Tag Archive for: Biblical Worldview

Powers and Principalities: America Is at Spiritual War

The hour is late, and open war rages across the United States. No sword is drawn, no shot is fired, yet lives, souls, and civilization itself all hang in the balance. This present war is not a political one — though politics and government are the weapons used in this combat — but a spiritual one. Two religions are struggling for supremacy over America: leftism and Christianity.

“Marxism,” “communism,” “socialism,” “progressivism,” and even “relativism” and “atheism” are common buzzwords among conservatives, but each of these political and social ideologies is merely a contributor to the emergent religion of leftism. Yes, leftism is a religion, it is not simply an ideology: it mandates its own worship, its own doctrine, and even its own sacraments. It promulgates its tenets, enforced by malleable legislation, as positive goods — that is, ends which are good in and of themselves, not simply means to achieve ends which are determined externally to be good, as most political forces do. It was once the norm for varying political factions to agree, largely, on what would be good for the nation — whether that be the support of families, the growth of the economy, or the bolstering of the nation’s borders — predicated on the express will of the people, but to simply differ on how best to achieve those goods.

Not so in the 21st century. Leftism differs fundamentally from its foe on what those ultimate goods are for the nation; in fact, its devoutly, fervently held positions place it in direct opposition not to a political force but to a religion — namely, Christianity, by far the most prevalent religion in America. Abortion, transgenderism, homosexuality, pornography, open borders, and all the agenda items of leftism are directly and incontrovertibly contradictory to the moral standards of Christianity. Of course, conservatism has long advanced Christian moral standards in the public and political spheres, but the increasingly-common brand of secular conservatism uprooted from Christianity has proven toothless in the snarling face of leftism.

Nearly 70 years ago, the Catholic author and orator Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen predicted the rise of the religion of leftism, orchestrated by Satan himself. “He will set up a counter church which will be the ape of the Church, because he, the Devil, is the ape of God,” Sheen wrote. “It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content. It will be a mystical body of the Antichrist that will in all externals resemble the mystical body of Christ.” The archbishop prophesied that the religion of leftism “will be brotherhood of Man without the fatherhood of God…”

Indeed, the good bishop’s words seem unnervingly more than prescient. For nearly 2,000 years, Christians have celebrated the solemn feast of Easter, commemorating and glorifying Christ’s triumphant resurrection from the dead and victory over the grave. It cannot be mere coincidence that, this year, President Joe Biden declared Easter Sunday to be a national “Transgender Day of Visibility.” Consider that this is more than simply spitting in the face of devout Christians; it is the institution of a new and fatal religion’s highest holy day, intentionally coinciding with the date of Easter Sunday. Christians believe that, through the sacrament of baptism, we are born again, shedding the stain of original sin with which we were born in order to share in the glories of life eternal, opened to us by Christ’s resurrection. Traditionally, baptized Christians would even take a new name, an outward sign of their new identities in Christ. Transgenderism is leftism’s diabolically inverted answer to this sacrament: death to the old self, shedding the identity (sex) with which one was born, and taking a new name to go with one’s new identity.

Every doctrine that Christianity preaches, leftism preaches its own perversion of it. The love advocated by Christianity is rooted in absolute truth, in “Love Himself,” as C.S. Lewis once put it. Leftism advocates “love” unmoored, anchored by nothing more absolute than the weight of fickle feelings and emotions — though, when those emotions are felt, they do reign supreme.

Christianity upholds sacrifice as virtuous — the giving of oneself for the sake of love is the zenith of the virtue of charity. Christ Himself tells His followers, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Leftism also values sacrifice, but never sacrifice of the self, only the sacrificing of others. Abortion is the ultimate example of this warped anti-virtue: sacrificing one’s own child for… financial comfort, a career, no responsibility, or even just consequence-free sex.

Christianity mandates submission to the will of God, accepting His design no matter how painful or difficult. Again, Christ Himself prayed, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39). Leftism demands obeisance to the only god it recognizes: the self-centered self. Transgenderism is demonstrative of this: just as Christian martyrs have willingly suffered torture for the sake of their faith, so the confused, self-centered, and self-loathing suffer mutilation and torture for the sake of their own wounded and twisted egos.

Like the dominant Christianity of the Middle Ages, leftism even has its own office of the inquisition. Those who do not toe the leftist line, who dare to question the new religion’s dogmas, are hounded out of the anti-church. The famed “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling is indicative of this. A multi-millionaire and self-declared feminist, Rowling was once a darling of leftist media and political activists. She supported the Labour Party in the U.K. and Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Yet as soon as she voiced her concerns over transgenderism, she became a “heretic” to the church of leftism, targeted for disbarment from all the institutions controlled by leftism.

Although leftism is a uniquely 21st century phenomenon, its fundamental principles are nothing new. In fact, God has been dealing with the motivating mindset behind leftism since before the world began. The chief and unifying tenet of the leftist religion — indeed, that of all its precursors and predecessors, also — is naturalism. When first Lucifer said, in the words of the poet John Milton, “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven,” naturalism was born. Naturalism is the belief, the assertion that the creature can replace the Creator, that the peasant may, if he slays the King, rule in His stead. It is the hubristic declaration that “God is dead, I am god.”

Satan was the first to declare thus, in his immense pride, galled by the humility of God’s plan to become a man, to take on the form of a mere creature — “these disgusting little human vermin,” as Lewis called them in the character of Screwtape, a hateful demon. He has declared it ever since, leading countless souls astray. In the Garden of Eden, that was the temptation offered by the Serpent: “You shall be as gods” (Genesis 3:5). Throughout Scripture and, certainly, throughout human history, that has been the great temptation, the great sin: to be as gods. When Moses ascended Mount Sinai, after God led the Hebrews out of slavery in Egypt, that temptation reared its head and the Hebrews made for themselves an idol (Exodus 32). Even then, the Hebrews fell to worshipping the demon Baal, until the prophet Elijiah proved the supremacy of God and slayed the Baalite priests (1 Kings 18).

Whether in the twilight years of the Roman Empire, throughout the Middle Ages, into the age of discovery, or even now in the modern day, men are tempted to declare themselves God, to worship their own selves over the crucified and resurrected person of Christ, to adhere to their own principles or preachings as supreme. Leftism is simply the culmination of this evil, this unbridled, unrestrained pride, brought to the fore via political prowess and instituted in American culture via institutions long ago captured by the prophets of leftism: Marxists, communists, perverts, abortionists, eugenicists, atheists, relativists, and countless other little ideologues subservient to the Luciferian sin of naturalism.

The current division in America is not ultimately a matter of Left versus Right, of Democrat versus Republican, of communist versus capitalist, but of good versus evil, of naturalism (in the form of leftism) versus Christianity, of the fallen angel Lucifer and his minions versus the crucified and resurrected Christ and the forces of Heaven. The war being waged over America at present is not a matter of differing political opinions but of diametrically opposed religions.

One side says that unborn babies, the most innocent of all persons, may be executed at will, torn apart and unceremoniously vacuumed out of the wombs of their mothers; that children may, on a whim, decide to ingest hormones foreign and unnatural to their bodies before subjecting themselves to irreversible surgeries so horrific that not even the most warped and depraved authors of the 19th and 20th centuries could have imagined them; that procreation is wholly unrelated to the conjugal act, that two men might sodomize one another and call it “love”; that sex-trafficking and child sexual exploitation are just the price to be paid for virtual images of increasingly perverted sex acts, readily available to young and old at the mere click of a button; that a nation has no sovereignty and must be subjected to millions of unvetted, unrestricted immigrants.

The other side says that innocence is worth preserving, that unborn children and their mothers must be cherished and protected from the evils of the abortion mill; that children must be raised to think and think critically, think well, think deeply; that the family is the basic and fundamental unit of society, that the very fabric of civilization would unravel without the family as its basis; that love necessitates self-sacrifice, not self-gratification; that nations have a God-given right to defend their borders and preserve the safety and security of their own people; that Christ is indeed King.

This present war is not between two ideological factions but between powers and principalities, between leftism and Christianity, between good and evil, between God and Satan. “Choose you this day whom ye will serve… As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

AUTHOR

S.A. McCarthy

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

What Jesus’s Resurrection Accomplished

All over the world, Christians will, this weekend, celebrate the astounding truth that a crucified rabbi was raised from the dead and, equally astonishing, would never die again.

It’s worth asking why we regard the resurrection of Christ as so important. Why did Paul tell the Corinthians, “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain” (I Corinthians 15:19)?

The resurrection of Jesus was, first, a vindication. It demonstrated that He was both sinless man and fully God. The apostle Paul explains that “sin came into the world through one man [Adam] and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned” (Romans 5:12). Our inheritance from Adam is not only physical existence but spiritual death. A morally perfect man, set in a flawless, sin-absent environment, deliberately chose to rebel against his Creator. He was a “test case,” humanity’s representative before God. In other words, Adam demonstrated that inevitably, all would sin and, therefore, God rightly judged us all in him.  From our first father, we have inherited a tainted nature, an insistent pulling away from our Maker.

Through Adam, then, we also inherit death, both temporal and eternal. “The wages of sin” — the appropriate payment for our evil and evil-doing – “is death” (Romans 6:23a). If this is the case, and if there is nothing we can do to satisfy God’s just demand for moral perfection, we are unavoidably doomed.

So, then, in what way was Jesus’s resurrection a vindication? Had He not been morally perfect, He would have remained in the tomb. But if death is the fruit of sin, then the Sinless One could not but be raised. His resurrection proves His perfection. Christ is the “second Adam,” the One Who did not fail the lifelong test of complete obedience to the Father (I Corinthians 15:45). And, of course, as fully God in human flesh, death had no hold on Him. Jesus Himself declared, “No one takes [My life] from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father” (John 10:18).

Second, Jesus’s resurrection was a victory — indeed, the greatest and most comprehensive victory in the history of the universe. Part of this victory was the Lord Jesus’s triumph over the author of death, “that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray” (Revelation 12:9). On the cross, Christ “became sin for us” (II Corinthians 5:21), on our behalf experiencing the full and righteous rage of the Father against all human sin. Having taken the penalty for our sin, He said, “It is completed,” a reference to the fulfillment of all the Old Testament prophesies about the Messiah.

Put simply, Jesus won: He defeated death. He defeated Satan and his forces. He fulfilled His Messianic mission. By His atoning death on a Roman cross, the eternal debt of punishment we owe an infinitely holy God was “paid in full.” By deciding to place our trust in Christ alone, believing that His substitution for us on the cross met completely the demand of the Father that payment be made for our deep moral sickness, we can experience new and eternal life in His presence. This is the new, second birth. Paul puts it much better than me:

“And you, who were dead in your trespasses … God made alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in Him” (Colossians 2:13-15).

Finally, the resurrection of Jesus was vibrant. Our word “vibrant” comes from a Latin term referring to something being shaken back and forth. It was a metaphor for energy and life and vitality. So with the resurrection of Jesus: “We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death He died He died to sin, once for all, but the life He lives He lives to God” (Romans 6:9-10). This is why those who have been born a second time can “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4), our sins forgiven, our hope sure, our joyous eternal destiny awaiting us.

