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The Rainbow Coalition Represents You

The Rainbow Coalition Represents You

A Family Research Council article reports that the American Embassy in Macedonia flew the Rainbow Coalition flag along with the American flag to celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, & Biphobia.

The message conveyed by this action is troubling since, as the article suggests, the overwhelming majority of the Macedonian population is opposed to the LGBT agenda. Consequently, as guests in that country our embassy is promoting a cause that conflicts with the moral position of the people hosting us, a display of gross inconsideration.

Our embassy gets away with this shameful and shameless disregard for Macedonian hospitality because of its strength and money. The American Left loves to criticize our nation for flexing its muscles around the world. Yet, they don’t mind doing so in promotion of their own causes.

Another problem with this practice, in which American embassies in other nations have participated, is its identification of the American people with the LGBT agenda. By flying the Rainbow Coalition flag an embassy, which represents the American people, connotes that this orientation characterizes the position of the American people, which is patently not the case. Less than 3% of the American public is homosexual, and when pro-LGBT issues have been put to a vote in various states, they have almost always been voted down.

This practice, begun under the Obama administration, continues because influential members of the deep state at the State Department are aggressively pro-LGBT. In addition, Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, provided substantial impetus to changing the Boy Scouts toward a pro-gay position. Therefore, we can expect that he will not oppose this practice.

These developments demonstrate that unless the evangelical church provides united, aggressive opposition to the LGBT movement, it will succeed in its objective of dominating American culture.

They Do Anything with Impunity; We Do Nothing with Recrimination

They Do Anything with Impunity; We Do Nothing with Recrimination

The comparison is spectacular. It would be bad enough if liberals went scot-free in the face of blatant and serious misconduct or if conservatives were incriminated even when innocent, but for Hillary and Obama to do their Bonnie and Clyde routine for years without consequence and then for President Trump to be drawn and quartered without substantive charges makes the double standard and the dishonesty supporting it breathtakingly blatant.

How can it possibly be that in the face of Fast and Furious, the IRS scandal, Benghazi, classified documents on Hillary’s private server, and pay for play, no special counsel was appointed, but unsupported accusations from undisclosed sources makes one essential for President Trump?

Unfortunately, the answers are all too obvious. First, in America, the media create reality. If they assure us that there is nothing to see here, it’s all cool, facts notwithstanding. However, if commentators display attitudes of deep concern, even when the basis of their deep concern is obscure, the charges are serious and something must be done—and it is. Consequently, not elections or government but the mainstream media ultimately control our country.

This outcome is secured by several factors.

The first resides in the cowardice of many conservatives who scramble like roaches when the light goes on whenever the media assaults a conservative person or cause. Reelection is the name of the game, which means avoidance of anything that would diminish those prospects. Forget standing for principal.

A second factor that allows media to rule America resides in the fragmentation on the conservative side of the aisle. When a person or cause on the Left encounters political problems they circle the wagons and declare war on the enemy. As soon as North Carolina passed HB2, everyone from the NBA to the NCAA showed up in force to punish a state that would dare protect the safety and modesty of women by barring biological males from their shower rooms.

But let someone in our camp get in trouble, and we can count on Senator McCain to share the liberal concern, often forming a gang of eight or 10. But worse than that, the RINOs in general, and even many reputed to be faithful to the cause, will abandon ship, leaving the beleaguered colleague, currently being Pres. Trump, to suffer the full wrath of the media and Democrats.

This splintered conservative configuration shows itself in the amorphous nature of the Tea Party, seeming to have no comprehensive organization or leader and consequently minimal political power. In situations such as the current one, they have no voice and provide no substantive help.

Last, but perhaps most significant, the conservative person under fire fails to receive any meaningful help from the evangelical community. Some prominent evangelicals will occasionally rise to the occasion, but the church as the church is AWOL. This absence comprises a serious matter because the evangelical community constitutes the largest body of conservatives in America. If it were united and engaged, it would be capable of launching an effective counterattack against the media and the Left in general.

Several reasons exist for lack of evangelical engagement in the battle. I discuss these in my book, Counterattack: Why Evangelicals are Losing the Culture War and How They Can Win. For starters, evangelicals have their share of RINOs at heart, which prevents them from presenting a united conservative front.

Then there are significant numbers who claim that politics resides outside the circle of appropriate ecclesiastical involvement. This position can be difficult to understand in light of the many moral issues currently at stake in the political arena. Nonetheless, this belief prevents many from engaging in the battle. One suspects that fear of the sight of blood might provide added incentive for this position.

Perhaps the most prevalent and most disturbing factor preventing evangelicals from enlisting is found in their seeming oblivion to the crisis of the hour. They sing their choruses, enjoy a sermon on God’s unconditional love, and leave for Sunday dinner, seeming not to notice that the Left has taken over our nation and is imposing their morality on our society. They seem unaware or unconcerned that their children and grandchildren will either be immersed in a moral cesspool or made to fight their way around it, a fight from which their parents reneged.

