Apr 292015
 

flag_and_Bible-300x199I have received much criticism from some quarters for allegedly over playing the marriage of conservative politics with evangelicalism.

In response, I offer this article about Jack Hibbs of Calvary Chapel.

 

The article leaves out references to the times Hibbs has played clips from Fox News and Bill O’Reilly as part of the sermon…

It is very evident that Hobbs considers right wing politics to be part of the Gospel message.

A vote for candidates he endorses are “a vote for God”.

Let’s discuss…

Is this an appropriate use of the pulpit?

What do you do with folks like me…who believe differently about some hot button issues, based on their understanding of what the bible teaches about them?

Are we voting against God?

  129 Responses to “Baptizing the Right”

  1. I think its fine if Hibbs as well as other pastors and non-profits like Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton etc become “for profit” which they all really are.

    Otherwise, Separation of Church and State. If they want the tax loopholes that screw the res of us over, then no politics in the pulpits of any of those figures.

  2. …but if you let the Sharptons and Jacksons and liberals get away with abusing the System and using their “non-profits” for a Political Agenda…then OK, you have to let the conservatives like Hibbs do it as well.

  3. Good to see that the NFL is giving up its “non-profit” status. What a joke that was.

  4. I’m not talking about the non profit aspect.
    I could care less about such.
    My concern is over the God and Gospel being presented.

  5. No.

    As in, “No”, this is not an appropriate use of the pulpit.

    After all these years, doesn’t anyone recall that some who followed Jesus, STOPPED following him because he wouldn’t become their political king? I think some wanted him dead too!

  6. it just recently occurred to me that yes, we are or, rather were a Christian nation… the bottom line on all our guiding principles were Christian**… the norms and standards of conduct that guided those who follow Christ… but were we a nation run by Believers? No. The folks with influence and authority knew that the Judeo-Christian principles made for a productive orderly society…
    that said, preachers and conservative leaning folk today are simply longing for days gone by as we swung into a free for all, tell it like it is and then go and do likewise rebellion… we’ve called it getting rid of hypocrisy – i suspect, though, that our forefathers were facing realism and attempting to reign it in

    **yeah, i know other religions have some nice and a few identical standards scattered through their mysterious pontifying

  7. Looks like that article is almost exclusively about Christians on school boards using their influence – I guess Hibbs should be preaching against that. Maybe church discipline is in order.

    Read the article…note how the author uses “illegal” falsely (someone should give the author a crash course on non-profit law), uses “conservative” as a pejorative, and ties the lawyers defending the board to a “hate group” because they do not support the transgender, homosexual agenda for school children which I THOUGHT was also not supported on these pages just a couple days ago.

    I do appreciate the author admitting that the atheists suing the school board do not likely have a legal leg to stand on – if precedent means anything. And since the aforementioned “hate group” is defending the board pro bono, sounds to me like the Body of Christ in action.

    Frankly, when I saw Hibbs listed, I thought the article was about his stand in Sacramento this very week against the abortion mandates and his public declaration that he is willing to be jailed than to compromise on protective the life of the unborn.

    Should have known better…. Here is that story.

    https://liveactionnews.org/pastor-id-go-to-jail-before-funding-abortion/

  8. I want a pastor to tell me what he thinks about how his view of the Bible collides with the real world.
    “Can any two walk along a path who do not agree?”
    If I don’t know a man’s conviction, I cannot follow him “as he follows Christ”.
    “Who are you to judge another man’s servant?” does Not mean I have to agree and walk along with him or follow him in the manner he follows Christ. I don’t judge his belonging to Christ, and I don’t believe I have to walk like he walks with Christ.
    “Each man should be fully convinced . . .” not just in the day you worship but in the way you worship. I can’t be fully convinced without contrast.
    It is a Must to be exposed to and think through ideas of the faith that I am in disagreement with and that I oppose and that I am uncomfortable with.
    My conviction will lead me to say absolute statements that anyone is free to absolutely disagree with.
    Some preach Christ for a Democrat candidate, some preach Christ for a Republican candidate, some preach Christ for a Libertarian candidate . . . and some can’t hear past the party to hear about Christ. Good thing the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men and teaches us, other wise we’d be at the mercy of poorly/wrongly motivated preachers.
    I want to know how my pastor thinks the Bible collides with the world he lives in so that I can know if I want to walk through the world with that guy.

  9. Can’t. Stop. Commenting…..

    OK, I have to almost gag when I read/hear someone say “Vote Biblically (with a capital B of course!). Or that the Republican party is God’s party. You KNOW that when they say to vote Biblically, they mean to vote Republican.

  10. We have had people come to our church from Hibbs’ because they feel he is too political. Then again, I’ve received criticism from those at our church for not being political enough.

    But I’m not going to criticize anyone fighting the ungodliness that is flooding our school children – and if I had kids in the Chino public school district, I would be praying daily for this school board and the Christians that sit on it.

  11. I think the Bible collides with and opposes aspects of both parties.
    The idea that I have the right to tell people that voting my preference is a “vote for God” is beyond my comprehension.

  12. Talking politics in church is no different than the pastor who preaches;
    1.) better finances
    2.) how to raise your kids
    3.) better sex in your marriage
    4.) etc, etc, etc – you get the idea.

  13. I think the bible speaks clearly to issues of sexuality and abortion.
    I don’t believe it speaks as clearly on issues such as immigration, health care, and myriad of other issues that are inevitably packaged together.

    My position on abortion and homosexuality are based on what I believe the bible teaches.
    So are my views on immigration and health care.

    According to this line of thought, half the time I would be voting against God…or my congregation would be.

  14. MLD,

    I agree with your #12…all of it is a corruption of gospel preaching.

  15. Of course its not a proper usage of the pulpit. I’m almost insulted that the question is asked.

    The pulpit only exists to proclaim the Gospel.

    At least it should be only that.

    But even the Left uses the pulpit for its own uses. To be fair.