We still live in a world where the ugly taint of sin permeates. All who have lost loved ones, who themselves are suffering, who know disappointment and betrayal, trauma, and pain, long for the day when all things will be made new. Yet even in our experience of time and fallenness, we can still rejoice. The vaporous life we now know has been “swallowed up in victory” — Christ’s and, through Him, ours.

This is why Jesus could say, “In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer — I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). In Him, in His resurrection from the dead, so have we.

He is risen — He is risen indeed!

AUTHOR

Rob Schwarzwalder

Rob Schwarzwalder, Ph.D., is Senior Lecturer in Regent University’s Honors College.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Christianity Is Exclusive — And Inclusive!

A study by Ligonier Ministries and Lifeway Research published in late 2022 offered a startling finding: nearly 60% of professing evangelical Protestants believe Jesus is but one of a number of ways to God. A similar 2021 survey by Probe Ministries documented a similar percentage.

This is more than troubling — it is a rejection, whether from ignorance or outright rebellion to God’s Word, of the New Testament’s teaching about the person and work of Jesus Christ. “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” said Jesus. “No one comes to the Father except by Me” (John 14:6). The apostle Peter confirmed his Master’s claim: “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). In addition to such explicit passages, the whole text of the New Testament asserts that Jesus of Nazareth, fully God and fully man, took into Himself the penalty of eternal death deserved by all of us. That’s comprehensive in both time and scope, and by definition excludes all other supposed pathways to God.

These things compose a single claim: That there are no other means of obtaining a relationship with God and eternal life apart from placing your trust in Christ alone for forgiveness and reconciliation with our Creator. And in making this claim, Christianity is accused of being narrow, unfair, and arrogant. There are so many other faiths, and so many good people now and throughout history who have never heard of Jesus; how can Christianity tell every other religion it is false and every other spiritual code it is inadequate?

These are hard questions. Not to admit this is not to be honest. Yet the Bible also tells us that God is both loving and just, and Jesus commanded His followers to go throughout the earth and make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). This, then, is the foundational calling of all who have come to know Him.

The God of the Bible has provided but one way to be born physically and, in the same way, only one way to be born spiritually. He is the One Who makes and redeems; the way of knowing Him is a matter of His choice, not ours.

The uniqueness of Jesus and His plan of salvation are not the Bible’s only exclusivities. Christianity also claims that marriage is exclusive: one man and one woman in a life-long, covenantal relationship (see, for example, Proverbs 2:14) and the only place where sexual intimacy is honored by God. In our era, one characterized by every manner of sexual dysfunction and promiscuity, this understanding of human sexuality is profoundly counter-cultural. It is also an understanding of unity, complementarity, and life-affirming relationship imbued with beauty, goodness, and truth.

These things mirror the character of God Himself. He is a God of exclusivity. He told the people of Israel, “See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me” (Deuteronomy 32:39). He declares to Isaiah, “I am Yahweh, and there is no other, besides me there is no God” (45:5).

In our time, these scriptural claims are discomfiting. How much simpler and less contentious to affirm religion as palliative, a means of coping with stress and molding one’s preferred deity into the form most comfortable to the molder. And how distasteful to assert that there is but one true God and one means of entering His presence, that new birth through which the imponderable purity of His Son is imputed to those who repent and place their hope in Him alone.

These perceptions are appealing but have an immutable disadvantage: They are false, wrong, and turn us in the direction of everlasting punishment. This is because of the gospel’s unmitigated inclusivity.

Yes, you read that correctly. The good news of Jesus is inclusive, open to all who come to Him and receive Him by faith. We read in Revelation 7:9 that in heaven, followers of Christ will be part of “a great multitude that no one can number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands.” Eternal redemption is open to all, not some spiritual elite or mysteriously initiated handful.

Jesus is alive: This is the simple and universe-shaking truth of the resurrection, that always-glorious day we will celebrate this coming Sunday. The way to know God is exclusively through Him, and that way is accessible to all, including you and me. Come meet Him today.

AUTHOR

Rob Schwarzwalder

Rob Schwarzwalder, Ph.D., is Senior Lecturer in Regent University’s Honors College.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Christ Is King and Every Knee Shall Bend

Almost since the beginning of recorded history, men have sought power: Caesars and shahs, kings and sultans, princes and khans, presidents and prime ministers, emperors and generals. Kingdoms and empires, dynasties and nations have risen and fallen, memorialized in poems and art and the annals of history. Some dominated entire generations, others sprawled across centuries. Only one has stood the test of time, covering every continent and thriving over 2,000 years: Christianity.

Over the weekend, this well-chronicled historical fact became a subject of discontent and dispute for the armchair philosophers and amateur pundits of social media — many of them self-professed conservatives and even Christians. According to these self-appointed arbiters of theological, historical, and social truth, the admission “Christ is King” is clearly a hateful, anti-Semitic slur. That is to say, claiming that the Messiah foretold by centuries of Jewish prophets, born to a humble Jewish carpenter and his wife, who illuminated and fulfilled the Jewish Scriptures, could be the King of the world is … hateful towards Jews. Luckily for Christians, nearly two millennia ago, a Jew famous for prosecuting and executing Christians actually addressed this argument:

“Because of this, God greatly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).

The chief argument against “Christ is King” is that the proclamation of the fact is offensive to those of the Jewish faith, and thus anti-Semitic, a slur against a race of persons. As for the racial component of this argument, Christianity necessarily holds that God does not create anything evil — evil is, rather, an absence or a perversion of good in something — and, since every person is not only made by God but is in fact made in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:27), no human can be created evil.

It is for this reason that Christianity has, from the beginning, served as the driving force of civilization. It was St. Patrick, himself sold as a slave in his boyhood, who first condemned the slave trade, some 1,400 years before the American Civil War was fought. It was St. Remigius of Reims who, after the fall of Rome, baptized Franks, Goths, Galls, and Celts, giving those who the Romans derided as “barbarians” a new name, “brother in Christ.” It was Christian missionaries who brought the gospel to Africa, Asia, and South America, establishing peace in regions which had previously been dominated by tribal and racial wars, often culminating in slavery and human sacrifice.

History baldly contradicts the argument that Christianity condemns any particular race, but especially the Jewish race. Christ Himself was ethnically Jewish, and his earthly father, Joseph, was descended from the line of the great King David, as affirmed by the Gospels of both Luke and Matthew. Declaring then that a humble carpenter’s son of the Jewish race is, in fact, the King of the entire world hardly seems to be a means of deriding the Jewish race. The first Christians were Jewish fishermen, so devoted to Christ and the gospel that, with the exception of John the Evangelist, they all willingly died for their faith. The first act of the apostles was to evangelize the Jews, to welcome thousands into the church, to call their own people to recognize the kingship of Christ.

By its very nature, Christianity demonstrably rebuffs the claim that Christ’s kingship — and its proclamation — is somehow an instrument of violence, hatred, or oppression towards any people, but especially the Jews. The fact that some vocal pundits and influencers have attempted to affix the phrase with their racially-charged messages does not alter or mitigate the truth that Christ is King, and it does not warrant the broad effort to suppress proclaiming Christ’s Kingship regardless of intent. Instead, the real case against “Christ is King” is a theological one.

Christ did not come to end the Mosaic covenant, but to fulfill it. He Himself said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17). In other words, He came that He might be the continuation of that covenant: not its death, but its fruition. The prophets of old predicted that a Messiah would come to save the world from its sins and eternal damnation. Christ is that Messiah. There is no longer the promise of a Messiah, there is not some other savior waiting in the wings like an understudy. This does not abolish the Mosaic covenant, but continues it, rather as a young boy maturing into a man does not kill the boy, but fulfills the promise of his youth. There is not now, though, the same boy running about playing while the grown man works and weds and raises his own children. Just so, there are not two extant covenants: an old one and a new one. Rather, the old covenant was made to mature into Christ, who is Himself the new covenant, just as the boy was made to mature into the man.

This point is an important one to understand, for if Christ’s birth, life, death, and resurrection were merely offering an alternative covenant to the Mosaic covenant, then what would be the point? If the Mosaic law were sufficient for one to attain Heaven and eternal salvation, perfect and beatific communion with God, then God becoming man, taking on the form of a mere creature, suffering an excruciating and ignominious death, and then conquering the grave would be rather superfluous.

Very well, but what if the Mosaic covenant was for the Jews and the new covenant established in Christ is for the Gentiles? Then Christ’s ministry, carried out entirely within the Jewish community, would have been fruitless. Christ was not born in Rome, fulfilling prophesies written hundreds of years before in Jupiter’s temples. He was not born in Athens, claiming to be the son of Kronos. He was not raised studying the sacred texts of the Persians or the Babylonians. He was born in Bethlehem to a Jewish carpenter whose royal lineage would mean nothing to a Gentile, He grew up studying the Jewish Scriptures, and He called Himself the Son of God. But He was rejected by those who, for centuries, awaited His coming.

Christ Himself acknowledges this throughout the gospels. In one instance, He tells a parable to the Pharisees and Jewish priests and leaders, of a landowner who leases his vineyard to tenants and sends numerous servants to ask them for his vintage. After the tenants beat and kill the servants and messengers, the vineyard owner sends his son. When he arrives, Christ says, “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.’ They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him” (Matthew 21:33-39).

Christ rarely explained His parables to anyone other than the Apostles, but He did explain this one to the Pharisees and priests:

“Did you never read in the scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes’? Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit” (Matthew 21:42-43).

Matthew records, “When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they knew that he was speaking about them” (Matthew 21:45). Christ also knew the thoughts of the Pharisees and priests (Luke 5:22-23), which makes His summary of the tenants’ thoughts all the more damning. He knew, of course, that He would be rejected, and He knew why. Christ did not reject the Jews and God did not replace them with Christians. Rather, Christ brought the promise of the Mosaic covenant to fruition through His life, death, and resurrection, calling His chosen people to enter into the covenant which He Himself is.

The conclusion this argument against “Christ is King” reaches is, essentially, that Christ is not King. If He were King, of course, then there would be no harm in declaring Him thus — but if He is not, then boldly and proudly proclaiming His Kingship would be a sort of spiritual colonization of those who do not call Him a King, especially the Jews, since Christ claimed to be the Messiah their Scriptures prophesied. Instead, if this argument is accepted, Christ is relegated to merely one king among many. In short, the argument’s conclusion is that there are multiple avenues to what Christ offers: eternal salvation. Christians, of course, recognize that this is patently false.

Once again, Christ Himself declares, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, then you will also know my Father” (John 14:6-7). There is no other way, there is no other savior, there is no one else whose blood might wash away sin and whose life might conquer death itself. As St. John Chrysostom asks, “Could I produce a witness more trustworthy than the Son of God?” The campaign against Christ’s Kingship is nothing short of an overture to pantheism, an effort to declare that Christ is not only not King, but is not the way or the truth or the life.

