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Brought to you by the loan experts I trust, Andrew and Todd at Sierra Pacific Mortgage at andrewandtodd.com. Joining us now is Jon Benzinger, lead pastor at Redeemer Bible Church. Jon, how are you doing?
Great. Good to be here. Ryan Visconti, we just had a lot of fun at your church out in Mesa, Arizona. And then Kayden Metcalf, lead pastor at Radiant Church in Surprise, Arizona.
Awesome to be here. So the main reason I wanted to get you guys together, and you said it best when we were talking, wokeism or wokeness in the church. I personally think that we as Christians need to blame ourselves for the problem that we are in. It's easy to point our finger at the secular world, but if we do not have strong churches, then who are we to point our finger at the world that doesn't have the truth?
Jon, I'll start with you. Wokeism in the church, how do you describe the threat, and how serious is it? Wokeness is a three-headed monster. It is race, gender, and sexual preference. And when the church decides that what the unbelievers think about us is more important than what God thinks about us, when the fear of man dominates versus the fear of God, you get wokeness in the church.
So race, gender, sexual preference. So Ryan, talk about at your church when you started to see these elements either brought in through elders, people in the church, just where you started to see it laced in with Christianity. Not just from a political standpoint, but when someone said, well, wouldn't Jesus be okay with the transgender thing?
When did you start to see things change? Yes, we all became more aware of this, I think, during 2020. And what I've realized in hindsight is that I think the devil used the Trojan horse of compassion to bring wokeness into the church. And a lot of well-meaning pastors who wanted to be compassionate, loving, fair, justice-oriented, were susceptible to these deceptions of the enemy and not really understanding the play that the enemy was running on the church, which is supposed to be a light shining in the darkness and a bastion of truth. And I think a lot of Christians don't really understand what the devil has been doing to deceive them and pull them into critical, theory-based wokeness.
Yes. And Ryan, I know that at your church, you've taken a lot, all three of you are here for a reason, by the way. You guys have taken strong stands, and you have a strong church against this. Did you have to be, as a pastor, okay with people leaving your church if they didn't agree with your biblical stance?
Like, not pandering to every angry email? Absolutely. I mean, today, pastors have to be okay with congregants leaving the church over this issue. And some pastors have a disproportionate desire to keep everyone they can. And in reality, sometimes leaving people who are committed to false ideologies is actually a pruning process that Jesus wants to take his church through.
Yeah. And so, Kaden, tell us about your church, your experience with what we describe as wokeism. I probably would just start with my own journey over the last year and a half. I read, heard a teaching, then I read Jeremiah 36, talks about the prophet Jeremiah brings the Word of God to the people, eventually makes its way to the king. The king doesn't like what it has to say, starts cutting it out, burns the Word of God, essentially. And I got convicted in that moment and basically thought, man, this is our culture. This is where we're at. And I realized I need to start talking about the truth and start equipping our people to understand what we believe and why we believe. And I was met in that moment with gratitude from people in our church, rather than just a bunch of picketers and boycotters.
I mean, the people in our church were like, man, thank you for talking about why we believe what we believe, what we and giving us a foundation and an understanding and scripture so that we can share that with. So that was kind of what I was met with. That's been the journey that I've been on. I had a mindset shift where I would have been a person. I'm like, I just I don't necessarily want to bring anything up, ruffle feathers. And I realized, no, I need to equip people with the truth. And that's kind of just been my journey over the last year and a half.
And it's been awesome to see people be a little bit more emboldened to live that out, walk that out and understand what they believe. So, Kaden, I'm going to play a lot of devil's advocate, because obviously I think so highly of all you three. I want to, you know, because our audience has these questions. What would you say to someone like Andy Stanley that would, you know, your favorite, where he would say, but you're turning off young people to the church. You're going to turn off. This is not I'm not my misrepresenting his view, Ryan. No. OK, so he would say you're going to turn off a 23 year old because you're talking about biblical values when it comes to marriage. Well, that might be a better one for Ryan.
I know my. So what I've noticed, I was doing youth and young adults ministry for about eight years. We do not have the foundation that we may think that we do. The students that I was serving do not know the stories like we would think of the scripture.
So so many times over the last seven years, there have been students that are like, thank you. Why didn't you tell me the truth earlier? Why I didn't understand. And I don't I don't agree with that. I don't think I think people want truth and they want to understand, hey, what do you believe? Why do we believe it? And so I just I don't agree with that.
I don't think that there's, you know, maybe to some extent we could see that. But we're we are not doing right by people if we don't speak and give them a foundation of what we actually believe. So, John, how do you respond to that?
I'm paraphrasing a narrative. John, you're turning people off if you talk about biblical things they don't like. So what what we have to understand, evangelicalism is a movement almost 100 years old now that started with the idea that we need to impact the culture in the sense that we need to be relevant. We need the culture to look at us and say they have really smart people there.
They have really they have really good people in that church. And so so what they what we did was we began to capitulate. We began to say, OK, we can take some of the teachings of the world and mix it with Christianity so that we can become more relevant. So when somebody says something like, hey, you're going to lose the kids, you're going to lose young people.