  16. is it appropriate to try to run the country from a pulpit? … sure, those folks can try because God would love it if a nation fell on their knees in repentance and belief – a waste of time, of course …
    i believe the preacher should have free speech and i should have the right to stand outside his church door and hand out pamphlets that point out how wrong he is…
    and his congregation should have the right to be as discerning or as mindless as their conscience allows

    BUT, speaking from a true Christian perspective 🙂 i am so glad all the above is just the turning and overturning, the working out of the will of God leading to – and beyond – the Day of the Lord … this world is shaky in more ways than one

    the tax thing is irrelevant today as our taxing structure is an ungodly mess structured to drive an honest person to derangement
    IMNSHO

  17. Papias,

    You’re insulted that I asked for one reason, Steve and Rob for completely another in direct opposition.

    I’m an equal opportunity offender. 🙂

  18. I do not want our country run on Christian principles. Think of our labor laws – as an employer would I have to pay the employee who worked 1 hour he same as I pay the one who worked 8 hours?

    If I run a production company will I be required to leave my back door open so the poor can come in after hours and glean from my “crops”?

  19. #13 is exactly right IMO.

    And this is, as far as I can tell, only an issue in the USA. Up here in Canada we don’t struggle with these things, as our taxes pay for health care just like they pay for roads. Or maybe Christians have never been close enough to power lately to be seduced by the possibility of creating a theocracy. Jesus didn’t seem all that concerned by it, that’s for sure…

    It’s interesting to see lots of Americans I know struggle with this. You get the emergent types who I initially had some affinity towards, but quickly saw that that they weren’t saying “Native rights and environment” as an ADDITION to biblical opposition to abortion and homosexuality, but as a REPLACEMENT.

    Or those who’ve become Catholic. Jason Stellman is a great example. When he was reformed he was deep into two kingdom theology in order to give room for different political views. But when that wasn’t enough, he became Catholic. I remember my brother-in-law talking to him at a family camp he spoke at up here for our church, and we both told him “Just move to Canada and you won’t have to constantly fight against the marriage of politics and Christianity”.

    But I guess it’s a reality for all you down there. And so I appreciate people like Michael and even MLD (!) who keep it focused on the gospel, instead of our pet Christian topics that make it hard to witness to anybody since they think being a Christian means I’m simply a right-wing moralist.

  20. Steve,

    Thank you…and MLD thanks you too. 🙂

  21. I’d be ok with a preacher who explained that govt is a false god 🙂

  22. “almost insulted” my friend.

    Should have included the happy or winking face.

    When Mike Huckabee came to speak at my church, (an good size SBC), we skipped that morning service. Nothing personal against him, just don’t need to go to church to hear a politician in the pulpit. For “Murica”.

    That night we went to Awana and I got a chance to talk to a couple of guys about why we missed. Seems that I wasn’t the only one who felt that way.

  23. My parish practices radio silence in the area of politics from the pulpit* because we have Ukrainians and Russians in our congregation. These things are only mentioned in prayer: Pray for the peace of Ukraine, to which all can say Amen.

    *Actually, we have no pulpit.

  24. Hibbs’ church proclaims Jesus as the Son of God, the only Savior. The Bible is pointed to as the authoritative word of God, and the gospel is proclaimed.

    Those realities separate them from a multitude of apostate churches throughout America.

    Hibbs is well known for being very political, and serves well as a poster boy for those who hate all things religious right.

    However, to repeat – the article is focused on the school board. Drumming up fear and hate against those evil Christians who dare mention Jesus outside of the Sunday hour and the confines of the church walls. And how dare they fight the abortionist sexual perverted agendas foisted in the public schools. Who dare bring the Bible as a work of literature to be studied by the students.

    Ah….but these Christians are just following marching orders (so the article implies). They have in common this church – and this pastor practices illegal activities. He is the real villain.

    The funny thing is, someone should tell the author that Hibbs leads the charge each year inviting the government to dare come and try to shut him down, or take away his tax exemption. He begs the IRS to cause trouble so they could take it to the Supreme Court, where the godhating atheists most likely will lose, and precedent would be set. Or at least the rest of us pastors and churches would get to tell the IRS in unison to take their tax exemption and shove it.

    Is Hibbs more political than I would be, even as I share his views about abortion and the homosexual issues of our day…yes he is. But Hibbs is not my servant. And if God really hates what Hibbs is doing He is more than capable of dealing with him…or dealing with it all in glory when we all are going to likely be surprised about a whole lot of stuff at the bema seat.

    However, if the argument insists on saying that such Christians are keeping people from Jesus…that somehow if school kids are kept from evil, vile agendas they are less likely to come to Christ…well, I will disagree there.

  25. The churches on the left are easily as egregious on this stuff… baptizing the left with them.

  26. @17, I’m not insulted at all. I am strongly stating my conviction – just like I’d hope my pastor would.

    MLD you misrepresent what Jesus’ teaching meant in your #18 post. Jesus wasn’t mandating everybody gets paid the same, Jesus was saying every Boss / Master has the right to form and execute contracts. The problem was not with the Master’s pay schedule, the problem was with the workers agreeing to work for a fee and then complaining when the Master fulfilled their specific contract. Jesus was also not telling workers to unionize.
    See also “Re-negotiating NFL Contracts”

  27. Steve Wright,

    This is one article.
    I have videos (from his own website) on other matters.
    It’s not that I hate all things religious right, it’s that I believe the pulpit is sacred and my political beliefs can preclude people from hearing the gospel in it’s purity.

  28. BD,

    In evangelicalism, 80% of members self identify as Republican.
    The liberals in mainlines tend to be liberal in both politics and theology….and thus a biblical conservative like myself is out of the Anglican or Episcopalian communities they would like to join.

  29. Michael, I have not said otherwise. (your #27)

    The linked article though is as I have stated, in my opinion – especially the errors of fact (which are not my opinion at all but reality). If given the time and desire one could give it a very thorough fisking not from a point of view that is politically right or left but as simply a member of the Body of Christ.