Atheism is given pride of place among the social, political, and academic elites of the West: the declaration “God is dead” is met with smiles or applause and is ingratiated into Western nomenclature. The violent religion of Islam is endorsed and promulgated, with even those whom Muslims would deride as “infidels” serving as some of Islam’s most ardent evangelists. Judaism used to be more vigorously defended, with any critique of the religion instantly labeled racism and anti-Semitism. But the Kingship of Christ is denied, spurned, and rejected. The only One who truly is the way, the truth, and the life is silenced, as He was silenced upon a cross nearly 2,000 years ago.

Christians have a responsibility, a solemn commission, to proclaim that Christ is King. It is not anti-Semitic, it is not a slur, it is not a “dialectical trap,” as some have called it. It is a crucial tenet of the Christian faith. Our King commanded us not to shirk and shrink from name-calling, but to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19), reminding us that the world will hate us for declaring that Christ is King, just as it first hated Christ our King (John 15:18-19).

Over the centuries, Christian martyrs have faced far worse than criticism, accusations of racism, and social ostracization in their efforts to preach the gospel and expand Christ’s kingdom. Let us not cower before the self-negating arguments of pantheism nor allow any smear to keep us from courageously proclaiming that truth in which both Heaven and earth rejoice: Christ is King.

AUTHOR

S.A. McCarthy

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Reject the ‘Red Pill,’ Carry Your Cross

Feminism has, for over a century, been playing merry Hell with Western civilization, engendering (pun intended) division and enmity between the sexes and giving rise to a host of moral and societal cancers, such as abortion, transgenderism, and the decline of the family.

The division between the sexes bred by feminism initially targeted women, pressuring them to be more and more like men, especially by leaving their homes and children and joining the workforce. Of course, women cannot, by their very nature as women, be men, and thus feminism spawned a dual bitterness among its female adherents: bitterness towards masculinity for being unattainably masculine and bitterness against femininity for not being attainably masculine.

By the final quarter of the 20th century, after achieving its magnum opus in the Sexual Revolution, feminism had fixed its withering glare on men. Masculinity was soon labeled dangerous and “toxic,” and men were pressured to be more like women, particularly by abandoning or suppressing masculine characteristics like assertiveness or aggression, independence, and providence. Having been told for generations that they are, by their very nature as men, problematic and oppressive, it is little wonder that there has been a decades-long crisis in masculinity.

Many men today strive to avoid the “toxic” label and so cede their God-given role as leader and provider, often allowing women to shape their opinions, lead their relationships, and split their role as breadwinner equally. This weakness has wrought even further civilizational decay and has driven countless men into desperate little psychological corners. Some simply whither away and die there, more terrified of being called a monster than of the sad, shivering husk they instead become; some, disgusted with the horror they are told that men are (a disgust frequently compounded by pornography addictions and neglected psychological conditions), decide it’s better to be women than to be men, and so seek out gender transition drugs and surgeries; and some, sick of the stranglehold that feminism has so long exerted over the culture, take the “Red Pill.”

The ‘Red Pill’

Across the internet, hundreds of thousands of young men partake in the “manosphere,” a community of websites, blogs, video channels, and social media influencers who promote physical fitness, tanned-and-toned body aesthetics, and a ridiculously luxurious lifestyle and claim that feminism has poisoned culture against men, encouraged and entrenched vitriol against men, and proliferated and normalized sexual degeneracy among women. So far, spot on. But despite its largely-correct diagnosis of the social evils plaguing our civilization, the remedy prescribed by the manosphere is just as poisonous: the Red Pill.

What could have been an ordered and even noble response to feminism, a surgical maneuver to excise the cultural cancer, devolved instead into a cesspool of violent misogyny, rampant degeneracy, and nihilistic materialism, with a dash of narcissistic homosexuality for flavor.

The Red Pill does not respond to feminism’s pervasive sexual promiscuity by extolling the virtue of chastity, but instead jealously encourages men to be just as promiscuous, if not more so. The Red Pill does not seek out the forgotten masculine characteristics of courage, endurance, providence, and self-sacrifice, but instead cultivates only aggression and self-seeking. The Red Pill does not remind men that they are to provide for their wives and children, but instead tells them to “rise and grind” so they can afford a bulky luxury watch and a fluorescent luxury sportscar — all the better for cruising for chicks. The Red Pill does not remind men why manhood is good and necessary, but instead conforms masculinity to the terms set by feminism, in the inverse: poisoning culture against women, encouraging and entrenching vitriol against women, and proliferating and normalizing sexual degeneracy among men.

In short, the Red Pill is just vapid internet slang for feminism’s evils practiced by and for the “benefit” of men. Just as feminism is characterized by labelling masculinity “toxic,” so also the Red Pill is characterized by labelling women “sluts.” Misogyny is an essential component of the Red Pill, which in many cases leads to yet another social and sexual evil: narcissistic homosexuality.

‘Men without Chests’

Although there are multitudinous psychological factors that may lead one to identify as homosexual and lead a homosexual lifestyle, there are, at least superficially, two forms of homosexuality. The first is readily familiar and recognizable: the effeminate homosexuality which favors leopard print and limp wrists. This form of homosexuality is prone to a catty love-hatred of women born out of envy. In some ways, effeminate homosexuality feels itself more at home around women, in no small part because it seeks to emulate women.

The other form is less often seen and even more seldomly discussed: hyper-masculine homosexuality. This form of homosexuality rejects femininity altogether, deriding women for not being men, while worshipping the superficial traits of masculinity. I say the superficial traits because such authentically masculine virtues as chastity, temperance, prudence, and self-sacrifice are neither sought nor cultivated. All that is desired is the muscular male form and the personality traits of aggression and pride.

God made male and female for each other (Genesis 1:27). While effeminate homosexuality seeks to play the role of the female, hyper-masculine homosexuality removes her from the equation altogether. Its narcissism and self-absorption is so complete that it worships only itself and whatever has the hubris to resemble it. Even if it does not culminate in homosexuality, the ideology of the Red Pill still reaches these dizzying heights of auto-adulation, worshipping a warped and fractured image of masculinity so fervently, so devotedly that vehement hatred of all that is “other” becomes in itself an act of worship.

This self-adoration, paradoxically, necessitates a fracturing of the self. Man is incomplete in love without woman, just as she is incomplete in love without man. The Red Pill denies this fundamental truth and thus fractures man, carving out of him that which in fact makes him a man: his heart. The Red Pill encourages men to push themselves to the limit, to lift weights, to live adventurously, to earn inordinate amounts of money, but for what? Simply for the sake of making oneself into one’s own idol (as in idolatry) — not for the sake of the other, for the sake of a woman, because the Red Pill preaches that no woman has value as a woman, only as a fleshy instrument for sex.

The end result of the manosphere’s efforts has been to instill in its adherents a distorted and disordered hierarchy of value, prizing wealth and fashion above the human souls they were made to give themselves to in love. The Red Pill encourages (almost goads) men to achieve and perform, but simultaneously denies that there is anything worth achieving and no feat worth performing, no object to either. C.S. Lewis predicted such a dreary, purposeless dystopia in his book “The Abolition of Man.” Lewis wrote, “In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”

What a pitiable and miserable existence the Red Pill renders: sex without soul, achievement without meaning, work without purpose, nothing worth living or fighting or dying for, just one’s own self. Another great Cristian author, G.K. Chesterton, pithily summarized such an existence: “Yourself, yourself, yourself — the only companion that is never satisfied — and never satisfactory.”

The Way of the Cross

Surely the Red Pill’s depressing, stifling conclusions can’t be correct, surely the cancer of feminism hasn’t succeeded in actually killing its host civilization, surely there must be some hope.

There is. The moral and spiritual diseases of both feminism and the Red Pill are both cured by the cross of Christ. That way lies true manhood and masculinity. Where the Red Pill whines that feminism has ruined everything, Christ says, “Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5). Where the Red Pill suggests that there is no way forward for men or women, Christ says, “Take up your cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). Where the Red Pill extols promiscuity and degeneracy, Christ commands, “Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).

And more than this, Christ shows us how to be real men. The flashy images of bodybuilders and Bugattis that populate manosphere websites and social media feeds suddenly pale next to an image of one Man, not clad in designer athleisure but stripped of both his clothes and his flesh, adorned not with a Rolex or a pair of Ray-Bans but with a crown of thorns — one Man, hanging upon a tree, breathing His last.

The 20th century Catholic priest Josemaría Escrivá once explained, “The school of love has a name: it is sacrifice.” Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is the greatest image of manhood that ever existed. On that cross, Christ exemplified and embodied the perfection of every masculine trait: the strength to carry the sins of the world, the courage to submit to His own death, the humility to hang naked, nailed to a tree, the self-sacrifice He made of His life, and the love He poured out upon the entire world as it scorned Him and mocked Him.

Real manhood is not to be found in the Red Pill, nor is the manosphere’s response to the cancer of feminism the right one. Real manhood is to be found in taking up your cross and following Christ, even if it means following Him to death.

AUTHOR

S.A. McCarthy

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

What Business Do Christians Have Being Journalists?

Collin Hansen, a Christian journalist, once wrote that “there’s significant overlap between” journalism and Christianity, because both “teach by distilling complicated concepts about how the world works. Both herald news, good and bad.” But he added that one “might not know about the overlap between these callings because journalists and preachers generally don’t like each other.”

Of course, it’s no wonder why. Journalists aren’t famous for their good, trustworthy reputations. Rather, they’re more commonly infamous for their willingness to lie and twist the narrative to accommodate their biases. We scan headlines and notice that left- and right-wing outlets may cover the same news yet tell completely different stories. How do we know who and what to trust?

More importantly, what business does a Christian have in a field notorious for misconduct?

Growing up, I didn’t pay much attention to politics. Partly because I lacked an interest in it, and partly because I saw how it stirred up immense controversy. I didn’t see the point of engaging in what seemed like a constant societal migraine. But here I am, a Christian reporter with my gaze particularly fixed on the political arena. So, what changed? It’s simple.

I used to tell people, “The only political opinions I have are what’s addressed in the Bible.” And while it’s largely still the case, there’s a much different meaning behind that statement now. Back then, if I said that, I was primarily referring to matters of abortion, gender, and marriage — areas I firmly believe Scripture makes abundantly clear. But what changed between then and now is that I see more clearly how the Bible touches on far more than those three significant areas. Indeed, the more I study Scripture (and observe the political landscape), the more I see just how much the Bible applies to nearly everything.

It was during my internship at Family Research Council, shortly after attending Bible college, when this became blatant. Evidently, there are a vast number of political topics to consider when claiming the Bible “nearly” applies to “everything.” But I’ve had the privilege of writing for The Washington Stand about immigration, debanking, socialism, abortion, economics, LGBT activism, education, social media, mental health, and more, and for every single topic, a biblical worldview has applied. Moreover, in each topic, a Christian voice was not only relevant, but needed.

