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Why Affirmation Is Not Love: A Conversation at the Pastors Roundtable

The Charlie Kirk Show / Charlie Kirk
The Truth Network Radio
January 14, 2024 5:00 am

Why Affirmation Is Not Love: A Conversation at the Pastors Roundtable

The Charlie Kirk Show / Charlie Kirk

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January 14, 2024 5:00 am

The big word of the 2020s is "affirmation." Affirm people's pronouns, affirm their lifestyle choices, affirm the decrees of America's rulers. But God doesn't care about being "nice." He cares about sin: Avoiding it ourselves, and preaching others to repentance. At a recent pastors roundtable, Charlie talks to Rob McCoy, Richard Vega, Jesse Bailey, and Neil Hoffman about standing up bravely rather than worrying about what the government says — or what the parishioners in the pews might think.

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Hey everybody, happy Sunday! It's a pastors' roundtable that we have with some of our favorite pastors. We'll be putting the names and churches in the bio. You can also find them at Some courageous pastors brought to you by TPUSA faith at our pastors' summit in San Diego, California from a little while ago, but now we're just airing this.

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Go to All right, everybody. Welcome to our pastors roundtable. Let's go around the roundtable and everyone introduce themselves. Rob, you first.

Rob McCoy. I'm the pastor of God Speak Church in Thousand Oaks, California, and I also work with you. And he's my pastor. Richard Vega out of Houston, Texas, Community Transformation Church and At His Feet Ministries. The best jacket.

Yeah, seriously, same thing. Jesse Bailey, pastor of Legacy Family Church in Canoga Park, Los Angeles. All right, and I'm Neil Hoffman. I am pastor of Foothills Christian Church right here in San Diego, and we love being a part of TP.

Awesome. So, Richard, I'll start with you. Let's say that you have someone in your congregation comes up to you and say, hey, I don't like that you talk about politics. I just come here to go to church and I have to hear about the news.

How do you respond to something like that? Well, I tell them that throughout scripture is, you know, the government all throughout scripture, you know, from God is the one who created government, right, and policies and laws and all of those things. We can look in the Book of Exodus. We can go into the Book of Romans, wherever you want to start, Old Testament, New Testament. You know, we read about kings that are presidents. We can look at it that way.

Right. And so everyone that you read, there's there's government and political officials all throughout the scripture. Do you do you get pushback when you speak about these issues, current events? Some some talk about to say that it's too much. But I think in this world right now, you know, we have to be on the offensive side and we got to be able to address what's what's in the room.

That's right. So so in LA, is it easy to speak out on these issues? Not at all.

Yeah, not at all. Well, there's a couple of dynamics. One, the area of LA that I'm in is particularly liberal. So to have a pastor to speak out, especially one being an African-American, because there's a certain expectation that you go along with the cultural norm.

And when you break that, you're worse than an infidel in the culture's eyes a lot of times. In 2016, I spoke very boldly about the issues that were being addressed and the election that was coming up. And as a result of that, there was a departure from the church, let's just say. So it is difficult.

However, as we heard today, when you're a coward, cowardice is contagious, but so is courage. So even through that, even speaking up boldly in that area, it drew more people who were looking for answers from the pulpit. So I think we have a demand on us and a command from the Lord to make sure that we're speaking on these issues. Because it's not just political.

It's not really political issues. There are moral issues. And as Christians, we have the truth. We have the moral compass. So we have a responsibility to speak on those things. And if we don't, then our people in the flock suffer, our country suffers.

Charlie, just to add to Jesse, he was the only pastor in the San Fernando Valley to remain open during the lockdown orders and defying the governor. That guy's fearless. And do you receive pushback for that? Quite a bit of pushback. You shouldn't be talking about politics. You should just stick to preaching the gospel and say, you know, we do preach the gospel, very much so. But Jesus said to teach everything that he taught us. So part of what we teach is morality, the commands of God, the value of life, the importance of equality, not equity, but equality, that we love everyone the same, regardless of race.

And we don't allow that to come in and divide the church, the racial politics that are at play, even within the church. Foothills Church? Yep, Foothills.

So Southern California kind of... Behind enemy lines? Yeah. I mean, it's kind of just like live and let live culture around here, right? So let's say you have a congregant that comes to you and they say, you know, my daughter thinks that she's a man. How do you handle that? We, well, first we meet, we have got counselors.

Is this a situation you've experienced? Many times. Oh, wow. Okay.

