Houston Mayor Demands that Pastors Live Up to Their Own Theology
If Christian media were honest, this would be the headline they would use for the conflict between the Mayor of Houston Annise Parker, and the Houston pastors.
I am not surprised by Parker’s actions. She is a moral pervert, after all, an open rebel against God, and we should expect her to be consistent with her perversion in all, including her acts as a public official. What is inconsistent – and even openly hypocritical – is the outrage and the actions of the pastors. For over 100 years they and others like them have preached a theology that made it possible – and actively led to – the surrender of political power and cultural dominance in the hands of moral perverts. Suddenly, when that theology produced a political and cultural practice that came around to harass them personally, they are so outraged.
I wonder, whatever happened to “You can’t legislate morality”? The argument has been used from the pulpits and in the seminaries in this country against Theonomy for over 40 years now. The Law of God was to remain separated from public policy because politics was supposed to remain neutral from moral and religious influence. Isn’t that what Parker did with her ordinance about public restrooms? The old rule – or ordinance, or legislation, or cultural habit – of gender-separated restrooms was in fact “legislating morality.” The new ordinance just freed an area of legislation from some enforced morality. Why the outrage?
Then, whatever happened to “We are here only to preach the Gospel, and the Gospel is very simple, ‘Jesus died for your sins’”? What does that have to do with who is allowed to enter what public restroom? Why would the pastors be worried about it? Does it affect anyone’s salvation, or is it something only temporary, that won’t have any significance to our eternal lives?
If those pastors have promised to “only preach the Gospel” and have gotten their 501(c)3 status based on that, what is the problem if a government agency wants to verify they are “only preaching the Gospel”?
Those ordinances about who can enter what restroom, aren’t they a cultural issue rather than a salvific issue? If so, why are the pastors involved in a cultural battle? Whatever happened to “We are not trying to build a Christian culture,” an argument used by almost all churchian celebrities in the US, including John MacArthur, Al Mohler, Franklin Graham, and many others? Whatever happened to “We can’t force religion down people’s throats”? Wasn’t Christianity to remain a religion of our inner hearts only? Does the Houston City ordinance force anyone to violate their religious convictions? Does it force anyone to go into a restroom against their will? Why are the pastors so up in arms against it?
Whatever happened to the Two Kingdoms theology? Does the church have anything to say about public restrooms? Are they part of the “redemptive kingdom”? If they are not, can pastors preach redemption to restrooms and who enters them? Certainly not, if David VanDrunen says that “God is not redeeming the kingdom of common grace.” So can Christians – as Christians – say anything about public restrooms that would have any validity in the “common grace kingdom”?
Whatever happened to the “natural law” as the source of ethics for that “common grace kingdom,” as opposed to the Law of God (Theonomy)? Are there any gender-separated bathrooms in nature? Why are now the pastors a party to a court trial involving ordinance on public restrooms? Do they want to “trample on the authority of the common kingdom institutions,” to borrow another of VanDrunen’s arguments?
As Joel McDurmon pointed out, subpoenas by the City’s attorneys to get all the information relevant to the upcoming trial are something normal and within the standard legal practice of the civilized West. It is a principle of Christian jurisprudence – as opposed to the legal practices in the pagan world – that the courts should not allow anonymous accusers. This applies to all the information about the accusers: Once you decide to file a case against another person, you are not protected by privacy laws.
But even if the case was not such; even if the Mayor really wanted to control the sermons as far as seditious or rebellious content is concerned, why would that be a problem for the pastors given their professed theology? Whatever happened to the dominant interpretation of Romans 13: “Obey the government no matter what”? Didn’t Paul say those words about the most pagan and corrupt government in history? Why would the pastors now object and resist a government which is much less corrupt and cruel and barbarous than the Roman government?
Whatever happened to “Christians shouldn’t get involved in politics,” as MacArthur and Franklin Graham liked to say? Isn’t this whole issue a political issue? Whatever happened to the “last days apostasy”? What is expected by this campaign, better things to come, a reversal of the growth of evil? Whatever happened to “You don’t polish the brass on a sinking ship”? Why are the pastors so concerned about the restrooms in a world which – by their own eschatology – is going to hell in a hand basket? If Jesus comes tomorrow, will He find those pastors arguing about bathrooms?
For 40 years now, Christian Reconstructionists have been proclaiming the duty of all Christians to enter and win the cultural war, and have been presenting theology, social action, legal theory, economics, education principles and practices, political theory, etc., based entirely on the Law of God, to engage the enemies of God in the cultural war and restore America. For 40 years the opponents of Christian Reconstruction have proclaimed the above arguments from the pulpit, and have [mis]led their flocks to remain passive in the face of the advancing forces of evil. That Houston has a Mayor who is a moral and sexual pervert can be blamed entirely on the false theology that has crippled and paralyzed the American church.
