Yes that title is right. So much of the church of Jesus Christ today is so far down in the gutter that we actually have those who claim to be disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ seeking to excuse and minimise sexual abuse. Sure, they would say that generally speaking they are not all that thrilled with it, but when their fav politician Donald Trump is involved, then it must be tolerated and defended at all costs.
After all, he is going to make America great again, in which case, anything goes. ‘Forget all that old religious stuff and all that talk about morality, godliness and righteousness. That sure ain’t gonna save America – but our boy Trump sure will!’
My friends, sometimes I get so angry at the satanic deception running rife in our churches, that I feel utterly overwhelmed with grief and bewilderment that believers can be so utterly devoid of any biblical discernment. It is sickening to see this. They are morally and mentally cripples.
I just stumbled upon one clear example of this on a social media site. I noticed a Christian had posted something about the sickening revelation of Trump’s filthy heart and lips. It was by an American pastor Jim Garlow. Now Garlow has been shamelessly shilling for Donald Trump for quite some time now.
But when I read this idiotic piece by him I realised that the church is pretty well finished in America. When you have “Christian pastors” saying such unbiblical and moronic stuff, we are pretty much toast. Forget the Bible and God – anything goes in the evangelical Trump world it seems. Here is his piece:
I was so repulsed by what Trump said on that tape, that I – along with many others – grabbed a rock to stone him. But then Jesus walked by & said “whoever is without sin, cast the first stone.” Then I remembered that I had experienced anger. (Jesus called that murder.) I remembered that I had experienced lust. (Jesus called that adultery.) I remembered that I had been self-centered at times when I should have cared more for the poor, the disenfranchised, the widows & the orphans. (The Bible commands us to die to self & care for others.) Jesus calls all of this sin. So I dropped my stone & quietly slipped away. But don’t worry. Apparently, there were plenty of perfect people around to throw stones. And if they kill Trump, we will then have “King Herod.” And (s)he will kill all the (preborn) babies. Literally.
Pastor Jim Garlow
Oh good grief. Stuff like this absolutely makes me sick. What is wrong with this guy? Is Trump so high up in his list of pagan deities that we just chuck out everything the Bible says about sin, unrighteousness and godlessness? Is that where so much of American evangelicalism is at today? If so I want absolutely nothing to do with it – it comes straight out of the pits of hell.
I have already written about this damnable moral relativism that now reigns supreme in so many evangelical circles. Instead of hating sin and loving righteousness, we love sin, or at least make plenty of excuses for it and seek to condone it. Especially when it has to do with our favourite human messiah.
And in case anyone foolishly thinks this is all a storm in a teacup over mere words uttered by Trump in the distant past, think again. As my good friend Ed in Holland has said, this is not just about words:
I think it is important to be clear what the current controversy around Donald Trump is about. It is NOT that he said vulgar things about women, as many of his supporters are saying, including some of my friends. Rather, he boasted of sexually assaulting women. This was not just vulgar speech. And his books make clear that this is simply his lifestyle. As vulgar speech it would have been appalling. This is so much worse!
Yet here we have this “pastor” defending Trump and making ridiculous excuses for this awful sin. “Hey, we are all sinners, so who am I to complain!” “Hey, Hitler may have slaughtered six million Jews, but who am I to point the finger – after all I have hated people too. So I dare not be a Pharisee here and condemn Hitler.”
“Hey, I may not personally like rape, but I have no right to complain about it or let people know it is wrong. After all. No one’s perfect!” “If I see a fiendish gang torturing a child, yes I might at first get upset about this but thankfully I will remember that I am not without sin, so no way can I condemn this. That would make me a hypocrite.”
Yes folks that is just what this person is basically saying. It stinks to high heaven. He is a moral relativist, just as bad as Hugh Hefner or Peter Singer. There is no difference here at all – ‘I mean come on, we gotta get this guy elected don’t you know? That is all that really matters!”
The only thing worse than this bit of humanistic, pagan mush was the response by the friends of the guy who posted it. They were all drooling over him. We read things like this: “Yes, right on!” “I’m so blessed by your posts!!” “I see reformation coming in his life. I feel that God has reassured me of the decision I am to make.” “Oh this is GOOD!” “Love it!”
This makes my head and heart hurt so much. Thankfully there are many evangelicals who have not sold out to moral relativism, pragmatism, utilitarianism, and the false god Trump. Many were very vocal in condemning Trump for his despicable remarks (and actions), and rightly took to task all the evangelicals who made excuses for this.
Let me single out two of the many excellent pieces that have appeared in the past few days, rightly ripping into the moral relativists, faux evangelicals, and Trump defenders. The first is Joe Carter who asks, “Why Are So Many Evangelicals Condoning Sexual Assault?” He writes:
It’s Abuse, Not ‘Locker Room Banter’
Let’s be clear on what they are defending. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. When the harassment becomes physical it becomes sexual assault, which the U.S. Justice Department defines as any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Harassment can include activities such as a business owner walking in on female underlings while they are naked and discussing in front of female employees which ones he’d like to have sex with (and asking other men in the room which ones they’d like to have sex with). Harrassment becomes assault when it includes forcible kissing, groping, or grabbing a person’s genitals without her consent.
Bragging about engaging in such behavior is equally loathsome, and a forced, perfunctory non-apology apology (“. . . I apologize if anyone was offended . . .”) is an inadequate response to such a candid, venal confession. Dismissing it as “locker room banter” is also a defective response, and offensive both to the millions of men who are disgusted by gleeful admissions of molestation and also to the women who suffer such indignities.
