Hello, everybody. Today is Thursday, March the 23rd. I'm Ryan Hill.
I'm John Galantis. You're listening to Clearview Today with Dr. Abaddon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can find us online at ClearviewTodayShow.com. If you have any questions for Dr. Shah or suggestions for future episodes, send us a text at 252-582-5028, or you can email us at contact at ClearviewTodayShow.com.
That's right. You guys can help us keep the conversation going by supporting this podcast, sharing it online, leaving us a good review on iTunes, Spotify, anywhere where you get your podcasting content from. We're looking for five-star reviews only. We're going to leave a link. I thought you were going to say we're looking for five reviews only. I just want five reviews and then nothing else after that.
Now, we're going to leave a couple of links in the description of this podcast, so you can do just that. We want you to leave those good reviews for us, so we can read them, so we can eat them. I think I said that earlier this week. You did. Absolutely. I don't have many jokes left in there. Speaking of reading them, you want to read the verse of the day for our friends out there and listening?
I do. It's coming from Psalm 121, verses 7 and 8. The Lord shall preserve you from all evil. He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth and even forevermore. That just reminds us that God is the one who is in charge. That's right. He's the author of all of your days, all the good ones, all the bad ones, and everything in between.
That's right. He's the one who is going to sustain you and keep you moving forward. Beautiful. I love it. The Lord shall preserve you. We tend to think in terms of destruction, like, man, this thing is coming against me.
I don't know if I'm going to make it through this. The Lord is going to preserve you. His hand is on you. That's his promise to you.
We know that God keeps his promises. Absolutely. One of the things that we love to do here on the radio show is have guests come in. We love it when people come join us around the table. We have a very special guest lined up for you guys today. We're going to get Dr. Shah and bring him and our special guest in in just a minute. If you guys have any questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text at 252-582-5028, or you can visit us online at cleaviewtodayshow.com.
We'll be right back. Well, good morning, afternoon, evening, Clear View Today listeners. My name is Jon. And I'm David.
And we just want to take a quick second and let you know about another way that you can keep in touch with Dr. Shah's work, and that is his weekly podcast series, Sermons by Abaddon Shah, Ph.D. As a lot of you may know, or maybe some of you don't know. If you don't know, you do now. And if you don't know, then maybe just hop off the podcast.
David. I'm just playing. Hop off the podcast.
I'm just playing. Keep listening. Dr. Shah is actually the lead pastor of Clear View Church in North Carolina. Every single weekend, he preaches expository messages that challenge and inspire us to live God-honoring lives. One of the four core values of Clear View Church is that we're a Bible-believing church. So every sermon is coming directly from Scripture, which is great because that guarantees that there are timeless truths that are constantly applicable to our lives. This is a great resource because whether you're driving, whether you're cleaning the house, whether you're working out, you can always benefit from hearing the word of God spoken into your life. And God's word is always going to do something new for you every time you hear it.
Sometimes it's conviction and sometimes it's encouragement. But know that every time you listen to God's word, you're inviting the Holy Spirit to move and work in your life. You guys can check out the sermons by Abbadon Shah PhD podcast. First and foremost, check it out on our church app. That's the Clear View app. You can get that in the Google Play Store. You can get that on iTunes. But you can also find the podcast on the Apple Podcast app or on our website at ClearViewBC.org. And listen, if you've got a little extra time on your hands, you just want to do some further reading, you can also read the transcripts of those sermons.
Those are available on Dr. Shah's website, AbbadonShah.com. And we're going to leave you guys a little link in the description so you can follow it. But for right now, David, let's hop back in.
All right. Welcome back to Clear View Today with Dr. Abbadon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at ClearViewTodayShow.com.
Or if you have any questions or suggestions for future episodes, send us a text to 252-582-5028. Dr. Shah, welcome to the studio today. It's good to be here today, and it's a very special day, but I'm not going to break the surprise yet.