Number one, that's not true. Young people are flocking to clear, courageous, convictional truth teaching number one. And number two, if you believe in the scriptures, which is what all these evangelicals say they do, if you believe in the scriptures, the scriptures are clear that it is the preaching of the word that saves people. So if you're going to if you're worried about if you're going to edit the Bible in order to reach people, then you're not really reaching people. And you're going to stand before God and he's going to say, why did you edit my word? Like, who do you think you are coming to my word as an editor?
You are not an editor. You are a parrot. You are simply supposed to say what this word always said.
You are a delivery man. And that's it. So. So, John, then the some people would say, but where's the compassion in that? You know, there's a that's mean. Yeah.
There's nothing more compassionate. I'm not saying arguments, by the way, that are there. A lot of people say this stuff.
Yeah, I know. And I'm going to I'm going to come off as very passionate, which is going to be interpreted as mean and fundamentalist and all of that stuff by all the woke pastors. But the bottom line is that it is the most loving thing that you can do to share the truth with in love. You know, the problem is truth and grace. A lot of pastors think it's their job to be nicer than Jesus actually was in the scriptures. And I would point to that example of the rich young ruler and the woman at the well were two people who were seeking truth. They were seeking answers like the woman at the well asked Jesus where how do we worship this way? And he said, well, before I answer your question, you who are seeking, go get your husband. And that led to the awkward moment of I don't I don't have a husband. And he said, yeah, you're right.
You've had five husbands. Jesus was willing to point out this woman's sin issue, even though it was a sensitive issue, because he knew that that was a issue that was rooted in a deeper need for himself. And pastors have to trust the word of God, what it ultimately says, and know that it's the word that brings conviction that leads to change that leads to life. And we don't have to soften up the word or be Jesus's PR man to make him a more palatable version of himself to the world in 2023. Jesus's PR man. Do you have a thought really quick? You don't actually love people the way that you're saying you do if you don't tell them the truth.
If you don't tell them the truth, and you're saying I love you, but you're going to spend your eternity in hell, you don't actually love them is I mean, that's what you're saying yourself really is what you're saying. Because I fear your backlash. And so I'm protecting myself from your backlash by neutering Jesus by creating a feminized Jesus rather than doing what Jesus did, which was he was tough and tender. He knew how to speak to the right kind of person.
He knew how to be tough. And we don't live in a day when men are supposed to be tough. We're also where we've been feminized and pastors have become the most feminized because they want everybody to like them. They are not thinking I'm going to stand before God and give an account for everything I say and do. Let me kind of give you an example here, then an organization that people think very highly of that raises a ton of money, crew, CRU, and I could be a little bit spicier in this than you guys, because I know that you guys have a lot of probably students that are involved. Campus Crusade, you know, they raised $600 million a year, a lot in dues and stuff. They have recently come under fire from Ali B. Stuckey and other people because it's been revealed that it is the standard operating procedure at CRU to use somebody's pronouns, even though when you know it's not true.
So I know any one of you guys can take this. I think that's not the right approach, right? If you know something is a lie, I don't think you bring people to the cross through lies.
No. I don't think you bring people to the promise of eternity through Jesus Christ by pandering with secular labeling. Am I cruel or mean by saying that?
No, I think you're right. To use false pronouns is to reaffirm a fantasy or an ideology that we know is contradictory to God's truth and ultimately leads people further away from the Lord. And I think it's possible when you talk to someone who's living a transgender lifestyle to be kind, to be gentle in the way that you speak to them and represent the love of God in your interaction. But using pronouns would be to lie when they're incorrect pronouns for a person's biological sex.
Yeah. From the very beginning, Satan has attacked God's distinctions. And this is one of them that he's been attacking forever. So this person who's transgender is living under a satanic lie. And so by affirming that, you are keeping them in that stronghold, keeping them captive to Satan rather than freeing them with the truth. And I think this is a great example because I don't doubt for a second that the heart and the intention of the people at Crews try to win people over Christ.
So their justification after Ali V. Stuckey did a whole episode is, well, hold on. We have found that this is a proven way to get conversations going with trans people to then lead them to Christ. And so if we just lie a little, then we'll be able to save them big. That's basically what they say.
Yeah. And it's just flawed thinking that's based on compromise with the thinking that, hey, I know better than the word of God. I mean, it's one of the 10 commandments.
It's up there pretty high. You shall not lie. So to say, I'm going to just lie a little because I have good intentions, man, it's just misguided thinking my wisdom is better than God's wisdom. Yet at the same time, I would just add that what Christians have with God's spirit, what Christians have with love, the love that God has shown us is the answer that the woke are looking for. The people who are going after the entire society over race, sexual preference and gender are looking for the love, the community, the kindness that only the church has because we have Christ. And I want to make sure that we're clear about this. I know all three of you and I know your hearts.
If a transgender person showed up at your church, you guys would welcome them in, but you would not affirm the lie that they're living under. Is that correct? I've had that. Yeah.
Tell us about that. I mean, for instance, I spoke directly to that and the person that, well, a couple of people came up and they said, hey, this was their response. Hey, I'm not mad. I'm just confused. And it continued the conversation. I pointed them to the right person. Hey, let's explain the truth to you.
