Values and the Christian Right

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” – Matthew 5:13 NIV

By Susan Wright

Salt is meant to preserve against decay, as well as to draw out what is good and flavorful in food. In the reference above, “salt” refers to the character of Christians, as we are called to do a good work of drawing out others from the world that is lost, and introducing them to the Good News, which the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

“Do not be deceived: [a]’Bad company corrupts good morals.’” – 1 Corinthians 15:33 AMP

The apostle Paul spoke these words of warning to the Corinthians, who were allowing false teachers and bad teaching to weave through the church, corrupting the true gospel and leading believers down the wrong path.

What was true in the early days of the Christian church is no less true today. When we allow ideologies that have nothing to do with this faith that we proclaim to worm their way into the Church, what we get is a watered down version of Christianity that does little to bring the full glory of Christ to a world that is growing increasingly sick.

It is, in fact, not worthy to be called Christianity, at all.

This past weekend, the Values Voter Summit, sponsored by the Family Research Council and a host of other right wing, presumably Christian organizations, was held in Washington, D.C.

The VVS began in 2006 and has boasted an impressive lineup of conservative speakers, promoting pro-life, traditional marriage, and religious freedom ideals to a receptive evangelical crowd of voters.

All of these are good and right and as Christians, we need a voice in the marketplace of ideas, especially in these days of darkness and strife.

Our nation is hurting. Moral relativism has distorted what once was, and it has set us adrift, apart from the blessings of a holy God, Who cannot look on sin. This I believe, wholeheartedly. The uglier things get in our streets, the more convinced I am.

You cannot proclaim Christ and the cross convincingly, however, when you choose to mix in the ungodly and unrepentant, for the sake of raising your profile.

That’s what happened this weekend, when the VVS chose to give a forum to Steve Bannon and Seb Gorka, two recent refugees from the Trump administration, and by every account, nasty, combative individuals.

I have to wonder how much influence President Trump had over the VVS, in allowing them to give a platform to two men who had very little to say about pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, or religious freedom issues?

Trump, himself, is an unrepentant man, having declared publicly that he had no need for God, because he’d never sinned.

We know, per 1 John 1:8, that any who says he does not sin is a liar, and the truth of God’s Word is not in him.

Apparently, that’s something evangelical voters are willing to overlook, at least, as long as the political party affiliation is right.

Trump’s words at the VVS tickled ears, but knowing how he treats people, openly displayed on social media and during his rallies, the wise should keep in mind this was a speech written for him, not by him. He was simply reciting what was given to him to say, with no heart behind those words. They were as empty and meaningless as his claim that we were ending an imaginary “war on Christmas.”

As for Bannon and Gorka, their talk was about war and getting even with political opponents.

Is this where Christians in America feel we need to be?

Unfortunately, many on the evangelical political right think we can legislate morality, and we cannot.

So confused in their battleplan are they, that they would allow men like Bannon and Gorka to bring a message of war and division into a forum where the audience in attendance are supposedly ambassadors for Christ.

It’s the same ignorance of the message of the cross that allowed for a man like Donald Trump to win the GOP nomination, and the presidency, in the first place.

Trump has promised to end the Johnson Amendment, in order to give pastors the right to promote political candidates, and has called this a “religious freedom” issue.

It is not.

Pastors in America are already protected by the First Amendment and can preach the Word of God freely. If there is any fear, it is unfounded. Allowing men to step up in the pulpit and claim that they will be the ones to fix this nation will not, in fact, fix anything.

That Trump thinks it is a religious freedom issue and that there are Christians and Christian organizations going along with it speaks ill of the condition of the American church.

No, the Johnson Amendment never should have been, but mainly because there never should have been a need for it.

Keep God’s house holy.

The Christian right are now willing to yoke themselves unevenly for political power. They give platform to reprobates to promote chaos and division, because the ends justify the means. The lines between their faith and their political leanings are blurred.

They do this, well meaning, and sadly, most won’t realize they’ve lost their saltiness, having ruined their witness to a world that needs them to be a light.

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