  30. The “about us” in the opening paragraph

    The mission of The Center for Investigative Reporting is to engage and empower the public through investigative journalism and groundbreaking storytelling in order to spark action, improve lives and protect our democracy

    (They think quite a lot of themselves…but anyone who sees their mission to “protect democracy” you can guarantee is going to have a political bias and ax to grind somewhere…whether right or left)

  31. Unfortunately, Anglican apostasy has reached the point that no Christian, conservative or liberal, can participate with them:

    http://archbishopcranmer.com/westminster-abbey-acknowledges-mohammed-in-succession-of-prophets/

  32. Why can’t we divorce the church from left or right and simply teach the Scriptures, administer the sacraments, and allow both to do their holy work?

  33. When evil is all around us and when even Christians are confused, the preacher is obligated to preach the truth.

  34. I attended a church where we received voter guides and I took it with me into the voting booth. My mindset was my church/pastor was doing the godly thing by informing us on how to vote. That, after all, was the unstated message behind the handing out of the guides.

    At the same time (and I have no clue if Hibbs’ church does this) is we were told in so many words where not to shop due to ungodly choices these businesses made. We were shown the evil included in Disney cartoons, etc. Secular music was also a no no.

    I look back and realize how unhealthy that situation was for me and my family.

    I just believed the church was correct and my sinful self was the issue when internal conflict arose.

    The danger in any church is when members stop thinking and reasoning for themselves. They just parrot what they’ve been told and see opposition (perceived or real) as an attack from the enemy further enforcing their mindset.

    My hope is for a theocracy and I realize that will not happen until Jesus returns and sets up His kingdom.

    The danger I see and that I look back realizing I was guilty of was when the gospel wasn’t the main thing. In my case it was the rapture. There’s no holding power for a non gospel centered message.

  35. Erunner,

    That was good stuff…thank you.

  36. What Michael said in his #27 ……it’s that I believe the pulpit is sacred and my political beliefs can preclude people from hearing the gospel in it’s purity.

  37. Xenia,

    Preaching the Bible is preaching the truth…preaching the political application is often just my opinion.

  38. You will not find politics in the Lutheran Liturgy – oh wait – it’s the liturgy that prevents it. 😉 Pastors are like anyone else – self centered and think that their opinions matter. Hence, the outside restraint of the Liturgy.

    Hibbs and most evangelicals have no 2 kingdom theology so they have no place to do their “politics” but in the church and since they use no liturgy there is nothing to constrain them.

    I watched a large local church in SoCal about a year ago spend all 3 Sunday morning services interviewing Josh Hamilton. I like Hamilton, and he was an Angel and angels are biblical, but please … give me a break. These churches are nuts and out of control.

  39. MLD,

    I think this is one of the best cases there is for the liturgy…

  40. Why can’t we divorce the church from left or right and simply teach the Scriptures, administer the sacraments, and allow both to do their holy work?
    ——————————————————————
    That’s what we do at CCLE.

    And when the people under my pastoral care are doing the Lord’s work the other 6 days and 23 hours of the week, and then harassed by civil authorities, I stand with them in support – as the pastor of their church.

    And I do it (and have done it) gladly and proudly.

  41. Xenia,

    That Anglican link is horrifying…

  42. Michael,

    A pastor is obligated to preach to his people that certain things are sin, such as abortion, homosexuality, sex before marriage, etc. Today’s young people don’t think these things are sins so the preacher has to make it clear. That’s really all the pastor has to say; he doesn’t have to talk about candidates, he needs to make sure his own flock knows the difference between sin and righteous behavior, even if it is counter-cultural. Armed with these truths, parishioners are free to make their own decisions in regards to how they vote and in regards to how they conduct their own lives. But these things must be said and said clearly.

  43. I understand that I hold the minority opinion, but remain a little concerned that I’m a minority of one. Why don’t Christians understand that the state is inherently evil, incapable of doing good?

  44. Even though I think certain things need to be preached in these confusing times, a liturgy will prevent the pastor for talking about it for 60 minutes, 55 minutes of which is probably his own opinions.

  45. Jim,

    Isn’t government a God created institution?
    Now, if you want to make a case that all end up being the beast…I’m right there with you.

  46. My issue is that the “rules” are applied equally to all.

    If it is kosher for other “reverends” to use their version of the Gospel and their influence in Politics…then it should be fair game for all to do so.

    If one Group gets to use the church to influence politics, then it is fair game for other Groups to do similar.

    With regards to the issue from a moral perspective, I don’t think it is immoral of someone who has their own particular version of Jesus and the Gospel to influence politics…as long as the boundaries of Church and State are followed…we are not a Theocracy.

    However, to influence their followers to vote particular issues and candidates? Well as long as that is the rules of the game and others are free to do so, then game on.

  47. Why don’t Christians understand that the state is inherently evil, incapable of doing good?
    —————————————————
    Jim, you are in the minority because, to my knowledge, you are the only one here who doubts the passage in Romans about civil government to be Pauline.

    I simply repeat what I have said before…textual criticism really should put that idea of yours to rest – there is no legit argument for your view, so rather include the passage with all the others in Scripture that are very puzzling to us and go from there.

    If one chooses to say “that verse can’t possibly be Biblical” without strong textual evidence for the opinion (i.e. like the debate over the comma johanneum or the longer ending(s) of Mark) – it opens quite a pandora’s box.

  48. Even though I have disagreements theologically with Jack Hibbs and Rob McCoy and others in Calvary Chapel who are engaging in politics…I am much more in alignment with them politically (especially McCoy b/c he’s a Rand Paul supporter)….

    I think if the Rev. Sharpton’s and Rev. Jackson’s and the Imams in Mosques in Dearborn Michigan can use their churches and followings and religious connections to influence politics and steer votes…then so can the conservatives and libertarians.

    Pick the rules and make everyone follow them equally and enforce them equally to all.

