A Brief Look at Evangelicals and Politics as Well as Impeachment

There have been a number of articles that deal with evangelical Christians and politics. This post compiles them into one. Also with an impeachment inquiry underway many evangelicals are responding to that development as well. This post is  compilation of those articles and also some analysis of this topic. 

“The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.”

Billy Graham 

“Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.”

Helen Keller

Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. 2 Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation. 3 By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.

Hebrews 11:1-4 NLT 

Pennsylvania Ave and the Capitol taken from the soon to close Newseum.

Saturday Night Live humor….

There have been a number of articles that addressed evangelicals and politics that I needed to compile into a post. Some of these I have been sitting on for a while. The first part of this blog post is about evangelical Christians and politics. The second part is about evangelicals and the impeachment inquiry going on within the House of Representatives. 

 

Evangelical Christians and Politics

Let’s look at some of the articles that have come out on different media outlets these past few months. 

  • Former Covenant Life Church Senior Pastor Josh Harris gave an interview with Axios on HBO. He said that evangelical identification with Donald Trump is greatly harming the church. You can watch what Josh Harris says in, “Josh Harris: Evangelical support for Trump “incredibly damaging to the Gospel
  • CNN did an article about the polarization of society and politics today. One story told dealt with a person who because of Trumpism walked away from her evangelical Christian church and lost many friendships in the process. You can read the comment which I lifted and put here. “I left the evangelical church after nearly 50 years in it because I could not side with those who see Trump as their savior. For the first time, I saw friends I knew for decades believe that Trump is somehow a good person. They didn’t care about his misogyny, his racism, his bankruptcies, adultery, or his demonization of immigrants, Muslims, and people of color. They became people I never wanted to know, so I lost many friendships and my church. I won’t be reconciling with them because now that I have seen their true colors, there is no way back. This experience has introduced me, however, to many, many new friends who believe in equality, justice, compassion, and kindness, and so I have forged a new path forward, one that does not include those in my past who are unable to see that Trump is dangerous for democracy.”
  • At the Religious News Service they had an article about the Hispanic evangelical preacher that is running against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. You can read about Fernando Cabrerain, “Meet the Hispanic evangelical minister challenging ‘AOC’” 
  • Paula White is in the news also. White is one of the better known prosperity gospel preachers. This blog has written about the issues with the prosperity gospel which is in the archives. Paula White was appointed to be President Trump’s key spiritual adviser. You can read about that in the Washington Post in “Paula White, Trump’s key spiritual adviser, will join the White House.” Over at the Religion News Service they had an article that talked about how White represents the mainstreaming of both the prosperity gospel and Pentecostalism. You can read that in, “Paula White and the mainstreaming of American Pentecostalism.” 
  • Within the Southern Baptist Convention it was announced the Al Mohler is going to be nominated to run for the President of the Southern Baptists. H.B. Charles an African-American pastor at a Baptist church in Georgia announced his plans to nominate Mohler. This preemptive move will block those in the SBC who are into Christian Nationalism  from being nominated. Basically its a power play that is happening. You can read more at the Religion News Service in, “Mohler, prominent Southern Baptist, will be nominated to lead denomination.” 
  • Scot McKnight a well known pastor and professor in evangelicalism gave a talk at Oklahoma Christian University recently. In that talk he stated that the evangelical bonding with the Republican Party in the 1980’s was one of the most harmful acts that has taken place. McKnight said the following. “I can think of no good thing that has happened to evangelicalism as a result of its alliance to the Republican party. All I can think of are negative things,” McKnight also said, “I’m not taking a political position. I would call myself a classic conservative. I’m not a Republican, I’m a Christian. I believe that we have made undeniable damage to the church’s weightiness because we align ourselves so much with political parties.”You can read more in, “Scot McKnight comments on Christian culture in America.”
  • In the Washington Post there was an article about how South Bend mayor who is gay who wants to build a bridge with evangelical Christians. The article looks at the tension with his in-laws who include an evangelical pastor. You can read this in, “Pete Buttigieg wants to build a bridge to the religious right. But tension within his in-laws’ family highlights how difficult that may be.” 

 

 

Ambassador Yovanovitch’s opening statement. 

Evangelicals and Impeachment 

The Ukraine scandal as you no doubt know has led to impeachment proceedings against President Trump. Since the impeachment process began there have been a number of articles that appeared in various media sources that deserve to be mentioned. 