He looks at the secular philosophy known as utilitarianism and its exponents such as Singer.
You Don’t Promote the Good By Condoning Evil
The implications of such reasoning are horrifying. How can any young college student trust she will be safe on campus when the staff, administrators, or even the university president shrugs away admissions of sexual assault by saying “We’re all sinners”? How can any woman trust a pastor will sympathize with her story of abuse when he is willing to allow powerful men to get away with similar acts? And how can anyone consider them knowledgeable about faithful Christian living when they have a lower standard of behavior and accountability than many modern pagans do?
This is neither a new phenomenon nor one limited to a subset of politically motivated Christians—it’s both universal and persistent. Since the time of Adam and Eve, each and every one of us has attempted to rationalize our sin (Gen. 3:12–13). Rarely do we do so because we’re seeking to do evil. Instead, we rationalize our sin because we’re seeking a good outcome. We are what you might call natural-born preference utilitarians.
We don’t have to choose to go down that wicked path. We can reject such utilitarian calculations because we can trust God is sovereign. We ought to abandon such preferential reasoning since we have been called to protect the vulnerable. We must not endorse a precedent of turning a blind eye to evil and abuse. The God who sees all will judge us harshly for taking the side of the wicked over the innocent (Ps. 82).
But more importantly, followers of Christ must abandon Singerian ethics and Machiavellian power politics because it brings dishonor to the name of Jesus. Bringing shame on our fellow Christians is regrettable; bringing shame on our holy God is inexcusable.
Another must read piece is Julie Roys’ excellent article, “Evangelical Trump Defenders Are Destroying the Church’s Witness”. She begins:
I never thought I’d see the day when leading evangelicals would publicly espouse that character doesn’t matter — and that promoting sexual assault is simply “bad boy talk.” Yet, that’s precisely what’s happening in the wake of a newly released video showing Donald Trump gloating over his sexual exploits with married women. I honestly don’t know what makes me more sick. Listening to Trump brag about groping women or listening to my fellow evangelicals defend him. Don’t get me wrong. I get how disastrous a Clinton presidency would be.
So, let’s stop claiming a moral high ground in this election. There is none. These are the two most morally depraved, power-hungry, and unfit candidates ever to win the Democratic and Republican Party nominations. They are a reflection of the moral bankruptcy of our nation. And, rather than waving a party flag, every honest person of faith should be mourning the truly pathetic state of our union. Which brings me to my evangelical brothers and sisters . . .
Please stop defending and promoting Donald Trump!
If you feel you must vote for him to prevent a Clinton presidency, then go ahead, plug your nose and vote. But please, don’t argue like Ralph Reed of the Faith and Freedom Coalition that “a 10-year-old tape of a private conversation” should “rank low” on our “hierarchy of concerns.” Seriously? Character doesn’t matter?
Is that really the argument Reed wants to make, especially given that 18 years ago, he urged Christians not to vote for Bill Clinton based on character? “We care about the conduct of our leaders,” Reed said then, “and we will not rest until we have leaders of good moral character.” My, how our standards have plummeted.
Evangelicals also need to stop minimizing the horror of what Trump said and did. I was stunned to read a tweet by David Brody, Chief Political Correspondent for the Christian Broadcasting Network: “This just in: Donald Trump is a flawed man! We ALL sin every single day. What if we had a ‘hot mic’ around each one of us all the time?”
What exactly is Brody saying? Trump’s comments are normal for professing Christians? The only difference between him and us is that he was mic’ed? Seriously? Most non-Christians I know were shocked by Trump’s talk and behavior. What does it say when Christians are not?
One last quote from her terrific piece:
How on earth can evangelicals maintain any moral platform from which to speak out against abortion and gay marriage if we’re going to dismiss and normalize adultery and sexual assault?
The evangelical hypocrisy meter is redlining right now — and the world, as well as our own children, are taking note. A former student I knew when I was in youth ministry posted to Facebook on Friday: “Nothing says pro-life like sexual assault as a lifestyle. Enjoy his SCOTUS picks, values voters.” I hate to say it, but we deserve that.
I know some of you will argue that we’re not picking a pastor-in-chief; we’re picking a commander-in-chief. Robert Jeffress, pastor of a Baptist church in Dallas with a congregation of about 12,000 people, said as much in an article published in The Daily Beast. “I would not necessarily choose this man to be my child’s Sunday School teacher,” he said. “But that’s not what this election is about.”
Again, let’s think about what we’re saying. It’s okay for everyday people to participate in sexual immorality — just not pastors and Sunday School teachers? If this is the standard we uphold, we should not be surprised when our sons and daughters embrace this standard too. Then, when we confront them for sleeping with their girlfriend or boyfriend, they’ll throw this same line back in our face.
In Ephesians 5, Paul clearly states that we should not partner with the “immoral, impure or greedy person — such a person is an idolater.” When we do, we not only lower our standard, but we destroy the church’s witness. I don’t think voting for someone necessarily qualifies as partnering, but certainly stumping for them does.
Recently, Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, tweeted: “The damage done to the gospel this year, by so-called evangelicals, will take longer to recover from than the ’80s TV evangelist scandals.” I fear he’s right.
Yep, we now have a leading contender for the White House whose main claim to fame now is that he is going to make America grope again. A. W.Tozer had it right decades ago when he said this: “I do not think any man can love God unless he hates the devil. I do not think he can love righteousness unless he hates sin.” It seems for many evangelicals today, the key thing is to love a political messiah, and to hell with worrying about sin and unrighteousness.