  49. I think Hibbs and McCoy are part of a terrible Church Brand and sect that points its collective finger at “outsiders” all the time while not doing the real work of 1 Corinthians 5:12 and I think they ignore much of the rest of passages in their macro-Church org. regarding pastoral qualifications…which makes them less credible from a Moral Authority perspective…

    ….but I think they have the right to be wrong theologically and to be wrong with regards to hypocrisy in holding their own pastorates and leaderships in CC accountable…but they have the right to influence politics as others do.

  50. Rev. Jeremiah Wright is another example. He pretty much shaped and molded Obama into a Black Liberationist and then influenced the “black church” to vote for him.

    …no outcry from political liberals when their guys are steering politics form the pulpit and endorsing candidates from the pulpit.

  51. But, pick and choose whatever you want from “the bible” and construct your own position by appealing to a different context or different verse etc (not specific to anyone, to the general audience).

    Everyone will do what they want and find their justification to do it.

  52. Michael,

    Where? 1 Sam 8?

  53. It is dishonest to state or imply that the gospel is not front and center in Jack’s ministry. I think Jack is free to respond to the Holy Spirit and if the Spirit of God through the Word of God bearing upon Jack’s conscience has led him this way, what can he do but follow? Certainly abortion and homosexuality, et. al., were moral issues long before they became politically charged. And the Bible is very clear on these matters. And where the Bible speaks the pulpit should speak. And where the Bible is clear the pulpit should be clear. To be silent would be unfaithfulness. I will not attack Jack as he addresses these issues. Yet at the same time I won’t join Jack in the same arena. Here’s what I mean – here’s my two-pronged thesis:

    America has a spiritual problem.
    A spiritual problem does not have a political solution.

    Maybe some would argue that a political program could forward a spiritual solution – like putting Bible education back in the schools. Maybe so. I guess I am looking back at the mantra that ‘if we could just get the right man in office’ – the tide might change. I think of the Presidents who have touted Christianity – Carter the Southern Baptist, Bush the Episcopalian (is that right?), Clinton the Methodist, what was Bush 2? I forget. I don’t know how or if their faith influenced public policy or private people.

    Some contend, “But if we have the right people in office we can change the laws because righteousness exalts a nation.”

    I get it. But righteousness exalts a nation, not righteous laws. Sin is a reproach to any people. Just ask Israel as they were being dragged into exile in spite of their righteous laws.

    I don’t think revival can start in Washington. Can any good thing come out of Washington? Maybe I’m wrong.

  54. Steve,

    If God’s word to us consistently says that the oceans and sky are blue, would it be wrong to question two or three paragraphs that clearly state that they are purple?

  55. I will uncategorically state that I am with Michael on this one. Purity of pulpit. It is only since i attended church after I became a believer that i heard bible teaching mixed with something a base as politics. In fact, as a Jew, the only time my rabbi brought up politics was in the area of antisemitism. As I recall, it was Yom Kippur, packed house, and Goodbye Columbus the movie had just came out. There was a scene right before the wedding reception started where the camera (on a track) behind the buffet table panned the entirety of the table with vast amounts of sumptuous food. The next shot, without a transition or fade, showed Jews four deep with forks and plates in hand, climbing over each other to get at the table. From this, the rabbi inferred antisemitism. Personally I thought it an accurate depiction of the bar mitzvahs and wedding I had been to where food was served buffet style.

    On a personal note, would appreciate a prayer. i seriously hurt myself 3 weeks ago skiing with a multi fractured humeris and shoulder damage. Plate and twelve screw later I am three weeks nito a seven month recovery. Freinds and family say that at 64, I should leave the double diamond runds alone. I say I won’t until (a) my kids give me a grandchild, (b) i do this again as dont know if I could undertake this recovery path again, or (c) one of you folks sells me your grandchild.
    Blessings.

  56. Sheck, sorry to hear that. Double black diamond runs…yikes! I know you still think like a 25 year old but you gotta slow it down old man 🙂

  57. Jeff,

    Praying…and will continue doing so as you go through the arduous physical therapy to recover.
    That’s serious damage…

  58. Tim,

    We’re closer to agreement than usual on this matter… 🙂

  59. Tim Brown said, “America has a spiritual problem.
    A spiritual problem does not have a political solution.”

    Yes, it does. And, your Calvary Chapel Church System examples that “spiritual problem” very well.

    Instead of constantly judging the evil “outsiders”….why don’t you solve America’s problems by doing what 1 Corinthians 5:12 says and clean up your own houses in Calvary Chapel?

    Start there if you are truly concerned about America’s “spiritual problem”

  60. @58 I do have a good day every now and then.

  61. The “church” will continue to spin its wheels and be perceived as dishonest and morally irrelevant as it continues to rail against the “evil outsiders!” while continuing to protect and enable sin and corruption in its own ranks.

    Millionaire pastors, child abusing pastors, cheats, liars, gluttons, abusers and hypocrites…and you say “not my problem, I’m independent!”…

    …yet you have a very public opinion and outrage against the “evil outsiders” who want a marriage contract.

    No moral authority and only your choir listens to you…everyone else recognizes you are frauds and phonies and doesn’t give you much credibility b/c we see your actions and inactions and see through your b.s.

  62. Tim Brown,
    ” And where the Bible speaks the pulpit should speak. And where the Bible is clear the pulpit should be clear. To be silent would be unfaithfulness.”

    I am not a preacher (but I did spend the night at a Holiday Inn Express 🙂 ) – but I have to ask – when you preach “where the Bible speaks” or “where the Bible is clear” aren’t you to preach the truth into your people – such as “you (my congregation), do not have an abortion” – “you, do not be a homosexual”

    Are we called to preach – “go out and stop other people you see from having abortions or stop those who are homosexuals.”?

    My pastor does not preach about the sins of “those” people and how it must be stopped – he preaches to us in the pews and tells us to stop our sin, repent of our sin, confess our sin and receive the forgiveness of our sin.

  63. I think my #62 and Alex’s #61 pretty much agree. Can I get a hallelujah?

  64. I meant we agreed on the part to preach to and at your own and leave the outsiders alone.

  65. MLD said, “Can I get a hallelujah?”

    How about an “OH crap how did that happen?!” 🙂

  66. MLD – already took a screen shot, printed it out and placed i in my picture frame covering my bar license. Almost like the Chargers winning a Super Bowl…never thought it could happen.