So while the Left can do virtually anything without negative repercussions, they can use a fabricated narrative to destroy conservatives. If only we could learn to believe like conservatives and fight like liberals. That might just give President Trump a fighting chance.

Let Your Culture Be Your Guide

Let Your Culture Be Your Guide

A recent training program for faculty and staff at Clemson University advised them to accommodate and make adjustments for students arriving late to classes and meetings whose cultures approved of tardiness.

This cultural relativism raises numerous questions.

  • What if the culture of others in the class values punctuality? Is their culture to be disregarded? Do their cultural sensitivities not matter? If not, why not?
  • Does time lost by punctual people in the class or meeting to accommodate this tardiness have no value? Is the only consideration culture?
  • If the class accommodates tardiness, students will learn less. Does education matter? If learning does not matter, why are students attending Clemson?
  • If Clemson accommodates tardiness for cultural reasons, how about wife beating and honor killings? Will Clemson force its Western values on Muslim students regarding these practices? If not, why not? They can’t excuse these exceptions because they hurt others, since as noted above, tardiness hurts people, also.

So the list could continue of question for which I am confident the Clemson administration has no rational answers.

My book, Counterattack: Why Evangelicals Are Losing the Culture War and How They Can Win, notes that having traded our Christian foundation for a post-Christian culture America has no functional guide, consequently consigning us to this chaos. I assert that our only moral principle is unconditional acceptance, a conclusion confirmed by this training course. That moral standard leaves us asking, “Who gets accepted and who is forced to do the accepting?” Be sure that Christian values, which have produced our success, draw the short straw.

One more question. Does this acceptance of tardiness apply to Clemson’s national championship football team? I’ll let you guess the answer? The Clemson administration may be irrational, but it knows what’s important.

A Microscopic Look at God’s Goodness

A Microscopic Look at God’s Goodness

We tend to become so entangled in the immediate challenges of life that we fail to step back and study the big picture. David does that for us in Psalm 145, where he makes two observations regarding God’s dealing with humanity. He speaks of God’s goodness to all people, “giving them their food in due time” and ”satisfying the desire of every living thing.” Yet, the psalmist also observes, “The Lord preserves all who love him, and all the wicked He will destroy.”

A glance at our world reveals God doing both of these phenomena.

First, He has designed and maintains the world so that ordinarily the daily needs of human beings are met. Most people in this world have homes to live in, food to eat, families to enjoy, and a semblance of societal stability.

The absence of these blessings does not find its cause in God’s failure to provide but instead in human wickedness that needlessly consumes resources and creates havoc. Imagine the wealth that the world would enjoy without warfare and sinful behavior. Every human being could enjoy affluence. God has provided such bounty that even though much is consumed by sinfulness, sufficient still remains for most people to be satisfied with the necessities of life.

The big picture also reveals David’s second observation, that God blesses those who love Him but punishes the wicked. History manifests God’s special kindness to nations where love for Him is prevalent. Consider God’s blessing on England during the Victorian era and the United States prior to the 60s. On the other hand, contemplate the poverty and chaos of communist, Muslim, and Hindu countries and even America during our post-Christian fling.

God is so good. If people would only love and listen to Him.

The Worst Deception

The Worst Deception

What could be worse than a person with assurance he is headed for heaven, breathing his last only to discover that he has arrived in an eternal hell?

Paul had such great concern about people being deceived in this regard that twice in addressing this issue warned, “Do not be deceived.”

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. (Ephesians 5:5-6)

Scripture also teaches that salvation is by grace through faith and not works. Nonetheless, the same apostle who most aggressively taught that truth also penned the words above. Both of these truths are inspired by God and therefore can be reconciled,

However we achieve that reconciliation in our thinking, and it is essential that we do not accomplish that objective by ignoring the verses above.

Some contemporary evangelical teachers contend that because we are saved by grace, our performance (read behavior) does not matter. Such teaching deceives the person whose lifestyle is characterized by the sinful behaviors listed in the passages above. This false message is an easy sell since people practicing a profligate lifestyle want to believe that ultimately they will arrive in heaven.

Those believing this message, contrary to the warnings of these passages, are allowing themselves to be deceived to their own eternal peril.

Mother of All Deceptions

Mother of All Deceptions

P.T. Barnum is credited with saying, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” The message: human beings are vulnerable to deception.

Scripture graphically conveys that Christians are not immune from this propensity, warning us repeatedly not to be deceived. The New Testament cites our vulnerability to deception in areas such as fraud by false teachers, falling for erroneous ideas, and being duped into believing that some sinful commodity will bring more satisfaction than its godly counterpart.

This weakness for deception is especially dangerous since deceiving is one of Satan’s specialties, one at which he excels. He started his conning career early, deceiving Eve in the Garden of Eden, recorded in the third chapter of Scripture, and he stays at it until the very end, deceiving multitudes at the termination of the Millennial Kingdom, recorded in the third to last chapter of Scripture.

