Kevin McCullough, This past week there was much dropping of the jaw and feigned shockery by some in the evangelical community.
Locally in the New York City area pastors newly and suddenly disturbed by the pending so-called Equality Act began writing mass emails to their congregations and communities about the dangers that said act would present to people of religious conscience.
Nationally, the so-called “Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden” issued a letter via their website as to the surprising lack of involvement or even invitation to the discussion of abortion policy stemming from President* Joe Biden’s executive orders, as well as the language in the new stimulus legislation that crudely eliminates the protections of the Hyde Amendment. The Hyde Amendment had been what primarily liberal Democrats had always pointed to as law when pro-lifers would claim tax monies were being used for public financing of abortion—as to the reason why their fears and claims were illegitimate.
Traditionally-minded parents have had their concerns multiplied infinitely since the beginning of this administration in its hostile and aggressive approach to planting biological (and anatomical) males into the showers, bathrooms, and locker rooms of their daughters. This week, via the stroke of a pen, President* Biden decided to make the taxpayers suddenly responsible for the costs of any and all military members who want to have parts of their bodies removed or added on to, in order to create the dishonest appearance of being born the opposite sex. It should be noted that such surgery makes the member of the military non-deployable for months to years following the surgery. Hence, we pay for people in uniform to not be available to defend us in the event of hostilities or basic defense needs.
To humanists, none of these issues seem very important — but pastors have a different value set and worldview, as do their congregants and doctrines.
Which is why it is so disingenuous for the caterwauling that is taking place now.
When evangelical icons like Dr. Tim Keller and long-time teacher Dr. John Piper released scribs immediately prior to the 2020 election, providing cover for pastors across the nation to more or less take no stand in the election or, even worse, give wink/nod permission for pulpits to defacto campaign in favor of the Biden campaign they did so at an expensive cost.
In only 50 days its cost—purely in moral compromises—are what the first three paragraphs of this column describe.
The term that Keller/Piper used became a bit of a flashpoint across pulpits: “the freedom of conscience.”
In Keller’s case, he attempted to argue that the text of scripture provided clarity on some issues like abortion. Yet then he dishonestly claimed that scripture provided no wisdom as to how to reduce its practice, and because of that argument, he was incapable of deciphering the election any more critically for anyone who listened to his teaching or followed him on social media.
For Piper, he argued that actions that may or may not have occurred with Donald Trump prior to his public life compromised him so badly that there was no moral distinction between himself and Biden. Of course, to come to that conclusion he had to ignore the four years of Trump’s stewardship of the nation—not to mention ignoring Biden’s 47 years in public life. But by invoking the “freedom of conscience” he again gave pastors and believers permission to skate on any real confrontation of having to think critically about the bigger picture.
That term “freedom of conscience” in fact was adopted by the Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden, and pastors across the nation who simply hated Trump for his personality flaws (as opposed to public policy matters).
Pastors also contributed to the confusion by being at minimum unaware of faulty media coverage, at best or willful ignoring facts in issues like the death of George Floyd and the related issues of Black Lives Matter and Critical Race Theory. Both of these causes are based on abject godless Marxism. Very few churches pointed it out and even fewer stood humbled but accurate on the matters.
Now there is an all-out assault to erase Christians, Christianity, traditional Christian doctrine, and to do so with the power of a gun backed by the authority of new “laws.”
Adding to this was an American’s church more or less forced capitulation into non-existence due to the pandemic. Yes, virtual “church” happened but not like it would have if the body had been able to meet in person.
As reopenings are underway, masks, forced vaccination, and submission to authority will once again be thrust upon church leaders nationwide.
Will they allow those who need “freedom of conscience” to remain as part of the body of Christ? Or will there be a false obedient bending of the knee to a worldview that has used that phrase to co-opt an election, silence the church, and now sees many of its basic principles be erased?
I wish someone could get Keller and Piper to speak to that mess. Especially since they were so eager to create it.