And that's been our experience. And I don't know if we realize if believers realize how deep this attack is on the family, God's intention from the beginning of time, male and female have kids, family, that that whole dynamic, the truth. I don't know how we realize how deep that attack is and how important it is that we continue to speak the truth in regards to men. Men were created as men.
Women as women. Yes. You should get married. You should have kids.
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Strongsell.com slash Charlie. So we took a appropriate detour kind of talking about how we love people and telling the truth. But let's get back to wokeism.
I'm going to ask Ryan, you could start with this. How widespread is what we consider to be wokeism in the church, the seminary, the Christian music industry? Yeah. Diagnose the success the enemy has had in advancing this heresy.
Yeah. Wokeism, which I would root again in critical theory has is kind of creating a constellation of issues that affect the church and Christians, race, gender, sexuality. I'd add another one, which is the subject of abuse comes up a lot. And it really frames every relationship in the grid work of oppressor and depressed.
And that's what clouds are thinking a lot of times. And the secular approach to justice is anyone who is an oppressor, like me as a white Christian, heterosexual male, I'm basically Darth Vader, according to wokeism and intersectionality, you're automatically guilty. And anyone who's viewed as oppressed, we should automatically believe and advance their agenda. And then when you bring intersectionality into the mix of a big word, that's part of critical theory.
It's just basically a way for people to layer their grievances on top of each other. So a black lesbian would be a more oppressed person than me. And then a black lesbian deaf woman would be the most oppressed, for example.
And the more oppressed someone is able to claim they are according to intersectionality and critical theory, the more we should automatically believe them and embrace whatever they're saying. So in the church, this comes up a lot because we're dealing with hurting people. We're dealing with people who've been legitimately abused or traumatized. And so as pastors and as Christians, a lot of times we're just left confused. How do we help these people? How do we love these people? And right now a lot of churches are struggling to help hurting people with a biblical approach and not a secular approach.
Yeah. So a hundred years ago, Antonio Gramsci came out and said, Hey, Marxism isn't working in the West. It's not going to happen through finance. It's going to happen through sociology. And so we need to take law. We need to take entertainment, government, family, education, and the church. He understood that the church was downstream from culture.
So he said, we have to impact these areas. And if you look today, critical theory has infiltrated all of it. Most seminaries are gone. Most Christian colleges are gone. Most the governments are gone. Entertainment is gone.
Disney's gone. It's constant. It's everywhere. So the Christian that thinks, man, if I could just stay in my little bubble and be okay, you're not, it is going to come. It is militant. It wants to own everything.
And so it's coming for you, whether you like it or not. I want to just follow up on that, just so that our audience understands, most seminaries and most Christian colleges you think have been captured. It's not, I think it's obvious.
It is clear. You just go to their websites. They have their DEI departments, like Wheaton College, for example. This is the norm that the people like us right here, we are the minority now when it comes to churches, when it comes to seminaries, Bible colleges, that's why churches are getting away from sending their guys to seminary, starting their own. It is a world out there that you don't know how much this, and it's not just critical theory. It's other things that underpin it, that gut the gospel of its saving power. And that is all over the place. I just want everyone listening and watching to understand that this viewpoint is now the minority in American Christianity. That's so powerful that you said that. I will say, though, that the rank and file, the parishioners, I think they're on our side, though.
Oh, absolutely. That's why our churches are all growing, because they're fleeing from these other churches. Your churches are growing, but I'm told by everybody that it's the hardest time ever to run a church. The Wokeys are running to the New York Times.
Russell Moore says, it's never been harder. Church attendance is down. Our pastors are struggling. What are you guys doing, giving away cars like Oprah or something? You guys get a car, and you guys get a car. Kayden, your church has increased in size?
Yeah, yeah, a car every week. I would assume with the same as these guys that just preaching the Word of God, all of it, not just part of it, is what people are seeking, not the same things that they're seeing in every other avenue of culture, schools, all that stuff. I would say that that is what is growing our churches, just the hunger for the Word of God, the hunger for the truth, the hunger for I want to understand what's going to help me in life, and then finding that out. I really think that's the bottom line. Yeah, I point that out, because it's obvious to you three, your churches are flourishing.
By the way, you guys aren't alone. The top churches we work with at TPSA Faith, they all have parking problems, right? They're like, I'm trying my best to preach my church down to a manageable size, and I'm sure this Christmas you guys are going to break records, right? And yet, I talk to Wokey pastors or people, and they say, yeah, we've never had lower attendance.
I mean, I'll just use one example. It's a tragedy. Calvary Chapel College, Costa Mesa, which Chuck Smith started, right?
I'm close to a lot of the Calvary guys. Brian Broderson, they had to sell Calvary Chapel College to a secular hotel. A hotel bought it. Here's the story.
Historic 46-acre Bible College on Murrieta Hot Springs sells for $50 million to a wellness resort and spa. Now, I'm sure there might have been other things involved, but just, you know, Chuck Smith, with his great work, he had a vision, and 279,000 square feet of infrastructure, including existing hot springs, 38 buildings, dozen guest lodges, 200 rooms, large auditoriums, commercial kitchens, restaurant facilities, and they had to sell it away. But that, what I'm getting at is the excuse that they've given is that this is what's happened to all churches. There's nothing we can do. You know, we can't, that's not what you find, right? Right.
