In a recent interview with Dr. Gina on Real America’s Voice, notorious right-wing politicized pastor, Greg Locke, attempted to explain what’s causing the decline in faith in America and blamed it on “rules and regulations” in the Church.
Disclaimer: I’ve appreciated some of the political work that Greg Locke has done, but his theology of the Church and the local church is not good.
Discussing celebrities with large platforms–like Britney Spears and Kanye West–who have come out and started talking about faith, Locke says that God is using these people to restore faith in America. While acknowledging that many people are questioning the sincerity of their faith, Locke implies that it doesn’t matter and we should be acknowledging that God is “working in their lives.”
What Locke appears to fail to understand, though, is that God isn’t using these people to restore faith in America, he’s using these people to judge America. The Scriptures refute Locke’s very thinking–God does not need celebrities to reveal Himself.
For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” –1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Locke then goes on to say that people don’t hate Jesus, they hate organized religion? Really? Let’s see what Jesus has to say about that:
“I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” –John 17:14
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.” –John 15:18-19
The world hates the Church because they hate Jesus. They hate the gathering of the Saints where Christ is proclaimed because they hate Christ. Yet, Locked goes on to say that Church isn’t necessary for Christians to be faithful, but instead, it’s “all about the personal relationship.” The Apostle Paul refutes this unbiblical reasoning commanding the saints not to neglect the assembly, as it is necessary for edification.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. –Hebrews 10:24-25
And God has ordained the local church as His means of accountability, teaching, preaching, serving, and Evangelism and has laid out (organized) the way the church is to function, which includes qualified elders and overseers:
Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. –Acts 20:28
In fact, the entire book of Acts includes the description of how the organized Church is supposed to function. To suggest that church is not necessary for the Christian walk is like suggesting that wheat is not necessary to bake bread. Sure, you can try to use almond flour or something else, but it’s just not going to function as it was intended. God ordained the local church as His means for Christian life and barring providential hindrance, it is disobedient to neglect the assembly.
If you don’t love God’s law, and if you don’t love being obedient to the commandments of God (Psalm 119:165), then the bottom line is, you have no business calling yourself a Christian. Jesus, Himself said in John 14:15, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
In all fairness, I totally understand that there are churches that would fit the description of religion without faith, or dead churches. And Reformation Charlotte works tirelessly to expose these dead churches or expose the actions of churches that are headed in that direction. Driven by rules and regulations, like Roman Catholicism, or driven by entertainment, like most Evangelical mega-churches, these Synagogues of Satan should be avoided at all cost.
But what Greg Locke is describing as God’s means of restoring faith in America through celebrities is absolutely no different. The Church needs to focus on the gospel, good doctrine, sound preaching, edifying the saints, Church discipline, biblical teaching on morality, including politics, and if it pleases God to do so, the restoration of faith will follow.
God is not going to restore America through a false Jesus or a false gospel.