  67. just because ministers on the left politicize their pulpits doesn’t make it right for those on the right to do so. That reasoning is silly–I might as well loot the local CVC because those guys are. If people in a church require the pastor to tell them how to think & vote, then it is an sickly ministry indeed–where is their maturity, prayer, and fullness of the Spirit which will ‘lead them into all truth?’ The pastor & leadership hasn’t equipped them well enough to function, instead to rely on him/them. Finally, the ministry of the Church isn’t to redeem the school board, the state legislature, nor the Supreme Court, but to offer the living water to each thirsting soul.

  68. Sheck said, “Almost like the Chargers winning a Super Bowl…never thought it could happen.”

    LOL

    and ouch. Truth hurts.

  69. Fil said, “just because ministers on the left politicize their pulpits doesn’t make it right for those on the right to do so.”

    Yes, from a Legal Perspective/Campaign Rules perspective….it actually does.

    From a moral perspective, it’s anyone’s opinion.

  70. @62 Hi, MLD – I think it depends on perspective. Here’s what I mean.

    The condemnation of sin should be as wide as the practice of sin. Well, that’s pretty broad.

    Some of the prophets were prophets to their nation only, others spoke to a larger audience concerning their moral responsibility to God and the judgment to come.

    Some pastors have a wider calling.
    Some pastors have a prophetic calling – narrowly construed as setting forth the moral order of God and the wrath of God to come.
    I think your scenario pretty much describes me. I.e., I speak to the congregation has set me in to serve.

    I think, too, that there’s a wider perspective than just stopping the sinful behavior of this or that person. I think I should do what I can as a Christian or a pastor to dissuade a woman from having an abortion for the sake of the life within her. I think I should dissuade a nation from affirming the homosexual lifestyle because righteousness does exalt and nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.

  71. If liberals can use their pulpits to influence politics and have found the legal loopholes to do so…then same-same for the conservatives. That’s how the game works.

    Your moral opinion can be whatever you want it to be with regards to that issue.

  72. there are two board members of a local school board here who are doing much the same thing as Hibbs’ members. They are also members of a local CC offshoot. Their understanding of education, law, politics, and administration is abysmal, but they are determined to ramrod their views (conservative, far-right & “Christian”) through the board. One is the chairman. Funny thing is, their children don’t even attend the district–they enrolled them all in a private Christian school. Further, their actions have been so controversial and alienating that they have given Christians a black eye. Even well-respected teachers and administrators (who are believers) in the district have distanced themselves from the two. Are these two discouraged? Of course not.

  73. Alex,

    I oppose partisan politics in the pulpit, period.

  74. Fil, I have no problem believing that and have seen similar.

    Morally, I dunno. Some would call it “activism” and would applaud their “dedication to the Cause!” etc.

    Others who are on the other side of their particular Pet Issue would probably have a similar opinion as you have.

    We tend to give grace where we agree with folks…and we tend to be less gracious to the folks connected to issues we don’t like. Human nature.

  75. One lesson we have learned from Political Liberals and the minority position….Louder, more obnoxious, more extreme, more polemic, harsher rhetoric, motivated personalities that bulldoze their way through the Institution and Establishment…it works.

    Saul Alinsky was right about a lot of stuff in terms of strategies and tactics.

    It is not only possible but probable that a small motivated passionate minority can make wholesale changes in the US political system.

  76. Alex,
    the question at hand seems to me to be one of calling and purpose, and your stance seems to be that the church is no different than a golf country club, PTA, or city council. I would say the church has an entirely different mission than secular organizations or bodies.

  77. …you also have to control the narrative and you have to have a substantial media outlet to reinforce your propaganda.

    If you can do all those things, which are doable…you can be today’s Democrat Party and elect a Neo-Socialist kill-whitey like Obama.

  78. Fil said, ” I would say the church has an entirely different mission than secular organizations or bodies.”

    Maybe in the Ideal…but certainly not in the Pragmatic and Practical and real world.

    Churches and “the Church” are necessarily Political…especially in our System

  79. In fact, I’d challenge you to find a more influential Institution when it comes to Politics at the Local, State and Federal level than Churches and “the Church”

    Probably the only close 2nd is Academia.

  80. Fil, that is part of my Philosophy and World View…”things as they are…not necessarily as they should be”….

  81. The conservatives have been asleep at the wheel in terms of politics.

    They have been overrun by the liberals in the Propaganda Landscape and Academia has trumped the Church’s influence as “the Church” is now so splintered and has moved more liberal…especially Black Churches and Churches comprised of other minorities.

    Theologically Liberal churches are largely Liberal politically as well…and they are gaining ground while conservative evangelicals are losing ground.

    For the conservatives to get their mojo back, they’ll have to get -re-engaged in politics and be louder, work harder and be more pushy and “activist” than the Obama-ites and Alinsky-ites.

    That’s just the troof of the matter from a pragmatic viewpoint.

  82. School Boards and HOAs – legal American dictatorships.

  83. The other key issue is that conservatives are losing the Argument regarding major political issues…this is partly incompetence and choosing bad leaders who aren’t that intelligent or articulate and partly due to hyper-focusing on losing issues that don’t resonate with the dumbed-down masses.

    Gotta win the Arguments if you are going to change hearts and minds. Gotta pick the right battles. Gotta choose more talented leaders. Gotta have a more motivated activist base. Gotta be louder and more vigilant than the other team. Gotta dumb down your message and use propaganda better, etc.

  84. I only care about local issue.
    Pick up my trash
    Flush away my poop properly
    Pump clean water into my house
    Sweep my streets
    Have the cops, fire department and EMTs close by

    I rarely travel more than 10 miles from my home – so what do I need beyond that.
    When I cross the 10 miles it is usually to go gamble at the Indian Casinos … but that international affairs isn’t it?