If you're at liberty to tell us, I'd be curious. So one of the things is our counselors, they're not licensed counselors, because if you're a licensed counselor, then you are not allowed to pull people out of the homosexual, transgender lifestyle. So we actually do not hire licensed counselors. So we got the, this has happened a number of times, in this particular situation, the young man came in, he got counseled, you know, and came out and praised God on this certain time, believe in the truth. It's a lie that is implanted in these kids. A lot of them are just, they're searching for the truth. They don't know where to find it. They go onto social media, they get some, you know, some people encouraging them in a certain way. They lean into it, but the truth is not there. You know, the Bible says, it says, fathers do not provoke your kids to anger. I think this is a big part of this because when we don't train our kids in the truth, they grow up, they learn about transgenderism, homosexuality, they go down these gender confused aisles or any of the other aisles, and as they grow up, they find it to be hollow, it doesn't work, they fail, and it provokes them to anger.

Our job is to stop them before they get there. How many of these transgender kids are going to wake up, they're going to open up their eyes in five years and say, I wish someone would have told me the truth. That's right.

Or maybe they hadn't lied to me. Yeah, right. Affirmation actually is not the loving thing to do. You're affirming a lot.

Right, absolutely. So Rob, I came to you last because I know you're the best. So Rob, speak to this. We have an amazing summit here, 1,100 pastors. Unbelievable. You inspired me and us to do this.

Kind of give a little bit of a scorecard to the last couple of years at least on your opinion of the journey we've been on. Yeah. Well, I've always desired to see the church step back in the Ekklesia, the public square. Now we think that word means church, you and I know better because we've done a deep study, deep dive study on it.

And yet the church abdicated its responsibility in the public square about 50 years ago. And they don't do politics. Politics is dirty. They hate the word politics. And as you and I both know, politics is the highest form of community, morality, sociability. And so when I met you, I was a city councilman and a pastor, and that's what connected us. That you can be a Christian and be in politics.

I never knew it existed. Yeah. Yeah. That's actually what I said to you.

Yeah. And the idea is good government happens with good people. And the reason why we have bad government is because good people aren't participating. And all that's necessary for evil to prosper is for good men and women to do nothing.

And you have to step into the middle of it. I've always loved the line that politicians are actors performing a script written by the audience. And if the church isn't writing the script, they have no role in it. Thus they have no say in it.

Let me ask any one of you guys can chime in here. The way you're pastoring your churches is still a minority in the country. Bold, courageous, speaking out on public issues. Being in the community, I guarantee you guys know 5, 10, 15 other pastors that you still probably get along with. And they see things differently than you do. What are the top objections you hear from them as to why they're not contesting in the public square, not taking these stands? The biggest one I always hear is I've got a divided congregation. I got guys on this side and they've got their Trump hats.

And then on this side, they've got their BLM hats. And I'm always trying to dance. I have to do the dance. So actually, can I ask you guys this question real quick? What would you tell the pastor that feels like he has to dance between two sides of his congregation?

How can you give him the courage to what we were talking about? Just be bold and be courageous. That there's different rules if you're in the ministry. It says this in the book of Jude. It says this in Titus that if you're going to be in charge of a church, you're going to be in the Holy Leviticus. The whole book is basically about this from priestly garments to pre-ritual ceremonies, which is you have different rules. And that doesn't mean if you're not cut out to be that, that's okay.

You can go sell insurance or go be a developer. That's fine. But to use the word preacher, pastor, counselor, shepherd, and then be a coward? I don't consider you to be somebody worthy of the ministry. And I get attacked for saying that. On my side, what you asked, the group was, is a lot of pastors are fearful of losing their 501c3. And they're scared to speak against what is the, I guess, the normal government versus biblically. Yeah. I mean, you know, not a single church has lost their C3 in the last 20 years.

Tell them all the time. And it's just an excuse. They get, I don't even know if they believe it. This fear of man is a snare. Yes. Yeah. Yes.

How did you say that? I bet we can make a list, right? I'm sure you guys hear this could lose my 501c3.

I have an elder board, right? I got bills to pay. Right. Um, I don't know how to speak out of these issues. I don't want to be political. I only preach the gospel. What am I missing? What boils down to Charlie is fear of man. They have, they've lost their fear of God and now they just fear man. And, and, and, you know, I'm, I'm speaking as a pastor and I know the difficulty. We all know the difficulties. We've all watched our church shrink. Yeah, absolutely.