God is not just “some” truth you can choose to adopt in personal and isolated areas of convenience. No, He is the ultimate Truth as it pertains to all things, regardless of how we feel. The truth of God is “the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). It’s completely detached from the roller coaster of human trends and finite perspectives. As such, Christians have an advantage to journalism secular journalists don’t. Christian journalists know objective truth, and it has set us free (John 8:32). And its Christian journalists who then take God and His word into the messy battleground of secular journalism to serve as salt and light to a world in desperate need of it. And really, all Christians who engage in politics are called to do this, too.

I had a conversation with a friend the other day about how hopeless it can feel standing for biblical truth in the public square when it seems to have no impact. And yet, for this very reason, I don’t find it coincidental Galatians 6:9 frequently comes to mind, which says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” And really, this is what Christian journalists are called to take on.

I believe it’s a strong and reasonable temptation to give up when swimming against the current — particularly in an ocean as restless as politics. But what I believe Galatians 6:9 is meant to remind us of is that we don’t give up because, while we may not always be able to see how our efforts make a difference, we serve a God who said, “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24). And Jesus said in John 5:17, “My Father is always working, and so am I.”

Feeling like God isn’t working is no reason to give up. Instead, we never have reason to give up because we trust, in His sovereignty, He is working.

2 Corinthians 4:4 says that “the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” But don’t you see? Journalism is such a wonderful opportunity for Christians to put the light of the gospel back into the public square. We will be criticized and rejected for it, but we will also be glorifying God.

Hansen articulated it well when he shared why Christian journalism matters:

“Journalists that would serve the church will fulfill a catechetical calling. We are teachers who help other Christians understand a world created by God but corrupted by sin. Our investigative work reflects the biblical reality that we live in … [a] time when our ‘adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour’ (1 Peter 5:8). We expose the sin that imperils believers so that they might be prepared to defend themselves in the power of the Holy Spirit.

“Yet, we also live in … [a] time when the Father is working in glorious ways to spread the saving knowledge of His Son, Jesus Christ. This is good news, and journalists have been called to tell it. With a little help from preachers, we just might be able to encourage the church with a new, more edifying approach to media.”

As corrupt and abused as it may be, I don’t believe the realm of media, reporting, and journalism is worth abandoning. Like everything in this fallen world, its frustrating nature is not one we should shy away from. Rather, it should be a wake-up call to what Christians are meant to do in the first place. That is, to proclaim the truth.

Earlier, I said I am a Christian reporter with my gaze fixed on politics. And while that is true as it pertains to what I write about, behind it all is a gaze fixed on Christ. And so, as a Christian journalist, I shall repeat the words of Psalm 146:2, in that “I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.”

AUTHOR

Sarah Holliday

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

2024: The Year of Consequential Elections

As the 2024 U.S. presidential election comes into sharper focus, much of the political punditry has focused on the potential rematch of Joe Biden versus Donald Trump. In recent weeks, the American press has reported extensively on former President Trump’s ongoing court cases and Special Counsel Robert Hur’s characterization of President Biden as a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

Although Americans should expect an avalanche of news related to the presidential election over the next 10 months, it is important to remember that other offices besides the presidency will also be on the ballot ?” including 34 U.S. Senate seats, all 435 U.S. House seats, 11 governorships, and legislative seats in 44 states. The results of these elections will have massive consequences for years to come.

The United States isn’t the only country engaging in national elections this year: at least 64 other countries will be choosing leaders as well. Already, millions of people have voted in elections in Bangladesh (January 7), Taiwan (January 13), Finland (January 28), El Salvador (February 4), Pakistan (February 8), and Indonesia (February 14). In the coming months, citizens in many other nations will cast ballots.

As Christians, we recognize that participating in elections is a stewardship and an opportunity to love our neighbors in a practical way. Since the outcome of these elections will affect the rights and livelihoods of so many people, Christians ought to pray that those participating in the political process make wise choices.

Africa

South Africa will hold its general election on May 29. Observers expect it will be the most competitive election in that country since the end of Apartheid. Additionally, many analysts predict that the governing African National Congress will lose its parliamentary majority for the first time since 1994. With unemployment and poverty on voters’ minds, incumbent president Cyril Ramaphosa faces a challenging re-election campaign.

Other countries with elections include Togo (legislative, April 13), Ghana (general, December 7), Botswana, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, and Somaliland.

Asia

This spring, voters in India will decide whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be elected for a third term. Modi’s party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, is popular and holds the most seats in the Indian Parliament.

On April 10, South Korea will hold legislative elections that will determine the composition of the 300-seat National Assembly. President Yoon Suk Yeol (elected in 2022) is hoping his conservative People Power Party, currently the second largest party in the National Assembly, will wrest control from the more liberal Democratic Party of Korea.

Americas

On June 2, Mexican citizens will participate in a general election to pick a new president and legislature. Incumbent president Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who is ineligible for a second term, has endorsed former Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum as his successor. Sheinbaum is a member of Mexico’s more liberal party and is competing against Xóchitl Gálvez, the leader of a center-right coalition.

Other countries with elections include Panama (general, May 5), the Dominican Republic (general, May 19), and Uruguay (general, October 27).

Europe

The European Parliament, the legislative body of the European Union (EU), will hold its quinquennial election on June 6-9. All 720 seats are up for election. With an estimated 400 million eligible voters, the election will be the largest transnational election in the world. It will also be the EU’s first parliamentary election since the United Kingdom’s exit in 2020. Many pollsters are predicting a strong showing by conservative parties, an outcome that would dramatically affect the EU’s political landscape.

European countries with elections this year include Portugal (legislative, March 10), Slovakia (presidential, March 23), Lithuania (presidential, May 12), Georgia (general, November 5), Croatia (general, TBD), and Romania (presidential, TBD).

Expected Elections

In addition to these confirmed elections, other nations expected to hold elections in 2024 include Austria (legislative), Jordan (legislative), Moldova (presidential), Syria (legislative), and Uzbekistan (legislative).

Worth noting is that Russia is also scheduled to hold a presidential election in March, although observers expect President Vladimir Putin to win upwards of 90% of the vote in an election a Kremlin spokesman conceded “is not really democracy.” Additionally, it is possible that the United Kingdom will hold its general election this fall, with polls indicating the ruling Conservative Party may lose 10 Downing Street to the Labour Party for the first time in 14 years.

In short, 2024 has already proved itself to be a consequential election year. By the year’s conclusion, nearly half of the world’s population will have seen a national election take place in their country. As hundreds of millions of people participate in these elections, Christians should commit to praying for voters as well as the leaders who will take office.

In an interconnected world, what happens in one country inevitably affects another. Elections matter because people matter, and the 2024 elections will undoubtedly affect an untold number of people. Thus, until King Jesus returns, Christians should pray, vote, and engage with politics, remembering that faithfulness, not results, is how we will ultimately be judged.

FRC intern Natalie Spaulding contributed research for this article.

AUTHOR

David Closson

David Closson is Director of the Center for Biblical Worldview at Family Research Council.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

4 Biblical Principles to Inform Immigration Policy

The ongoing crisis at the southern border remains a top concern for voters in the 2024 election and on Capitol Hill. Recent disagreements over the Senate’s border deal and the House impeachment of DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas underscore the range of opinions — good, bad, and ugly — on securing the border and demonstrate how even likeminded legislators can disagree about the best approach.

God’s Word instructs Christians to be “transformed by the renewal of your mind.” In part, this means that a Christian’s thoughts about every issue should be shaped and informed by a biblical worldview. Christians will not necessarily agree on issues that call for the application of wisdom, or to which Scripture does not speak clearly. However, applying biblical principles can at least enable us to rule out patently unbiblical ideas and approach much closer to a prudent outcome.

Immigration policy is just such a wisdom issue. While the Bible has a lot to say on the subject, it doesn’t clearly define what is a “moral” immigration policy. However, it does provide clear principles that can help to inform our approach to immigration policy. In pursuit of biblical wisdom on immigration, here are four applicable biblical principles.

1. All people are made in the image of God.

Scripture teaches that “God created man in his own image” (Genesis 1:27). Bearing God’s image endows every human being with inherent dignity, which cannot be taken away through economic hardship, social isolation, moral corruption, or anything else.

God himself applies this foundational truth as an argument against murder in Genesis 9:6, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.” Where human justice fails, God himself will exact justice on those who wickedly destroy the precious life of a fellow image-bearer. He warned, “from his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man” (Genesis 9:5).

Due to the self-centered corruption of human nature, human justice most often fails in cases where the victim is vulnerable, whether through physical weakness, economic poverty, or social isolation. God most especially promises to look out for those who have no one else to look out for them. In the agricultural economy of ancient Israel, that included orphans, widows, and sojourners. Thus, we read that God not only “watches over” and “upholds” the vulnerable (Psalm 146:9), but also that “He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing” (Deuteronomy 10:18).

In response to God’s concern for the vulnerable, the Mosaic covenant instructed Israel to care for them, but most of the applications were personal rather than corporate. The Mosaic law’s only government-oriented directive concerning sojourners, in particular, is, “You shall not pervert the justice due to the sojourner” (Deuteronomy 24:17, see Deuteronomy 27:19). Of course, perverting justice is always wrong.

In lieu of a state-run welfare system, individual Israelites were instructed not to reap the gleanings of their grape and grain harvests, but “leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:10, 23:22, see Deuteronomy 24:19-21). It was assumed that sojourners would be welcomed into their homes (Leviticus 25:6, see Job 31:32), share in their feasts (Deuteronomy 16:14), and benefit from their tithes, “that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands that you do” (Deuteronomy 14:29).

Again, these directives did not stipulate a national immigration policy, but rather instructed individual Israelites to treat individual immigrants who dwelt near them as human beings, ensuring that care was taken for their basic needs. While the details might look different in a different society, organized around a different type of economy, the underlying principle, rooted as it is in a recognition of human dignity as image-bearers, carries forward to our day more or less intact.

However, the Bible gives no indication how much of this principle applies to governments. Thus, likeminded Christians will likely disagree, for instance, on how much responsibility the U.S. government bears for caring for the humanitarian needs of migrants who appear at the southern border in the middle of a vast desert.

2. All people are sojourners.

God paired commands to “love the sojourner,” “not wrong a sojourner,” and “not oppress a sojourner” with a reminder to the Israelites that, “you were sojourners in the land of Egypt” (Exodus 22:21, 23:9, Deuteronomy 10:19). The principle behind the argument appears to be this: you should have compassion on the sojourner because you know what it’s like to be one. Obviously, most of us have never been sojourners in Egypt, so there isn’t a direct correlation.

However, in a more general sense, we are all sojourners. Near the end of his life, King David confessed to God, “We are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding” (1 Chronicles 29:15). The span of our lives is brief, compared to eternity — so brief that an elderly David could say he was just passing through (something repeated in Psalms 39:12 and 119:19). The argument held true under the Mosaic law (Leviticus 25:23) and for both patriarchal (Hebrews 11:13-14) and new covenant (1 Peter 2:11) believers.

Admittedly, traveling through this life to eternity is not the same thing as leaving one’s homeland behind to live in another country. Many of us have an established family, home, church, job, community, and reputation; migrants crossing the border have none of those things (unless they brought their family with them).