  85. MLD said, “Flush away my poop properly
    Pump clean water into my house”

    That’s a lot more difficult now in Commiefornia…and not as guaranteed anymore LOL.

  86. Good news.

    A friend emailed me this. If the SCOTUS rules for the gay marriage thing, “churches” will have to drop their non-profit status if they want to be opposed to gay marriage.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/417597/obamas-lawyer-religious-institutions-may-lose-tax-exempt-status-if-court-rules-gay

  87. My only problem with this is yet again the church’s selective view (and ignorance) of things.
    ANYONE who has attended a CC, especially behind the orange curtain for any period of time, can’t argue with CC’s at least implicit, unspoken mandate that Jesus moves through the RNC. Please don’t even try and tell me any CC really holds both parties equally accountable to God’s righteousness, you’ll just sound like a clown. To those few CCs that didn’t get bored with God’s Word and the power of His Spirit, I’m not speaking of you. Once you get “God’s man” in the White House, all of sudden God only cares about your wallet issues, and poor people, minorities, and mostly minority babies be dammed – yea, I’ve read MANY CCers online rantings – what they REALLY care about and what I heard for two decades while sitting under a CC king.
    Secondly, this “return to our Christian roots” nonsense only flies with the historically ignorant. Just ask ANY minority alive just 40 years ago, the many adults abused in Catholic and Protestant churches back then, wives and children being abused when alcoholism was acceptable, or those of Mexican or Native American races whose only mistake was to inhabit our land before we got here (and were then lied to, poisoned, and endured genocide so “God’s people” could recover “our” lands for “Gods glory” over the “philistines of old”).
    By the way, I’ve served in two combat theatres for this country so using your puny labels on me won’t work.

  88. LOL, good post UnCCed!

    A lot of troof in there. It is what it is as they say.

  89. Man…”duck and cover” LOL

    You sure opened a can of worms on this post… 🙂

  90. I do want to be clearly understood. My position on many topics is the same as the “religious right.” – but I am not one of them. I would never promote my politics in church and I don’t really care how others vote. I have never had a bumper stick on my car and I have never had a political candidate’s sign in my yard.

    As for church, I also get disturbed when people peddle their business around church – soliciting customers. I am highly visible in my church and I would bet that 75% of the people have no idea what I do for a living.

  91. Going back to something said way earlier…about the liturgy forcing the pastor to not go down political paths.

    While that may be true, the reality also is that the Bible will do the exact same thing. It sure does for me. There is no way to teach a paragraph of several verses in context in 30-40 minutes and go on a bunch of personal sidetrips. So while I can respect the comment about the liturgy, the idea that the liturgy is needed to save the pastor from himself is not needed. Just teach the Bible…there is a lot there. (In fact, each week I leave out a lot I could say because I do want us to make progress and look at the entire paragraph).

    My observation, and my grief, is there is less and less expositional teaching of a multi-verse paragraph or two, and instead even in churches that claim to teach the Bible, there really is a series of topical, one-verse messages, that may have a sequential order in the Bible. Just look at the title references in the archives of a lot of churches.

    Example – get to a verse like “abstain from all appearance of evil” and if that becomes the entire message, the pastor can take it anywhere he wants.

    Include it in a comprehensive message covering all those commands found at the end of 1 Thess 5, in the context of the entire book, and put them all together in one message and there is less chance, if any, for personal mischief.

    That’s my two cents. Even Michael I think will agree with me on that one 🙂 (as we seem to teach in a similar manner as far as how much Scripture to cover each message)

  92. For a disciplined pastor / preacher who knows that his personal opinion does not belong in the divine worship service then that works.
    However the liturgy does not just control what goes on in the pastor’s message but absolutely everything from the procession to the recession.

    Now, I guess during announcements it could be left open to – “we are having a potluck after church today, Bingo Wednesday in the church basement and by the way Vote for Joe.”

  93. Oh dear Steve. 🙂

    I have sat through… let’s figure it out:

    40 x 52 x 45 minutes of Sunday morning services. That’s 93,600 minutes (1,500 hours) of sermonizing I’ve sat through and that’s not counting the first ten years of my life and does not take into account Wed eve and all the hundreds of hours of taped sermons I’ve heard.

    A very large amount of this was the pastor’s opinions, jokes, family anecdotes, sports stories, etc. Some of it was beneficial; most of it was not.

  94. The attempts at Greek word studies was the worst.

  95. I was at CCCH when Jack showed the Bill O clips. He dedicated a Sunday to instruct his congregation on the history of Jihad and ISIS. I wouldn’t show FNC clips, but I appreciate that he takes a stand on these issues. People can go elsewhere if they want. Many thousands seem to like Jack’s ministry. He faithfully presents the gospel. I don’t think he is confused about America vs the Kingdom of God… he just encourages people to be active politically. Who cares? Can’t he do what he feels led to do? I think it’s great that they have taken over the school board, why shouldn’t they? The people of Chino Hills can vote them out if they want.

  96. I like that – “taken over the school board” 🙂

  97. Alex,
    I suppose the difference is you’re more pragmatic, I’m more idealistic.

    Idealism is a tougher taskmaster. 😉

  98. “ought to be” vs. “is” could summarize the PP, I suppose.

  99. #33-“When evil is all around us and when even Christians are confused, the preacher is obligated to preach the truth.

    the problem is that many preachers are scattered in their focus between secular truth and spiritual truth…

    if the question is a secular one, can’t a preacher preach anything he wants to preach?

    if the question is one of being in the service of God, Himself… then his obligation is to edify the Church, to grow the Body into Christ-likeness … &/or administer those sacraments, i guess

  100. Does anyone know why Tulian T is on a 3 month paid sabbatical?
    It was announced Sunday in church but no explanation given.

  101. Fil said, “Alex,
    I suppose the difference is you’re more pragmatic, I’m more idealistic.

    Idealism is a tougher taskmaster.”

    Agreed.

    My inner Idealist and my inner Pragmatist are always battling.

    Usually the Pragmatist wins the day.