Contemporary evangelicals have fallen for the mother of all deceptions, the false confidence that they have not been deceived. I recently read an article identifying France and the United States as two of the most secular nations on Earth. How can the American church, probably the largest and most influential church of any nation, deceive itself into believing it has no culpability in this decline? This false self-assurance that we are okay is especially devastating because it prevents us from diagnosing our disease and taking the cure.

Study of Scripture provides the cure for deception. The evangelical abandonment of expository preaching in preference for cherry picking feel-good passages has prevented us from recognizing Satan’s hoaxes. I challenge every evangelical to read through the Bible and ask whether the God it portrays is the same as the God evangelicals worship. An honest analysis would demonstrate that P.T. Barnum was right.

Liberal Propensity for Grand Pronouncements

Liberal Propensity for Grand Pronouncements

Liberal Propensity for Grand Pronouncements

A major weapon in the liberal arsenal consists of making their positions sound like obvious truth believed by every thinking person for all of time. Consequently, anyone thinking otherwise must be categorized as a Neanderthal numbskull.

This strategy manifests itself in all its splendor in a Huffington Post article by Clay Farris Naff entitled “In Rejecting Gay Bishop, Methodist Court Shows The Folly Of Relying On Scripture For Moral Guidance.” The United Methodist’s Judicial Council rejected the consecration as Bishop of Karen Oliveto because of her lesbian relationship.

If Naff wanted to argue the merits of homosexual marriage, doing so could at least lead to rational discourse. Rather, he resorts to the tactic cited above, asserting that, “To anyone free of ancient prejudices, the injustice of condemning Oliveto is plain.”

Naff labels moral concerns with homosexuality as an “ancient prejudice.” To accept this position we must enter into Naff’s skewed view of reality. Those ancient dark ages would have been less than four decades ago when the American Psychiatric Association viewed homosexuality as a pathology. By “prejudice” he ignores the majority of the world that still rejects homosexuality, identifying prejudice as anyone who does not agree with him.

Evaluation of that “ancient prejudice” might prompt us to consider the success of our society since abandoning traditional Christian morals related to homosexuality. A summary analysis reveals that our nation has declined in virtually every category, suggesting that those setting our society’s contemporary moral norms may not be that smart after all. Maybe if we reverted to those ancient prejudices our society held as recently as half a century ago our nation might start climbing out of its current moral morass. Perhaps the authors of Scripture did know more than the liberals shaping our current cultural climate.

Bill Belichick, Nick Sabin, and Jesus

Bill Belichick, Nick Sabin, and Jesus

My guess is that most football fans, given the option of any coach to put their money on (figuratively speaking, of course), would choose Bill Belichick for the NFL and Nick Sabin for the NCAA. Bill Belichick won the Super Bowl this year. In the college national championship game, Nick Sabin blew a 14 point lead to get nosed out by Clemson, coming in number two in the country. Both of these coaches distinguish themselves as usually coming in on top or close to it. For Nick Sabin a bad season means ending up second in the nation.

Besides winning, these two coaches share the quality of being demanding. Bill Belichick is noted for telling players who have messed up, “Just do your job.” Likewise, on the practice field or on game day Nick Sabin would never be confused with Jolly old St. Nick of Christmas fame. He also expresses in unmistakable terms that he does not take kindly to mistakes.

These observations suggest a correlation between being demanding and winning. Though occasionally a nice guy wins a championship, the Mike Ditkas and Jim Harbaughs of the football world enjoy more consistent success. In addition, in the long run players prefer tough coaches because they enabled them to be better players and even better people.

So, what kind of coach would Jesus have been? The Jesus described by contemporary evangelicals elicits the picture of an unconditionally accepting coach conveying to his players that performance does not matter, that He will be just as pleased with them regardless of whether or not they leave everything on the field.

This picture of Jesus omits much of the scriptural portrayal of Him. Certainly Jesus had a tender side and caring moments, but often He was tough with His team—His disciples.

After calming the sea that threatened to drown them, one might expect Him to say, “That was really scary, wasn’t it? Are you okay?” Instead He retorted, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?”

Then there is this story:

Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, and they did not have more than one loaf with them in the boat. Then He charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have no bread.” But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened? Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up?” They said to Him, “Twelve.” “Also, when I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of fragments did you take up?” And they said, “Seven.” So He said to them, “How is it you do not understand?” (Mark 8:14-21)

This might have been said by Bill Belichick to his team on Monday morning after a rare loss.

That Jesus employed this confrontive approach with his disciples on a somewhat regular basis is indicated by their response when Jesus was teaching them about His death. Scripture records,” But they did not understand this statement, and they were afraid to ask Him.” Their fear suggests that Jesus did not subscribe to the view that there are no bad questions.

Or consider the response of Jesus when His disciples could not cast the demon out of the boy:

“O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you?” (Matthew 17:17)

Examination of this passage leads to the conclusion that these words were directed at the disciples. Perhaps some Alabama players might respond, “Hey, that sounds just like Coach Sabin.”