And now, when the pastors are personally affected by the results of their own theology, they are suddenly alarmed and start acting like covert Christian Reconstructionists, ignoring their own theology. Too late, and the hypocrisy is too obvious. They should have started decades ago, when the Federal Reserve was founded, when the IRS was founded, when the Ponzi Scheme called “Social Security” was started, when the heroes of Operation Rescue were being arrested and tortured on the streets of their cities, when the different levels of civil government established confiscatory levels of taxation, when the public schools system was being established and property taxes were imposed on home owners, when the police departments started acquiring military equipment to wage wars on their own citizens and started murdering and robbing law-abiding citizens with impunity, when governments made it impossible to travel without your papers anywhere in this country and abroad, etc., etc., etc.
But they didn’t start back then. For most of these years they preached a truncated Gospel, a separation of government and legislation from morality, a tyrannical interpretation of Romans 13, and a derogatory view of the Law of God as it applies to culture and government. And only acted now, when they experienced some personal inconvenience. That is, when they were forced to live up to the theology they have been feeding to their flocks for decades now.
In view of this obvious hypocrisy, I have no compassion for those false shepherds. Not that I agree with the moral pervert that the Mayor of Houston is. But moral perversion can’t be fought with theological perversion and hypocrisy. Until these men are kicked out of the pulpits, and a true Black Robed Regiment takes their places, Christians deserve all they will get from moral perverts in power. And it won’t be persecution; it will be just judgment from God on His rebellious children.
You have a dangerous mind, and that’s why I appreciate your posts. Keep it up.
He has a thinking mind, like you say a dangerous one. The fact is though that anyone that actually follows the Bible and applies it to daily life (casuistry) becomes quite dangerous. I say, the more the better. Let freedom ring!
I was prepared to read a dribble of liberal axioms about how those pastors should just shut up and hand over their sermons…. Since I am unfamiliar with your blog I had not expected to read this, I can only say thank you.
You have minced no words and have appropriately pointed out the problem with modern Christianity. Those who worship at the feet of John MacArther are particularly annoying with their self-righteous nose in the air attitudes. If you hold a differing opinion, you are somehow spiritually deficient and are quickly culled out of any group of said worshipers.
I am however unfamiliar with Mr. Mohler’s interpretation of the above. What I have listened to from him seems to indicate a more balanced approach. If you have sources that contradict this I would greatly like to see them.
Scott, here’s where Mohler specifically rejects the idea that we should build a Christian culture or that such culture is at all possible:
You mean Christians could, (hushed awe) not just do every last thing the civil government demands? Shades of John Knox (and Gideon of old). Thanks for a great article.
What’s worse than open persecution? Just being casually walked all over, like crap in the road, because we’re not worth taking seriously. (Jesus said it, I believe it)
Your article is so encouraging (truth is encouraging). I am wondering about Franklin Graham being included in your criticism, however. It seems he has been fairly vocal about taking right stands over the past year at least, even calling the pastors in America cowards for not speaking up.
It is true, Lisa, that for the last one year Franklin Graham has changed his message a bit. But let’s not forget, our situation today is the fruit of many years of false teaching and theologies, and Franklin Graham has his share of responsibility for misleading the church into abandoning the culture. See, for example, his words about culture and the Gospel here:
Also, even if we look at his recent statements, if we dig past the surface, there’s very little real content. He is not presenting a comprehensive Biblical worldview of how a society is to be structured along Biblical lines. All he is doing is calling people to oppose certain trends, and – which I think is the main objective of his call – to vote for Republican candidates, specifically Romney. Yes, he wants pastors to oppose the sodomite agenda, but on what basis? What is the positive thing he offers? He has said before this culture is Satan’s culture, and its god is Satan. Does he want Christians to replace it with a Christian culture? Does he just want to oppose specific measures without offering a Biblical solution to them?
You don’t prepare the people for battle if your trumpet produces indistinct sound. Graham’s sound is vague; it’s not clear what exactly he wants people to do and what kind of results he envisions. Therefore, before we accept Franklin Graham’s recent calls for action as genuine, we need to see him break completely with his past actions and words which were part of the problem, and his embracing a theology that really – not just superficially – gives a call and blueprint for action.
Thank you for taking time to give a supported response. That is a disappointing interview for sure…Franklin Graham goes back and forth between being wrong and being confused. That’s why I read Faith for All of Life and carry a good supply of Ross House Books at our bookstore!
You would like my friend Jason “Molotov” Mitchell, who is currently running for state senator in North Carolina. You are both straight-talking truth-talkers, with a passion for applying Christianity to real life — the vast universe around us, as well as the half-vast “universe” within us. (read that last phrase aloud) http://nc2014.com/
I have watched his videos, and yes, he pulls no punches. (He seems to be better at pushing them 😉 .)
While I agree with alot of what you have said, alot of it is just defeatism blather. This is an opportunity to rally the Believers, never mind what Preachers have preached that’s another issue. We can defeat this pervert. So instead of beating up the pastors let’s build our forces and take back what we can. Your highbrow talking doesn’t reach many people, you are going to have to learn to speak the peoples language.
“never mind what Preachers have preached that’s another issue. We can defeat this pervert.”