  • In the Charlotte Observer there is a fascinating article about how mega churches are becoming more political. A reporter sat down with several pastors within large churches in North Carolina and discussed evangelicals, Trump and impeachment. Several pastors stated that church is becoming too politicized and believe that Fox News is a contributing factor. But one felt that Bill Clinton’s perjury was worse that Trump’s alleged extortion. Or that we get the leader we deserve or that Hunter Biden should be investigated. The article closes with one pastor who says that the Christian faith is taking a black eye. The article definitely leaves you with the impression that a number of evangelical Christians don’t know what truth is. You can read more in, “The political challenge for NC evangelicals.”
  • In October Atlantic Magazine had an article that stated that in regards to impeachment President Trump would have their support regardless. There could be no law, no crime committed and they would support him in all circumstances. You can read that article in, “Nothing Will Persuade White Evangelicals to Support Impeachment.” 
  • Again in October of 2019 Bloomberg had an interesting article that also deserved to be set aside. Many white evangelicals believe that impeachment is an assault on their values. You can read more about this in, “Evangelicals See Trump Impeachment as an Attack on Their Values.” 
  • The Babylon Bee, the evangelical Christian version of The Onion had an article that was pure satire. At a dinner a parody of the Last Supper takes place. You can read that article in, “Evangelical Leaders Ask Trump Which One Of Them Will Betray Him During Impeachment Proceedings.” 
  • McClatchy News Service has an interesting article that I put aside when I heard about it.  McClatchy owns papers like the Sacramento Bee, Fresno Bee, Kansas City Star, Miami Herald, etc… In the article it discusses how a lot of evangelicals approached President Trump and told him that impeachment was about going after them. Impeachment is about attacking evangelical Christian values. You can read more about this in, “‘They’re trying to impeach us’: What faith leaders told Trump behind closed doors.” 
  • Newsweek had an interesting article about Paula White. In the article it discusses how Paula White prayed for President Trump. She praised his leadership, and stated that the evil one is using people to attack him. Those who oppose President Trump are using witchcraft and sorcery as well. You can read that article in, “TRUMP SPIRITUAL ADVISER PAULA WHITE PRAYS AGAINST PRESIDENT’S OPPONENTS, SUGGESTS THEY ‘OPERATE IN SORCERY AND WITCHCRAFT

 

Analysis of the Above Mentioned Articles 

Before I get into this section it needs to be stated that when it comes to evangelicalism those who are political are the mainstream. Calvinists and the Neo or New Calvinist movement are not involved in the culture wars. They just want to plant churches, preach and advance the Gospel as they define it. Those who are into the Culture Wars are the mainstream evangelicals who are Baptist and Non-denominational as well. When it comes to the news of Al Mohler this blog which disagrees with Calvinism actually thinks that him being President of the Southern Baptists would be a good idea. If that doesn’t force the Christian Nationalists to take stock in how they are destroying themselves and the Gospel then nothing will. The article from CNN hits home for those who had to deal with Christian Nationalism in churches. I lost friendships and relationships over these last three years. I watched members from a former church I was involved in, and my former Campus Crusade director Steve Papez in Milwaukee be converted to Christian Nationalism. If I were to ask who they are worshiping well, it clearly is not God. But I can sympathize with that description in that CNN article. Pastors should not be running for office. I am not a fan of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez but if you want to run for office then you should resign from the pulpit. This is unique in my view because I can’t recall hearing about a pastor actually running for office  while being in the pulpit. This further shows another step of the politicization of evangelical Christianity. 

Paula White in my view is really a disgrace. The prosperity gospel is absolutely cruel. You can read more in, “The Prosperity Gospel: Reflection on a NY Times Op Ed Called “Death, the Prosperity Gospel and Me.” The prosperity gospel makes diseases like lung cancer, brain tumors, and more exceptionally cruel. It suggests that if you are not doing well that you lack faith. You have not given enough money to God or to a particular ministry. One plus to Calvinism is that you do not find prosperity gospel theology within Calvinism. Those evangelicals who have branded themself to Donald Trump have been discredited even more so by Paula White being his spiritual adviser. This helps legitimize the prosperity gospel even more so. What this also has done is show that evangelical Christians have no conviction, knowledge of the Bible or any principle. 

Moving on to the impeachment issue there is much to say. I find is deeply sad that evangelicals view impeachment as an attack on them. This shows to me that evangelical Christians are not committed to truth. Politically if you want to be a conservative you can do so. But to merge the two together in a warped view is troubling. And while this is not a political blog many people like William Buckley, Bill Kristol and Charlie Skyes would say that Trump is not a conservative either. But for me this is heartbreaking. Also maddening is seeing how mega churches are become more politicized. That article in the Charlotte Observer really reveals to me that evangelical Christianity is not a faith movement. Its a political party. Evangelical churches should lose their IRS 501(c)(3) status over issues like this one. 