But surely there are ways in which we can — or should be able to — sympathize with their plight. We, too, are vulnerable to death, disease, unemployment, crime, and injustice, despite our perceived security. So, the application of this principle is less direct, but that doesn’t mean it is no longer operative.

The application of this principle is so similar to the first I was tempted to combine them (but decided to keep them separate because they are based on distinct reasons). In fact, Moses combined them in Leviticus 19:33-34, “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”

Again, the command to not oppress a sojourner is primarily directed at individuals, as are the condemnation against the wicked who do oppress sojourners (see Psalm 94:6, Jeremiah 7:6, Ezekiel 22:7, Malachi 3:5). How much of it applies to government policy on a border thousands of miles away is a matter of wisdom.

3. Laws apply equally to all people.

A third biblical principle is that laws apply equally to all people — including sojourners. This is stated clearly in Leviticus 24:22, “You shall have the same rule for the sojourner and for the native, for I am the Lord your God.” God is just, and justice involves treating like things alike and unlike things differently. The implication of this principle is, when it comes to applications of moral law, all human beings are alike, no matter where they come from.

The immediate context of this statement (Leviticus 24:10-23) concerned punishments for blasphemy, murder, destruction of property, and personal injury. The principle also appeared in prohibitions against sexual immorality (Leviticus 18:26), child sacrifice (Leviticus 20:2), eating blood (Leviticus 17:11-15), and idolatry (Ezekiel 14:7-8). It appeared in the fourth commandment’s command to rest on the Sabbath (Exodus 20:10, Deuteronomy 5:14). It applied to due process rights for involuntary manslaughter (Numbers 35:15, Joshua 20:9), purification rituals (Numbers 19:10), and the curses and blessings of the covenant (Joshua 8:33).

America has different laws than ancient Israel, but there is no reason why the same general principle shouldn’t still hold true: laws should apply to all people, and no one should be exempt from the effects of the law.

Currently, U.S. law only allows people to enter the country with proper paperwork at legal points of entry, with an exception for those who can prove a legitimate claim for asylum. U.S. law further stipulates that those who enter the country illegally must be detained until the outcome of their case is determined. While all U.S. citizens and residents of some other countries can obtain the proper paperwork, the law puts restrictions on how many citizens of other countries may receive authorization to enter the United States.

Christians can have different opinions about whether current U.S. immigration law is just or unjust, prudent or imprudent, acceptable or in desperate need of reform. What they should be able to agree on is that, unless a law is flagrantly immoral, that law ought to be observed and enforced equally on all people until it is amended.

4. Government has a duty to protect.

The Bible teaches that the government has a duty to protect its people from those who would attack and harm them. A wicked ruler is “like a roaring lion or a charging bear,” tearing and devouring, consuming for his own benefit. A good ruler acts like a good shepherd, delivering his flock from the lion and bear (1 Samuel 17:34-35). If necessary, he even “lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11).

This duty of protection is a function of all God-given authority, if used well, from a husband and father’s duty to protect his family from destitution, to a pastor’s duty to protect the church from false teachers, to an employer’s duty to protect the well-being of his employees.

The duty of protection is particularly applicable to temporal government, whose rulers “bear the sword” and protect in the most literal sense (Romans 13:4). When God established rulers over his people — first judges and then kings — protecting the people of Israel from foreign enemies was a major part of their job description.

That same duty to protect also applies to governments of modern nations. That is the whole purpose of militaries and police forces. That is also the purpose of patrolling the border and constructing barriers along it. Border Patrol does not exist to help foreigners enter the country; it exists to keep out foreigners who want to harm Americans.

Given the dangerous world we live in, it’s not difficult to imagine people who fall into this category. Cartels traffic deadly opioids across the border, not to mention human beings. Extremist terrorist organizations send agents to kill and injure Americans in mass casualty events. Agents of foreign governments cross into the country, to spy if not to do worse.

Conclusion

These biblical principles are just the tip of the iceberg. They barely begin to address questions like: is immigration good or bad? Does the government have an obligation to consider the hazards run by migrants before they even reach our border? How much assimilation is required?

However, I pray that they provide a starting point to help you, dear reader, inform your outlook on immigration policy with a biblical worldview, instead of just accepting the un-nuanced opinions peddled in the world. I pray that they help you engage others on the issue in a wise and loving way and leave room for differences of opinion on tertiary issues, in favor of unity on the main thing, the gospel of Jesus Christ.

AUTHOR

Joshua Arnold

Joshua Arnold is a senior writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

4 Biblical Ways to ‘Counter the Deception’ Rampant in Modern Media

“Even the AP is acknowledging that there is deception” in modern media, said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, host of “Washington Watch,” on Wednesday. Perkins referenced an Associated Press headline published on January 31, which read, “Grave peril of digital conspiracy theories: ‘What happens when no one believes anything anymore?’” That’s “a very profound question,” said Perkins, but he added that the AP failed to “get to the real problem and the source or the solution.”

The nearly 3,000-word article “focused on bloggers and others using the internet” to spread or adopt conspiracy theories, said Perkins. With a predictable skew toward right-fringe conspiracy theories, the article featured everything from QAnon and 2020 election claims, to government complicity in the Maui wildfires and the Sandy Hook school shooting.

On one hand, technology is a tool that cuts both ways, Perkins acknowledged. “Today’s technology … has benefits such as allowing you to watch or listen to ‘Washington Watch’ on a device you carry in your pocket. It also allows the false prophets to amplify their message with what today we might call conspiracy theories or fake news,” he said. David Closson, director of FRC’s Center for Biblical Worldview concurred. “Someone can fire something off on social media and it can make it around the world … before there’s even a chance to do a fact check.”

On the other hand, “the legacy media is a part of this problem,” Perkins argued. “The reason [people are] susceptible” to conspiracy theories is “because [the legacy media] were the first ones that rejected truth and therefore set the stage for these conspiracy theories to prosper.” As the media becomes less trustworthy, they are shocked to find a corresponding decrease in people trusting the media.

“The media and journalists of all stripes really have had such a casual relationship with the truth,” agreed Closson, “or worse, … even suppressed legitimate news.” On some networks like CNN, he said he can’t even trust “the premise of some of their arguments when [in] the previous segment, you know, they’re using preferred pronouns.” At The New York Times, staffers complained internally that an article on detransitioners created “a hostile work environment for the queer people who work here.” Readers will surely recall their own encounters with mainstream media outlets choosing narrative over news.

People eschewing the legacy media for alternate sources of information represents an existential crisis to those outlets, and they have responded accordingly. Last month, a Washington Post analyst known for favoring false narratives over true ones concluded that ordinary Americans shouldn’t do their own research. Ironically, the study he relied upon actually demonstrated that the cottage industry of fact-checking has become so subjective that fact-checkers agree on what is disinformation less than half the time.

The AP article, which extended a multi-part series on the rising threat of conspiracy theories, noted with alarm that the increase in conspiracy theories corresponds to a decrease in authority, institutions, and the mainstream media. “And even when they fail to convince people,” they wrote, “the conspiracy theories embraced by these groups contribute to mounting distrust of authorities and democratic institutions, causing people to reject reliable sources of information while encouraging division and suspicion.”

“When you have a breakdown in authority … especially in media, … you sow the seeds on fertile ground for these conspiracy theories to thrive,” Closson warned. He pointed to a 2023 Gallup poll which, for 11 out of 16 public institutions they asked about, found “the lowest level of confidence that [the public has] had in 40 years.”

“We live in a time when people simply don’t trust institutions,” said Closson. “Nor should they, given where we are,” Perkins argued. “When you have people denying the revealed truth that is so fundamental — male and female, the institution of marriage … these people are not worthy to be trusted or followed.”

Closson pointed out that conspiracy theories and misinformation have been around for a long time, “really since the beginning of time,” beginning with the serpent in the garden. “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” the serpent said to Eve (Genesis 3:1). There, the serpent challenged the truth of God’s Word, “sowing doubt, sowing confusion,” said Closson, and Adam and Eve swallowed the lie. “Ever since then, we’ve lived in some sort of a post-truth world.”

However, Closson added, conspiracy theories seem to be gaining more traction now because of America’s culture-wide rejection of truth. “Even in our churches, we’re not immune from these things,” he lamented. He cited research FRC commissioned in 2023 that found “48% of regular church goers say that they don’t believe in absolute moral truth, … a basic tenet of a biblical worldview.”

“Deception comes when we depart from truth,” Perkins responded. He cited Paul’s warning to the Thessalonians about the age of lawlessness, which would bring “all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12). “We should take that as an indication that these latter days are going to be filled with deception,” said Perkins.

Perkins and Closson identified four ways that Christians should respond to the epidemic of deception poisoning America’s media, public discourse, and even the church. In a refreshing contrast to America’s prevailing buffet of lies, they served up courses of hearty, wholesome truth — all of which were grounded in God’s infallible Word.

1. Don’t Be Led Astray

The Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24-25) opened with Jesus’s disciples asking him to teach them about “the sign of your coming and of the end of the age” (Matthew 24:3). Jesus answered, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray” (Matthew 24:4-5). Paul, having learned from Jesus, later issued similar instructions to the Thessalonians, “Let no one deceive you in any way” (2 Thessalonians 2:3). In other words, the latter times would feature many anti-Christ deceivers peddling counterfeit gospels, and Jesus wanted his followers to be on their guard.

These instructions from our Lord were the “first words out of his mouth,” Perkins noted, after quoting the passage. “You see, Jesus warns his followers to be on guard against deception and those who will peddle deception. … So, repeatedly he says, ‘Don’t be deceived.’”

Jesus had already warned his followers against deception. “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves,” said Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:15). Closson quoted these words and added that Jesus gave “a litmus test” by which to recognize false teachers: “You will recognize them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16). He endorsed applying this litmus test to “the people reporting the news. Let’s recognize them by their fruit.”

In a culture of confusion and lies, Christian, don’t be led astray by false teachers.

2. Don’t Be Alarmed

Jesus proceeded to instruct his disciples, “See that you are not alarmed” (Matthew 24:6). Jesus foretold wars, calamities, persecutions — intense trials that could throw Christians off-balance. Nevertheless, Jesus instructed his followers that these things must happen, preparing them beforehand to remember that God is sovereign over all things.

Paul repeated this instruction, too. “Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-2).

“We should not be surprised,” said Perkins, who quoted from Matthew 24. “Jesus warned us over and over … that this was going to occur.”

3. Return to the Truth

Christians must also “go back to the truth,” as an antidote to the epidemic of deception, said Closson. “We need to stand on God’s word …, which is our ultimate source of truth” (see John 17:17). “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

“We should put our confidence in that which does not change,” Perkins agreed. He added, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever [Hebrews 13:8]. The Word of God does not change.” Jesus also said this on the Mount of Olives, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”

Perkins applied this truth to the moments in which we’re tempted to believe a lie, especially one that questions God’s Word (“Did God really say?”). Our response, he said, should be, “‘Well, wait a minute. Let me check. Let me go back to the source.’ … You go back to the source. That’s how you counter the deception.”