Yep, that's right. We've got a special surprise, a special surprise, unless you're watching the video show, in which case you can kind of see that there's a special surprise. But if you're not, if you're just listening to the radio, hold on to your hats. We want to let you know who's talking to you today. Dr. Abbadon Shah is a Ph.D. in New Testament Textual Criticism, professor at Carolina University, author, full-time pastor, and the host of today's episode.
You can find all his work on his website. That's AbbadonShah.com. That's right. And Dr. Shah, I'm going to kick it to you. Do you want to introduce our very special guest?
Yes, I can. Dr. Mark Creech with the Christian Action League is here with us today. Christian Action League of North Carolina. You've been part of this organization for the past 23-some years. You've been to Clearview before. I've met you here and there through events that have taken place.
And then we saw each other at a recent event, and we hit it off again. And here you are. Thank you, Dr. Shah. I'm having so much fun. You all are such a delight to be with, and the worship services that I had the privilege of being a part of today were just stupendous. I'm going home refreshed and blessed after this broadcast, and it's just been a joy. And I mean that, and I thank you again from the bottom of my heart for letting me be a part of your worship experience and your service for the Lord.
Absolutely. It's a blessing to have you here. Just for the benefit of our listeners, Dr. Mark Creech has served in this position for the past 23 years. Prior to that, pastoring about 20-some years, North Carolina, upstate New York. And then through the years, he has been sort of a clergyman slash lobbyist at the General Assembly, and so much you've done. And we're so grateful for your ministry.
Thank you. It's not something that I ever aspired to, but as I was sharing with some of your members who were wanting to know earlier about how I got involved in all of this, I guess it just all started from when I was a pastor, and I became increasingly concerned about how some of the social and political issues of our day were negatively impacting my community, as well as the people who were a part of my own church. And I thought, you know, I really need to start addressing these things from the pulpit. But I had a lot of angst about doing that, admittedly, because, well, that's the kind of thing preachers get fired for. You know, if you bring that politics or social issues. You're meddling.
You're meddling now. And I really did think it's possible that if I do this, I'll be fired. But I kind of had the same spirit, I think, given to me by the Lord, which was Esther's spirit, who said, if I perish, I perish.
I have to do this. I have to obey God. And I just started preaching about these things from the pulpit. And rather than my church getting upset with me and wanting to give me the left foot of fellowship, so to speak, it had just the opposite effect. I found that they were hungry for this kind of preaching, which I suggest is just a relevant presentation of the gospel. I agree with Dr. D. James Kennedy of many years ago, who said, you know, he said when he was living, that speaking about politics and social issues from the pulpit, he said, doesn't harm our efforts at evangelism. He said it is the platform for presenting the gospel to the masses. And he was so right.
That's what it was for me. My church started to fill up. And then one opportunity after another started coming to write a column for the local paper, to have my own radio broadcast and then later to become the executive director of the Christian Action League.
Right. Talking about D. James Kennedy, what a wonderful giant, you know, that we had the privilege of being impacted by his ministry, because I know later generations will only talk about him as in the past tense. But I remember watching his broadcast, reading his books, you know, what if America was a Christian nation again? What if Jesus had never been born?
What if the Bible had never been written? These were some of the books that impacted me greatly. And I got those books through my father-in-law, Nicole's dad, who was greatly impacted by D. James Kennedy. And, you know, not only he was a good speaker, preacher, expositor of the word, but he was also an evangelist and cared about this nation and cared about values and worldviews.
And so, yeah. He was such a personable guy, too. I mean, when I met him down in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, one of the events that I did there was he was standing at a table or next to a table that had wonderful pamphlets of all of his sermons.
There were hundreds of them on the table. Now, I probably shouldn't tell this story because it makes me vulnerable. I'm transparent like this. But I picked up one of those pamphlets, one of his sermons, and I sort of held it toward him. And I said, Dr. Kennedy, I said, do you know how many of your sermons I have preached? And he looked at me and just had this great smile on his face. And you know what he said to me?
Now, this is grace. He said to me, he opened it up and he said, do you see that little insignia right there? He said, that says copyright.
So you just go ahead and copyright out of it. Very nice. Well, let me give you one fun fact about D. James Kennedy. It may surprise you guys. He was an amazing ballroom dancer. That's true. I didn't know that.
Never in a million years. He was an amazing ballroom instructor. Wow.
So he taught it. You said something earlier that kind of kind of tickled my ear a little bit when you said that, you know, you were, you were worried about getting fired for mentioning politics from the pulpit. And I guess that would make sense to me if there were consistency. What I mean by that is if you have a nonpolitical platform, you can't talk about political things.
Okay. I guess that would make sense. And yet celebrities, actors, you know, just the random Gen Z teenager with a smartphone, anybody with a Facebook account, they can speak their political minds. They can put their political ideas out there because they have a platform.
What is it? Do you, and maybe Dr. Shah, what do you think it is about the pulpit that that platform is unacceptable, but any other platform of art making, you can speak whatever political thoughts you want, because this is America, the land of the free, why the pulpit is unacceptable. You want to take that question first?
Well, I can. I mean, there are a number of reasons, I think, but one that comes to mind is there has been such an emphasis in recent decades about the separation of church and state. And Dr. Shah, your sermon today addressing that issue about wrong ideas about the Christian's relationship to government was one of the best, truly, I've ever heard.
Thank you. But you know, separation of church and state, which was a phrase that came from Thomas Jefferson in a letter that he wrote to Danbury Baptist, was never meant to say that we separate Christian influence, if you will, from state affairs. What he meant in that letter and how we should understand this separation today was, yes, the state has a different role than the church. Church has a different role than the state. But the purpose of separation of church and state, so to speak, was to keep the government from infringing upon the rights of conscience of people who were religious. In other words, you didn't have a state church. But essentially, the idea was government stay out of religion. Not religion can't have any influence on government, but government needs to stay out of religion.
So there's that myth, if you will, as David Barton has titled one of his books, The Myth of Separation of Church and State, that I think affects. And then other things that one might bring out is, you know, somehow or another, Christians believe this is dirty. This is all beneath us. But as Jesus commanded was to be salt.
Salt is to have a preserving effect on things, keeping something from becoming completely corrupt. Light exposes the darkness and pushes it back, if you will. And all of these things Christians are supposed to be, you see.
But we haven't been that for such a long time. One of my favorite stories to tell was when I was first lobbying in the General Assembly, there was a senator who pulled me outside in the hall and he was quite upset with me because I was having success in killing his bill. And so he said to me, Reverend, which is what everybody calls me in Raleigh, he said, Reverend, when are people like you going to realize that you can't legislate morality? And I said to him, Senator, I said, let me see if I can challenge your thinking about that. I said, I believe you can't legislate anything but morality. All legislation, I said, is the codification of some moral premise. It is the means by which, as a culture, we say this is right and this is wrong. And there's such a consensus about this being right and wrong. We've drawn perimeters into law.
And we say, if you violate those perimeters, we'll fine you, we'll penalize you, we'll even throw you in jail. So I said, Senator, I think the real question is, whose morality are we legislating? So my, what I'm saying in response to your question, which I hope I'm addressing effectively, is that, you know, we've been so disengaged from the political process as Christians for so long, we have created this vacuum that wicked people, sinful people have filled, and they are legislating their morality. That's what's happening right now in this country. And the fact that our churches are so disengaged, the fact that our pastors are not equipping their members to effectively navigate these great issues of life so that their own members can have influence and bring the weight of the Word of God, bring the influence of the teachings of God's Word on that process. And it has created a situation where now in this country, I think a lot of us are saying, what happened to my country?
I don't even recognize my country anymore. And these are not just, you know, Bible-thumping, fundamentalist Christians. These are just normal people who are going, just even lost people who care about this nation are saying something's wrong. Something is missing. And that's where I think the church comes in and says, yeah, number one, let's get your life right.