But the one take away that comes forward in several of those articles when you look at the big picture is that white evangelical Christians have deified Donald Trump. I find this to be incredibly odd especially since I think they would have more in common with Mike Pence. Pence at least goes to church, could tell you what Hebrews 11 is about or tell you what the greatest commandment in scripture is. For me this take away helps explain why this side of evangelicalism should be ignored.  In embracing this path white evangelicals have really destroyed themselves. They have made themselves irrelevant buffoons who have lost the right to preach the Gospel as they have no idea as to what it is. There is no covenant between God and the United States like there was one with Israel. For many evangelicals if this is who they are who wants to go to heaven and spend an eternity with them? Hell seems far more welcoming and indeed can be like heaven. But in the end its pretty clear cut. Many evangelicals have kicked Jesus in the ass and pushed him aside as the bow down and worship Donald Trump all while proclaiming, “Look the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!” In their mind Donald Trump will probably rise on the third day and ascend into heaven. After all the cross, is not a cruel instrument of execution invented by the Romans. Instead that cross sands for T which means Donald Trump. He is the their Lord and Savior and were seeing this play out in the impeachment saga. 

12 thoughts on “A Brief Look at Evangelicals and Politics as Well as Impeachment

  1. So–Paula White would say that I–despite being an Orthodox Christian–practice witchcraft and sorcery because I oppose Trump?

    It’s a relief to post things opposing Trump on Facebook and have people *in my church* like and agree with them. There are also Republicans in the church, and occasionally the priest has said things that made me think, “Oh please don’t go on about how we can’t say Merry Christmas!” But there isn’t this feeling that you MUST vote a particular way or else you’re an agent of Satan.

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  2. …I also remember, in my church which turned neo-Calvinist over time, at least the pastor refused to get into politics. There was a wide range of political views there, from “you must vote pro-life” to “Bush (W) is the evil one.”

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  3. Who is Josh Harris and why is his opinion of any importance? If people are leaving Christianity due to Trump in office, then they got BIGGER ISSUES than Trump in office. And WHO is CLAIMING that the evangelicals think that Trump is our SAVIOUR but those who HATE TRUMP to begin with? NO ONE in the evangelical world is claiming that Trump is the savior. That is what is being MOCKED about us from YOUR side of the house, and it isn’t true.

    SIDE NOTE:

    PAULA WHITE IS MARRIED TO A BAND MEMBER OF JOURNEY, and anyone associated with Journey is A-OK in my book. Go Paula!

    I took a vacation! Vacation OVER!

    Ed Chapman

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  4. But the one take away that comes forward in several of those articles when you look at the big picture is that white evangelical Christians have deified Donald Trump.

    “Caesar sits above the gods,
    Barbara the maid.

    “Caesar hath made a treaty
    With the moon and with the sun,
    All the gods that men can praise
    Praise him every one.

    “There is peace with the anointed
    Of the scarlet oils of Bel,
    With the Fish God, where the whirlpool
    Is a winding stair to hell,

    “With the pathless pyramids of slime,
    Where the mitred negro lifts
    To his black cherub in the cloud
    Abominable gifts,

    “With the leprous silver cities
    Where the dumb priests dance and nod,
    But not with the three windows
    And the last name of God.”
    — G.K.Chesterton, “Ballad of St Barbara”, 1922

    And Trump has now outdone Caesar!
    Now the Nazarenes of St Barbara’s God bend the knee in Praise and Adoration!

    “AVE CAESAR! AVE TRUMPUS DIVINUS! AVE TRUMPUS EPIPHANES!”

    Liked by 2 people

  5. After all the cross, is not a cruel instrument of execution invented by the Romans. Instead that cross sands for T which means Donald Trump.

    Aldous Huxley beat them to it by maybe 90 years.
    Remember “The Sign of the T” in Brave New World?
    When the World Controllers cut the upright short in all the churches and rededicated them to “Our Ford” inaugurating their Perfect Society?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. So is Russian collusion no longer a thing? I thought they were gonna impeach on that, CNN told me it was a done deal!

    I watched the hearings this week, I’m curious to know what others of your (Eagle) mindset is on how they went down. To me, I saw many witnesses relate second or third hand stories. Not one first hand account. I even heard democrats rationalize that by saying hearsay can be stronger evidence than actual evidence. I heard everyone when asked directly if they knew of any illegal activities involving Trump or people working on behalf of Trump say they did not. I heard the former ambassador agree Obama’s prep team for her confirmation hearing focused almost solely on Hunter Biden and Ukrainian corruption. Those investigations were called off before Trump – why on earth would people completely disregard that and claim by asking about Biden you’re a Trump deify-er.