We also find a similarly tough approach taken by the apostle Paul and other New Testament writers. In fact, the books of 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians are filled with numerous locker-room-style lines. Consider this one: “What do you want? Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love and a spirit of gentleness?” (1 Corinthians 4:21)

My concern resides in the relationship between toughness and winning. Apparently at times human beings need the motivation of tough talk in order to function at their best.

The contemporary evangelical Jesus described above leaves us coddled and pampered. This approach is especially problematic when we consider that the Christian life is described as a battle, and therefore we need every motivation available to endure the related hardships and win. We must fight our own selfish desires, the hostile world surrounding us, and the hosts of hell seeking to destroy us. Consequently, we need the rigorous disciplines administered by winning coaches.

This is not to say that we never need nor should receive empathy and encouragement. These are crucial elements of the Christian life. However, we will not develop as Christians or function at our best in the Christian life if that comprises the totality of our input. One pastor likes to describe his church as a hospital. At times, football players need hospitals. But if that comprises the totality of the training facility, they can expect to lose games. The focal point must be the training room and practice field.

My book, Counterattack: Why Evangelicals Are Losing the Culture War and How They Can Win, makes the case that evangelicals are losing the culture war in part because we are predominantly running hospitals and not training centers. We might do well to invite Bill Belichick and Nick Sabin to our next pastors’ conference.

Hearing Is Not Enough; We Must Also Listen

Hearing Is Not Enough; We Must Also Listen

Yesterday’s post noted that despite God’s command that Israel’s kings not multiply wives, David had eight wives and 10 concubines.

David’s disobedience is especially notable since this instruction in Deuteronomy 17:17 comes immediately before the mandate to kings in Deuteronomy 17:18-19 to copy and read daily from the Law. We have reason to believe that David did this since he probably wrote Psalm 1, which stresses the importance of meditating on the Word day and night. His reading and meditating on Scripture must have often led him to the instruction to kings not to “multiply wives.”

It seems that David’s disregard for the command regarding multiplying wives was not done in rebellion, since David is described as a man after God’s heart. Rather, this must have been a blind spot

Though this might appear to us to be a glaring error, Scripture teaches that human beings possess this tendency to hear but not to listen—to allow words to penetrate their ears without grasping the message with their minds and hearts. God instructs Isaiah, “Go, and say to this people: ‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive,’” a passage frequently repeated in the New Testament.

History tells us that Frederick the Great’s father read Scripture daily and yet was incredibly cruel to his son and others. Apparently he heard the message of agape love but never actually listened to it.

The warning to us: hearing the Word provides no guarantee that we are listening to it. My book, Counterattack: Why Evangelicals Are Losing the Culture War and How They Can Win, shows how contemporary evangelicals struggle with this very problem. We must heed the words of Jesus, “Be careful how you hear.”

Rethinking David’s Sin

Rethinking David’s Sin

We tend to view David’s adultery with Bathsheba and his related murder of Uriah as a case of a righteous man caught by Satan at a weak moment.

Further consideration, however, reveals that David set himself up for this sin. Deuteronomy 17:17 instructs Israel that their king should not “multiply wives for himself.” Scripture records that David had eight wives and 10 concubines.

Scriptural accounts of David’s various marriages give no overt hint that he was acting sinfully, thus leaving the impression that his marrying multiple women was okay. David was a man after God’s heart who behaved righteously in dealing with Saul and other situations. Therefore, mention of these marriages waves no red flags.

Nonetheless, these choices violated God’s instructions for Israel’s king. This disobedience may have creating in David’s heart the prideful impression that as king he was above God’s law. This attitude likely came into play the night he spotted Bathsheba. If his kingship assigned him the prerogative to take multiple wives despite the commandment of Scripture, he should likewise be free to take whatever woman he wanted, regardless of her marital status. Consequently, David rather than being an innocent man ensnared by sin, was a person whose past indifference to God’s commandment made him vulnerable to this transgression.

This account should cause us all great concern. Am I being negligent regarding some instruction of Scripture that is setting me up for a major fall? David seemed to have gotten away with these preliminary transgressions, but ultimately they caught up with him. Likewise, we may conclude, “My current lifestyle must be okay with God because all is going smoothly.” However, if it includes unbiblical practices, they make us vulnerable to a life-decimating fall. Scripture warns, “Be sure your sin will find you out.”

What is Europe thinking?

What is Europe thinking?

Historically we have viewed Europe as intellectual and sophisticated. Therefore, it can be puzzling to watch European nations committing societal suicide by inviting in hordes of Muslims to rape their women, commit mass murder, and take over their countries. Why would intelligent nations follow such an seemingly irrational course?

The answer: they are seeking to solve a problem and employing a misguided solution to do so.

The problem begins with the European practice of killing off their population by abortions. To sustain itself, a society must reproduce at a rate of 2.1 children per couple. Because of abortion, most European countries are falling substantially short of that number. Consequently, societal survival demands replacements for these murder children. European leaders see the solution in importing rapidly multiplying Muslims.

Another solution would be for these societies to stop killing their babies. That seems, however, to be an unthinkable alternative in most European countries.

This need for population replacement brings us to Europe’s misconception. As secular humanists they are convinced that their Christian heritage provided them with nothing unique, that one religion is as good or as bad as another. Therefore, Muslim immigrants will work just fine as replacements for population raised in a Christian cultural context. Europe’s humanistic leaders are so committed to this conclusion that faced with rape, mass murder, no-go zones, and myriad other problems posed by Muslim immigrants they respond by doubling down on their humanistic, ideologically-driven program.

One implication of Brexit may have been that England’s common people are more cognizant of the value of their Christian heritage than their leaders. The bottom line is that Jesus brings vast value to culture. Obama decimated America because of his ignorance of that reality. America’s anti-Christian Left would do well to learn from Europe’s tragedy.

American Corruption and the Evangelical Church

American Corruption and the Evangelical Church

My previous post analyzes a study on the levels of corruption in 176 countries. Of the nations categorized in the first tier, described as “very clean,” almost all have a Protestant heritage. The United States ranked in the second tier with countries such as Botswana.

This observation left us asking why the dying liberal embers of European Protestantism seem to infuse greater morality into those countries than does the much larger and seemingly more vibrant American evangelical church into our society.

First it should be noted that immorality does in fact constitute a major problem for America. We tend to think of our nation as a moral shining city on a hill, and at one time we were. But no longer. We have become the global divorce capital, the primary smut producer and peddler of the world, and under the Obama administration a major propagator of homosexuality and abortion. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that corruption has also washed over the public sector. The Obama administration administered lies as part of their modus operandi. Politicians make decisions based on campaign contributions rather than the benefit of the American people.

Why has the evangelical church in the United States not function as a preservative? The substantial size of the American evangelical church as compared with churches in other nations provides it with sufficient potential. It does not require a high percentage of salt in meat to preserve it from corruption.

The evangelical church has failed to arrest the spread of corruption in America because of the infiltration of secular cultural concepts into the evangelical worldview, resulting in its contributing to our nation’s moral problem rather than providing a solution.

Secular post-Christian culture ultimately resulted from the hippie movement of the 60s going mainstream, permeating every segment of our society. That movement asserted that the individual has a right to do his own thing and that he should do what feels good, that is, he possesses autonomy and should employ feelings as the basis for exercising that autonomy.

Under the influence of this philosophy, American evangelicals have adopted a collage of concepts that harmonize with it.

For example, evangelicals have emphasized grace to the extent that it has been elevated to an absolute, while largely ignoring scriptural teachings on holiness and judgment. Though evangelicals virtually never make this connection, elevating grace to an absolute in effect gives the believer the latitude to do his own thing, to do what feels good, with impunity.

The same might be said of the evangelical focus on God’s love, which evangelicals emphasize to the point of overshadowing the many biblical warnings regarding God’s anger toward both the sin and the sinner and His severe dealing with sinful behavior of both believers and unbelievers.

This almost total infatuation with grace and love can be observed in almost any evangelical church on any given Sunday morning. But one also can discover this tendency via a perusal on Twitter of the followers of almost any evangelical. One frequently finds such self-descriptions as “grace freak” without ever running across a “holiness freak.” One could observe many thousands of self-portraits that mention God’s love while seldom if ever stumbling across a comment related to God’s judgment.

Evangelicals also manifests secular thinking in their focus on imputed righteousness, our righteous standing with God through the sacrifice of Christ, while giving scant attention to behavioral righteousness, though the New Testament gives significant attention to that topic. This orientation also allows the individual to do his own thing, to do what feels good, with impunity. Giving almost exclusive attention to the righteousness of Christ assigned to our account renders behavior of no significance in our relationship with God.

In fact, some concepts prevalent among evangelicals make this very point. Some teach that when God looks on us, He does not see our sinfulness, but the righteousness of Christ. In that case, behavioral sinfulness does not negatively influence our relationship with God. A widely propagated and embraced concept among evangelicals is that God loves and accepts us unconditionally. This, too, nullifies the need for righteous living. A companion concept asserts that need not “perform” to please God. This perspective also eliminates any requirement for righteous living. Instead, any suggestion that God mandates certain behaviors is designated as legalism.

Related to these concepts is the current evangelical position that we should not fear God in the normally understood meaning of that word. Rather, “fear” is viewed to refer to reverential awe or some synonymous concept. Therefore, we can practice sinful behavior with fear regarding God’s response.

Related to all the concepts mentioned above is the belief that while righteous living is not needed to please God, the believer who embraces God’s non-performance-based unconditional love and acceptance will spontaneously live righteously. In other words, he lives righteously not because he ought to but because he wants to—because he feels like it, because it becomes his thing.

Though this understanding of Christianity enjoys significant compatibility with secular culture, a factor that may be largely responsible for the rise in popularity of the evangelical church and spawning of megachurches since the sixties, every aspect of contemporary Christian culture described above can be shown to be unbiblical. I demonstrate this is my book, Counterattack: Why Evangelicals Are Loving the Culture War and How They Can Win.

It also should be noted that every one of these contemporary evangelical trends undermines morality and opens the door to corruption. Therefore, the evangelical church in America, rather than functioning as salt and light to restrain the spread of corruption in our society is responsible for its proliferation by teaching that it has no negative impact on our relationship to God.

Only as the American evangelical church returns to the teaching of Scripture regarding the fear of the Lord, holiness, and judgment will it restore righteousness that exalts a nation and stem the tide of sin that is a reproach to any people.

Why Has the American Evangelical Church Failed to Restrain Corruption?

Why Has the American Evangelical Church Failed to Restrain Corruption?

My previous post notes that on the corruption scale almost all the nations in the top, “very clean,” category possessed a Protestant heritage. Sadly, the United States was not among them, landing in the second tier with nations like Botswana.

We observed that a1984-style communism brutally imposed atheism on nations such as Russia, largely eradicating their Christian heritage, leaving them morally deficient. We concluded that the second tier corruption level of the United States resulted from our opting for a post-Christian culture beginning in the sixties.

America, however, did not abandon its Christian heritage by force of a totalitarian regime but almost eagerly, under the influence of a Brave New World,-type soma, preferring hippie culture pleasures to Christian morals: guidance by feelings vs. mind and will, doing one’s own thing vs. the mandate of Scripture.

Because, in contrast to communist countries, the American sixties culture was not imposed, the church was free to function as a force for morality in our society. This latitude of the American church to influence culture makes us wonder why the evangelical church, the American Protestant cutting edge across the past half-century, failed to maintain morality. Could it be that the seemingly vibrant American evangelical church exerted less moral influence on our culture than the dying embers of British, German, and Scandinavian Protestantism did on those nations? The corruption scale cited in my previous post suggests that conclusion.

This outcome is especially difficult to understand since America seems to be much more committed to Christianity than secular Europe, and American evangelical Christianity seems to exert much more influence than European churches. Why, then, did American evangelicalism fail to restrain the forces of corruption in our society? Tomorrow’s article provides an answer.

Corruption, Christianity, the Economy, and America

Corruption, Christianity, the Economy, and America

Transparency International annually ranks 176 nations based on “how corrupt their public sectors are seen to be.” They place nations in ten categories from “very corrupt” to “very clean.” Their findings for 2016 manifest several interesting factors.

First, almost all of nations in the “very clean” category have a history of significant protestant Christian influence, such as Canada, England, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Netherlands, etc. Therefore, it seems fair to conclude that Protestant roots have had a restraining influence on corruption. In contrast, almost all nations having Catholic influence or no Christian influence at all are in lower categories. In fact, in general terms, the less biblically rooted influence a nation has had, the greater the corruption, with Muslim nations faring the worst.

Second, we find two notable exceptions to this trend. Previous Soviet nations, where communism worked aggressively for seven decades to kill their Christian roots, ranked poorly. Apparently communism succeeded in eradicating the Christian culture in most of these nations, and along with it their morality.

The second exception consists of the failure of the United States to make the top tier, instead being classified in the second category along with nations such as Botswana, Uruguay, and Chile. America’s migration beginning in the 60s from a Christian to a post-Christian culture has also degraded it morally.

These studies on corruption are employed to demonstrate the negative correlation between corruption and economic well-being. For example, Russia’s current economic decline seems to result from unwillingness of investors, domestic and foreign, to trust the economy of a nation fraught with corruption. These factors suggest that America’s economic success stemmed from our Christian heritage, that our recent economic downturn resulted from abandoning that heritage, and that America would be wise to reinstate it.

The Culture War, President Trump, and the Evangelical Community

The Culture War, President Trump, and the Evangelical Community

The first step in winning the culture war entails identifying the enemy. Ultimately, the enemy does not consist of any person or group of people but a cultural orientation.

Scholars have rightfully asserted that America has entered a post-Christian era. The enemy, the force destroying America, consists of the post-Christian culture of the 60s introduced by the Baby Boomers that has replaced America’s traditional Christian culture. Winning the culture war requires eradicating that culture and restoring our previous Christian culture.

I view President Trump as a special gift from God to America, the answer to many prayers for our nation. I say that because he possesses a collage of rare qualities that enabled him to win the election and that are enabling him to reverse much of the disaster created by Barack Obama. He has a keen intellect, a record of success, a strong and winsome personality, familiarity with news and entertainment media, international experience, a broad array of powerful and influential friends, and many billions of dollars. I do not believe any other candidate could have beat Hillary Clinton, nor could they have withstood the vast incoming fire from every direction sustained by President Trump, who has not only has managed to deflect these assaults but has also aggressively counterattacked.

However, he possesses one other quality vitally necessary for winning the culture war: the fact that in reality he is not a member of the Baby Boomer generation. Being born in 1946 positions him at the very beginning edge of that generation, but various factors in his history prevented him from becoming a card-carrying member.