Perkins argued that American Christians should use their access to the source of truth to counter the deception of the evil one in the public square. “We have the ability, here in the United States, to use the freedoms that we still have to advocate for others. We have the ability to expose these things that are occurring in the end times that Jesus warned about,” he said. “He said they were coming, I think, to prepare us so that we could stand against the evil.” Invoking Matthew 24:12, “Because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold,” Perkins urged, “We have to act on legitimate information we have, so that we can be the salt and light that allows the gospel to go forth.”

4. Use Discernment

Countering error with truth is not always simple, which is “why we need discernment,” said Closson, “today more than we have ever needed it.” When Jesus first sent his disciples out into the world, he told them to “be wise as serpents and innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16), he quoted. Additionally, Jesus quoted the greatest commandment in the law, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37).

Using discernment is easier said than done, but Perkins and Closson discussed several helpful tips for evaluating the news:

A. Pause and Pray

“The first step that I would take when I see something on the social media or the news, is just take a pause,” said Closson. “There’s the impulse that we like to know everything at once. In a social media age, we’re used to getting our news instantaneously. And so I think we need to slow down. We need to pray.”

“You don’t have to be the first one to pass [a news article] on,” Perkins concurred. Because here’s what happens when you do that. Most of these [conspiracy theories] are exposed within time. If you’re associated with that, you lose credibility among your friends.”

So, counseled Perkins, “Resist this temptation to forward it on or to post it or embrace it. … Pray over it. Just have discernment.”

B. Read Critically

Second, “Don’t believe anything you see just because you see it in print,” said Closson. Perkins put the same concept in different words, “Be careful what you read online. Be careful about just forwarding something on” without considering first if it’s true.

As part of this step, Christians should compare what they read in the news to what the Bible says, Perkins advised.

In the same discourse, Jesus predicted, “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. … Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. … And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray” (Matthew 24:7, 9, 11).

“When you hear those things happening,” we know that “the Scripture says, ‘Yeah, those things are going to happen,’” said Perkins. “So, we can say, ‘Well, all right, this lines up with what Jesus said was going to be happening. Let’s go the next step and validate and verify the source.’”

C. Corroborate Information

“It’s always good to corroborate. If you see something on social media, don’t just assume it’s true,” Closson said. “Don’t forward the email to a friend. Don’t forward the post, but corroborate it. Go to some valid news organizations.”

Closson recommended Family Research Council’s own news organization, The Washington Stand, noting that it has “a whole team of reporters” dedicated to “coming at [the news] from a biblical worldview.” This means that they are “trying to connect it to Scripture, trying to connect it to facts, objective truth, things that are reportable, things that can be verified.”

Perkins suggested a “rule of thumb” that “anything you see that is detached from a specific, reliable news or organizational site like The Washington Stand, … don’t trust it if it’s not connected to a site that it can be verified.”

One way to find reliable news is to “get as close to the source as you can,” said Perkins. “That’s why we bring you the actual news makers. We go right to the source. We’re not, you know, reporting on what someone else said.” That’s one reason why social media is an unreliable place to peruse the news; it’s far removed from the source.

D. Be Honest

Everyone is liable to make mistakes. This is even easier in a rapidly changing news environment, where first reports often turn out to be wrong, misleading, or at least lacking critical information. The question is, how do we respond when we make mistakes?

Perkins exhorted “Washington Watch” listeners to be honest. “I do my very best to make sure that everything we say here is validated and it’s true,” he said. “And, if we do get something wrong, I’m going to take ownership of that, and I’m going to correct it when we find out.”

“So,” Closson summarized, “prayer, discernment, corroborating objectivity — all of these things, I think, ought to mark a Christian as they take in, read, understand, and share the news.” Christians should speak the truth in love, which means we should not be led astray or alarmed, but stand firm on the Word of God, the only infallible source of truth. To accurately handle the Word of truth amid a culture of deception, Christians must navigate with all discernment, never losing sight of him who is “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).

AUTHOR

Joshua Arnold

Joshua Arnold is a senior writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Christian and Jewish Leaders Condemn ‘Political, Spiritual Persecution’ of Paivi Rasanen

An interfaith coalition has offered prayers of solidarity to two evangelical Christians facing their third trial for declaring that homosexuality violates the Bible, a position prosecutors call “War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity.”

Despite two unanimous acquittals, Finland’s state prosecutor has taken an elderly member of parliament and a Lutheran bishop before the Supreme Court to answer for their traditional Christian beliefs on sexuality. Dr. Päivi Räsänen, who has served in parliament for 29 years, and Bishop Juhana Pohjola of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland (ELMDF), are facing “spiritual persecution” for upholding the Scripture, said a letter signed by dozens of Christian and Jewish leaders.

“Once again you face unjust charges. For almost half a decade, you have confronted targeted legal harassment for simply living out your Christian faith, the direct result of not just political persecution but also spiritual persecution,” says the letter, which was led by Advancing American Freedom and released today. “Now, despite twice being unanimously declared not guilty at the Helsinki District Court and the Helsinki Court of Appeals, the prosecutor has filed another appeal, potentially forcing a third trial at Finland’s Supreme Court.”

Authorities have centered their legal case on a five-year-old social media post made by the MP, a member of the Christian Democrats Party, asking why her Lutheran church body would take part in an LGBT “Pride 2019” event. The post on Twitter, now X, included a photo of Romans 1:24-27, which clarifies that homosexual behavior is sinful.

Two years later, in April 2021, prosecutors charged Räsänen and Pohjola with “agitation against a minority” under the nation’s law against “War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity.” Police arrested Räsänen and subjected her to 13 hours of police interrogation before her trial. Prosecutors dubbed the Bible verses in her tweet, a booklet the two wrote in 2004 expounding on biblical doctrine titled “Male and Female He Created Them: Homosexual Relations Challenge the Christian Concept of Humanity,” as well as comments Räsänen made on the radio in December 2019 as “hate speech.”

Räsänen and Pohjola were first acquitted by the Helsinki District Court on March 30, 2022. The three-judge panel ruled that prosecutors had violated the Christians’ right to freedom of expression contained in Section 12 of the Finnish Constitution, as well as noting the thorny legal questions posed if secular judges begin ruling on matters of religious doctrine. “It is not for the district court to interpret biblical concepts,” the court declared.

But within days, then-Prosecutor General Raija Toiviainen appealed the charges. Räsänen then faced a two-day trial last August 31-September 1. The Court of Appeals unanimously acquitted MP Räsänen and Bishop Pohjola on November 14, 2023. Under the law, social media posts must be intended to offend, and “there must be an overriding social reason for interfering with and restricting freedom of expression,” they ruled. The judges ordered the state to pay both defendants’ legal fees.

Finland’s current state prosecutor appealed the dismissal once again earlier this month.

“It is shocking that the Finnish state prosecutor has decided to target MP Räsänen for a third time, because she politely expressed her religious beliefs in public,” Arielle Del Turco, director of the Center for Religious Liberty at Family Research Council — and who signed the letter — told The Washington Stand. “So far, the Finnish courts have been clear in affirming Räsänen’s right to express her religious beliefs. However, the process of being dragged through court is often the punishment itself.”

The thirst to continually prosecute the grandmother of 10 exposes the government’s intolerance and malice toward traditional Christian viewpoints, said Paul Coleman, executive director of ADF International, which is supporting Räsänen’s legal defense. “Dragging people through the courts for years, subjecting them to hour-long police interrogations, and wasting taxpayer money to police people’s deeply held beliefs has no place in a democratic society,” said Coleman. “As is so often the case in ‘hate speech’ trials, the process has become the punishment.”

The U.S. letter offers “prayers and encouragement” to the embattled pair “on behalf of the millions of Americans who support freedom of speech and freedom of religion.”

The letter assures that “you do not stand alone,” because “each one of us stands alongside you,” note its writers. “We are watching, and we are praying for you. The world is watching, and the world is praying for you.”

The signatories hope their fellow believers, and all those who value freedom of conscience and expression, will make that promise real as the West falls progressively under the sway of illiberal secular repression. “Christians around the world should continue to pray for and voice their support for MP Räsänen,” said Del Turco.

The faith leaders signing the letter include Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, former U.S. Senator Sam Brownback, former U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, former Ambassador Ken Blackwell, and Rabbi Yaakov Menken of the Coalition for Jewish Values, among many others.

The Lutheran pair’s case also attracted high-level support from Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), who named Räsänen, detransitioner Chloe Cole, collegiate swimming record-holder Riley Gaines, and concerned parent Scott Smith his personal “heroes” at FRC’s 2023 Pray Vote Stand Summit. “She gives you hope,” said Roy. “She gives you a belief that we can stand up and stand athwart that kind of tyranny.”

Räsänen has reflected on the words of Jesus to rejoice in suffering, taking pride that each trial has allowed her to quote and explain the Bible’s teachings in depth.

“After my full exoneration in two courts, I’m not afraid of a hearing before the Supreme Court,” said Räsänen. An “acquittal from the Supreme Court would set an even stronger positive precedent for everyone’s right to free speech and religion. And if the court decided to overturn the lower courts’ acquittals, I am ready to defend freedom of speech and religion as far as the European Court of Human Rights.”

The letter reads in full:

To the Honorable Päivi Räsänen, M.D. and the Reverend Dr. Juhana Pohjola,

We have been following your case since 2019 and on behalf of the millions of Americans who support freedom of speech and freedom of religion, we write to show our support for you in these trying times and to offer our prayers and encouragement.

Once again you face unjust charges. For almost half a decade, you have confronted targeted legal harassment for simply living out your Christian faith, the direct result of not just political persecution but also spiritual persecution. Now, despite twice being unanimously declared not guilty at the Helsinki District Court and the Helsinki Court of Appeals, the prosecutor has filed another appeal, potentially forcing a third trial at Finland’s Supreme Court.

We are watching and we are praying for you. The world is watching, and the world is praying for you. As you once again prepare to stand trial for freedom of speech and freedom of religion, know that you do not stand alone. Rather, each one of us stands alongside you, praying and encouraging you along the way.

