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 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
Posted 7/8/16 at 2:32 PM | Marvin Thompson
A delirium is a symptom of an underlying illness.
Trump’s most ardent evangelical supporter is the oft-times controversial Pastor Robert Jeffress who famously suggested that Christians not voting for Trump are foolish and prideful. Christian Post reporter Ethan Cole reported that Jeffress encourages ‘namby-pamby’ Christians to vote for Trump because “At least he likes us.”
In the CP report, Cole writes that Jeffress says "This isn't about partisan politics," he insisted. "This is about good and evil." "This is not a battle between Republicans and Democrats," Jeffress said last week during a radio interview with host Rick Wiles. "It's a battle between good and evil, righteousness and unrighteousness, light and darkness."
To be sure, Jeffress is not implying that Trump is the evil person in this dichotomy. Nor is he implying that Trump is the unrighteous one, or the darkness opposing the light. He is saying that Trump is the good, righteous and the child of light.
Let’s get this straight: the implication is that Trump is the lesser of two evils – acknowledging that he is evil, and at the same time he is good, righteous and a guiding light. If that sounds confusing, it’s because it IS confusing. And as a moral and spiritual basis for supporting him it is an intellectual and spiritual debility. FULL POST
Posted 6/28/16 at 8:20 AM | Marvin Thompson
Evangelicals supporting Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy recently sought to justify their decision by saying that he represents the lesser of two evils. When evangelicals stand as a representative body and give their endorsement, they place their entire faith on the line. The theological reasoning undergirding that decision is frightening. It is frightening because this allows for the acceptance of the impermissible as a Christian duty. It is frightening because this excuses really bad behavior ostensibly for the greater good.
The Theology of Political Expediency
The theology of political expediency is the same as spiritual and moral compromise. It is no secret that more than any other Christian group, evangelicals are emotionally, ideologically, socially and theologically invested in partisan politics. To be a true Christian means an evangelical must be a political, social and religious conservative.
Since the major political parties are conservative and liberal respectively, it behooves evangelicals to vote for whoever the conservative candidate may be regardless of that person’s morals, faith, or character. One may argue that it is the same for the other side, but that is missing an important point. Evangelicals are Christians held to a very high standard of morals, faith and character. The other side is recognized, on the evangelical worldview, to be of a lower and more abased morality, lack of faith, and questionable character. So on this matter there is no equivalency, and therefore no room for saying “they do it too.” FULL POST
Posted 5/23/16 at 12:25 PM | Marvin Thompson
Evangelicalism is at a crossroad. As the upstart Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy has shaken up the political landscape, and more so conservative politics, it has also pushed evangelical conservative politics to the brink of collapse as faith and ideology collide.
From the beginning during the 1980 political campaign for the presidency when the “Moral Majority” waded neck deep into American politics, becoming a political action group to counter the threat of socialism, evangelicalism has taken on an identity that is more associated with politics than with the Gospel of Christ. This is due in no small part to what has become somewhat axiomatic that to be a true evangelical (read: true Christian) a person must politically be a Republican or at least politically conservative. Thus no true evangelical should ever support a candidate with any other political ideology.
So along comes Donald Trump who most recently converted to conservatism from liberalism. Naturally, he deserves a look because of his new found political ideology - just what evangelicals require in a candidate. This year, it seems that is all evangelicals require in a candidate.
Not every evangelical leader is comfortable with the presumptive Republican nominee for president of the United States of America. In fact, some strong leaders have come out and publicly denounced his candidacy. However, there is growing pressure to “fall in line” because the alternative is anathema. At what price, though, should evangelicals sacrifice evangelical purity at the altar of political expediency? FULL POST
Posted 1/18/16 at 6:10 PM | Marvin Thompson
The Roman Catholic Church recently stated that people can come to faith without Christ, which seems to mean that they think accepting Christ as Lord and Savior is not necessary for salvation. Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, puts it this way: “…Vatican II the Roman Catholic Church has become ever more explicit in its teaching that salvation can come without a conscious and explicit faith in Christ.” He added, “This is simply not an option for Evangelical Christians committed to the authority of Scripture alone and to the Gospel as defined in the New Testament.” See article by Leonardo Blair, December 23, 2015, "Albert Mohler Says Christians, Muslims and Some Jews Don't Worship Same God"
The important phrase in his critique is “a conscious and explicit faith in Christ.”
The New Testament clearly teaches in Acts 4:12, that there is no other name by which a person can be saved. In fact, the verse is unequivocal that Christ is the only path to salvation. Add Romans 10:9-10 which requires one to “confess with your mouth” after believing with the heart, and it is easy to see that Mohler is on target in implying that salvation is not passively bestowed upon a person. John wrote in his Gospel, John 1:12, that it is when a person “receives” (active voice) Christ that the right to be called children of God is given to those who believe in His name. FULL POST