Throughout the Old Testament, when the people rejected God’s truth they suffered devastating consequences. Many times when God’s faithful prophets proclaimed the truth, the people rebelled. Their leaders (the kings) wanted the prophets to “tickle their ears” and tell them what they wanted to hear. Jeremiah said that they would superficially heal the land by proclaiming peace when there was no peace. Some, however, were faithful, as was Jeremiah when he said, “I will only tell you the whole message and not keep back a word.” And Micaiah who, unlike the other prophets, said, “As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell [King Ahab] only what my God says.”
If all the pastors, evangelists and ministers in our day would stand up and proclaim the truth without fear, we would witness a spiritual awakening. You can know for certain our economic problems and unemployment issues will not be solved until people do what is written on our currency – TRUST GOD, not GOV. We must decide to walk straight before we will be able to think straight.
My close friend, Dr. Jim Garlow, Lead Pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, CA, is speaking clearly as a prophet. Even as his wife fights a fierce battle with cancer, they are fighting for the soul of our nation, along with their church family. He understands what it means to make disciples of the nations and not just of denominations. He knows whose Kingdom we are supposed to be building and he understands the appropriate impact God’s Kingdom should have on all kingdoms. Pastor Garlow emphasizes how important it is for Christians to hold fast to principled beliefs.
To Evangelicals Who Care About Truth and History:
Some people say that we, as evangelicals, are encouraged not to make social values the “test.” Fine and good. I feel equally strong about the obscenity (and I am using the word correctly defined as “something that is offensive or repulsive to the senses”) of the national debt and the crushing, oppressive nature of current taxation policies. I preach, speak and teach openly against the “sins” (correct word) of both, perhaps one of few pastors to address these themes from the pulpit. (I don’t do so to be “political.” I do so to be biblical.)
Simply stated, for biblical reasons I make no distinction between “social conservatives” and “fiscal conservatives.” The Bible is as clear about the use of money, and fundamental civil governance as it is about killing babies in the womb and destroying what God has joined together. So I care – deeply – about economic issues (which is why I encourage everyone to read Jay Richard’s brilliant, biblically grounded economic book Money, Greed and God).
Abortion is a “foundational” issue. As pro-lifers, we are not “single issue,” as our critics love to say. But life is a foundational issue. If you don’t have life, you have nothing. Remember the whole “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” thing?
Secondly, traditional, natural marriage – as opposed to Romans 1 “unnatural” relationships – is a necessity in sustaining a culture. Nearly every single social ill can be traced back to the core disaster of a generation without caring mothers and fathers. The single most consistent indicator of high risk children and youth is the absence of the nurturing support of the mommy who contributed the egg and the daddy who contributed the sperm. The highest single predictor of success is the loving presence of a mother and a father, as opposed to merely a mother, or any “two persons.” Succinctly said, as one who follows biblical reality and social science data, I will not be surrendering the “social” value of traditional marriage, supported by votes in 31 out of 31 states with a collective pass rate of nearly 70%.
I hear Jim saying that as evangelicals we must not support anyone who suddenly becomes pro-life in time for an election or when it’s expedient. This goes for anyone. Many in Washington ran on precedent-setting tracks indicating their low value of life in the womb. When asked about the importance of pro-life and other principles now being politicized, Jim Garlow firmly stated the following:
(1) tearing up a baby in the womb is a very bad thing,
(2) children having a mommy and a daddy (called traditional, natural marriage) is a very good thing, and
(3) bringing the sloppy bumbling incompetency of the overgrown federal government into the private and delicate issue of personal health care is imbecilic.
And we have already had our fill of those who were “positionally” or personally pro-life but not viscerally so. I do acknowledge that we all do have times of growth. People can – and do – change. People can, through thoughtful processes, arrive at the truth of protecting pre-born babies and defending traditional marriage. And we all have shortcomings, flaws, failures, sins, weaknesses, errors that are, fortunately, offset with times of awareness, enlightenment, repentance, forgiveness and restoration.
We applaud the one who philosophically errors and makes correction when there is no noted political gain for doing so. We applaud the one who, after errors, acknowledges his/her wrongness of his ways, makes needed corrections or asks for forgiveness.
There is an enormous difference between one in the above categories, as opposed to one who is supportive of homosexuality and abortion when it is politically expedient, but who “sees the light” when it is politically expedient to be pro-life and pro-traditional values in order to gain the nomination of any national party.
Recently, when I referenced the city set on the hill that cannot be hid and “will not be hid,” I was challenging Christians to become ambassadors fighting the good fight of faith and really piercing the darkness. Pastor Jim’s message to all who seek office in the United States is that it is not simply what you personally prefer, but what you are for in legislation—for policy as it relates to life, marriage, family and fiscal responsibility. Pastor Garlow continued:
Cut the talk about being personally pro-life. We are not the least bit interested in your personal views. As committed Christians we did not “climb off the truck” yesterday. We have all been burned by candidates – who said they were personally pro-life or pro-traditional marriage. We now know what that means. If I was a baby in a womb – hoping for a chance to remain alive – I would not care one whit what you believe personally. It is only what you believe viscerally and legislatively that can save my life. If I am a child, hoping that the statesmen and stateswomen in leadership will create an environment where I can have a mommy and a daddy, I don’t care if you are personally (translation “privately”) for traditional marriage, but what you care about with legislative vigor!
The problem is quite simple: if one is pro-abortion (legislatively) and pro-homosexual (legislatively) in order to get elected, and then suddenly pro-life and pro-traditional values to get a party’s nomination, that person will become, once again, less pro-life and less pro-traditional marriage in the general election. We know the drill. We’ve been there – before.
Fortunately for Americans, there are many candidates that are rock solid on deeply held biblical values affirmed by solid social science. Fortunately, we do not need to rely on any “Johnnie-come-lately” candidates. When we have, we have been badly burned. Never again!
God bless you, Pastor Garlow. You are my brother in the family of faith. You are a bold voice crying in the wilderness of deception, confusion, faithlessness and fear. The only way any government on this planet can rest on His shoulders is when it is also carried on the shoulders of the faithful. May God raise up a host of people and preachers totally committed to the King and His Kingdom!
Recommended Reading: Jay Richards’ new article “The Immateriality of Wealth.”