Devout Christian who believes the primary mission of the Church is to faithfully represent the Gospel of Christ, and consistently live out the word of God in our everyday lives.
Posted 11/6/17 at 2:10 PM | Marvin Thompson
Rev. Mark H Creech laid out a very good argument for why a Christian cannot be a Democrat here.
Unfortunately, his implicit recommendation, that the Republican Party is for Christians, could not be worse. He laid out a number of reasons posited by Wayne Grudem, who, “in Politics According to the Bible, accurately describes the wide gap between Democratic and Republican principles which he says "involve a person's entire worldview and deeper spiritual commitments."
Needless to say, those differences are not as black and white as Creech seems to think, because increasingly, Republicans and Democrats share the same views on the very social issues that were once so divisive like Gay rights and abortion, and now even the role of government. A Lifeway poll in 2015 found that 70% of women who get abortions identify as Christians. In a May 3-7, 2017 Gallup poll, only 18% said that abortion should be illegal in all circumstances, while 29% thought it should be legal in all circumstances, and 50% thought it should be legal in most. Also, it is significant that Republicans are now championing the repeal of the death penalty which was once considered to be a biblical imperative for a godly society. FULL POST
Posted 9/27/17 at 7:32 AM | Marvin Thompson
Speaking out on ESPN, an “appalled” Rex Ryan said “I am associated with [Trump] because I introduced him, I supported him.” But overcome by an overwhelming sense of buyer’s remorse, he said, “I never signed up for that.”
That being the very divisive, and racially tinged comments Trump made about the NFL and its players regarding athletes protesting while the National Anthem is being played. Trump could not help himself during a campaign stop in Alabama in support of a candidate to replace Jeff Sessions, when he blurted out that the NFL should fire those “S.O.Bs” (use your imagination for what that stands for). That seemed to have crossed a line because it is seen as an attack on the mothers of NFL players, as well.
Ryan, a former NFL coach who campaigned with and introduced Trump during the 2016 election season, said he does not want to be associated with Trump’s comment. He coached several NFL teams during his tenure and added that the men he worked with - the guys in the locker room, are not who Trump characterized them to be. He has had enough. Now he is doing all he can to extricate himself from the Trump universe. FULL POST
Posted 9/12/17 at 8:58 AM | Marvin Thompson
An interesting moment came about during a panel discussion at the Religion News Association conference in Nashville, Tennessee, on September 9th, 2017.
Televangelist and pastor at New Destiny Christian Center in Florida, Paula White, tried to clarify what she meant by some controversial comments on the Jim Bakker show recently. On the show she said it was God who raised up Trump, and suggested that any resistance to the President is tantamount to fighting against God’s plan, and is therefore “fighting against the hand of God."
Her clarification came in response to Jack Jenkins of Think Progress who wanted to know if she “believed all leaders, including former President Barack Obama, were anointed by God,” because of her comments on Bakker’s show.
Her clarification proverbially raised more questions than it answered. She said, “I'm a preacher and I got a little fired up and I said some things invariably that I wish I wouldn't have said" and "I don't believe that just for President Trump. I would believe that for President Obama, I would believe that had Hillary been in." FULL POST
Posted 9/1/17 at 9:22 AM | Marvin Thompson
If you have ever prayed for something and were disappointed that it did not come when you expected it, or not at all, then you may have pondered through your doubts whether faith in Christ isn’t merely a state of mind with no causal influence, and that we are really at the mercy of a dispassionate fate.
It would seem that whatever concerns us the most, must surely be of concern to God. And if we are overcome with anxiety about our most urgent cares, why wouldn’t God grant our petition? What if our most urgent care is a matter of life and death?
Think, you are the sole breadwinner for your young family including infants; or you are the sole caretaker of your aging and physically challenged parents. Perhaps you are the custodian of a disabled sibling. In any event, there are those who depend totally on you for their care, wellbeing and survival.
Now think, you are staring in the face of a gun being held by someone intent on killing you. Is God obligated to deliver you from death at your request? What would be going through your mind?
We do not often think about our Christian walk in such stark terms. Indeed, it would be an ugly sight if Christians go about weighed down by such thoughts – it would make Christianity truly unattractive, and reflect poorly on our Lord who gives us, not mere hope, but a lively hope at that (1 Pet. 1:3). However, it is necessary at times to recognize that our disappointments are for a purpose – His purpose – and to reflect upon what that means. FULL POST
Posted 8/14/17 at 11:34 AM | Marvin Thompson
A couple weeks ago Michael Brown sought to defend his and other evangelicals’ vote for Donald Trump. A fair attempt it was, but ignored a fundamental Christian principle: light has no accord with darkness. That is the basic biblical ethics of unqualified absolutism, which guides Christian actions to what is right and wrong. Simply put, God’s moral laws are absolute, never conflict, and should never be broken, regardless of the end goal. Should any be broken, there is the inevitable consequence to face.
Choosing the lesser evil is still choosing evil. That is a direct contravention of God’s moral law.
In his near mea culpa then, Dr Brown explained that his and others’ vote was not an endorsement of Trump, per se, but a rejection of Clinton. He also explained that the bargain they entered into was weighted to which candidate would be more supportive of evangelical causes. But in God’s economy, the end never justifies the means it those means deviate from biblical moral standards.
It was spiritually naïve to think that Trump who broadcasted his debased morality and character for God and all to see, would be any different once he ascended the presidency, simply because a few politically motivated evangelicals vouched for his “conversion.” And it was socially naïve to think that he will effect any meaningful change for evangelical causes simply because he said he was a changed man. He was merely throwing the “dog a bone,” and his token gifts to evangelicals are, let’s face it, the real “nothing burgers.” FULL POST
Posted 4/3/17 at 2:47 PM | Marvin Thompson
The LA Times Editorial on April 2, 2017, described Trump and his tactics during the presidential primaries and election as “…a narcissist and a demagogue who used fear and dishonesty to appeal to the worst in American voters.” This is not merely the judgement of a disappointed liberal media unable to come to terms with a devastating election loss, and is now inveighing against the President with unwarranted charges and innuendos. If the Church, and especially evangelical churches, take that view and ignore the many conservative voices, including many within the evangelical community and other Christians not self-identified as evangelicals, then our problems run much deeper that we think.
No, the LA Times’ conclusion is a commentary on the degradation of evangelical morality. Notice, the worst in American voters. Now, pause and let that sink in.
Do you get it? Do you see the gravity of the situation for a community that professes to stand on the infallible truth of the Gospel and on immutable biblical principles? No? Then consider that it is the evangelical vote that carried Trump through the primaries and over the top in the election. Do you see it now? FULL POST
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