Posted 2/11/17 at 1:16 PM | Marvin Thompson
Many evangelicals are worried that the word evangelical has forever lost its meaning, and is now quite ineffective as a tool for presenting the good news of the Gospel. It’s not quite there, but is on life support. This is not trivial because fundamental to the word is that salvation is through Christ alone. Evangelicals, therefore, are those who bring this good news to a world in need. But more than being messengers of the good news, evangelicals were meant to adorn certain uncompromising biblical ethos and mores that distinguish them as true ambassadors of Christ.
The Church is now beginning to recognize that it has an internal problem, with a section of the community of faith being assailed by teachings that are contrary to scriptures. These teaching are spreading at a rate that threatens to render the evangelical brand completely irredeemable. But what the church is failing to do, is to confront these heretic teachings and those who propagate them, in a meaningful way. There has to be a public renunciation and denunciation of these teachings so that the world is not confused as to where the Church stands. Church history advises that this must be done early and decisively. Otherwise, pernicious teachings and doctrines will take root, divide and weaken the Church, and destroy a generation of evangelicals. FULL POST
Posted 1/31/17 at 10:18 AM | Marvin Thompson
In 1 Samuel 8, Israel wanted a king like the other nations around them. They were not satisfied with God’s plan for how they should be governed. But what they were really saying is that God was not enough for them; they wanted a strong man – just like the other nations have. So God gave them Saul. In giving them what they whined for, God warned them that this king would treat them badly. They wanted him anyway.
Evangelicals celebrated the election of Trump as God’s answer to their prayers. They wanted a strong man, not a namby-pamby like his predecessor, but a strong man, admired much in the same light as the strong dictators the world has known. They were not satisfied with how they were being governed; they wanted a no nonsense man, a strong man that speaks his mind without fear of God or man. So God gave them Trump? They saw the signs and were warned about what this strong man would do, but they wanted him anyway.
Now evangelicals own this. Sometimes you have to get what you want to learn that is not what you need.
Not all answers to prayers are blessings (even though in this case it is more likely not an answer to prayer, but an example of the consequent will of God). Just because God may allow something doesn’t mean that he approves. Jesus said that divorce was allowed because of the hardness of the people’s hearts. The stubbornness of evangelicals demonstrated by discarding all moral restraints in reversing their demand that a leader must have a moral character) and embracing Trump, is an example of heart hardening. FULL POST
Posted 12/23/16 at 12:06 PM | Marvin Thompson
You know that there is something deeply, spiritually wrong when a person who sands up for Evangelical theological purity is asked to apologize because that stance “does not represent their political views” (1/28/2016 editorial at baptistmessage.com); is offensive and “…demonstrated a [‘disrespectfulness’] toward more conservative leaders and Trump supporters” (Christianity Today article by Kate Shellnutt on 12/23/2016). The object of Southern Baptists and evangelical ire is Russell Moore.
Remarkably, Moore, as the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), is being criticized for betraying the role of that position because he was outspoken and made critical remarks towards fellow Southern Baptists and evangelicals who were Trump supporters. But what exactly were the grounds of Moore’s outspokenness?
Consider the ethics portion of his title. Now reflect on what he was saying during the electoral season about the ethical challenges of the candidate and the rationalization, even bald unbiblical justification for abandoning long standing evangelical moral and ethical standards. Shellnutt quoted him in her article: FULL POST
Posted 11/28/16 at 12:57 PM | Marvin Thompson
The 2016 presidential election is over and all true Christians must pray sincerely for President-Elect Donald Trump. That is required by scripture and anything else will be willful disobedience to God. Christians do not have the luxury of pouting and expect to be excused for disobedience because of what they perceive to be a natural reaction to disappointment, for that would not be righteous indignation, but sin - pure and simple. Be upset, be angry, and be disappointed, but do not sin.
Being a Christian means being theologically and morally consistent regardless of circumstances. We serve an unchanging God. He was the same in the past as he is today, and as he will be forever. The famous Hymn, Great Is Thy Faithfulness says “There is no shadow of turning with thee.” Throughout the ages this notion of a steadfast and sure God has been an anchor for the faith of believers everywhere, in every situation, and at every stage of life. That is, until now.
For all that has happened within the Christian community during the presidential election campaign season, the most important revelation is the theological and moral crises facing the Church. The Church is theologically confused and morally compromised as never before. We have seen the long standing bulwark of biblical morality toppled for political expedience as moral relativism and religious hypocrisy invade the confines of orthodoxy, aided and abetted by evangelicals. Such ecclesiastical treachery must not be allowed to linger or the community will be corrupted for a generation. FULL POST
Posted 10/27/16 at 12:40 PM | Marvin Thompson
There is a silver lining for evangelicalism based upon a report in Christianity Today: recent polling suggests that most evangelicals will not vote for Donald Trump; just most white evangelicals. However, that is merely irenic comfort, and overlooks a more weighty concern. That will be discussed momentarily. But first, the rank hypocrisy of Trump supporting evangelicals is breathtaking, especially of those who pontificate in opinion pieces and speeches about values while excoriating the character, motives and faith of the “liberals.”
Values no longer matter to Trump evangelicals
When these Trump evangelicals started justifying their support of him, they proffered philosophical reasons mainly clothed in a false choices and false dilemmas, and dubious scriptures savaged to imply a principled biblical choice. But the outcry from biblically sincere evangelicals forced them to abandon the farce that their decision to support him was rooted in any real value, principle or biblical morality.
Mark Creech in an opinion piece on Christian Post, “Why Evangelicals Should Vote for Donald Trump,” demagogically implied that voting one’s conscience is not voting in the interest of the country, if that conscience vote is not for Trump. He says, “…with the deepest respect, you may be seeking to serve your conscience, but you are not necessarily serving your country.” Wayne Grudem says much the same thing in renewing his support for the most unqualified nominee to run for president. Talk about a false choice! FULL POST
Posted 10/1/16 at 10:55 AM | Marvin Thompson
Jennifer Rubin, a conservative columnist who strongly opposes Trump, lamented in a Washington Post column on September 26, 2016 that to the most vociferous right-wing voices “Facts are fungible; it’s all what you want to believe.” Her greater lament seems to be, though, that so many who ought to care about truth do not. “It is however disturbing that many certainly know he is lying — or out of touch with reality — and still support him,” she went on to say after offering a plausible explanation for why the less educated are duped by his dishonesty and many falsehoods.
Several media outlets annexed the comments of both major candidates for president during the week of September 19th. The result is staggering. Trump had eighty-seven instances when he told outright lies with the highest ratings, compared to Clinton’s eight. That is eleven to one.
A further breakdown of the lies is no less revealing. Trump lies with every three minutes of speaking, when all lies (including lies of varying degrees) are tallied. Clinton does the same every twelve minutes. This is empirical evidence that removes all doubt about who is the real liar of the two. With all due respect to Paula White and James Dobson, if Trump is a Christian, then Clinton is also a Christian; she at least speaks more clearly and with more understanding of her own faith and of Christian doctrines. FULL POST
Posted 9/23/16 at 2:51 PM | Marvin Thompson
We are used to hyperbolic language within the Christian community, especially by those who fancy themselves to harness the power of God, and who believe in the power of their own words to perform miracles and conquer the spiritual realms. Unfortunately, much of what passes for spiritual and divine is nothing of the sort - much less a demonstration of God working through such individuals.