No, it's not the case at all. There are so many people in our society that are hungry for the truth. And there are Christians who probably realized for the first time in their lives, how important a Bible teaching church really is. A lot of, in a lot of ways, I feel like the devil has kind of out kicked his coverage with the transing of kids and the men and women's sports. And so even people who are maybe kind of casual Christians, they're kind of waking up and looking around in society and going, who's going to teach my son that he's a boy and will always be a boy, as Mr. Rogers said, and grow up to be a man.
Like who's going to teach the truth that I'm longing to hear. And people are going to those churches and they're staying and they're becoming live, engaged church members, and they're growing in their faith. And those churches are flourishing.
And I think there are really three categories of churches. There are the woke churches that are fully compromised on God's word and in a lot of ways have gone apostate. There are soft woke churches, which are sensitive to woke issues and woke people. And so they haven't necessarily abandoned conservative biblical theology, but they'll just be quiet about the controversial issues. And then there are not woke churches, which are just trying their best to preach the truth with grace and represent the word of God to the best of their ability. And those churches, God is blessing them and they're seeing a massive wave of revival, I believe. So, and you guys want to chime in on that?
Yeah. People are starving for pastors who are going to be clear, are going to have conviction, are going to show courage and at the same time, going to be compassionate. So what happens is that liberalism says, Hey, we're going to be soft on the truth in order to love people.
Legalism says we're going to be soft on love in order to truth people. And the churches that are doing well at this time, just like in every era of history are the ones who have both truth and love. This is a rerun of something that happened a hundred years ago and gave us the mainline denominations in the apostate direction that they all went in. And then evangelicalism was the response. Well, now evangelicalism is splitting between liberals and those who are going to be faithful. And we're seeing this again.
Any one of you guys can chime in. What is the commonality you've seen between pastors who embrace wokeism? Is it that like, if you had to kind of create a checklist of things they have in common, is it they have like over-domineering wives? Is it that they go to, you know, super liberal seminaries? I mean, is it that their theology is bad?
Like, is there, I'm just trying to find some sort of formula. I mean, again, I'm asking you to generalize, but there has to be a form because what, what you're, you're right, John, is that evangelicalism is rooted in the inerrancy of scripture. That's, that's basically if you had to come combine evangelicalism and there's a lot of different flavors of that, but now it's, it's, it's incredibly divided and it's almost like make the Bible as you want it. My opinion is that it's a complete, it's a complete retreat from the Old Testament. If I had to, if I had to find one common theme, they, they, they don't touch the Old Testament with a 10-foot pole.
I think, I think that's probably, I don't know what you guys think. That's something that comes to mind as well as for several decades, there's been a tendency of evangelical mega church pastors. If they get attacked by the right and by conservatives, they'll take that as a badge of honor and say, that's, those are the Pharisees attacking me because I'm, I'm just like Jesus here representing the love of Jesus. But a lot of these same pastors were very sensitive to woke mobs that would bring attack against them. And they had a disorder desire to be respected and liked and approved of by the left.
And that means left politically left theologically. And that's what I think led a lot of these guys into compromising on sexuality and you know, compassion muscle that wasn't really well established. They kind of get duped by a lot of these different schemes of the enemy when it comes to race and gender and all the issues we've touched on.
Yeah. I think one of the things is the worldview is it's simply rooted in culture more than it's rooted in the Bible. And they're, they're raised on, this is what I believe based on the culture.
And I don't really know my Bible. Yeah, that's a really important point and a smart point. Maybe you just want to know that a girl making this decision deserves the truth. It's that next year at this time, she's picking out a Christmas stocking for her baby's first Christmas. It's beautiful to think about your gift of $15,000.
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Go to charliekirk.com right now and click on the preborn banner. So many years ago I heard Dennis Prager and obviously, you know, we, we disagree on some stuff, but he's a good friend. And he said, when I read the Torah and I find something I don't like, I assume that I'm wrong and the Torah is right. And I think that's really smart.
A thousand percent. Right. And I, do you think when Kayden, you kind of, I see, think that some of these pastors they'll read the Bible and they're like, nah, man, I don't like that part. It's cherry picking. I don't like that. I don't like how it feels.
So I'll just go to the things. I like how, you know, is there an intellectual laziness where they don't even want to figure out what it's actually saying? None of them would own that. I think at the, at the core of it, they confuse what Ryan said earlier. They confuse compassion with not speaking. So they, they believe that the goal is for the culture to look at them and say, you are, you're great.
You're great. And, and what they don't and what they hate is for other Christians to go, Hey, that's a problem. So it's exactly what Ryan is saying. They want the praise of the world and they do not listen. They will never listen to somebody who is a brother who will be, they will be in heaven with most likely that that's fundamentalist. That's, that's, uh, that, that, that, that is attacking another brother.
How dare you do that? And, but when the, when the world, they fear the world attacking them, it is, it is a sad thing because they believe if they like me, they'll like Jesus. And so they, they believe that, that that's the way that you do evangelism. You ask the world, what are the things that are most important to you? I will give that to you and then you'll become a Christian.