  102. Sorry michael and all.

    I no longer care what a pastor or preacher or authority of whatever says from a pulpit lecture or whatever stump he happens to be hiding behind.
    It doesn’t matter in the slightest to my relationship to and with God or Jesus. I know who I really serve and it ain’t any one on the planet who has lived in the last 2000 yrs.
    -mike

  103. There is so much I want to say, but I think my head would explode if I went there.

    Briefly:

    I attended CCCH for about 10 years, in the beginning it was a bit political but not over the top. By the time I left, you were more apt to hear about the latest political doings as opposed to the Gospel. Oh, the teaching would start out verse by verse, but all roads led to the politic.

    If you are not a registered republican you had best keep it to yourself, democrats are not well tolerated.

    If you want to be seen as super spiritual, carry the patriots Bible.

    If you want to be seen as pro American, you get you historical facts from David Barton.

    I remember when Arnold was running for governor, and Jack supported him from the pulpit. Later a mutual friend asked why he wasn’t endorsing the openly Christian candidate, he responded the Christian didn’t have a chance of winning and he didn’t want to waste his vote.

    I have no doubt that Jack feels called to change the government, to move it back to its Christian roots, I’ve heard him say it many times. He should step out of the pulpit, and I don’t mean just in front of it, and do what he feels called to do. And leave the church to those who want to teach the Gospel.

  104. this was an interesting post recently that agrees with Michael’s take on the subject. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/jesus-wasnt-concerned-with-taking-the-country-back-and-neither-should-we/

  105. Steve Wright wrote @ # 47:

    “…Jim, you are in the minority because, to my knowledge, you are the only one here who doubts the passage in Romans about civil government to be Pauline.”

    I think there is good historical evidence to support the thesis that Paul was referring to one of the first rudimentary police forces in Rome at the time and not necessarily making a blanket statement applying to all governments in general.

  106. Believe differently Michael?

    To quote Garry Wills…

    *
    According to the gospels, Jesus preferred the company of the lowly and despised that of the rich and powerful.

    He crossed lines of ritual purity to deal with the unclean- with lepers, the possessed, the insane, with prostitutes and adulterers and collaborators with Rome.

    He was called a bastard (Jn 8:41) and was rejected by his own brothers (Jn 7.3-5) and the rest of his family (Mk 3.21).

    He was an outcast among outcast, sharing the lot of the destitute, the defiled, the despised. “He was counted among the outlaws” (Lk 22.37).

    He chose his followers from the lower class, from fishermen, dependent n the season’s catch, or from a despised trade (tax collection for the Romans).

    There were no scribes or scholars of the Law in His following.

    Jesus not only favored the homeless. He was Himself homeless, born homeless and living homeless during His public life: “Foxes have lairs,and birds have nests in air, but the Son of man has nowhere to put down His head” (Mt 8.20)

    Jesus was called an agent of the devil, or the devil himself (Mk 3.22, Jn 7.20, 8.48, 10.20).

    He was unclean (Lk 11.38), a consorter with Samaritans (Lk 17.16) and with loose women (Lk 7.39).

    He was a promoter of immorality (Mk 2.16), a glutton and a drunkard (Lk 7.34), a mocker of the Jewish law (Mt 12.10, Jn 5:16, 9.16), a schismatic (Jn 8.48).

    He was never respectable.

    In fact, He shocked the elders and priests of the Temple when He said, “In truth I tell you, tax collectors and whores are entering God’s reign before you” (Mt 21.31).

    Jesus seemed to prefer the company of the less-than-respectable, since He said that His Father “favors ingrates and scoundrels” (Lk 6.35).

    He was a man of the margins, never quite fitting in, always “out of context.”

    *

    Michael keep being you!
    That is what draws us to this place that is different.

    ( While I was typing this one of my sisters called to tell me that my mom passed peacefully on to heaven at 8:00 this evening. She is in a much better place now.

    Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Jn 11.25)

  107. Xenia, I like MLD’s answer better. The one about the disciplined pastor…

    I think the fact that you are not pleased with much of what you heard all those years is well traveled ground.

    The point is, it is silly to think that only the liturgy can save a pastor from preaching politics from the pulpit.

    Muff Potter, that is an entirely different suggestion than what Jim has said in the past about the verse not supposed to even be in the BIble.

  108. stopped by to read the comments and see that a saint has gone home … God keep and comfort Dave and family

  109. thinking about comments here from the past: “votes are relevant on the local level…” amen … “if our votes counted, they wouldn’t let us do so…” sadly, amen

    is politics appropriate from the pulpit? i guess that raises the question of who gets to make that decision? it might meet the standards of one church, but not another

    folks who “believe differently about some hot button issues, based on their understanding of what the bible teaches about them?” ahem, politics are the least of our divisions on what the Bible teaches 🙂

    “Are we voting against God?” you might be, but only God, Himself knows for certain

    IMO – were we to, by some fluke, elect Christians to every office in the land and legislate by the 10 Commandments + grace … “justice tempered with mercy” … if the majority of the people walked according to the national mindset we now have …?… we could not as a nation expect to be blessed by God, so perhaps the best use of a pastor’s time and effort should go into feeding the sheep – milk or meat as needed to grow in Christ – in the nurture and admonition of the Lord – to coin a phrase and just sayin: this world is not our home…

    God keep

  110. “I think there is good historical evidence to support the thesis that Paul was referring to one of the first rudimentary police forces in Rome at the time and not necessarily making a blanket statement applying to all governments in general.”

    Not true.

    It appears the idea of establishing a system of courts and justice system is a part of the Pharisaic teaching Paul would have learned under his Master.

    Even today the passion for civil Law, both in house and secular, is considered by Jews as a Commandment by God for all humanity. History and documentation appears to track such thought back to the days of Jesus. While the Jewish people fought the Roman government well into the 2nd Century the idea Paul expresses would have been considered a commandment of God to them.

  111. Thanks Em,

    For your thoughtfulness.