Apparently his parents were traditional Americans and disciplinarians who had no intention of allowing him to do his own thing or to do what feels good. Rather, his parents ensured that he was in Sunday school. I know that for a fact because I knew his Sunday school teacher personally. His father sent him to military school. He then attended Wharton and entered the world of business, which demanded that he lived in the world of reality and exercise discipline and responsibility. He does not drink, smoke, or do drugs, practices that further remove him from a Baby Boomer orientation. He manifests many traditional American values that diverge from the 60s mentality such as patriotism, belief in American exceptionalism, and appreciation for America’s Christian heritage. Some may point to his marital record as an indicator of a Boomer orientation, but other generations have manifested similar records, especially those inhabiting the cosmopolitan world in which his business success positioned him.

It is truly remarkable in this day and age that a man of his credentials could emerge as a presidential candidate who has escaped the influence of the 60s culture. This quality is of paramount importance because, as noted above, the 60s culture constitutes America’s ultimate enemy. Virtually all of Obama’s initiatives reflected that orientation, from his globalist tendencies to his transgender bathroom policies. Therefore, undoing Obama’s fundamental transformation of America requires someone fundamentally dissociated from that orientation.

As such, President Trump is undoing many government policies reflecting the 60s culture, thus restoring some traditional American values.

We must, however, acknowledge the limitations of President Trump in restoring traditional American Christian culture. He works in the arena of government policy. Many elements of that culture reside outside the scope of the political arena, such as the promotion of a wide range of unbiblical sexual practices, sensual entertainment, lack of discipline of children in the home and school, acceptance of vulgar and blasphemous language, and diminished church attendance.

Only the church can restore these and other aspects of Christian culture.

Doing so will first require that the evangelical church in America purge itself of the influences of 60s culture. I have written about the infiltration of evangelical Christianity by the 60s culture in my book Counterattack: Why Evangelicals Are Losing the Culture War and How They Can Win. That book also explains the need for the evangelical community to form a united front, identify leadership, and develop a strategy in order to fight the culture war successfully,

God has been good to America in miraculously providing a President qualified to undo the influence of the 60s culture and restore traditional American values in the political arena. However, it is incumbent on the evangelical church to do its part in restoring Christian culture. Currently the evangelical church is failing to meet that responsibility, especially in its continued corruption by a 60s orientation, fragmentation instead of unity in fighting the culture war, and lack of a comprehensive strategy. Unless evangelicals take the initiative to correct these deficiencies, the contribution of Donald Trump will be limited and short-lived. Consider that the good influence of Ronald Reagan was undone in several decades.

The major question confronting the evangelical church today is whether we will squander this opportunity to restore American Christian culture or do our part to win the culture war. The Obama administration brought us perilously close to the precipice. In His provision of President Trump, God may be giving us our last chance.

Scripture Endows a Society with Agape

Scripture Endows a Society with Agape

Why did traditional American culture, rooted in Scripture, make America great? One reason is that Scripture emits light, information essential for successful living we would not otherwise know. Scripture also infuses life into individuals and society, empowering them to live according to the light of Scripture.

A third commodity supplied to a society by Scripture is agape love, actions that benefit others. In my book, Counterattack: Why Evangelicals Are Losing the Culture War and How They Can Win, I give substantial attention to the nature of agape love and its powerful impact on society.

Why does Scripture endow a society with agape?

First, the light emitted by Scripture, just mentioned, teaches us what love looks like in various situations. For example, it tells us that a husband and wife in a committed relationship comprises the most loving arrangement for spouses, children, and society in general. When a society tries to figure out what constitutes agape on its own, it tends to make serious mistakes.

Second, the life engendered by Scripture, cited above, provides individuals and society with the power to love. Human nature tends toward selfishness. Scripture empowers us to rise above our self-centered inclinations to pursue that which benefits others.

In addition, Scripture provides us with several motivations to love. Reading Scripture reminds us that God commands us to display agape. Scripture also explains that God designed life to function optimally when characterized by agape, and therefore that agape-oriented behavior produces success. Beyond that, Scripture informs us that God blesses those who show love both in this life and the next.

Consequently, when Scripture reading constituted a prevalent practice, American society was characterized by love and success. Making America great again will require restoring the Bible to #1 on America’s reading list.

Scripture as Life Source

Scripture as Life Source

A previous post asserted that American success stemmed from a culture rooted in Scripture. What about Scripture produces societal greatness? Scripture transforms societies by engendering light, life, and love. That article explained Scripture’s capacity to produce light, valid information unavailable from other sources.

Scripture also instills life into individuals and society, i.e. it injects spiritual energy that empowers people to form godly character. Jesus said, “The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. “ (John  6:63) Likewise, Hebrews 4:14 tells us that “the word of God is living and active….” Consequently, reading Scripture not only provides information but also empowerment.

Harry Truman, not noted as being especially religious, nonetheless stated, “When I was young, I read the Bible through many times.” Though Lincoln at time was less than supportive of Christianity, His biographers agree that the Bible was “a book that…he had read and studied assiduously since his youth.” Likewise, practically every American during the earlier days of our nation experienced substantial exposure to Scripture. Until 1963 when the Supreme Court banned Bible reading in public schools, in many if not most classrooms the day began by reading Scripture.