Yeah. And so to go a level deeper, I'll just play another criticism that I'm sure you guys here is stopping. So political, you know, don't be political and you're again, you're turning people off. It's not what Jesus wanted. Jesus doesn't care about politics. You guys are bringing politics into the church.
In fact. So, uh, more, you know, morning Joe quoted Russell Moore last week and he said, well, Russell Moore believes that church attendance is down because pastors are worshiping Donald Trump more than Jesus Christ. This is the narrative that Christianity is he's Christianity today or what? What is, is that what he is? Or didn't he run the Southern Baptist deal for a little bit?
You're something like that. Yes. And yeah.
So, so Russell Moore's shtick and I'm sure he's done some really amazing scholarship and stuff. I don't know him and I've heard mixed things on it, but his new shtick is, Hey, right wing politics has destroyed the church. Yeah.
Yeah. Left wing politics has destroyed the church. Uh, number one, number two, you can't destroy the church because the, the gates of hell will never prevail against the church. And Russell Moore is a, is an operative. He is a leftist operative who does this. He says, okay, we've got truth and we've got air. And so what we're going to do is we're going to take truths that every evangelical believes, and we're going to relativize them and we're going to move the window a little bit to the left and create a new synthesis. And this, this is what he's been doing. Christianity today, Tim Keller and others, this is what they've been doing. They've been moving systematically, moving the church to the left so that now he feels justified in punching millions of Christians who are going, wait a minute, I don't want to trans my kids. Wait a minute.
I don't, I have 40% less spending power than I did three years ago. Wait a minute. Things are all over the world are falling apart and it's all coming back to what's happening here in this country. Like, wait a minute. I'm supposed to be, uh, I'm supposed to not care about that because I'm a Christian.
What are you talking about? So no, this is politics is theology. It's ethics, it's worldview, it's morality. And by the way, that's all stuff that we as pastors can and should speak on. This is what, this is where we are experts. We're experts in these things and we should, and yes, we should be, and we should speak to these things because this has been a war from the garden between truth and air, light and darkness, right and wrong. Like this is what we exist for to call these things out. There's a prophetic voice the church is supposed to have.
We're not supposed to look at the world and say, Hey, you guys are doing things great. Just add Jesus to it and everything will be, everything will be even better. That's been the message.
You're doing fine, but if you had Jesus, you would do even better. So give him a chance and just like bring pants of your gay pride. Right. Exactly.
Rather than repent of your sins and give him your life, trust him with your salvation. Turn from ours. That's so smart. Yeah. Instead of putting this like synthetic covering of just like the Jesus shirt while you go to a drag queen story hour, exactly.
Maybe you should stop going to the drag. You're like, you actually transform your life, right? This stuff only works in Western cultures. You say the same thing in a Muslim country.
Yeah. Just add Jesus to your life and it's going to get better. They're gonna look at you like you're insane. I'm going to get killed, you know, but if it's, you're going to die and stand before God and Allah is not going to save you. Like Allah is a demon and Muhammad is a false prophet and you need the real Jesus. Like if you hear that and God opens their eyes, it's like, well, yeah, I don't care. Like it's the difference between getting on an airplane with a parachute that says, Hey, this is going to make your flight better versus, Hey, you're going to need this parachute because this plane's going down. This is totally different when it comes to Christ. I think that's really smart.
Ryan or Kate, and you guys can take this. So let me read something here and I'm going to find it here. Christian nationalism. Okay. You can't, you can't turn on TV without them saying Christian nationalism.
Yeah. New Yorker.com. Cause of course Russell Moore wants to get interviewed by New Yorker. The evangelical theologian reflects on his split from the Southern Baptist convention and the politicization of religion, Christian nationalism, as he says, is a danger to Christians.
All right, let me read this opening just a little bit. Until recently, the Reverend Russell Moore held a position of the ethics of religious liberty, blah, blah, blah. He has written that Christian nationalism is liberation theology for white people.
Right? So if people want to understand Christian nationalism in a nutshell, it's not as complicated as it sounds, and it's not as scary as it sounds. You basically look at the world and you think, how did God order the world? And what we see is there are nations, there are countries that tend to exist and Christian nationalism would really start with looking at how do we want our society to be ordered and governed? Do we want globalism? Do we want tribalism? Neither of those things are really ideal or desirable for a litany of reasons. So a more practical and realistic option is nationalism or countries forming, and they could be small countries, large countries, anything in between.
And then if you have a society like we do in the United States of America, we're a nation and we have to look at our society and say, what values are going to govern our society and guide the way we govern ourselves? Now, some people would say, well, we want secularism to be our ideology and our guiding values. Secularism doesn't really work. And the myth of secularism is that it's neutral and that this neutral environment, everyone can kind of just do their own thing and we'll all thrive together.
We'll all prosper together. It would be so tolerant and it'll be love and hippie sunshine and puppies for everyone. But in reality, there is no such thing as a neutral ideology. People are either going to choose Christianity or various, there's various options they can also look at. Islam is an option. I don't think we want Sharia law in America. Secularism is kind of what we've been heading to the last few decades. And that has been what leads to drag queen story hour, kids getting gender reassignment or affirmation surgery, they'll call it.