Sincerely,

Paul Teller, Executive Director, Advancing American Freedom
Frank Wolf, Former Member, U.S. Congress
Ambassador Sam Brownback, Co-Chair, International Religious Freedom Summit
Dr. Gregory P. Seltz, Executive Director, The Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty
Eric Patterson, Executive Director, Religious Freedom Institute
Tony Perkins, President and former Chair, Family Research Council and US CIRF
Ken Blackwell, Former U.S. Ambassador, United Nations Human Rights Commission
Maureen Blum, Executive Director, Catholics Count
Nina Shea, Senior Scholar and Director, Center for Religious Freedom, Hudson Institute
Douglas D. Punke, Senior Pastor, Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne, Indiana
Bunni Pounds, President, Christians Engaged
Rabbi Yaakov Menken, Managing Director, Coalition for Jewish Values
McKenna Wendt, Advocacy Manager, International Christian
Arielle Del Turco, Director of the Center for Religious Liberty, Family Research Council
Charlie Gerow, CEO, Quantum Communications
Robert F. Schwarzwalder, Jr., Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, Honors College, Regent University
Bethany Kozma, CEO, Keystone Policy
Robert K. Fisher, Meeting Coordinator, Conservatives of Faith
Kelly Monroe Kullberg, General Secretary, American Association of Evangelicals
C. Preston Noell III, President, Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.
David Kullberg, Co-Founder, Scandinavian American Gospel Alliance
Richard A. Vigurie, Chairman, FedUpPac.org
Jason Poblete, Esq., President, Global Liberty Alliance
Eunie Smith, President, Eagle Forum of Alabama
Melissa Ortiz, Founder, Capability Consulting
Dran Reese, President, Salt and Light Council
Saulius “Saul” Anuzis, President, 60 Plus Association
James L. Martin, Founder/Chairman, 60 Plus Association
John Suarez, Executive Director, Center for a Free Cuba
Nancy Schulze, National Strategic Director, Physicians for Reform

AUTHOR

Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

The Bible Calls Us to Pursue Both Holiness and Love, Not One or the Other

The concept of “religion vs. relationship” is something we bring up in evangelism all the time. It’s meant to emphasize that one can be religious without ever developing a real relationship with God, which is very important to share with an unbeliever. However, I believe it’s just as important to remind the believer of this exact same truth.

I don’t think the concept of “religion vs. relationship” was only meant to be used in evangelism. Rather, Christians should continuously be mindful that they’re demonstrating faith that reflects a relationship rather than mere religion. I want to bring awareness to the cruciality of balancing holiness and love in our walk with Christ. Without acknowledging this balance we ought to strive for, we risk misrepresenting Christ with either too much holiness and not enough love, or too much love and not enough holiness.

Often, it’s those who do have a relationship with God that fall victim to acting “religious” rather than faithful whether they realize it or not. I believe there are two main factors that hurt our witness. And what are those factors? I’m glad you asked.

1. The Pursuit of Holiness at the Expense of Love (John 13:34)

In the New Testament, we see this in the Pharisees. They’re often referred to as legalists for being so educated in religiosity that they were completely blind to the Messiah in their midst. And to think, it was at the hands of “religious” people that God incarnate was hung on the tree.

Now, the legalism seen in the Pharisees is not necessarily what I am referring to as the issue today. The danger we face now is more inconspicuous, as it often occurs under the umbrella of good intentions. Legalism still occurs, but it’s observed in a different light. Unlike the Pharisees, whose legalism was rooted in hypocrisy and a lack of love, Christians today face a sort of legalism that overrides love.

According to Jesus in Matthew 22:36-40, the two greatest commandments are “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart … soul and … mind” and “love thy neighbor as thyself.” Arguably, the Pharisees violated both commands as most did not possess a genuine love for God, much less their neighbor. But we face an issue today where people want to obey God and the first greatest commandment that they forget the equal significance of living out the latter.

This can be the Christian parent who has a son claiming to identify as gay, but instead of loving that child and continuing to share the gospel with them, the parent kicks the child out of the home and cuts off all communication. Of course, the practice of homosexuality is sinful (Romans 1), but it lacks love to abandon that person, thus depriving them of your godly influence. At the same time, loving an individual involved in homosexuality should never mean that we affirm them in their sin, such as attending a Pride parade. This distinction is vital, so I pray you see the drastic difference.

Another example is Scripture’s command not to be unequally yoked. The modern legalist may avoid interactions with unbelievers as much as possible in fear of being influenced by them. However, this isn’t biblically accurate. We’re called to be equally yoked in marriage, and our closest friends should be our brothers and sisters in Christ, but it’s impossible to fulfill the Great Commission if we have no contact with the unconverted. Jesus spent His time during His earthly ministry with some of the “worst” of that time, including tax collectors, prostitutes, and lepers. Why? Because He came to seek and save the lost. This objective has not changed.

The problem with this category of Christian is that they want to pursue holiness, but they do so at the expense of love. And this is a problem, because love, as it pertains to God and others, is a distinction of the Christian faith, and heavily emphasized throughout Scripture. It’s central to our witness of the gospel. It’s what God is (1 John 4:16).

We are in the world, but not of the world. We need guidance to know what it looks like to be secure enough in Christ to love those who live like the world — people we are called to interact with in love. If you wrestle with this, or know someone who does, my first suggestion would be to observe the way Jesus lived His earthly life, as He is the perfect example of obedience in love.

2. The Pursuit of Love at the Expense of Holiness (1 Peter 1:15-16)

The second issue that creeps into the church is on the opposite side of the spectrum, but it hurts our witness all the same. Rather than pursuing holiness at the expense of love, some Christians pursue love at the expense of holiness.

I’m not referencing liberal theology that advocates for the world’s definition of “love.” This is about the Christian who strives to love others the way Christ loves. All believers are called to do this, and I know for a fact these Christians get the message. But where the legalist goes to the extreme, those in this category fall short.

When we study God, we see His sovereignty, holiness, and perfection. We learn how deeply sin offends a holy God, and this kind of knowledge leads to an increase in reverence for God, which should lead to an obedience of His Word that shapes our lives.

The Christian who pursues love at the expense of holiness obeys in loving their neighbor, but their actions don’t reflect loving God by heeding the call to righteous living. Rather, biblical doctrine is avoided because it’s “too divisive” and “we just need to love.” This is the Christian who has friends who identify as LGBT, but never shares the gospel with them. Or the one who wants to prove that they love their neighbor by going to that party they were invited to only to overindulge like everyone else. This is the Christian everyone knows is a Christian because they go to church, but their actions are hardly distinct from the world around them.

They have the loving others part down, but loving God means our lives will look different. To walk in love and holiness means we’ll be loving but also known for saying “no” when it violates Scripture. Love is necessary, but it was never meant to snuff out our pursuit of holiness. Being a Christian was never meant to be easy. And if you believe otherwise, that didn’t come from the Bible. The true gospel offends the unconverted, and we will be hated for it by many (John 15:18).

It’s easy to shy away from holiness because the holier our lives become, the more we are considered hateful, intolerant, or bigoted. Some Christians fear that opposing and exposing sin will make them seem unloving or “too religious.” They just want to prove that “not all Christians are like that.” But the reality is it’s not loving to others or God to hold back the truth.

So, yes, we need to love the unconverted, but that love is void without the truth accompanying it in both word and deed. Again, if you or someone you know wrestles with this, Jesus provides the perfect example of someone who is loving and perfectly holy. Obviously, a standard we will fall short of in this life, but one we should pursue nonetheless.

Hebrews 12:14b states, “Without holiness no one will see the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 says that of faith, hope, and love, love is the greatest. Both are greatly emphasized in Scripture. Or as Pastor Jonathan Leeman said, “Holiness and love are mutually implicating and work in concert, not in opposition.” It’s not one or the other. It never was, and it never will be. Neither love nor holiness can be separated from God, so they shouldn’t be within us either. This balance of love and holiness distinguishes God, the gospel, and Christians from everything the world and its religions offer.

It’s easy to pursue honoring God in an incomplete fashion. But to demonstrate the truth more completely, it must be done where mercy and grace, accountability and compassion, and holiness and love come together.

AUTHOR

Sarah Holliday

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.

RELATED ARTICLE: A People of the News: Evangelicals, Politics, and the Media

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

How Do We Test for Truth?

Distortions, exaggerations, and outright lies plague the internet. State-sponsored disinformation from countries like China and Russia is about as common as lint in the dryer. Major corporations, politicians of both parties, and even mom-and-pop corner stores all too often succumb to the allure of deception for the sake of profit or a competative edge.

The battle for truth is, ultimately, a spiritual issue. We rationalize dishonesty even as we assuage our guilt with beliefs that soothe without saving. From “You be you” to “Truth is what you feel,” we’re awash in competing claims about God, meaning, and inner peace. Truth claims, including the assertion that there is no truth, call out like the seductive woman of Proverbs 5. Her lips “drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil,” Solomon tells us, “but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.” So with the falsehoods swirling throughout our culture — appealing, calming, and deadly.

Christians serve One Who claimed He was “the truth” and follow a book that asserts its own divine inspiration (John 14:6, II Timothy 3:16). It’s important to remember that our faith in these claims is grounded not in wishful thinking but credible fact and argument.

First, the Bible is full of historical information that can be verified. For example, as documented by Old Testament scholar John D. Currid, “In 1868, a missionary in Jerusalem found a stone tablet for sale that appeared to be from ancient times. … On the tablet is a text written in Moabite dating to the ninth century BC.” Currid reports that the first line of the table reads, “I am Mesha son of Chemosh, king of Moab.” What’s especially noteworthy is that the tablet records Mesha’s account of a war he fought with Israel. In 850 B.C., Moab rebelled against Israel’s northern kingdom, an event recounted in II Kings 3.

The New Testament is also filled with reliable historical references and events. Purdue University professor Lawrence Mykytiuk has confirmed 30 New Testament figures “who can be identified in the archaeological record and extra-biblical writings.” As Tim McGrew of Western Michigan University documents, the Book of Acts alone contains literally scores of references to people, places, and events that are found in extra-biblical sources or that can still be found in the ruins of the eastern Mediterranean region.

In sum, no one can point to Scripture and dismiss its texts as founded in hearsay or third-hand reports. Similarly, the internal consistency of the Bible is astonishing, not only in what it claims about time-and-space matters but in the view of God, the universe, humanity, and redemption it presents from Genesis to Revelation. David Dockery, former president of Union University and now at Southwestern Baptist Seminary, argues that “there is a definite Christian view of things, which has a character, coherence, and unity of its own, and stands in sharp contrast with counter theories and speculations.” Dockery writes that the “Christian worldview has the stamp of reason and reality and can stand the test of history and experience. A Christian view of the world cannot be infringed upon, accepted or rejected piecemeal, but stands or falls on its integrity.”

This does not mean there are not things in the Bible that are hard to grasp. But mystery and contradiction are two different things, and an extraordinary claim is not the same thing as an illogical claim. God does not disclose everything about Himself or His plan for the world, but these things make the claims of Scripture no less true.

The Christian “lens” through which we see reality enables us to make the most sense of what we observe and experience of any philosophy or faith. As C.S. Lewis wrote, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen not only because I see it but because by it I see everything else.”

Finally, the pattern of life envisioned and encouraged in Scripture leads to human flourishing. Unlike other religions or philosophical systems, Christianity does not demand exotic forms of worship, soul-deadening stoicism, or adventures into the occult. It deals with life as it is, in the practical Tuesday afternoon realities of life. It offers joy instead of happiness, peace instead of placation, and hope instead of longing.

As we launch into another election year in which claims and counterclaims will pummel us until our heads swim, Christians need to remember what is permanent, what is trustworthy, what is true. God and the Bible are unchanging and also true. That’s a combination followers of Jesus can rest in during 2024 and for all time.

