And while I personally don’t know any Christians in any church who do not believe the slave trade was cruel and hideous, I feel no personal responsibility for it, though I am rightly ashamed of any part my ancestors may have played in propagating it. No amount of remorse on my part for their crimes against humanity will erase the history, no matter how politically correct an apology may be.

As for the church being focused on getting converts, I thought that was the whole point (see Matthew 28:19-20).

Truth be told, none of these “confessing” churches believe that they themselves are guilty of these sins. They believe your church is guilty of these sins. This pre-packaged series of sermons is designed to help you and your church see the error of your ways while keeping their church from ever being as offensive to sinners as your church, because from the perspective of these churches, the one sin to be avoided at all costs is the failure to be liked by the culture. And the culture likes them a lot when they point out the speck of dust in your eye.

When the church is the Church, living out her character and calling as mandated by God’s word rather than the whims of a secular culture, it will offend. The gospel we proclaim has its origin in divine revelation. It is foolishness to Gentiles. It is a stumbling block to Jews. The Founder of the Church, the Author and Finisher of our faith, warned that, because of Him, the world would persecute us (John 15:20-21) and hate us (John 15:18) because it hates Him.

More often than not, the church will find itself at odds with the prevailing culture on any number of issues. They can ignore the hard truth we preach by writing us off as judgmental, causing us to ask self-reflectively, “Who, after all, are we to judge?”

This is who we are: we are the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. The church is defined not by the failure of some in living up to this high calling. We have been eternally defined by the infallible, inerrant and perfect Word of God personified in the Word made flesh, the Lord Jesus Christ. Our mandate is to preach the Word, not waste our time apologizing for it to a self-obsessed culture under the guise of “humble orthodoxy.”

Paul Edwards is a regular columnist and the host of “The Paul Edwards Program” heard daily on WLQV in Detroit. Contact Paul at paul@godandculture.com.