Still Silent Shepherds—An Open Letter To Post-Pandemic Pastors Shane Idleman
“What’s going on in California?” is a question that I’ve been asked a lot lately. This time last year, we launched what became known as #TheStadiumRevival. People came from all over Southern California to experience God in profound and powerful ways and we are doing it again this year. (More can be found here and below.)
Since then, we’ve experienced incredible church growth as the result of staying open during the Covid crisis. Pastors such as John MacArthur, Jack Hibbs, and Rob McCoy also experienced tremendous growth as well. It’s crystal clear that people are hungry for the truth. Many churchgoers are also tired of pastors capitulating to ungodly liberal organizations and agendas. If anything, the pandemic revealed what was really inside of our hearts.
WHY ARE THE SHEPHERDS SILENT?
I didn’t rush to release this article, and I find no joy in doing so. I sat on it for over a year as I fasted and prayed fervently for direction, but the burden never left. I love pastors and understand that Covid was difficult to navigate, but I kept wondering: Where are the Isaiahs and Jeremiahs calling us to repentance? Where is the boldness of Paul, Peter, and John the Baptist? Why are the shepherds silent?
Most pastors said nothing about the BLM Inc. riots, skewed numbers, and draconian measures, but actually embraced them. I saw no emails calling us to prayer and fasting, but I saw countless correspondences apologizing for skin color, and focusing on unity that really meant: “Agree with my position and don’t challenge my thinking.”
In the Old Testament, the psalmist wrote, “Zeal for your house has consumed me” (Psalm 69:9). In the New Testament, Jesus displayed this zeal for his Father’s house when he drove out the moneychangers from the Temple. He was deeply and passionately concerned about what was going on in his Father’s house. Today, how many pastors can truly say they are consumed with zeal for our Father’s house? Apparently, not many. Many are like Samson, who “did not know that the LORD had departed from him” (Judges 16:20).
To Obey, or Not to Obey
Granted, I’m sure that most pastors believed that they were helping people by following all of the political mandates. If we had the black plague on our hands and a high death rate, I could see the need for drastic measures. But we didn’t, and most pastors didn’t want to hear opposing views. Whether it was vaccines, masks, or obedience to the government, “Don’t confuse me with the facts,” seemed to be the prevailing view. Were they more worried about liability insurance than spiritual liability?