No, we can’t, until Preachers change what they preach. Victory or defeat depend on what is preached from the pulpits, not on blind and ignorant political activism. I have been through two revolutions in my life, and I can tell you, if there is no Biblical theology of resistance preached from the pulpits, consistent with a comprehensive Biblical worldview of building a Christian civilization, all you do is replace one pervert with another pervert.
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8 KJV)
For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. (Revelation 22:15 KJV)
“Whatever happened to the dominant interpretation of Romans 13: “Obey the government no matter what”? Didn’t Paul say those words about the most pagan and corrupt government in history?” Apparently this writer would have been condemning the civil rights marchers in the 1960s, AND the clergy who marched with them, telling them to shut up, go home and keep their noses out of government business…. By the way, I THINK that “no matter what” is a GLOSS…. I’ll look again but I re-e-eally don’t think that’s in the Scriptures. Although there IS something in Scripture about obeying God rather than men….
Great article! This needs to be proclaimed from the rooftops.
There is a lot of good truth in this article. Unfortunately, the divisive attitude toward much of the body of Christ nullifies it. It’s the forth quarter and we are down and instead of rallying the body, you are pointing fingers at whose fault it is that we are down? Your “best theology” didn’t lead you to do anymore than the ones with “bad theology” to spread God’s law and gospel. Are you suggesting that others need to repent, but you do not, for the spiritual state of this nation? Grow up! spiritually and join the one body (for there is only one) in repenting and turning from our wicked ways. It’s very late, but not too late to repent.
The “divisive attitude” is in the departure of the pastors from the Word of God, not in my criticism against their apostasy. Learn the difference.
We have reaped what we have sown and this action by the mayor is a direct result of lethargy in the body of Christ and the shepherds that are supposed to watch over them. Doctrines of demons have crept in and the church has followed accordingly.
In Minnesota the Marriage Amendment was defeated because self professing Christians and their shepherds fell for the “fairness”, or “I have a homosexual daughter, son relative and homosexuals have made good contributions to the community.” The LGBT’s even trotted out “clergy” to defeat the amendment. There were some efforts to organize an opposition and as organizing goes it went well, but you’re swimming upstream to undo decades of no teaching, miss-teaching on the relation of the believer to the government. Remember Paul asked for his rights as a Roman and his governing authorities were alarmed that they even touched him without due process.
The liberal church took Black America captive as they chose to march peacefully while the “conservative bible believing church sat on the sidelines.
We’re not talking about raising an army of Maccabees here, we’re just talking about bringing a Christian world view into the market place, government, neighbors and family. Evangelism and bringing a Christian world-view to bear on “social” issues are not antithetical they go hand in hand.
Some time ago some pastors went to meet then Sen. Obama about his pro-abortion stance. The smooth talking president we are familiar with now literally got in a pastors face, declaring, “…when I come into the legislature I leave my faith outside the door!” Any Christian who had the presence of mind to bring a Biblical world view to his background, who he associated with, where he attended church and who his shepherd was would have known this man is unfit for the office of president.
The seed that was sown in the voting booth has reaped a bitter anti-Biblical harves;, a vote planted with racial pride, lack of discernment, wisdom and understanding.
It’s good that the slumbering, fearful and apathetic pastors who gave abortion a pass, gay marriage a pass, ministry to the least a past are now hopefully permanently awake and on the wall as watchmen.
Time will tell but regardless; “… voice says, “Call out.” Then he answered, “What shall I call out?” All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, When the breath of the LORD blows upon it; Surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever (Is. 40: 6 – 8)
I have heard that word “Christian Reconstructionists” bandied about, but I never knew what it meant. And I definitely didn’t know that I might be one. Your thoughts were my first thoughts when I heard about this. But it was only five pastors. There is much to learn.
I oppose mixed sex bathrooms and deplore the intentional election of a lesbian to the office of mayor. But these pastors are going to eventually lose. The have no moral capital, no moral standing, and command no respect. Where were they when the children were being aborted? Having been a pro-life activist for about 22 years and time after time having been ignored or told to get lost after pleading with pastors to help us show alternatives to abortion clinic customers from public property in front of the clinics, which in some cases are within sight of their churches, the pastors are reaping what they have sowed. Proverbs 21:3 says “He who shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be answered.” As a former full time pastor myself I well know that the average pastor gets little help as he has to marry, bury, and counsel sometimes the same determined biblically illiterate church members week after week, but we can’t even get 3% of American pastors to take a visible, public stand before abortion chop shops, strip joints, and crack houses. I have personally seen “activism” permanently close four clinics and two clinic directors accept Christ. So cowardice reigns where Christ doesn’t, despite clear commands in Scripture to defend the helpless (Ps. 82:4, Prov. 31:8, Eph. 5:11 and others) and why should God defend believers who choose comfort and approval over the cross? Heed Prov. 25:26 — “Like a trampled spring and a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.” And finally, while you can’t fight everything, God destroys nations and cultures who continue to shed innocent blood — just read through the major and minor prophets. I lay the soon to come, nation ending judgments of America on the doorstep of the vast majority of “conservative” churches.