You need to receive Christ as your Savior and King. Number two, yes, there is something terribly wrong with our nation. And what it is is that we are trying to blow up the foundation and try to replace that with something else. And you talked about the platform. Why is this platform so important? It's because this platform brings morality and values. And so when the world, which is, I'm not just talking about the world as in people, but worldly systems sees morality and values, they don't want it. And they want a system of ungodliness where whatever you want to do is fine. And Bible or Christianity or Christian values says, no, they're right and wrong.
And this is right and this is wrong. And so I believe that's one reason why the world fights against what we have to say and want to keep us out. Because when people get hold, are held by the convictions, great things begin to happen.
Great things begin to happen. I appreciate you saying that so much, Dr. Shah, because that comes through in both the way that you preach and the way that you, you know, teach us here on the radio show on Clear View Today. It's something to where you want people to understand that Christians have a place, not only just a place, but a prominent role to play in the political realm. What has been the response?
And maybe Dr. Creech, you can chime in on this too. What's been the response when you sort of push back against that thinking where people believe that church and state should be separated and not intermingle at all? Because I know that was sort of the implied way when I was growing up, the context I grew up in. Church is over here, religion is over here, and the state is over here and they don't interact at all.
Right, right. And when you begin to challenge that, you know, initially you see people just kind of look at you like, I can't believe you're saying that because I've heard all my life, keep religion out of politics. And here you're telling me the opposite? You must be wrong. You must be a bigot. You must be some, you know, closet, you know, take over the world kind of person and beat everybody who's not a believer and throw them in jail.
What are you? Like America, you cannot come in, you cannot be here unless you're a Christian. We're going to make you a Christian. And you go, wait, no, that's not what we're saying at all.
Right. What we're saying here is that Christianity not only was the foundation of this nation, but this nation exists, the freedoms exist because of the Christian influence. You know, yes, we want every nation in the world to have the same things we have in America. I'm sorry to break it to them.
It's not going to happen because they're not set up that way. I want them to have democracy. I want them to have freedom. And I am of that mindset that people want to be free no matter who they are, where they grew up, they want to have freedoms. But the systems that make it happen, our founding fathers, I believe through divine providence and guidance created that system. It's very unique. Nothing like that exists in Europe.
You know, an interesting point to what you just said is people do not know, most don't know that civil rights only exist in countries where the gospel of Jesus Christ is preached. Very true. Very true. Yeah. Very true.
Yeah. It seems to me that it's a lot of, because we're talking about our nation being founded on Judeo-Christian values and principles. And so those come with very clear boundaries. These are boundaries that we do not cross because those boundaries, it's like a fence around a playground.
It keeps us in, you know, it keeps us safe from the roads and the cars and all that stuff. It seems that, and again, I could understand if there were consistency, but it seems that in the conversation that's happening, there is just no consistency. So you take the boundaries away and everybody can do whatever they want. Okay. I get that. But then this redrawing of boundaries to keep you out, to keep the Christians and the people in power and influence, to keep them out. Yeah. I mean, that could be messed things up.
What are the joy killers when actually it's, I don't even know how, what a good illustration would be there, but what are the ones actually keeping this system alive? The remnants, right? So we, as a people are saying, we're okay if there are boundaries of behavior and thought, it just can't be against us. It has to be against you. Right. Right. Well, a sub point to those wonderful things that you're saying is that, you know, we live in a time where I would dare say that most people in America currently believe that our rights are given to us by the government. Well, that doesn't even fit what was handed down to us by the founders. They used the phrase inalienable rights. What is an inalienable right? An inalienable right is a right that cannot be infringed by anyone. It cannot be infringed by the government. It cannot be infringed because it is a God-given right. That's right. So if we don't see God and His authority above us, His law, so to speak, over us, His sovereignty over us, then it just becomes us deciding what is good, what isn't good.
And throughout history, when morality is based or government itself is based purely on every man doing that, which is right in his own eyes, there is chaos and destruction. I was going to say, we've been talking about Samuel recently. That sounds kind of eerily familiar. I got a little sense of foreboding when I heard that. I was like, oh no, I don't want to go there.
The time of the judges where every man did whatever seemed right. So yeah, I couldn't agree more there. I'm blessed, I'm grateful to come to this nation and to enjoy the benefits. And when people complain about how terrible things are and horrible things, and I tell them, I say, yes, we have our problems. We have a work cut out.
Yes, mistakes were made. Having said that, I still believe this is an amazing nation. This is a nation where somebody like me could be standing in that pulpit and preaching and people are listening to the word of God. You show me that somewhere else. So true. It's not there.
It's not there. So very true. Dr. Creech, we've got just a few more minutes left. If people want to learn more about the Christian Action League and how they can get involved, educate themselves, what's the best way to do that? Well, I hope they'll visit our website, christianactionleague.org. We want to keep them informed, too, about the issues that affect their communities in our state. We are an organization that, though we do at times address what's on the federal level, most of our focus is on the state level and what's happening in Raleigh. But we do have a weekly e-newsletter, which is for free.
You can just go to our website and just stay there on the homepage for about 20 seconds, and a pop-up will come up and you can sign up for that newsletter. Also, as a part of that, sometimes we send out urgent action alerts to tell people about something that's urgent that we hope that they'll weigh in on, and we'll give them talking points as well as phone numbers and the like to call. So this is a very strategic ministry where citizen Christians can really have an impact on what lawmakers are doing to craft legislation and enact public policy. Dr. Shah, if you had one statement to leave people with about why they should be involved in politics, what would you say? I would say this.
Today, it is a privilege for you to look at the rights you have as a privilege and realize that it can be taken away. That's 100% right. And many, many parts of the world go to the Middle East, especially, where Christianity was everywhere, and it's because Christians lost their focus. They had to fight for those doctrinal issues and the councils and all that.
That's all important. But in the process, they were so naive that they didn't realize that here was rising a giant that was going to quickly run through them, and Islam came and all those steeples were gone. And so we need to be aware of that.
If that happened there in the heart, the bastion of Christianity, the birthplace, it can very well happen here. And imagine the ramifications for our children, our grandchildren. Not just that churches of Christianity will not be there, but imagine losing so much more.
The joys and the happiness and all the good things we have in life will be gone. And so for the benefit of that, you want your kids and grandkids to have that? Get involved.
Make sure Christian values are making a significant impact on the government, because that's how you make sure that they have the same benefits we do. That's right. Amen. Thank you so much. Thank you for sharing that with us. If you guys have any questions or suggestions for future episodes, send us a text at 252-582-5028, or you can visit us online at ClearviewTodayShow.com. And as always, you can partner with us on that same website financially. Every gift that you give goes not only to building up this radio show, but countless other ministries for the kingdom of God. Dr. Creech, thank you so much for being with us today on the show. We love having you here.
I look forward to doing it again sometime. I am so honored, and I mean that, as I said earlier. And I'm so thankful for a faithful witness like ClearViews in this community. And the Lord bless you, and thank you for letting me be a part of things today. Amen.
Thank you, my friend. We had a question coming in. We always end on a fun question.
This one was not submitted by a listener, but this one has been causing bedlam in our church for a number of weeks now. Pineapple on pizza, yes or no? I'll say yes. Yes? Yes.
I would not have guessed that. Oh, yeah. Fruit on a pizza. Oh, yes.
Okay. Pineapple on pizza? Just pineapple? Yeah. Yeah. Only pineapple? But you would eat it with other stuff, like pepperoni and ham and stuff? Yeah. I mean, you know, I'd want some other things. Yeah, like maybe hamburger. But you're not offended that pineapple's on the pizza? No, I'm not offended. I love it. I've learned something today.
I really did not see it breaking that way. Okay. That is it.
That is a polarizing question. Yes. As many churches as I visit, you eat what they put in. That's right. That's right. I just want to tell you, here's what's for lunch. Oh, okay. Here we go. Amen. That's funny. We love you guys. We'll see you next time on Clearview Today.
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