    There is nothing on Trump. Nothing. Zero evidence (to quote Mueller’s report). A whistle blower that didnt qualify as a whistleblower spoke to Schiff prior to blowing the whistle, which Schiff lied about. Republicans cant ask him any questions, heck they can’t even be in the room when he is questioned. Democrats won’t call him to testify. This impeachment has nothing to do with Evangelical support, it has to do with Democrats acting in a tyrannical way and completely crapping on liberty and the constitution.

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  7. I’ll just say that you have to turn off the right wing media filters and spin, and go looking for the actual news reports. All the evidence is waiting there. There’s so much of it that I’m having trouble keeping up, but what I’ve found so far has been damning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Assuming you responded to me, can you share those sources? I didn’t reference any “right wing media” reports, literally my interpretation while watching the live feed last week.

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      • The Washington Post has been posting the impeachment hearing testimonies and transcripts, which you can download. The Mueller Report is also available online. There are also a whole slew of news reports coming out about Giuliani, Roger Stone, etc. The best ones I’ve found have been on the Washington Post.

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      • I’m still curious on specifically what Trump has done that’s illegal, in your view. There was nothing the Mueller’s probe or the blood thirsty dems would have nailed him for it by now. They instead moved on with this concocted scheme that very clearly was orchestrated by a forever unknown whistleblower who worked with Adam Schiff directly before coming forward. Totally against protocol, and Schiff’s office forced a change in whistleblower policy to allow for this person to use the Intelligence process to avoid any real oversight that should be there. Shady as hell from the start. But I digress…

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-attacks-ambassador-even-as-she-describes-feeling-threatened-by-him/2019/11/15/c14eefaa-07bc-11ea-8ac0-0810ed197c7e_story.html

        I read through this article which is full of innuendo and sensationalistic reporting to walk away still wondering what bombshell there was on friday. I can condense this down to two things in all these words: 1) Trump asked Ukraine to investigate Biden’s son’s dealing with Bursima. An investigation that was stopped abruptly during the Obama administration. 2) Trump removed the ambassador and replaced her – she didnt like that.

        Again, nothing indicative of a crime but a lot of insinuation of a crime without crossing the line of libel. This is why I don’t feel like reading WaPo regularly, they emotionally wind things up to fit a narrative and leave you riled up, yet peeling back the layers leaves you with nothing. BUT I’ll wait for any link anyone can provide outlining where real evidence (not third hand he-said stories) implicates Trump on anything in his term that is an impeachable offense. So far, the WaPo article I read tells me the president meddled in foreign affairs on behalf of the US and he did not renew the term of an ambassador, replacing her with another distinguished and reputable person (her words).

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  8. Which is–totally not what actually happened. See, that’s what I mean by a right-wing filter. What really happened is that somebody gathered information and passed it along the proper channels, info which has been corroborated through multiple hours of investigation and testimony from various witnesses up and down the line, including people with firsthand information. It’s all in there; you just have to look.

    Meanwhile, the allegations against the Bidens are nothing but conspiracy theories cooked up by Ukrainian mobsters ticked at the people who have been fighting their corruption. Yovanovitch is one of the people they were ticked at. Joe Biden, along with multiple countries, opposed a corrupt prosecutor who was NOT carrying out investigations like he was supposed to. The allegations against the Bidens have been proven false multiple times in news reports. Trump tried to force the Ukrainians to confirm these false allegations in return for desperately needed aid–which is bribery. That’s an impeachable offense.

    Giuliani is now being investigated by the feds for potentially benefiting financially from all of this, along with two of the major players in the smear campaign (Parnas and Fruman), who are also connected to a mobster in the Ukrainian energy business.

    Yovanovitch is a highly respected ambassador who was the target of a smear campaign by Trump which made her afraid for her life and resulted in the loss of her position. The intimidation continued as she spoke. Intimidation of a witness is against the law, and also impeachable.

    Mueller laid out multiple instances of Trump trying to stop the investigation and obstruct justice: also against the law. He also laid out various instances of Trump’s team doing their dang best to benefit from the Russian attack on the elections: setting up meetings, asking for help, even passing along polling information. This could even be treason. Roger Stone was a big player in this, and just got declared guilty. Multiple members of Trump’s team have also been declared guilty and are currently serving or about to serve sentences. Others we don’t know yet because they were “redacted.”

    All of this is in the news. Much of it is illegal; much is impeachable.

    The Washington Post is a respected news source with journalistic integrity and fact-checking. If you don’t respect that, then I can’t help you.

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    • A very “just google it!” answer, as to be expected. I can say the same, as all that is perceived from a very left wing filter. I clearly said WaPo walked a line so as to not commit libel, they’re super full of integrity like that. I’ll sit back and wait for any evidence or action against Trump beyond the theatrics of morons like Schiff (pro-tip, not gonna happen). Enjoy your rabid echo chamber in the meantime though.

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