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Is Mike Pence too political for church?

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There have been a lot of talk lately about Mike Pence speaking at the SBC. Many complained claiming it was divisive and political. Jonathan Leeman wrote an article for The Gospel Coalition criticizing the very idea of Mike Pence speaking. I will address this article in greater detail on the points that I agree and disagree with. But first, let me answer the very question I posed: Pence isn’t too political to address a congregation, but his speech was.

In short, Mike Pence’s address offered zero substantive theological content. It was merely about his privilege as serving as Vice President. While acknowledging this privilege merited a short section in the beginning, it needed no more continuation. Instead, Mike Pence droned on and on about his experiences and the administration’s accomplishments.

I think there’s only one way you can sum up this administration: It’s been 500 days of action, 500 days of accomplishment. It’s been 500 days of promises made and promises kept. 

Pence’s address followed a pattern of praising Trump with loosely intertwined references to God and praising his hosts as guest speakers often do. The intertwined religious language while praising the accomplishments, not of God, but of the President is the briefest summation of Pence’s speech to the SBC that can be offered. The only biblical passage cited was Psalm 126 in reference to a story that served as praise to the Trump administration. God wasn’t working though Trump in Pence’s speech. Instead, Trump was working. At the end of his speech, Pence did offer a superficial message about praying for America with a quoting scripture.

Mike Pence had an opportunity to address the leaders of many churches. He blew it. But would all politicians do the same?

Politicians Should Be in the Pew, Not the Pulpit?

Jonathan Leeman’s article for The Gospel Coalition draws this conclusion. He has five reasons for not allowing politicians to address a church event.

  1. No reason to give attention to a politician’s words over a plumber’s or an accountant’s, at least not in our assemblies or associations.
  2. Having a political leader address our churches or associations of churches tempts us to misconstrue our mission.
  3. Undermines our evangelistic and prophetic witness.
  4. Hurts the unity of Christ’s body

Reason one is most certainly true. However, I believe we ought to separate the person from the profession. On the basis of spiritual maturity and calling should a politician or any notable guest address an assembly. This first reason is the one I believe to have the most merit in regards to the situation at hand. Inviting a politician to address a Congregation is wrong if the only reason is that they are a politician. However, if the politician is a member of the church, what is wrong with having a fellow member speak?

Reasons two and three are certainly tied together in there logic. I believe these reasons hold merit for Pence’s sacrelidgious speech but are not inherently true of all politicians who accept such similar offers. Reasons two and three open a multitude of separate issues both independent and dependent on the circumstances. Meaning, yes this could happen, but the degree in which we can mitigate the temptation are limited for Satan is the tempter. In the case of Pence, reason three was definitely true. Many would see that the SBC tied itself to Trump. But that is not the fault of the SBC per se. But that is Pence’s fault for giving a campaign rally speech instead of a message. If Pence gave a theologically sound speech there should be little temptation to misconstrue the mission. The third reason is inevitable. Since the beginning, Christians witness has been undermined by the lies of Satan. The original Christians were thought to be cannibal and even atheists. We can’t always prevent these lies, but it would be good not to validate them which Pence did.

Now hurting the unity of the body of Christ is a weak point. Leeman’s fourth point is basically saying that Pence is too polarizing, because Trump is… Trump, on a National level to address a church. Pence is polarizing, but he was polarizing before Trump. The polarizing premise is true but, assuming Pence is indeed a follower off Christ, this would be the result of living a Christian life. Here’s another polarizing figure: Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cake Shop. Would polarity disqualify him from speaking? If we are to apply national likability to our church speakers, we’re going to end up with a lot of TV personalities who don’t comprehend dyophysitism.

Like Jack Philips, Pence has taken a lot of flak for being a devout Christian. Isn’t this the kind of person who may have a good message to the assembly? Seemingly so. Again Pence under-delivered. To be fair, Leeman clearly states he doesn’t blanket outlaw politicians from speaking.

I can envision a few circumstances where there is some measure of mission overlap that could justify it. Maybe a group of Christian college presidents asks the secretary of education to address them. Or a Christian conference on work asks a Christian congressman to talk about working as a Christian on the Hill, so that attendees can apply the principles to their own settings.

But while it’s not an outlaw, such an unwritten policy places constraints on the church that are not inherently necessary. Leeman supposes some similar justification was used when The Gospel Coalition had Ben Sasse speak. In 2017, Ben Sasse addressed The Gospel Coalition and gave a theological speech. He was noted for sounding more like a pastor than a politician.

To me only two things matter:

  1. Theological substance
  2. Correct theological substance

On these two requirements I think the body of Christ would remain unified with a clear picture of its mission.

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Culture and Religion

The Bible Project: The new humanity

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The Bible Project The new humanity

Nothing can replace reading the Bible, praying, and living our lives by the lessons we learn from both. There are resources available that should not act as replacements but that can often help us to understand what we learn in the Bible through simplification and analysis. One such resource is The Bible Project, a series of videos that discusses complex aspects of the Bible in layman’s terms.

Their latest video is almost too simple, but in a world that is growing increasingly antagonistic towards Christian teachings, it is a benefit that can help those new to the Bible or possibly confused by its lessons to understand arguably the most important: Why Jesus walked the earth in the first place. This is straightforward to many Christians, but others have a hard time comprehending the purpose of His life, death, and resurrection outside of the basic and repeated concept that we needed Him to die for our sins.

The resurrection represented a new beginning, one in which a man who was broken and killed because of the sins of others would be redeemed and thereby redeem us in the process. It also gives us the hope of our own new beginning, our rebirth into the faith and the transformation believers are promised. It’s a beautiful story that is too-often framed by non-believers as unfair. To the anti-Biblical mind, fairness is the only thing that matters, and the whole story seems to unfair to be believed. Only the Holy Spirit can change the hearts and minds of those who refuse to see the truth.

We are promised a gift of a transformed, eternal life as long as we believe. This is easier than some think, as the faith required to appreciate our Lord’s sacrifice is within all of our grasps.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Culture and Religion

The far-left hates liberty. Isn’t it time to stop praising them as being liberal? Part II

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The far-left hates liberty Isnt it time to stop praising them as being liberal Part II

If we want to defeat socialism and Conserve Liberty, we have to stop using the reality defying language of the Left.

Bernie Sanders recently gave a speech inverting reality to redefine socialism. It was replete with some modernized versions of the tired old tropes of the Communist Manifesto. But the key part included some absurd assertions on Liberty that would have made a younger version of George Orwell proud.

Apparently no one can be ‘free’ unless they have a claim on the time, labor and property of others in society. In the Orwellian mindset of Bernie Sanders and others of the national socialist Left, Liberty means that you should be ‘free’.. to enslave others. No word on whether the people forced to provide their time, labor and property to Bernie voters that are ‘free’.

It is a fact that every living being from bacteria to Brontosauri has had to exert effort in order to survive. However, the Leftist mindset sees an opportunity to control every aspect of everyone’s life in trying to alter this essential fact of life. For if they can assert that every individual has a collective obligation to society at large, they get to enforce that obligation, since they consider themselves to the moral superiors of everyone else. They know this because they are the moral superiors of everyone else.

In this inversion of Liberty from the Left, freedom means that you should be provided with free healthcare, free housing, free college, free food, free childcare and just about any free benefit they can conjure up. Never mind that there isn’t enough money to provide all of these ‘freedoms’ or that the people forced to provide them could hardly be considered to be ‘free’. We’re also to forget about the fact that these ancient ideas run contrary to human nature and that they have never worked in the 400 years that this ‘social’ experiment has been run.

Part I of this series proved that the Far-Left has become the enemy of Liberty while they use labels that falsely imply the polar opposite. Even though Leftists have become increasingly hostile to freedom and basic reality, they still falsely claim to be ‘Liberal’. Part II will present the case for a two-step approach in rhetorically cutting them off at the kneecaps in depriving them of this deception.

The Orwellian language of the enemies of Liberty on the Left.

Ideas are conveyed and considered through the shorthand of language. A positive word connotes a positive thought or feeling on a particular issue, while a negative word has the opposite effect. If Leftists are good at anything, it’s in word selection and exploitation. It’s the reason they put so much effort in trying to control free speech and dictating the terms of debate.

This is why it is imperative that we of the Pro-Liberty Right avoid being trapped into using the language of the Socialist-Left, debating the issues on their terms. This unnecessarily places us in an immediate disadvantage when it’s just a question of choosing the proper words and having the discipline to use them properly.

Eleutheros to Libertas.

There is a reason the Left loves to exploit the derivatives certain ancient words. The first has its origins in Greek: free (liberated), unbound (unshackled); (figuratively) free to realize one’s destiny in Christ.

The second is a derivative of the first, howbeit the etymology is somewhat murky. The second is the Roman personification of Liberty and freedom. The ancient term Libertas has a number of positive and similar sounding derivatives with the two-syllable ‘liber’ common to the words Liberation, Liberty and Liberal.

Each of these three derivatives convey the positive idea of being unbound and free from restraint. When used by the Far-Left this runs contrary to their true meaning because their socialist ideology has the opposite effect, the assertions of Bernie ‘we must be free to enslave others’ Sanders notwithstanding.

Leftists love thinking of themselves a ‘Liberators’ or the vaunted protectors of Liberty, but it is their incessant use of the term Liberal that needs to be corrected. Far too many people wrongly associate socialistic slavery with this contrary term. While many falsely apply some sort of post-modernism ideas to the term, it cannot be denied that Liberal connotes the same positive ideas of freedom as the words Liberty and Liberator. Many associate the real enslavement of society with being Liberal and by extension Liberty and Liberation to the point that the media contradictorily uses the term to refer to socialism.

Defeating the Socialist-Left by depriving them of their false labeling.

Defeating the Leftists on this subject is just a two-step process of taking back the word and having the discipline to use Leftist instead of Liberal. Then it’s just a question of rhetorically pounding Leftists as being hypocrites in trying to sell socialistic slavery as ‘Liberation’ or ‘Liberty’.

We have already made the point that true Liberals belong on the right side of the political spectrum here, here, and here. The fact is, the Conservative-Right side is represented in the Liberal party in Australia. Consider the through the looking-glass mindset of the Left characterizing a win of the Australian Liberal party entitled as ‘How Liberalism Loses’ taking note that they scrupulously avoid using the actual name of the Liberal party in Australia.

Why it is extremely important to use the term Leftist instead of Liberal.

It should be an easy fix to the situation, given that both words start with the same letter and have the same length. It’s just a matter of understanding the vast difference in the meaning of the two words and why we all need to have the discipline to just use Leftist in referring to those people.

Those using the term Liberal when referring to the Left are complicit in perpetrating their deception on who they are. Leftists don’t consider Liberal to be a pejorative. They smile when we use the odd phrases such as ‘Owning the Libs’ because that reinforces their supposed ‘Liberal’ street cred. The same holds true for any variation of terms that have a ‘Lib’ portion.

The Word Salad approach to labeling the Left.

While many understood the logic in this effort, there are still some on the Conservative-Right that still use a ‘Word Salad’ approach when referring to the Left. They will begin using Leftist and switch to Liberal at some point, followed by the term Progressive in another instance, then perhaps switching back to Leftist in another.

No one is really impressed by the undisciplined use of these terms, there really is no point in continuing the practice. One word is sufficient, the Far-Left has no qualms about using the term ‘Far-right’ in referring to the Pro-Liberty side of the aisle. This refers back to one of the Left’s biggest lies: that the Nazis weren’t socialists. But that doesn’t stop them from trying to reinforce that lie at every opportunity where up is down and Left is Right – meaning a socialist workers’ party of the Left is somehow of the ‘Far-Right’.

It is time to fight back on this front instead of conceding the language of the Left, it is how they lie about who they are and what we are. It is how they deceive people who are unaware of their true nature.

The Takeaway.

The Socialist-Left revels in being ‘Liberators’, the defenders of Liberty and of course as being Liberal.
Those positive sounding attributes belong to the Conservative-Right, that why it is important to use the correct word.

Using Leftist instead of Liberal takes away one of the Left’s biggest deceptions, why wouldn’t anyone follow that advice?

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Culture and Religion

There are still 10 Commandments even if most Christians only believe in 9

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There are still 10 Commandments even if most Christians only believe in 9

If you ask an average evangelical Christian if they believe in the 10 Commandments, most say yes. In fact, a majority of Americans believe nine of the ten Commandments are still important today. Only one commandment in a poll last year was accepted by less than half of Americans. Only 49% believe keeping the sabbath day holy still applies.

But the Bible is very explicit about the Commandments. From Genesis to Exodus, the sabbath is mentioned as being kept, including by post-resurrection Christian leaders like Peter and Paul. Nothing in the Bible indicates it has changed. In fact, it was the actions of men attempting to claim the Christian faith as their own and merging it with the pagan religions of their day that prompted a change to Sunday as the day of worship. It wasn’t by decree from a prophet of God. It was men trying to make things easier to rule their people who decided to change times and laws.

The Bible is unambiguous. In Exodus 20:

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Now is not the time to debate misinterpretations of Paul’s teachings, the ones most often pointed to when pastors and Christian scholars try to justify their acceptance of the anti-Biblical change in both scope and details surrounding the permanent law of God laid forth for all men and for all time in the 10 Commandments. I’ll leave a video below from 119 Ministries that goes into the details and offers a scriptural basis for keeping the sabbath. I do not believe in all of their conclusions, but it’s a great reference nonetheless.

For now, I’d prefer to appeal to logic. Before Jesus Christ died, after His resurrection, and any time He has appeared in the Bible, neither He nor anyone else talks about moving the sabbath. I’ve heard Bible scholars infer that it was changed to somehow represent His rising and the changes that happened in the world as a result, but that does not explain why the sabbath was kept by Christians throughout the early days of the church even after His death. Historians and the Bible all agree that those who were closest to Jesus continued to keep the sabbath.

It takes a tremendous amount of eisegesis to work that change into the Bible somehow. Moreover, it completely ignores historical records that show why the leaders in the 3rd century changed the day of worship to match with the pagan day of worship, Sunday, and to separate themselves from any attachment to the non-believing Hebrews.

The Bible tells us to keep the sabbath. At no point does it tell us to stop keeping the sabbath. Instead of listening to the traditions of men who were appeasing pagans, why don’t more Christians trust the Word of God?

Here’s the video:

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