’” (Ezek. 33:1-9).

“Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, 200 chiefs, and all their kinsmen under their command” (1 Chron. 12:32).

Do we have Christian leaders who understand what is happening in our society and know what we ought to do? Are they communicating that to the believers they lead and to society as a whole? God desires control over individuals, families, churches, our economic life and our communities, Sadly, false and destructive ideas are becoming dominant in our society. Their destructive force is damaging society and the church and is hindering responses to the gospel. What impact will a switch in our society—from a culture that honored God, believed in strong traditional families and freedom to one impacted by secular, socialist beliefs—have on the spread of the gospel, churches and Christians? Most Christian leaders are troubled by this transformation but have not focused on developing and implementing an effective, coordinated response.

"I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. 12:1).

We are living in a transformative time. Looking back to Jan. 27, 1838, Abraham Lincoln said, “At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”

As the president who led the nation during the Civil War warned, danger has indeed sprung up from among us. Our own citizens are the authors and finishers of this destruction. This isn’t just a future possibility; we are now facing this threat.

Many books now describe our time and our choices. They include Mark Levin’s American Marxism, David Horowitz’s Dark Agenda and The Enemy Within, Charles R. Kessler’s The Crisis of the Two Constitutions, Mathew Lohmeier’s Irreversible Revolution and Glenn Sunshine’s Slaying Leviathan: Limited Government and Resistance in the Christian Tradition along with many others. Ideas that spring from false religions and lies are taking over our society and winning over millions, including young minds. Socialism is certainly one of the most destructive utopian ideologies, but it is now embraced by many in America.

God calls us to communicate with a flawed society:

“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool” (Isa. 1:18).

“Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart” (Eph. 4:17-18).

“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ” (Col. 2:8).

“Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them” (Heb. 13:9).

“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Eph. 4:11-15).

“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” (Eph. 5:11). 

“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5).

“For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools” (Rom. 1:21,22).

God calls us to come reason together, so we must ask how Christians and the church can counter these trends. After the advent of the theory of evolution and liberal thinking, especially in Europe, much of the church adjusted its teaching to include liberal ideas that now include abortion and homosexuality.

Another part of the church rejected these tendencies and resolved to stay true to God's Word. This part of the church dedicated itself to preach the Bible. Does this focus cause us to ignore responding to the false reality seeking to overwhelm the church and society?

What in the Bible excludes a preacher from focusing on conflicts between biblical teaching and non-biblical teaching and arguing the biblical position from a biblical, historical, scientific, reasonable, rational and logical perspective? Is there something wrong with Christian leaders and pastors asking people to reason together from a Christian perspective? We are to follow Christ. How did Christ react to His environment? He spoke the way, the truth and the life because He is the Way, the Truth and the Life (see John 14:6). If we go week after week, month after month, and year after year without confronting the false ideologies destroying our society, are we following and teaching the Way, the Truth and the Life? These false ideologies are lies generated from the father of lies. If we ignore the false reality (truth claims) that are imposing themselves on our society, are we realistically spreading the Truth?

Some possible topics we might use to address these false ideologies are: the credibility of Christianity, the fallen nature of man, the credibility of the Bible, the historical credibility of Jesus, biblical salvation, the Christian foundation of Western and American civilization, meaning in life, separation of church and state, the reality and reason for biblical sexual relations, the importance of the rule of law, the source of authority, the importance of biblical genders, the purpose and reason for biblical spheres (individual, family, church, business, and governmental and nongovernmental civil involvement) in life, biblical marriage, life for the unborn and others, freedom and free enterprise over totalitarianism and socialism, equal opportunity versus equal results, justice versus social justice, the place for both unity and diversity, when we should be either tolerant or intolerant, educational indoctrination, technology, globalism, global warming, Marxism, postmodernism, racism, the Bible and American slavery, the founding and purpose of critical theory, critical race theory, white privilege, BLM, Antifa, Islam, the Christian worldview and other important topics in our culture. Understanding and being confident to respond to these issues is important for Christians. Encouraging our society to honor God and function effectively is one powerful way to love our neighbors.

“If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, ‘Behold, we did not know this,’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?” (Prov. 24:10-12)

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:13-16).

Salt loses its taste because it has been diluted with something else. It is then only good to be thrown out and trampled under men’s feet. Is this analogy a description of what is happening to the church in America today? I hope our lack of engagement isn’t because we are fearful. God demands that we be courageous:

“But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death” (Rev. 21:8).

Unless Christians and their leaders oppose the destruction of Christianity, traditional families, free enterprise and liberty, these blessings will decline while we watch from the sidelines in our discontent. Church leaders need to commit themselves and then encourage and coordinate with others to be salt and light in our society as effectively as possible. We can find help from groups like Summit Ministries, Stand to Reason, Colson Center for Christian Worldview and other apologetics and worldview organizations. We should consider using sermons and pastor-directed small group studies. Even though many will refuse to respond, that doesn’t lessen our necessity to understand the times and communicate as we ought.

“I set watchmen over you, saying, 'Pay attention to the sound of the trumpet!' But they said, ‘We will not pay attention’” (Jer. 6:17).

Irrespective of others’ responses, we must not be like the watchmen described in Isaiah 56:

“His watchmen are blind; they are all without knowledge; they are all silent dogs; they cannot bark, dreaming, lying down, loving to slumber” (Isa. 56:10).

Instead, we are called to be ambassadors to persuade and reconcile others:

“Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others” (2 Cor. 5:11a).

“All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (2 Cor. 5:18-20).

Ambassadors should be knowledgeable and capable of communicating effectively who and what they represent. They need winsome wisdom and character to support their sovereign. This is true in the natural world as well as in the spiritual. A revival in America will depend upon God but also on how His people respond.

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Abraham Lincoln Quotes., BrainyMedia Inc, 2021., accessed September 10, 2021.