Before discussing a Christian nation, or even a Christian state, we should be focusing on building a Christian county — perhaps we should actually start at the township level. In any case, if we cannot get the thousands of professing Christians in Lancaster County to desire the honoring of Jesus in the public square, then conferences, books, and podcasts about making America “Christian again” are largely nugatory.
The problem in Lancaster County, as it is in many “conservative” counties, is that the professing Christians want the benefits of Christendom without the substance. The Christian heritage of America in general, and Lancaster County in particular, is the very reason for the great blessing and prosperity the county has enjoyed.
Now, that heritage is being spurned.
And leading the charge are our two Republican county commissioners.
This month, the Lancaster County commissioners, led by Republicans Josh Parsons and Ray D’Agostino, signed a proclamation making manifest their public religion: pluralistic secular humanism.
The proclamation honored Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and made specific mention of Hindu (read: pagan) religious festivals being celebrated in Lancaster County.
I doubt the three commissioners — Parsons, D’Agostino, and John Trescot — personally adhere to Hinduism, but the point is that they have no qualms about the public recognition that the heathen religion and its holy days are good for the county.
Listening to the three commissioners speak about this proclamation revealed that their religious commitment — at least in public — is to pluralistic secular humanism. Namely, they all believe that multiple religions and pagan celebrations actually make our county (and nation) stronger. This is an anti-Christian religious commitment. It cannot coexist with Christianity, which teaches that “all the gods of the nations are idols” (Psalm 96:5).
(As an aside: the great irony of the proclamation was that it recognized Hong Neok Woo, a Chinese-born immigrant who returned to China to destroy the culture’s pagan religion by preaching the gospel. Of course, Woo had another name for the religions Parsons, D’Agostino, and Trescot celebrate: idolatry.)
Because Lancaster County’s churches have failed miserably at teaching the Bible and the demands Jesus makes (see Psalm 2), most Republicans (many of them churchgoers) couldn’t care less about this proclamation. In fact, over 30,000 of them turned out to vote for Parsons and D’Agostino during Tuesday’s primary. I am willing to bet their thinking ran thus: “What difference does it make if the commissioners spit in the face of Christ and honor idolatrous religions, so long as the Democrats don’t get elected?”
Is it any wonder “conservative” Lancaster County is going to pot? (With Republicans like this, who even needs Democrats?)
Identifying the solution to Lancaster County’s degradation and demise into an idolatrous cesspool must take into account the reason that tens of thousands of professing Christians keep voting for public secular humanists.
At the bottom of it all is the failure of Christian churches to make disciples. As the churches go, so goes the county. And while Lancaster County is chock full of churches, they have been largely reduced to impotent, lukewarm gatherings led by weak men. Sure, the “worship team” gives off a veneer of ardor, but the zeal for the Lord of hosts, his law, and his kingdom is absent. As the Lord warned through Hosea, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6).
So, the primary means in preventing more secular humanists from publicly kindling the wrath of the Son (cf. Psalm 2:12) is to work towards the growth of biblical churches in Lancaster County. But just as Parsons and D’Agostino will keep taking your votes if you’ll give them, so too will insipid pastors, unwilling to apply the Bible to all of life, keep taking your tithes, if you’ll give them.
It’s time the followers of Jesus Christ in lukewarm churches heed this message: “go ye out of the midst of her” (Isaiah 52:11).
If a general lack of boldness before 2020 was not enough to get Christians out of these spiritual mausoleums, the lockdowns and mask recommendations from pastors should have been the final straw — and our county would have been far better off if the churches that shut down never opened their doors again. But, alas, they did reopen, and the sheep dutifully piled back inside to watch their shepherds forget the law of God (cf. Hosea 4:6).
The culturally impotent churches in Lancaster County have had their chance, and they have done exceedingly well in providing us with a thoroughly pagan county, complete with Hindu celebrations and sodomy festivals in the streets.
Now it’s time for the biblical churches to be established.
Yes, it might mean we have to go without hip praise bands, well-lit sanctuaries, eloquent pastors, and massive church buildings, but that is a small price to pay for the bold and faithful proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the public square.
After all, it is that gospel — not lily-livered pastors with seminary degrees in cravenness — that is the power of God unto salvation, even the salvation of the rulers of the earth.