And so a lot of people right now are going, man, I don't know if this is the society I actually wanted. Maybe the founding fathers were onto something, letting the values of scripture guide their governing vision for America. So Jeff Meyers from Summit Ministries, who I really like, he's become a good friend.
He does this beautiful. He says there's five counterfeit worldviews. So you have to choose a Russell Moore. I would ask him if it's not Christianity that you want the country to be sorted on, which of these five would you like?
Islam, new spirituality, postmodernism, Marxism or secularism? That's what you're saying. Yes, something is going to be the worldview that you live under. So shouldn't we, as Christians, push for a biblical worldview, one that is rooted in what the founders believe in eternal promises?
And I'm sure so. So the thing I want to add, you want to chime into that. So if you're going to make me choose between Christian and non-Christian, I'll take Christian. If you're going to choose between nationalism and globalism, I'll take nationalism. But when you put Christian nationalism together, one, it's one of those terms that has no definition. It's like woke ism.
What do you like? It has no definition. And so people glom onto that term. But the government is glommed onto that term and said, hey, all of these people are Christian nationalists if they pray at an event, if they're anti-abortion. And that's being used to turn Christians into domestic terrorists. I mean, and that's not me being hyperbolic. You can go look it up yourself.
Yeah. Christian nationalism, when you put those two words together, however, many are arguing is a Christian form of Sharia law. And so it is an overthrow of our Constitution. It's an overthrow of our republic, replacing it with a Christian Franco, replacing it with blasphemy laws and things that nobody here would want any of that.
Can I just add this, John? You'll notice that secularism actually does have its own blasphemy laws, which is what they accuse Christians of wanting, misgendering someone is blasphemy. Refusing to affirm someone in their identity is blasphemy. So we see that it's a very hypocritical accusation. And so that's where I would add that Christian nationalism as a movement is seeking to, it's very nefarious.
It's doing exactly what Russell Moore does. He accuses the right of liberation theology when that's what he's pushing. It's the same exact thing that Christian nationalists, what's happening is that you're forcing Christians to go, well, I'm a Christian and I'm a nationalist, so I guess I'm a Christian nationalist, when that's not what they're pushing. They're pushing Christian Sharia law.
And no Christian would want that. We don't want to overthrow the government. We don't want the undermining of the Constitution.
We don't want those things at all. What they're trying to say, in other words, is they're trying to call us Nazis without actually saying. Exactly. It's a dog whistle there.
So Russell Moore continues here. So what scriptures would, you know, Kate and I can go to you. Do you point to that largely instruct how you view politics?
Well, I think you mentioned it earlier. I mean, you look at the, you look at the Ten Commandments, you look at the law, you look at some of the foundation of our faith. I think I heard you at one point talk about how our founding fathers quoted Deuteronomy more than any other book. So I think that they were onto something early on in this experiment of America that we need today.
And that's a healthy thing. So I would just look at the whole of that and the Ten Commandments and the law and say, what is the plan of God for humanity and for a nation like ours? You look at what Jesus said, if we're Christians, it's our Lord and Savior Jesus.
The greatest commandments is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. Love your neighbor as yourself. And then you think about how Jesus taught us to pray, Lord your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. So if you're a Christian and you believe you have new life in Jesus, that new life, Jesus being your King should shape your view on every issue that involves life. And that's why people often accuse pastors of being political. In reality, we're not trying to be political.
It's just that every political issue stems from a life issue. And God has something to say about how we should handle every aspect of our life, our money, our sexuality, our work ethic, our family, our prayer. And that's where when it comes to the Christian nationalist thing, we believe in that.
Everything should be determined by Christ, the scriptures, things of that nature. The question is enforcement. And so do we enforce that by the edge of the sword?
That's what we had. That's what our founding fathers left. We want a free society. We want a free society because coercing religion does not ever produce a Christian, and they knew that.
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Go to lowermydrugprices.com. Look, the goal is a free society because freedom is not, liberty is not man's idea, it's God's idea. And self-government, which is God's initial and original plan, is a free society. Absolutely, and there's nobody in the Bible that I can, I've been thinking about this for weeks now, I can't point to anybody in the Scriptures that overthrew a government and God said that was good.
There's not one. Yeah, usurpation. No, you worked within the government, Daniel within the government, Joseph within the government, and you were a prophet against the government.
That's exactly right. You were in it, you didn't overthrow it. And that's how we're supposed to be. We're not supposed to overthrow our country, we're not supposed to overthrow our constitution, we're supposed to work in it, just like everybody else does, to see a biblical worldview flourish, just like through our laws, through this whole system that we've been given. God really established three spheres of governance in the family, in the church, and civil government. And a Christian looks at that, a pastor looks at that and go, okay, God gave me a leadership role in the church, it's not my job to try to govern society, I'm here to teach and disciple Christians. Or as a father, I look at my family and go, I'm here to raise my daughter and I don't want the government telling me how to raise my daughter. These are separate spheres of governance.
All of these spheres of governance, ultimately, we hope, will recognize Jesus as king, but remain independent spheres. Yeah, in Jeremiah 29 7, you have to demand the welfare of the nation that you are in, because your welfare is tied to your nation's welfare. And so to kind of put a bow on this, when Christians will say, I don't care about my nation, is that biblical? You can't point to any scripture to justify that. You can, like you just did, point it to one that's against that.