And then grow or grow. Yeah. But one of the things that we have to remember is, uh, a lot of times we will, we will not speak truth because we understand that there are nuances in certain members of our congregation's life. Well, if I, if I speak on this truth, I don't want to offend this person because I know they've been through something and there's some nuance to them. So we, we have a difficult time separating what needs to be spoken publicly from the pulpit. And then our private conversations that we have with individuals and what we end up doing, if we do that too much is we will no longer speak the standard of God from the pulpit. And what we will do is we will speak to just, uh, to the individuals whom we know in the congregation. And as a, as a pastor, our job is to feed the flock.

Good. That means we feed them the word of God and let the Holy spirit do the rest. But when we start feeding the man and their response to that, then we completely give our authority over to the flock. The flock doesn't direct, uh, the, the church. Yeah.

The pastor's job is to direct the flock and lead them the way God did. And that's why there's different rules for the shepherd. Yes. Right. Exactly.

It has to be different rules, criteria, standards. This pastors think that peace is the absence of conflict. Oh yeah. Right. But it is, it's the presence of Christ in the midst of the conflict. So, um, not to pick on this guy, but he is awfully, uh, popular and Andy Stanley, and he has some strong opinions about this.

And so again, we'll give him the respect that a lot of people have of him. I certainly don't, but I'm going to read his quote. The reaction of evangelicals to political and cultural shifts in recent years revealed what they value most lurking beneath our Bible laced rhetoric, faith claims, books, and sermons is relentless drive to win, but the church is not here to win by every human measure our savior lost pause. I don't even know what he means by that.

That's a very strange thing on purpose with a purpose. We are his body. We are not in it to win anything. We're here to something in it for something else entirely. That's what this book is about. And the book is not in it to win it by choosing sides sidelines the church. So he's saying that the church should never make truth claims. What is your reaction? Cause I'm sure you hear some garden variety of this talking point.

Yeah. The Bible says that the church is the pillar and ground of truth. So for us to not make truth claims or do not pick a sides is to take a passive position and to allow evil to continue. We cannot take that position. When we go out and say, well, I just want to play both sides.

Then what you're in fact doing is you're playing wickedness. Because if we, if our job is to stand for truth, then you have just relinquished all truth. And you turn your flock over to Satan because they're going to listen to someone.

And if you won't leave them, somebody else will. He says, Jesus says, I am the way, the truth and life. There's one way to thought. There's one way to bring our churches. When people stop standing up and speaking for something, then the cost of speaking rises and which further causes people to stop speaking. And then that rises until you have a nation of churches that don't want to say anything at all. See some churches think that if they don't speak out, they're being neutral.

There is no neutrality. You're either, you're either raising the cost or lowering the cost of speaking. The more we talk, the less the cost of speaking out is. And that's what you guys are doing right now. That's what we're doing at this conference right now. Reversing the spiral of silence, right? Right. A spiral of courage. Right.

Yeah. At the end of the day, you know, God hates evil. And it's very clear on what he hates, right? If we look at Revelation 21 eight, he talks about, he has a whole list of what's going on, of who's going to burn the lake of fire. And the beginning of that verse is the coward.

If we don't stand up and start preaching truth and we coward down, you can consider yourself being thrown in the lake of fire. And at the end of the day, it's very clear. Evil is evil and righteous is righteous. And what they do is we don't recognize the progression that happens. We think we're being kind and gentle and welcoming to everybody, but it's the exact opposite, right? When you're passive, that leads to being permissive and you start permitting these things. Once you start being permissive, you start protecting, well, that's their right. And then eventually you start promoting it.

Now you have a black square on your Instagram or a rainbow on there. And then once you start promoting it, then you start participating and then participation leads to perdition. And that is the subtlety of Satan. And it all starts with being passive.

We cannot take that stand. So then let's go a level deeper in this in particular. Then since it's so clear to all of us, we're allegedly all reading the same book as Andy Stanley is how could he come to a conclusion like this?

What is motivating him? And I hate to go too deep into intentions, but it's worth exploring, right? Because it's not just him, it's a whole community of big Eva, of Ed Stetzer, of now deceased commit Timothy Keller and Rick Warren, of people that parrot this. So are they reading a different book than we are? No, but I think that their mind has been shifted because their eyes have been shifted and what they're feeding their their soul and their mind and the spirit, you know, the blinders have been put on. And so so they're they're being able to receive what is not truth. At one point, they might have known truth or never really had developed a relationship with truth, but read about truth. There's a difference between having the relationship with Jesus and knowing Jesus. Well, being pastors and having the same Bible, there's no excuse. You can be deceived. But eventually it turns into a decision. And then it turns into delusion. And as a pastor, you can't claim a claim. Oh, I've been deceived. No, you have the same Word of God. And what's happened is, is that something has come in and become more valuable to you than truth.