AUTHOR

Rob Schwarzwalder

Rob Schwarzwalder, Ph.D., is Senior Lecturer in Regent University’s Honors College.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Begin the New Year Standing on the Word

It’s 2024, and you know what that means. The gyms are crowded, the fridge is stocked with healthy food, plans are made, and our intentions are the best they have ever been! Well, at least for a couple weeks.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing bad about having New Year’s resolutions like going to the gym, eating healthier, and being more organized. But I believe it goes without saying that those New Year’s resolutions have become so derivative to the point that usually know ahead of time what will be on most everyone’s list. And even more so, it has become stereotypical for those ambitions to fade away within a couple weeks — sometimes only days — into January. Some of the best advice I can offer you that has been shared with me is, if you have a goal, don’t wait for a special occasion to start it, because you really don’t need one.

But I know how much we love our New Year’s resolutions, so, on behalf of all of us here at Family Research Council, let me suggest a New Year’s resolution that is guaranteed to change the outlook of the year to come in the best way possible. And that is to have the goal of being in the Word of God every day of your new year (and every year!).

Everyone has a worldview. It’s how we view the world and ourselves, and it’s how we determine the choices we make. As Christians, we are called to hold a biblical worldview, which means every aspect of our lives is shaped by the principles, commands, and truths of Scripture. Perhaps, then, you may recognize the issue with being a Christian, striving to have a biblical worldview, but spending little to no time in the book with which we learn it from. As George Barna, senior research fellow for the Center for Biblical Worldview at FRC, said on “Washington Watch,” in “America today, only 4% of all adults have a biblical worldview.”

So, being in the Word daily will both shape the biblical worldview we are called to have and is the way “to make 2024 a year that could literally change your life,” FRC President Tony Perkins replied. In fact, this very belief is at the heart of FRC and serves as the impetus for our Stand on the Word two-year Bible reading plan . The new journal walks you through daily Scripture reading, questions, and insightful thoughts to get a richer understanding of the text, and space to write out your own thoughts. It also includes resources in the back such as summaries of each book of the Bible, how to pray, how to share our faith, and more.

But why is this so important? Hopefully, I’ll be able to tell you why.

“God … [has] called us to be a city set upon a hill, a light that cannot be hidden,” Kevin Beal, associate pastor of Bethesda Church, shared on “Washington Watch.” And as such, “the only way for us to be able to be that people that God has called us to be is to know His Word and live according to His Word.” Reading Scripture, which is undeniable, irrefutable, absolute truth, is what allows the Holy Spirit to work in us. But don’t take our word for it. Turn to the Word itself:

  • Psalms 119:11 – “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”
  • 2 Timothy 3:16-17 – “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
  • Romans 10:17 – “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
  • John 15:5 – “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
  • Ephesians 6:10-18 shows how the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God.
  • Psalms 119:105 – “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

I could go on! The Word is not just a bunch of motivational quotes that make us feel better. It’s our sword! Jesus used the Word to combat the devil in Matthew 4. It’s the weapon we use to fight not only the principalities of darkness but also the weakness of our own human flesh and its tendency toward sin. We need to know it and allow it to affect every aspect of our Christian lives.

Particularly in suffering or even just uncertainty (and we all know life is full of that), we draw near to Christ through His Word. Isaiah 26:3-4 instructs us how we ought to choose to focus on God when the author notes to “trust in the Lord forever for He is the eternal rock.” It is biblical discipline that helps grow the fruits of the Spirit in us despite any circumstance. And we know our hearts are deceptive (Jeremiah 17:9), which is why we choose scriptural truth rather than leaning on our own understanding.

In Matthew 7:13-14, we are told that it’s hard to live faithfully, “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” And I’m not at liberty to say why specific people suffer in the ways they do, but I know God is sovereign. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

R.C. Sproul eloquently elaborated on this Scripture in his teaching series, “Suffering: A Case Study,” when he said, “If there is a God that is sovereign over all of life, … death, … pain, … diseases, … illness, and … sorrow, then what that means is that it is flat out impossible that any pain could ever be without purpose.” And, really, that sovereignty applies to all things in addition to our pain and confusion. But we don’t rest in that if we don’t take the time to write it on our hearts through the study of the Word.

Look, I’m a flawed person, and I often neglect the discipline I have spent this entire article arguing for you to make a habit. But God provided many experiences that revealed my human viewpoint will lead me astray, and Scripture is the only truth I can and should hold on to. No good deed, no fruitful labor, no act of love could ever come out of my brokenness. All good emerges through Christ alone, the meditation of His Word, and the praise of His character. I am nothing on my own. But through faith in Christ and reverence for His Word, I have everything.

The devil offers excuses, but we don’t have to take them. Don’t make darkness more significant than the gospel, for even Scripture says the darkness is not dark to Christ, and now we are called “children of light.” The work is finished. We don’t know what this year may bring, but we can choose to make God and His Word a part of it.

Now, it only seems fitting to end with Scripture. Psalm 1:1-3 says, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.”

The Word of the Lord. I pray you dwell in it daily.

AUTHOR

Sarah Holliday

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Don’t ‘Paint Over’ the Truths of Christmas

The painting “Belezaire and the Frey Children” depicts three white children in their 19th century finery. Painted in about 1837, for generations, the “Belezaire” of the portrait was missing.

Then, a few years ago, a restoration of the painting uncovered a slender African American youth of about 15, arms folded and looking into the distance, resting against a tree. Records show that Belezaire remained in slavery, eventually living in New Orleans. When that city surrendered to federal forces in 1861, Belezaire disappears from history.

Why was Belezaire’s figure painted over? We will never know why, even as we are unlikely to know what happened to Belezaire. But reading about the portrait has made me wonder about the things we might “paint over” in our walks with God, things we think we can hide from Him or other matters we simply choose not to contemplate because they are too painful.

Maybe it’s a problem with substance abuse or an addiction to pornography. Or it could be that the smiling face of Sunday morning masks depression or loss. Trauma, too, can haunt us, arising in our minds unexpectedly and grimly. We force ourselves to squeeze it from our thoughts even as we know that storing it away doesn’t remove it.

God’s word gives us the promise of healing from our pain and strength and wisdom to deal with habitual sin. There are many resources that can help us access the grace that Jesus promises is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:8-10).

Yet I wonder if there’s something else we sometimes “paint over” — the reality of Christ Himself. The majesty of the angels’ announcement to men tending their flocks, the sweetness of a baby in a manger, lying in a bed of hay surrounded by animals and shepherds, a loving virgin mother and devoted adoptive father: There’s nothing wrong with thinking about these things.

But if we stop there, we forget the purpose of His coming. “Bound up in the Christmas message of the incarnation is the Easter message of the atonement,” wrote the late theologian J.I. Packer. “For if Jesus was not God made man, then we remain in our sins.” These are tidings of comfort and joy, of mystery and severity, of the cruelty of the cross and the resplendence of the resurrection. As the Puritan John Owen wrote, “The depths of this mystery are open only unto Him whose understanding is infinite, which no created understanding can comprehend.”

At Christmas, we dare not leave the baby swaddled in the feeding trough. The beauty of His coming and the majesty of eternal God clothing Himself in human flesh join with so much more. His youth as a skilled laborer, the power and compassion of His ministry, miracles unlike any before or since, the temple guards exclaiming, “No one ever taught like this man!” (John 7:46). He spoke like no one else, with wisdom, bravery, truth, and love; as Peter said to Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God” (John 6:68-69).

The Australian pastor Adam Ramsey has written, “The meaning of Christmas goes miles deeper than family traditions, pretty lights, and a chance to refresh your depleted stockpile of socks.” Christians know this, but do we take time to meditate on what Christmas does mean? If Christmas busyness is keeping us from taking a bit of time to quietly and calmly turn our hearts and minds to the fulness of Jesus, His life and redemption and promised return, then we’re simply too busy.

Jesus said that if we seek first His kingdom and righteousness, the things we need will be provided (Matthew 6:33). That doesn’t mean that the presents you want to give will just magically appear under the tree or that meals will prepare themselves. It means that if our primary focus is on gifts and events and the effervescent “happiness of the season,” we are idolizing things that don’t last. The best gift we can give our loved ones is a life in which the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Christ is present.

We don’t know what happened to Belezaire, but we know the One Who came to die and rise and live and come again. This is the glory and the gladness of Christmas.

AUTHOR

Rob Schwarzwalder

Rob Schwarzwalder, Ph.D., is Senior Lecturer in Regent University’s Honors College.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

‘Jesus Would Go to Prison:’ Catholic Cardinal Addresses Hostility against Biblical Marriage

A Roman Catholic cardinal is claiming that Christ would be imprisoned in today’s Western society for His position on sex, marriage, and gender. Appearing on GB News America on Sunday, German Cardinal and former head of the Vatican’s doctrine office Gerhard Müller addressed the threat that transgender ideology poses to the family. “Christ does not impose any conditions but rather gives all people — rich and poor, righteous and sinners — the chance of conversion and of a new beginning,” Müller said. “But Jesus also contradicts ideological ways [that] want to relativize or even destroy marriage of man and woman and the family of the parents with their own children.”

Referring to Jesus’s words in the Gospel of Matthew, the cardinal said, “He answered the Pharisees who wanted to trap Him, ‘Have you not read that God created man in the beginning, male and female?’” He added, “I believe that today, Jesus would not be condemned only because He is the Messiah, but He would in Canada or in the United States or in European countries go to prison because He spoke out the truth about marriage between a man and a woman.”

Müller’s comments were in response to a question from English Catholic parliamentarian Jacob Rees-Mogg on Pope Francis’s governance of the Catholic Church, particularly the pope’s recent approval of baptizing those who have undergone gender transition surgeries and allowing them to serve as godparents. At the time, Müller went to great lengths to explain that baptizing those who have undergone gender transition procedures requires them to have repented of their sin and committed to living virtuously, which would include identifying as their biological sex and, as much as possible, undo the effects of their surgeries. The same would be necessary for an individual to serve as a godparent.

The Vatican also issued a controversial statement on Monday approving blessings for same-sex couples, though still nominally maintaining Catholic moral doctrine on sex and marriage and barring approving same-sex relationships. In October, Müller warned that LGBT activists were actively promoting blessings for same-sex unions. He said that LGBT advocates claimed that “the Church must be open, not to these persons but to the ideology. The ideology is to blame for this.”

The German prelate also addressed on Sunday the pope’s treatment of theologically-conservative clerics like Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, and American Cardinal Raymond Burke. Müller said, “I don’t know more about Bishop Strickland and Cardinal Burke than what is written in the newspapers, but I can personally testify that both are devout Catholics and zealous pastors.” Strickland was forced to retire last month for reasons unspecified by the Vatican, and the pope will no longer be subsidizing Burke’s apartment in Rome, jeopardizing the cardinal’s eligibility for his salary. Müller added, “Cardinal Burke is the best-qualified canonist in the College of the Roman Cardinals.”

Müller was appointed as the head of the Vatican’s doctrine office by the late Pope Benedict XVI, but criticized how Pope Francis dismissed him from his post in 2017, saying it was “unacceptable.” The pope did not inform Müller that he would not be reappointed to the role until the day his term expired. He was later appointed to the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican’s highest court.

AUTHOR

S.A. McCarthy

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.