So that would be several others. Yeah, that'd be using biblical truth for your nation. Yeah, it's biblical truth in an unbiblical way. So it's extensions of theology.
It's not coming from exegesis. So one of the things we hear a lot, and I know that you guys probably have differences, so I go in this with great caution, and I don't actually want to get into the differences. I don't want to get in the pre-trib post-trib. That stuff, I don't find that to be a useful discussion right now. What I want to get into, though, is how some of our rank and file, our fellow believers in Christ, are disengaging in the fight because they believe the end is near. That is what I want to talk about. That's a concern I see growing.
We get emails every day. Charlie, the end is near. It's the end times. It's not fallen apart. It's fallen into place. Is that biblical, to say that it's God's plan?
Why should I fight? Yeah, every generation of Christians have believed they've lived in the last days, that Jesus was coming back right around the corner, and here we are still. And so we should live like he could come back tomorrow, but we should still plant trees. We should still share the gospel. We should still raise our kids, because we don't ultimately know. It's not an either-or.
It's a both-and. Yeah, Jesus says, don't worry about tomorrow. It has enough worries of its own.
Right. Thessalonians was written to a church that was struggling with this, and they wanted to disengage from society and run off into the mountains and wait for the Lord to return and stop working and stop labor and quit their jobs. And the whole book that we have in our Bible today is Thessalonians, was written. Part of the message that Paul sent to that church was, hey, stay busy. Keep doing what God's called you to do. Live with hope that Jesus is returning, and that's what all Christians, Orthodox Christians agree on, is one day Jesus will return, regardless of when he returns.
I don't know. I'm not on the planning committee, as one of my pastor friends say. I'm on the welcoming committee, and I'm just holding on to that hope, but I'm going to live with resilience today. I'm hopeful, but when you read Matthew 24, and Jesus talks about the end times, there is a chance that for Christians, we could face increased hate, persecution, arrest, and even death, and I think pastors have to prepare people, prepare to be hated for the cause of Christ. Yeah, and there was 1948, the Jews go back to the land. Books were coming out, 88 reasons why Jesus will return in 1988.
I mean, the most recent one was 2013. Jesus was going to come back, you know, and we did not. Are we going to learn from that?
That people keep saying these kinds of things. The end is coming, and we're going to be in the middle of the world, and we're coming, and we're not learning that, hey, we're still here. If you think the end is coming, plant a tree. That's one of my favorite quotes ever.
Yeah, it was Luther that said that, right? You think the end is coming, now I'm going to go plant a tree, which obviously... If you knew Jesus was coming back today, what would you do?
He said, I'd plant a tree. Think about it. It's the exact opposite. Some people would say, look, the house is on fire, got to get the kids out, run to the hills, Jesus is coming next Thursday, and while I appreciate the commitment to God's promises, I'm worried that it creates a sense of retreat, and not fighting, and not building robust institutions to try to pass down for, you know, the next generation, or for people that come next.
So anyway, I see that happening a lot. The other thing that I want to ask you guys is, for our national audience, your three amazing Arizona churches here. Name your church again. Redeemer, Bible Church, Generation Church, Radiant. All in Arizona. Check it out, guys. All throughout the valley, so no excuses, okay?
East Valley, and he's out in Surprise, so that's West Valley, you know, we got a West Valley option all over the valley. I want to ask you guys, anyone who could chime in here, is what is the effective way that someone listening in Maine, or Virginia, or Florida, can fight wokeism in their church, or should they just find a new church? Is it worth trying to get a pastor who's flirting with this stuff, who might be neutral?
What is your experience? What is the wisdom you can share with our national audience with that? Leave. Find a new church. Yeah, you're not going, you're not, this is an ideology. If they're both neutral or woke, or if... Oh, I'm sorry, not neutral. If it's woke, leave.
If they're neutral, and they're on the edge, they're flirting, they're shimmering, they get scared when they talk about it, but they haven't... Yeah, typically, I would say you need to go to a place. Why? Because if the pastor is waffling on this, the kids in the youth group are going to embrace it. And so get your kids out of there and to a church that's going to ground you in the troop. I do think there is a decent percentage of pastors who their heart is in the right place. They just haven't really realized what time it is and what's happening in our culture. There are some pastors who, like the sons of Issachar, they knew the times and what they ought to do. And I think there's some guys who are just a little slower to see what's happening.
It's not really an excuse. They should see what's happening. At this point.
At this point, we should know the play that's being run on us. But one thing people could do, if you feel called to a church and you wish your church was more bold on these issues, anytime your pastor does touch on these issues, encourage him, say amen, support that church, help him gain... Send a nice email. Thank you.
Thank you. So encourage as much as you can. Encourage as much as you can.
But there comes a point where I agree with John, if the church won't be clear today, the right thing to do is to leave that church and go find a church that's faithful. I was going to say what Ryan exactly said. A little bit of encouragement as someone who's younger, the encouragement of some older people in my life. Hey, keep speaking the truth. Keep doing that. It really helped me. And I think that it'll help the next generation of guys that are coming up.
