During the 2012 presidential elections in the United States, there was moment during the Republican primary debates that struck me. Ron Paul paraphrased the Golden Rule – do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Another way of stating it is, treat others as you would want to be treated. This statement is very important because it is the foundation of almost every moral system. It is something that is taught to most small children, in many cultures and by most religions and philosophies.
Most importantly, the Golden Rule was taught by Jesus. In Matthew 7:12, Jesus said, “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets”, and in Luke 6:31 He said, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
Ron Paul paraphrased Jesus Christ in the 2012 Republican primary debate. He specifically cited this teaching in reference to war, as Congressman Paul has been pretty consistently against war. What happen to Paul is remarkable. The entire audience booed him! A US congressman and presidential candidate was booed for quoting Jesus, and this was in the Republican Party, which is supposed to be the party of Christian values. This incident can be viewed in several places online. I suggest watching it:
Continue reading Our Politics Betrays the Gospel
I’m sad to say that I wasn’t surprised when I saw that Jerry Falwell Jr. resigns as the president of Liberty University after posting a sexual photo from his yacht on social media and allegedly having approved of an extramarital affair between his wife and a business partner (including watching from a corner while they were having sex).
The allegations concerning the bizarre sex games are disputed, but the photo alone gave Liberty University enough reason to question Falwell’s leadership, as the evangelical university has some very strict guidelines concerning sexuality, dress code and alcohol consumption (Falwell is holding a drink in the photo, writing in the caption “I promise it’s just black water in my glass”).
If a student at Liberty University had posted the same photo, the consequences would likely have been more than $9,000 in school fines and 900 hours of required service, and possible expulsion.
There’s one word that people keeps coming back to when describing this situation: hypocrisy. The very thing that Jesus warned his disciples against over and over again. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy”, the Lord said. “There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.” (Luke 12:1-2). Continue reading Evangelical Hypocrisy extends far beyond Jerry Falwell Jr.
Tiffany Trump said at the 2020 Republican National Convention:
“God has blessed us with unstoppable spirit. His spirit, the American spirit. My dad has proven to be driven by that spirit.”
Vice President Mike Pence paraphrased Hebrews 12:1-2 but replaced ”Jesus” with the American flag and Christians with Americans:
“So let’s run the race marked out for us. Let’s fix our eyes on Old Glory and all she represents. Let’s fix our eyes on this land of heroes and let their courage inspire.”
Just one year ago, President Trump called himself “The Chosen One”, and thanked someone for ”the very nice words” of calling him the “king of Israel” and like ”the second coming of God”.
If this isn’t blasphemy… what is it?
I’m reminded of Shane Claiborne writing in his excellent book ”The Irresistible Revolution” about when some kids insisted that he should play Jesus in a church play when he did missionary work in a Latin American country.
”Why don’t any of you play Jesus?” he asked.
”You must do it!” the children said, ”because you’re white and come from America!”
Continue reading Politicians Conflating the Kingdom of God with America
Now, there’s a headline you don’t get to write every single day. Nor do you often get to see this trending on Twitter:
2020 continues to deliver when it comes to weirdness. So does President Donald Trump.
Here’s the story in a nutshell. Donald Trump’s son, aptly named Donald Trump Jr., recently labeled a video with Houston doctor Stella Immanuel a “must watch” since she promotes the drug hydroxychloroquine and says that face masks are unnecessary.
These opinions are in line with things that President Trump has said, even though most other physicians disagree. The president retweeted the video, apparently thinking that this would give medical credence to his corona policies. Madonna has also shared the video, calling Stella Immanuel her “hero”. Continue reading Trump Promotes Pentecostal Doctor Who Warns for Alien DNA, Demon Sex and Reptilian Politicians
In our Facebook forum, the issue of Pentecostal politics was raised recently by a friend of the ministry, Elias Kruger:
I would like to pose a question to this group. While I am greatly encouraged by PCPJ work, I have noticed that Pentecostals (and apostolic movements in general) tend to align squarely with right-wing politics. Nowhere has this been more evident than in the recent election of both Trump in the US and Bolsonaro in Brazil.
Living in these two countries and growing up in Charismatic circles, this was a dominant reality. Why do you think Pentecostals tend to align with authoritarian right-wing leaders? Is there something about our theology or praxis that needs to change?