Though the Bible engenders life by conveying the gospel, which when received produces spiritual rebirth, it provides a level of spiritual vitality to all who read it. Consequently, until America adopted a post-Christian culture in the 1960s, our nation enjoyed a broad-based, high level of spiritual energy, resulting in individual and national character, which in turn spawned American greatness.

Many social analysts agree that since the 60s America’s national character has eroded, resulting in our functioning at a banana republic level. Only if once more we become avid readers of Scripture will America possess the internal strengths required to be great again.

Why Scripture Engenders Success

Why Scripture Engenders Success

My previous post asserted that the Bible provided the foundation for traditional American culture and that this scriptural foundation engendered success.

This assertion prompts the question, “What about Scripture produces such dramatic positive results?” In short, the Bible provides three success-inducing commodities: light, life, and love. This and the following two articles discuss scriptural production of these three commodities.

By “light,” I am referring to valid information or truth.

Many in contemporary American society contend we can derive truth by employing the scientific method. We can to a degree. Scientific research can provide valid information regarding superficial aspects of life such as principles of engineering and medicine.

However, the scientific method fall short in analyzing more profound aspects of life for numerous reasons. First, many of them include more variables than science can adequately accommodate. For example, marriage relationships and child-rearing are too complex for science to analyze effectively. Scripture provides us with the underlying principles that make these relationships successful. Since the family comprises the building block of society, these principles engender societal success.

Science is also limited by the inaccessibility of much information. Despite its attempts, information regarding origins is beyond its reach. Likewise regarding how history will terminate. Also inaccessible to science are realities related to the human heart. Only Scripture can tell us how we got here, why we are here, how we should live while we are here, and where we are going when we leave—the most significant aspects of life.

Also science is corrupted by human bias. Exposure of fudged numbers related to global warming provides just one example.

America enjoyed success because it gleaned direction from the light of Scripture regarding life’s salient issues. We need guidance by that same light in order to achieve future success.

How to Make America Great Again

How to Make America Great Again

During the early days of WWII before America entered the war, President Roosevelt sent Harry Hopkins, who would become the architect of the Lend-Lease program, to England to assess the situation and advise him regarding future American involvement.

During his stay Churchill escorted him all over England to show him their desperate need for American help. Eager to know what he would advise the President, shortly before his departure Mr. Hopkins provided his answer in this toast:

“I suppose you wish to know what I am going to say to President Roosevelt on my return. Well I am going to quote to you one verse from the Book of Ruth … ‘Whither thou goest, I will go and where thou lodgest I will lodge, thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.'”

That Mr. Hopkins, not known to be religious, would frame his response in the words of Scripture displays the deep influence of the Bible on American culture.

In The Closing of the American Mind, Allan Bloom observed,

In the United States, practically speaking, the Bible was the only common culture, one that united the simple and the sophisticated, rich and poor, young and old….[i]

Robert N. Bellah wrote:

The Bible was one book that literate Americans in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries could be expected to know well. Biblical imagery provided the basic framework for imaginative thought in America up until quite recent times and, unconsciously, its control is still formidable.[ii]

Though America never officially designated Christianity as our national religion, we were a Christian nation in that Scripture comprised the foundation of our culture. That foundation provided the basis for American greatness. We can only become great again by restoring that foundation.

[i] Bloom, Allan. The Closing of the American Mind: New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987, p. 58.

[ii] Mangalwadi, Vishal (2011-05-10). The Book that Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization. Nashville: Thomas Nelson [Kindle Edition, p. 58].

You Will Decide Which America We Get

You Will Decide Which America We Get

Joshua, approaching the end of his life, gathering Israel together, confronted them with the challenge, “Choose this day whom you will serve.” He did not say, “Choose whom you will worship.” That is part of it, but the word “serve,” coming from the Hebrew root for “slave,” is far more inclusive and demanding. That choice would determine what kind of nation they would have.

We find ourselves confronted with the same choice as individuals and as a nation. The gods of our present society were introduced in the sixties. The mantra, “You have a right to do your own thing,” led to the god of autonomy. “If it feels good, do it,” led to the god of sex.”

We must choose whether we will worship autonomy or commit ourselves to live God’s way. Many today assert, “I believe in God. I just don’t like organized religion.” That is just a pseudo-spiritual form of autonomy. Serving God means obedience to Scripture regarding worship.

We must also decide whether we will serve God or sex. Many who claim commitment to God engage in cohabitation, adultery, pornography, and other practices that violate Scripture. Many others serve the God of sex by watching sexually explicit movies and other types of entertainment that implicate them in sex-worship.

Joshua gives guidance to help Israel make its choice. Do you want to serve the Lord who enabled you to conquer this land or the gods of the people whom you defeated? Ours is a similar choice. Will we choose the God who made America strong and prosperous or the gods that since the 60s have brought America to chaos and ruin?

Choose today whom you will serve. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

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