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False Prophets and False Idols: The Sad State of American Evangelicalism

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves. – Matthew 7:15

Beloved, don’t believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. – 1 John 4:1

American Evangelicalism has been taken over by hypocrites. It is not new as this trend started several decades ago, but now we can see clearly the corruption before us. Conservative Christians, who claimed to be standing up for “traditional Christian/family values” supported a rich, womanizing con-man for president. People like John MacArthur, Wayne Grudem, and many leaders of American Evangelicalism made claims that Trump was the lesser of two evils since he was supportive of “traditional Christian/family values” despite being a flawed candidate. MacArthur in particular likes to take shots at LGBT people and said that he endorsed Trump in 2020 due to Trump’s social conservative views. However, Trump doesn’t seem to agree with MacArthur:

John MacArthur, like many of the leaders of American Evangelicalism, is a hypocrite and false prophet. Which I know this is strong language, but I am genuinely upset over the sad state of the Evangelical Church, and its hypocritical ways. How these people claim to follow Jesus but seem to ignore everything he said. How they are “pro-life” while against welfare services, pro-war, and anti-pandemic relief.

The 2020 US Presidential election revealed a lot of false prophets within the American church. In addition to the many, many Evangelical leaders who endorsed Trump for president, these other false prophets took it a step further – they said that God has guaranteed that Trump would win the election. They were wrong, and most of them simply doubled-down. Some, such as Kenneth Copeland, have behaved like maniacs. In one sermon Copeland can be seen laughing like a cartoon super villain. However, I think anyone that follows Copeland knows his corruption. Jesus tells us to give all that we can to the poor, but Copeland is worth about $600 million.

These are just a few celebrity pastors. They are well-known examples of a major, wide-spread problem within American Evangelicalism. I know of so many local pastors in my area who have preached the same false gospel. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not synonymous with the Republican Party platform or American capitalism. These are the same sorts of people who have sold Christianity out to imperialism in every generation – from Rome to Britain to America.

Then, if the hypocrisy and false prophecy wasn’t obvious enough. American Evangelicals constructed a golden statue of Trump similar to the one described in Exodus 32:4.

The man who made this statue is a former youth pastor. He says that it isn’t an idol and shouldn’t be compared to the golden calf in Exodus. However, the clear partnership between Church and Trump that we have seen certainly makes the comparison to the golden calf very appropriate. Yes, they aren’t literally worshiping the statue as a god, but they are claiming that Trump is God’s choice. They are using the same rhetoric as many Medieval Christians did in support of monarchies – the divine right of kings. And just as many ancient Romans followed the imperial cult.

One organization that I am a member of is considering dropping the term “evangelical” from its name. This is why. “Evangelicalism” in the United States is no longer a Christian movement. It is a political cult comparable to ancient Rome’s. Jesus is not followed in mainstream Evangelicalism anymore, and we must fight against these tendencies. Early Pentecostal/Charismatic Christians knew well the counter-cultural nature of the Gospel. They were anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-war, and anti-materialist. We need to reclaim that tradition to save the Gospel from these false prophets.

Rev. Kevin R. Daugherty is an Elder in the Convergent Christian Communion, Abbot for Kindling Fires: A New Monastic Order, Curate (Assistant Pastor) for Solomon’s Porch, and works as a clerk in Elizabeth, PA. 

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Pentecostals & Charismatics for Peace & Justice is a multicultural, gender inclusive, and ecumenical organization that promotes peace, justice, and reconciliation work among Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians around the world. If you like what we do, please become a member!

6 thoughts on “False Prophets and False Idols: The Sad State of American Evangelicalism”

  1. I keep seeing these claims that evangelicals are “hypocrites” by voting for Trump. Wouldn’t they also be hypocrites by voting for Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden? Both support infanticide. Their party has voted against a ban on race-based abortions. Their party platform has essentially endorsed eugenics programs designed to eliminate black babies. And lest we forgot the Democrat party’s poor record on women’s issues. This is the party that worshipped at the alter of misogynists like Bill Clinton, Harvey Weinstein and Andrew Cuomo. In the 90s this same crowd told us to “move on” and quit talking about sexual harassment.

    Voting for Trump was a “lesser of two evils” choice. When you have two bad choices then your choice is always going to be bad.

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    1. In a previous post of mine for PCPJ, I talked about Biden and why I felt he is far from perfect but I reluctantly supported his campaign. The issue here isn’t that someone is merely voting for Trump. (My fiance happened to vote for Trump.) The issue is that much of American Evangelicalism has given Trump complete allegiance. Trump and the Republican Party are seen as the righteous option. It is one thing to simply vote Republican. The issue is that the Republican Party has been given a special place for many Conservative Evangelicals. A place that is beyond criticism. I see a lot of criticism of the Democratic Party from Evangelicals, but where is the criticism of the Republican Party? There are many Evangelicals who have bought into QAnon and similar conspiracy theories. You have Evangelicals who think that God endorsed Trump. Many leading Evangelical pastors have even endorsed Trump from the pulpit, which is technically a violation of their tax-exemption.

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      1. So when are those anti-abortion politicians in the Republican Party going to stop “legal infantide”? I have been hearing it for the past 40 years since Reagan and his Satanic astrologer controlled America supported by the Religious Right and one- time segregationist Jerry Falwell.They have been too busy protecting the Mammon of the Elite instead.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. So when are those anti-abortion politicians in the Republican Party going to stop “legal infantide”? I have been hearing it for the past 40 years since Reagan and his Satanic astrologer controlled America supported by the Religious Right and one- time segregationist Jerry Falwell.They have been too busy protecting the Mammon of the Elite instead.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We have had a conservative majority SC since Bush 2.They havent even attempted to overturn Roe v. Wade.Trump and the Republicans had total control over our government for Trump’s first two years and didnt even introduce a law to overturn Roe v Wade which would of went to the Conservative SC to overturn.But they were busy protecting the wealth of the Elite and waving the flag during those two years to do that.Legal abortion is an issue which gives Republican votes ,They dont want to alter that situation so they “fight ” with Planned Parenthood to show that they care.This has been going on for 40 long years.I am flabbergasted that the Sheep still follow.

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