Saturday, June 26, 2010

When political ends trump the gospel...

From an interview of Jerry Falwell Jr. by Glenn Beck:

Falwell Jr: "We can argue about theology after we save the country."

There is so much wrong with that statement that it would be difficult to unpack it all. It is also a window into the sad state of Liberty University. Glenn Beck, a Mormon, needs to hear the Gospel. I am thankful that Pete Lilback of Westminster Seminary has clearly explained the Gospel to Glenn and has not confused him by inviting him to speak at commencement.

Apparently Falwell Jr. calls declaring the Gospel clearly "arguing about theology." Once again political ends trump Gospel clarity. We see this from the political right and left. The command to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers is routinely disobeyed to achieve political goals.

To all of my friends on the right and left: We cannot save the country. The only hope for our country is the only hope for all people - The Gospel. We dare not compromise it.


Gary said...

Truer words are seldom spoken.

Jerry F said...

Thanks Todd.

Bill Weber said...

While I agree with you that the church should focus on the gospel of Jesus Christ, Jerry Falwell Jr. is not a minister, but a lawyer, and leader of a university. He is concerned about the big lie, what Peter Jones calls "oneism," that is infecting our society. In the context of the interview, all Falwell seemed to mean was that political ends make for strange bedfellows. Falwell was not endorsing Beck's Mormonism, but recognizing the fact that, politically, Beck and Falwell are in a political fight together, contending for the truth against error in the arena of politics.

I agree that our ultimate hope is in the kingdom of Jesus Christ. The rulers of this age crucified the Lord of glory, and therefore the world needs to turn to the wisdom and salvation of the Son. But, in my view, it is legitimate for Christians to be involved in politics, and this means befriending and working with people who are not saved.

I thought it was interesting that at the end of the interview, Beck said to Falwell, "God bless you," and Falwell was reticent to say the same in return---possibly, because Beck is a Mormon?

At any rate, I am not interested in slinging arrows at Beck or Falwell, who are both trying to stand up for truth in the political realm. The neopagan world we live in is giving them so much grief and abuse, that it seems quite inappropriate to add our abuse, and therefore, side with those who hate the God of the Bible and the reflection of His truth wherever they find it, including the political realm!

Todd Pruitt said...


It sounds like you and I agree when it comes to political philosophy. I am a conservative. But I am troubled when I see conservative Christians doing the same thing we once rightly criticized the religious left for doing - weilding the sword of political power to achieve their ends.

We do indeed live in distressing times. But politicians are not our deliverers. This has been the perenial error of the left.

Jerry Falwell Jr. is not the pastor of a church. But he leads the largest Christian university in the world. And it is that same institution that continues to confuse the city of God with the city of man.

Bill Weber said...

I guess the question is whether Dr. Falwell is wielding the sword of political power? I don't see how he is doing that, but maybe I am missing something. I admit I know much more about Glenn Beck than Jerry Falwell Jr. or Liberty University.

I agree that political involvement for Christians has some inherent risks, and one of them is to put our hope in this world rather than God's kingdom. But it seems biblical to want the best for the society in which the Lord has placed us, and to seek and pray for its welfare. It is hard to see how it can be good for society to condone pansexuality, a pantheistic view of environmental issues, and a socialism that condones governmental theft, as it removes freedom from its citizens' lives.

I used to be someone who harshly criticized Dr. Falwell's father, because I thought he was more interested in America than Christ's kingdom. But I've repented of that attitude. After all, Jesus never condemned John the Baptist for his criticism of Herod and his immorality, for which he was martyred. Whether we like it or not, cultural/political issues reflect and are a part of the age-long battle between the seed of the woman and the serpent. That battle gets rather confusing on the political front when people like Beck, who are God-fearers, but not Lord-fearers, are on many of the right sides of political issues. But then, the Pharisees, who were enemies of Christ, were correct about the resurrection, and Paul used that to his advantage in his trial. Maybe Falwell is doing something similar!?

Jared said...

I recently had a very long drive and was able to catch up with Bill Dennison's responses on Reformed Forum's Christ and culture series. Probably the best biblical approach to culture, politics and education I've ever heard in under an hour.