  112. Praise the Lord my mother is still alive and well even though she died last night!
    http://shekinahfellowship.blogspot.com/2015/04/my-mother-passed-on-last-night.html

  113. Oh, Dave….sorry about you losing your mom. I know what you mean about being thankful she is more alive that we are, but I know it is hard to lose our mama here, on this side of heaven. I am thankful you are being comforted by the Lord. My mom died a couple of years ago and there are so many days I just yearn to pick up the phone and have a nice chat with her.

  114. Nonnie,

    Thank you!

    That day will come when you and mom will once again embrace each other with joy unspeakable!

    Until then we do all we can to insure that others come to our eternal family.

    God has such wonderful plans for all of us in eternity.

    http://shekinahfellowship.blogspot.com/2015/04/todays-bible-study-is-from-gospel-as.html

  115. RE: Bob @ # 110:

    I think you missed the point. My bad. Here’s some clarification:
    The reference was to Romans chap. 13.
    There was indeed a police force in ancient Rome called the Vigiles from where we get our modern word ‘vigilantes’. It was tax supported and they were charged with patrolling the streets ,keeping the peace, and putting a damper on crime.
    I don’t see how Romans 13 can even be remotely construed as a missive on Paul’s early days as a disciple of Gamaliel.

  116. Dave,

    My heart goes out to you in your loss…may all of your family find comfort and assurance in Him as you say goodbye for now.

  117. Memory eternal.

  118. Thank you Michael.

    I know you are on the same road we were with our mom. The health issues etc.

    May you enjoy the time God is giving you to be with your mother.

    Blessed.

  119. Bless you, Dave…and your family.

  120. Muff,

    No one here wants to interact with the text.They will add to the text, saying we don’t have to obey a govt that asks us to sin, but that is clearly contrary to the text. Modern day theft and kidnapping, throwing captives in to rape cages are accepted here, as we bow the knee to the text. It is ok for govt to sin, based on RMs 13.

    This is a divine right of kings passage, which has allowed all manner of evil to occur, including our current system.

    Here we honor the enforcers who blindly obey orders, imaging themselves to have rights that others do not. They enjoy a supernatural status, which places them above their fellow citizens. No right exists among free men.

  121. Other than the textual evidence for the passage, and almost the entire history of the church, especially the writings of the pre-Constantine fathers, you make quite a case there Jim.

    I think a few people over the millenia have more than “interacted with the text” – despite your claim to the contrary

    But really,..how can one talk to a guy who thinks everyone here “accept throwing captives to rape cages” and all here believe government leaders “enjoy a supernatural status”

  122. Steve,

    I’m very interested in what the pre Constantine fathers have to say about govt. Can you point me in the right direction?

  123. All the powers and dignities of this world are only alien to, but are enemies of God. Through them, punishments have been determined against God’s servants. Through them, too, penalties prepared for the impious are ignored. – Tertullian

  124. Why not stay with your choice of Tertullian.

    But why dwell longer on the reverence and sacred respect of Christians to the emperor, whom we cannot but look up to as called by our Lord to his office? So that on valid grounds I might say Cæsar is more ours than yours, for our God has appointed him. Therefore, as having this propriety in him, I do more than you for his welfare, not merely because I ask it of Him who can give it, or because I ask it as one who deserves to get it, but also because, in keeping the majesty of Cæsar within due limits, and putting it under the Most High, and making it less than divine, I commend him the more to the favour of Deity, to whom I make him alone inferior. But I place him in subjection to one I regard as more glorious than himself. Never will I call the emperor God, and that either because it is not in me to be guilty of falsehood; or that I dare not turn him into ridicule; or that not even himself will desire to have that high name applied to him. If he is but a man, it is his interest as man to give God His higher place. Let him think it enough to bear the name of emperor. That, too, is a great name of God’s giving. To call him God, is to rob him of his title. If he is not a man, emperor he cannot be. Even when, amid the honours of a triumph, he sits on that lofty chariot, he is reminded that he is only human. A voice at his back keeps whispering in his ear, “Look behind thee; remember thou art but a man.” And it only adds to his exultation, that he shines with a glory so surpassing as to require an admonitory reference to his condition. It adds to his greatness that he needs such a reminiscence, lest he should think himself divine.

    Tertullian

  125. By the way…I left after my first post. Just got back so it took me about a minute to find the Tertullian quote.

    Here is Irenaeus – from ‘Against Heresies’ Book V Chapter 24, titled:

    Of the constant falsehood of the devil, and of the powers and governments of the world, which we ought to obey, inasmuch as they are appointed of God, not of the devil.

    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103524.htm

    I’m done now…I’m sure its not too hard for you to continue your education if indeed “(your) very interested in what the pre Constantine fathers have to say about govt. Can you point me in the right direction?”

  126. Steve,

    Run off, because you know you stepped in it. One could write both an anti, and pro govt book quoting Tertullian alone. Origin contradicted himself as well.

    On this issue, you are speaking declaratively, with a “that’s that” attitude. No surprise hearing that you’re done.

  127. Xenia and Steve Thank you!

    Xenia I confess I had to look it up, being a simple man.

    After pondering it for awhile i checked with Google and got the full meaning of your statement. I really liked it. That chant carries so much meaning in just two words.

    Steve I joyfully receive your blessing as a man of God for myself and family and may your heart continue to be a blessing for the sheep of God, feeding and nurturing them as the representative of Christ.

    We all are rejoicing that mom has finally gotten to be with her Savior, in His realm for ever more.

    That is the hope of the Christian who is NOTW but of His Kingdom eternal.

  128. MLK is one of my heroes.

    He’s certainly “liberal” politically, which I generally am not.

    I am so glad he used his position as a minister and the SCLC to further his vision, which included politics.

    I think “liberal” and “conservative” as well as “right” and “left” are adjectives that do not have a permanent and foundational definition. They are all “relative” to time and place and context.

    But I use and tolerate their use out of practical considerations.

  129. It’s at least DEBATEABLE that Jesus was homeless…

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

(required)

(required)

%d bloggers like this: