By Doug Newman
October 30, 2007
Posted at Freedom4um, Covenant News, WASAlive, Conservative Heritage Times and Novakeo.
If you are not familiar with Pastor Chuck Baldwin, you need to be. He is the pastor of Crossroads Baptist Church of Pensacola, Florida. I first became aware of him six or seven years ago, and have been an avid reader of his columns ever since.
Pastor Baldwin has been a very courageous and eloquent opponent of the cult of personality that American Christians have built around GW Bush. While he has never judged what God will ultimately do with GWB, he has steadfastly measured the fruit on GWB’s tree versus the yardsticks of the Bible and the Constitution. While popularity has never been Baldwin’s number one priority, his integrity and adherence to principle have earned him a large following.
When I first read one of Baldwin’s recent columns, I wondered if he had overstated his case. It was titled: “The Church of Apostasy". I thought to myself: I know the church is in bad shape, but are we there already? After reading this column a few times, I realized Baldwin was right.
For several years, I have been uncomfortable about my association with “megachurches”. In 2005 -- after a downright demonic episode that had nothing to do with politics -- I left such a church that had been my spiritual home for a decade. Since then, I have bounced around from church to church. Recently, I have wondered aloud to a few friends whether I should be involved in these places at all.
My dispute with these churches was not political. I am a big boy. I can deal JUST FINE with a pastor who voices a political opinion that I disagree with! This is not about my party versus yours or my candidate versus yours. Rather it is about prophecy and the failure of millions of American Christians to discern their world and their times – Luke 12:54-56.
In 2000, a reporter asked GWB what thinker had influenced him most. He replied: “Jesus Christ. He touched my heart.”
Based on those six words, millions of Christians swore an allegiance to GWB that is positively slavish. (1) I have tried countless times to persuade Christians that GWB is not at all what he is cracked up to be, and they look at me as if I am speaking Swahili. In Baldwin’s words, many professing Christians want to add GWB to the Holy Trinity.
Baldwin’s latest column begins with the following Scripture:
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” -- II Thessalonians 2:3, KJV
He then discusses GWB’s contention that we all worship the same God. Bush first said this in a 2004 interview with ABC’s Charles Gibson. He said it again earlier this month in an interview with an Arab newspaper.
This is not Christianity, Baldwin maintains, but universalism. Anyone with even a basic knowledge of the Bible can tell you that Jesus is the only way to God. (John 14:6, Acts 4:12)
I am a Christian. I have been one since 1986. I pray to the God of the Bible, who so loved the world that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for my sins! (John 3:16) The One Whose Amazing Grace saved a contemptible wretch like me!
I do not pray to Allah. Nor do I pray to Vishnu or Zeus or Gaia or cows or Boogabooga or Mungabunga or Ummagumma or Oingo Boingo or any other god except the God of the Bible! And no other!
Nor does a Mormon pray to Vishnu. Nor does a Jew pray to Allah. Nor does a Rastafarian pray to the Dalai Lama. Nor does a Zoroastrian pray to the fertility god of the Mumbulu tribe of the Upper Ubangi Valley.
No, Mr. President. We do not all worship the same God.
This totally unfounded veneration of GWB is but one example of the absurd means pastors employ nowadays to get people through the church doors. (Please see my recent article as well as this very fine article by Paul Proctor.) The political fruit on GWB’s tree is not that of a Christian. (The very finest article I have seen on this topic was written by Dr. Patrick Johnston, DO.) Bush’s repeated contention that we all pray to the same god shows not even the foggiest understanding of Christianity.
(What were GWB and Ted Haggard talking about in those “ministering” sessions they had over those six years anyway?)
The pastors, commentators and other influential Christians who have done so much to glorify GWB over the years have sold their souls for political power and influence. They are religious hustlers of the worst kind. They have turned Christianity into a partisan political tool.
“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” – II Corinthians 11:13-14, KJV
I have said it I don’t know how many times: Bush is not Hitler. Nor is he the Antichrist. However, the fact that so many influential Christians have elevated him to such a level, and that so many rank and file Christians have drunk his Kool-Aid, is a sign that we are witnessing the great falling away that the Apostle Paul prophesied. As the saying goes, when you stand for nothing you will fall for anything. Churches are full of way too many people who have no convictions about anything and, hence, are all too easily influenced.
The biblical injunction to pray for those in authority – I Timothy 2:1-2 -- does not tell us to follow them blindly and brainlessly. God rebukes those who set up kings without His consent – Hosea 8:4.
Those who support Bush because he is the “lesser of two evils” should heed Romans 12:9, which tells us hate what is evil. So you wind up voting for a third-party candidate that loses or you do not vote at all. Big flipping deal! Is winning elections your first priority? I certainly hope not. A Christian is not supposed to conform to the world – Romans 12:2. Christians have a duty to do what is righteous, NOT what is fashionable.
The subject of what the Bible teaches about politics is a fascinating one. It would blow most people's minds if they devoted any attention to it. Those who say that “we should not discuss politics in church” ignore the fact that the Bible mentions the word “king”, as well as variations on that word 2000 times. To refuse to talk about it is to ignore an essential theme of Scripture.
Revelation 13 prophesies a world economy, a world religion and a world government. We are, I believe, witnessing the big ramp-up to this point in history. Satan is no doubt laughing with glee at the millions and millions of professing Christians who put such unfounded faith in worldly authority. When things really get rocking and rolling, will they have the discernment to reject the Antichrist? (2)
It is because so many influential Christians and evangelical pastors have so horribly misled so many people that I just can no longer be a part of what has become of evangelical Christianity. There are a lot of wonderful folks in those churches and they are still my friends. There are a lot of wonderful Christian ministries and charities that I will continue to support financially. However, I just cannot keep up the pretense that I can consider any of these churches my home church.
There is no such thing as a perfect church. And if I have ever stepped into one, it would thereby cease to be perfect. I keep my mouth shut concerning almost all of the imperfections I see, as they just don't matter. However, I just cannot be part of a church where so many people are so spiritually blind and in total denial. And I pray fervently that more people will have their eyes opened before it is too late.
(1) Had Al Gore or any other Democrat said such a thing, these same Holy Joes would laugh to the point of wetting their pants. Had any Democrat said that we all worship the same god, they would likewise laugh convulsively.
(2) Read Erwin Lutzer's book Hitler's Cross: The Revealing Story of How the Cross of Christ Was Used As a Symbol of the Nazi Agenda. Lutzer describes in great detail how almost all German churches in the 1930s swore allegiance to Hitler. It wasn't just the Catholics, but almost all Protestants who aided and abetted the Hitler and the Nazis. Indeed, Christians were some of Hitler's greatest enablers.
These examples demonstrate how the apostate church is a worse influence on the genuine church than the world, because it divides and deceives. Exactly what the 'tares' do to the wheat. -- SM in northeast Tennessee
We then began to do our own Bible study as a family. We have been blessed with more knowledge and wisdom than we ever received from a "church building".
The Holy Spirit has been our guide. -- MG in southwest TennesseeBehold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. -- Amos 8:11 -- Provided by RD in Colorado
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Freely Speaking: Essays by Doug Newman