Take, for example, the headline of a September 22, 2016 report on Christian Post by Leonardo Blair that reads: Pastors Pray Against 'Concentrated Satanic Attack' Being Waged Against 'God's Choice' Donald Trump. Those were the words of the pastor of New Spirit Revival Center. The pastor spoke of a prophetic warning by a nationally known preacher of such an attack, "that if you choose to run for president, there's going to be a concentrated Satanic attack against you…there's going to be a demon, principalities and powers, that are going to war against you on a level that you've never seen before and I'm watching it every day,"
The ensuing report does not disappoint either as a group of pastors express their thankfulness to God for raising up Trump as His choice to lead the nation. "We thank you God that as a room full of clergy, a room full of leaders, a room full of business owners, mothers, fathers, wives, we ask for help and we ask you God to let that help be in the form of the next president Mr. Donald J. Trump.” FULL POST
Posted 9/20/16 at 1:56 PM | Marvin Thompson
This blog does not endorse political candidates, and, for that matter, does not believe in political party identification - especially as a Christian. The focus is on Christians and the way we apply biblical principles as we live out our lives in an ungodly world. The blog is concerned with Christian consistency where our words and deeds align with the scriptures as godly, reliable witnesses to the world. This concern is highlighted even more during the 2016 presidential campaign as Christians must choose between two major candidates that are prima facie morally flawed.
It is ironic that Trump evangelicals and many millennials say they support him and cannot vote for Hillary Clinton because she is corrupt and a liar. However, on both counts they seem to have made a terrible miscalculation. There is now overwhelming evidence that Trump is consistently corrupted, and a liar such has never been seen in this country’s political history. In fact, he seems to lie even about trivial things - a default response which is a pathological tendency typical of a person who does not consider lying a vice. He lies about his lying. He lies about his charitable giving.
He goes back on his word to pay his workers. He premeditatedly and deliberately defaults on his loans. He is someone who seems to think that corrupt business dealing is a virtue, and possibly a personal sacrifice equal to those who sacrifice their lives for this country; who admires despots, dictators and mass murderers as strong leaders; who thinks that it is okay to bomb the families of terrorists, and perhaps use nuclear weapons on those he disagrees with; who thinks that insulting gestures justifies blowing Iranian boats out of the water. FULL POST
Posted 7/30/16 at 12:47 PM | Marvin Thompson
It is difficult to overstate the damage done to modern American Evangelicalism by the public face of the evangelical sect of Christianity, because of the broad endorsements of Donald Trump from influential evangelicals. With their full embrace of the politics of expediency, the eschewing of fundamental evangelical principles, and inexplicably promoting, employing and encouraging evil means to achieve their goals, evangelical have completed their apostasy.
Yes, apostasy. This is not an accidental or incidental backsliding, but a deliberate, purposeful withdrawal from the most important evangelical values, against the warnings and admonitions of a remnant of true evangelical leaders.
Whither the Moral Majority? David Brooks wrote the following for his column Democrats Win the Summer, in the New York Times on July 29th: “Trump has abandoned the Judeo-Christian aspirations that have always represented America’s highest moral ideals: toward love, charity, humility, goodness, faith, temperance and gentleness.” That is after the evangelicals managed to convince themselves that Trump is a Christian, and their champion. Now it has been reported that almost four out of every five white evangelicals will vote for him. FULL POST
Posted 7/21/16 at 11:27 AM | Marvin Thompson
According to yourdictionary.com, the definition of conundrum is a situation where there is no clear right answer or no good solution. That is a very useful definition for understanding the problem(s) facing the American Christian when it comes to our alleged struggle for religious freedom in a religiously pluralistic society. An American society that is growing more ethnically, culturally and religiously diverse is challenging the conventional interpretation of the original intent of the Framers of our most sacred and revered national document, the Constitution of the United States of America.
What many Christians mean and understand by religious freedom in America is that the laws governing the nation must affirm Judeo-Christian ideals and morality, and that the Church must have a say, even a veto, in how the nation is governed, and how the culture evolves. This, they seem to believe, is the just and free exercise of their religion. And they are convinced that this is constitutionally guaranteed.
The U.S. Constitution is not a Christianity affirming document
The first clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” There is no dispute that the United States of America was founded in part on the idea that people ought to be free to practice their religion without coercion or interference from the government. The challenge is how to interpret that part of the amendment. FULL POST