Here are some of the responses that were given:
The problem is that people confuse Holy Spirit power with guys who make a big noise and sound confident. CEO disease. You see how successful Mr. Exceptional President has been with that. Continue reading Why Are Pentecostals Around the World Supporting the Far-Right?
Recently, Religion Unplugged published a story by Julia Duin featuring PCPJ. It’s titled “Meet The Evangelicals Who Are Anti-Trump”, and while I personally don’t wear “anti-Trump” as a label it is true that we have been critical to President Trump for not promoting peace and justice very well.
We follow Jesus and see peace and justice as something very central to the Gospel message. We’re sad to see how many of our fellow Pentecostals and Charismatics, particularly in the West, argue for things like:
- that everyone should have weapons,
- that refugees should be deported to war and misery,
- that man-made climate change does not exist,
- that economic inequality is good,
- and that gender equality has gone too far.
These are not things that Jesus stands for in the gospels, nor are they things that the Pentecostal movement originally stood for. Early Pentecostal friends were pacifists, included women preachers and were committed to poverty reduction and a sustainable environment.
They tried to resurrect all of Pentecost in Acts 2, not just the tongues part. We at PCPJ wish to do the same. Continue reading Not All American Pentecostals Support Donald Trump
We love the church. We love how beautiful, fun, messy and weird she is. She is the body of Christ, the city on a hill, the messenger of salvation.
However, this very love also compels us to point out when some of her bodyparts do things that are very, very wrong.
As the coronavirus pandemic marches on, we’re sad to report that the response of some Christians has been outrageously damaging. Either by using the crisis to earn money, spreading wild conspiracy theories or encouraging their church members to infect each other.
We must not forget that many other Christians do an amazing job of combatting the virus, helping the vulnerable and preaching the Gospel.
That being said, let’s have a look at the five worst Christian responses to the pandemic. Continue reading The Five Worst Christian Responses to the Coronavirus Pandemic
As another presidential election is on its way in the US, Christian Trump supporters are stepping up. At Charisma Magazine and other Trump-friendly Christian media houses, the president’s major character flaws, lies, and hurtful policies are swept under the rug and instead it is emphasized that he’s doing the will of God and that it was prophesized that he would be president.
And while it is possible that God informed prophetic Christians that Trump would be president in order to just inform (or even warn) them, this is often taken to mean that God really likes Trump’s presidency and that his people should vote for him again.
William de Arteaga takes a closer look in Pneuma Review at the most important Trump prophecies people constantly refer to – the ones shared by Mark Taylor – and shows that there’s a lot in there that are factually incorrect and morally dubious.
Hardly the work of the Almighty God.
Here’s an excerpt from the article: Continue reading The Baffling Errors of The Trump Prophecies
I think most of us can agree that peace is a good thing.
Yes, many support either Israel or Palestine as if they were soccer teams, but regardless of your political and eschatological views, you’re probably with me if I say that it would be good with less death and destruction in the Middle East.
The fact that many children have died in the conflict is a problem. A devastating, serious problem that needs to be solved.
And yes, Israel-supporters will blame most of the deaths on the Palestinians and Palestine-supporters will blame most of the deaths on Israel. I know.
But regardless of blame, guilt and revenge-lust, we have a problem in the Holy Land. And the solution is peace.
Conflict is usually based on the incompatibility of goals; when two or more parties want the same thing. In order to resolve it, we need compromises, trade-offs, and sacrifices.
This is how all peace negotiations work. The parties meet halfway, nobody gets exactly what they wanted but in exchange for the costs, they receive a more peaceful and stable environment.
Continue reading Trump’s Israel-Palestine Deal Won’t Lead to Peace – and He Knows It
by Bob Ekblad, originally published on his blog.
I am deeply troubled and grieved by Donald Trump’s order to kill by drone strike Iran’s second most powerful leader, Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, together with the Iraqi Shia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
The Trump Administration’s killing of these two men on January 3, regardless of their offenses, is evil, going against God’s command: “thou shall not kill” and Jesus’ command: “love your enemies.” It also threatens to plunge the United States and the Middle East into a major war leading to far more death and destruction.
As we hear critiques and defenses, and brace ourselves for retaliatory violence and retributive counter measures, let us consider Jesus’ seeing Jerusalem and weeping over it, and practice something like this ourselves, remembering his highly relevant words:
“If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes.”
Continue reading A Response to Recent U.S. Killings in Iraq