Pastors: Pluralism Is Church's 'New Enemy,' Saying 'Jesus Is Only Way' May Land You in Jail

( [email protected] ) Jun 20, 2014 12:58 AM EDT
World Trade Center cross display at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. (Reuters /Peter Morgan)

Pluralism, and not gender issues, will be the greatest issue facing evangelical Christians in the oncoming years as religious liberties become increasingly restricted, warn several pastors.

"It will be difficult to say in this culture that Jesus is the only way," said Bryan Chapell, senior pastor at Grace Presbyterian in Peoria, Illinois.

"That will be interpreted as hate speech," he continued to a large audience of pastors and religious leaders at the 42nd PCA General Assembly in Houston, The Christian Post reports.

Chapell noted that while gender and sexuality are also major points of contention for the universal church, they are not the most pressing issues.

"If you continue to stand for "Christ alone" in a culture that calls that bigotry, that will be the issue that presses us in the future," continued Chapell.

He called pluralism the "major enemy," encouraging Presbyterians to unite despite smaller denominational issues.

The former chancellor of Covenant Theological Seminary said when debating theological issues, Christians should "not listen to the gossip that parades as news that tries to make us enemies of one another," and instead remember who the "real enemy is" - the world and Satan.

"We will disagree sometimes strenuously but the reality is we have learned to trust one another," he continued.

Earlier this year, Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church warned that religious freedoms will soon be taken away.

Warren argued that currently, religious freedom is "being attacked on all kinds of fronts," citing Christian college groups, zoning laws, and Hobby Lobby.

"There may be some religious leaders who have to go to prison in order to say, "no we're not going to do this. You cannot tell a church what to do. You cannot tell a Christian college what to do. Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesars and unto God the things that are God's," he stated in a June 9 panel discussion called "Hobby Lobby and the Future of Religious Liberty hosted by the Southern Baptist Convention.

Roy Taylor, clerk of the PCA GA, echoed the pastor's sentiments, calling for unity within the church as pressure from the world mounts.

"Our enemies are not those with whom we have some intramural disagreements in the PCA. Our enemies are not other Christians from other denominations," Taylor said. "As our culture continues to degenerate, we would be well served to understand that our friends are our brothers and sisters in Christ and we will begin to move forward against the true enemies of the Gospel."