Hey, get in now. Understand what's going on and don't be ashamed or afraid to share the truth. And I think that we'll continue to see that shift in a really good way if we do that. But I agree with John as well. If it's just going to continue to go back and forth and you've already maybe had coffee with the pastor or whatever, yeah, you might want to find a new place to go.
So let's go really quick. Red flags. If pastors start saying what, for the untrained eye, I mean, our audience is super smart, but... Yeah, if they start waffling on female pastors, there's that. I know that I just threw a bomb in the middle of the thing, but this is part of the social justice movement. If they start talking about racial reconciliation, Jesus already did that.
He already reconciled the races. So there's things of that nature. There is a sense that we have to stick to what does the Bible say. And so when a guy's teaching through a book and he skips a section because he knows he's going to get in trouble or starts waffling on different things, like... Yeah, if you're afraid to offend, you're spending a year going through the book of Romans and you skip the entire first chapter. Yeah, exactly. Reprobate mind.
Women attracted to women, men attracted to men. Worshiping the creation, not the creator. Oh, we're going to skip all that. You know, we'll just go to Romans 11. If you hear a pastor talk about gay Christians, that would be a major red flag.
You don't think there's such a thing. There is no such thing as a gay Christian. There are Christians who struggle with same-sex attraction, and they work very hard to put that sinful desire to death. But as a Christian, our identity is rooted in Christ. And so there's no other sin that Christians identify. No Christian says, I'm a stealing Christian. I'm a gambling Christian. Yeah, this is a part of the enemy scheme, and there are some pastors that buy into it.
Really smart. Closing thoughts, guys. It's a tough season for pastors right now.
You know, Christmas season, Thanksgiving, you guys are doing like 92 services between now and the end of the year, right? Final thoughts will go around the horn. Kaitlyn, we'll start with you.
John hit something earlier. I would encourage people to make Jesus the Lord of your life, not just add him or a Lord in your life, but the Lord of your life. Surrender your life to him, your will to him. That's what's needed.
Kaitlyn, that's amazing. Right. Final thoughts. Man, I've been really burdened for pastors around the country. And one encouragement I would want to give them is over the last few years, as you know, my church has become more clear and truthful and bold on what the Bible says, there is an initial falling out and pruning season that a lot of churches have to go through. And for even individual followers of Jesus, individual Christians, when you really choose to follow the Lord fully, you're going to lose some friends. You're going to lose relationships.
You're going to lose followers on social media. But what you find in the end is that when you're faithful to what God's word says, it's worth it in the end for a church leader, a pastor, an elder at a church, you might deal with some initial fallout if you really lean into God's word and what it says. But in the end, when you make it through that difficult season, you're left with a healthier church that actually disciples the found and reaches the lost. And it's so worth it to get to that point. I want to reiterate what Ryan just said.
I'm going to ask you a question, Ryan, as a follow up, whether I talk to a college conservative or a pastor where there's a decision and they say, am I going to speak the truth? And I know it's going to be tough. This is typically how it goes two to three very difficult weeks. Exactly. Right. That's usually the period of time, right?
Two to three weeks. And then all of a sudden you wake up and you're like, wait, those people are out of my life. Yeah.
And then it gets better. Is that about right? Right. Yeah.
It's in the time can vary for different situations, but when you're faithful to the Lord, you're going to lose, you're going to lose out on some relationships, some opportunities, but the only real option for a faithful Christian is to be silent or to be hated. So I know what I pick. I'd rather be hated by the world and approved of by the Lord. John, final thoughts.
Yeah. So just got back from Europe and especially Scotland and London and went to sites where Protestant forefathers were martyred and looked at these sites, went to these sites, took pictures, all of that, but realize like here, these men were and women were ready to die in Edinburgh for Liberty, ready to die for the truth of the gospel. And here we are afraid to get some bad things said about us on social media. Like we, we live in this, we have become very soft and it is something where pastors, one pastor friend who says the problem with pastors is nobody's trying to kill them. That there, that, that, that has created a softness to us.
And so someone, someone's saying like, these are firm lines and this is true. And this is false. Like, because the world isn't like that.
And because we're not being killed for it, it's like, well, I mean, honestly, it might be changing soon. Like that pork, it's that guy still alive that got shot in the street. I don't know if he, I don't know. I do. Yeah. Victory church. Yeah.
He got shot on the side of the street in the West Valley while preaching. And so I would say live in the tension between truth and love, but don't sacrifice either for the other. Amen. Thank you guys so much. And we really appreciate working with you guys at TPSA faith and love speaking at your church.
God bless you guys. Thank you. Thank you. Thanks so much for listening. Everybody email us as always freedom at charliekirk.com. Thanks so much for listening.
For more on many of these stories and news you can trust go to charliekirk.com. My words police by HR words like grandfather, peanut gallery, long time no see no can do. When I grow up, I want to be obsessed with emotional safety and do workplace sensitivity training all day long. When I grow up, I want to climb the corporate ladder just by following the crowd. I want to be a conformist. I want to weaponize my pronouns.
What are pronouns? It's time to grow up and get back to work. Introducing the number one woke free job board in America, red balloon.work.
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