What might that be? Sorry to interrupt. More than anything, it's man. The praises of man, the fear of man, the income, the income, you know, the Lord writes in Timothy that many have departed from the faith and pursuit of of fame and fortune. And you you look at these individuals who have large church followings, they have large bank accounts, lots of books, lots of books, and they sacrifice truth for that. You know, it's interesting, too, when you look at, especially since COVID, the churches that have, you know, really focused in on the cultural winds and the sails of their ships and have really joined in, in what society is dictating, in a large part because of the finances, because of the butts and seeds. It's so interesting, though, that the churches that stood up, they're the ones growing.

The ones that allowed culture come through. They blew through and they're low in numbers, their finances are going down. I mean, God raises up those that are speeding into him regardless. But their counterargument, if they were to be here, and I, you know, texted with Rick Warren back and forth, and, you know, he's a very forceful person. And, you know, I'll just leave it at that, and has some very strong opinions and doesn't see it the way we do. And, you know, he will say, but Charlie, I have the baptisms to prove it. And we need to get a lost world in through the door. And speaking about politics will not get the lost through the door.

It will not get the broken through the door. It scares me that pastors would say this, because are they not preaching on sin? No. I mean, clearly they're not, right? Clearly they're not. So what are they, what are they, what are they preaching on? I mean, are they preaching on redemption? I mean, are they preaching on what, what salvation really was for and what the cross was for and all these other things that go with the blood of Jesus?

What are they preaching? Yeah. You can make anything an idol.

That's the thing we need to know. You can make biblical principles idols. And sometimes we can make salvation an idol, the idol of just focusing on salvation and nothing more. And that's just going to produce baby Christians that cannot stand when the, when the storms come, we have to focus on discipleship.

Disciples make other Christians, disciples make other disciples. And when we stop focusing on that, we become paper thin. It's not about politics. It's about morality. Abortion is a moral issue. Racism is a moral issue. All of these things are moral issues. And we speak on moral issues because we have the moral compass, the word of God. So that's one problem. The other problem is to, to list out your baptisms is to steal away credit from the Lord. And one, so another waters, but the Lord gets the interest. So for me to brag on that is to steal glory from God.

And that is a dangerous place for anyone to be. We cannot do that. So that is a very, and look, I don't know pastor Rick, but I will say this, that statement is very arrogant and very prideful to, to steal God's glory like that. And that is an indication of where the mindset is.

If you were going to actually say that I would never say, I got this person to say, look what I did. We don't do any of that. The Lord gets the increase and we leave it right there. Our job is to preach the truth of the word of God. So just kind of more broadly then that that is a question. Church attendance is down in the last 20 or 30 years. Big Eva says we have to try and show ourselves to a world more welcoming, be all things to all people. And our opinion would say the spirit, the truth. That's actually what a broken culture needs more than ever. This is it. You guys have lived through the last 20 years, the most seeker sensitive move.

Has it worked? I don't think at all. In fact, we had a motto at our church and our motto is offend regularly, offend often. That way when people are offended, they're not surprised. You know what I mean? It's our job. That's our, that's our calling as pastors.

It's not just get pats on the path. We've got to call out the devil is trying to get inside of everyone. So if all we're doing is trying to get people saved, then we're definitely not hating what God has called us to shepherd. You know, politics is done by addition and multiplication, not by division and subtraction. And when I'm saying stuff like speaking about Rick Warren, the influence on my life, it's not because I'm advocating for his departure from, you know, the centrality. But I look at some of these guys and I have to just say that what they're trying to communicate is, we don't want you to go up and defend Trump from the pulpit. I don't do that. What I'm doing is I'm saying this is how the gospel clearly speaks to the issues we're dealing with. But there are pastors that go up and it's all one party and they're making it, you know, it's a litmus test, they're throwing red meat. I get that.

You don't want that. But what we do is completely different than what it is they say we're doing. Yes. We're equipping saints on the ministry. So let me ask you a question, guys, to go around the horn. What is one message, one verse, one chapter of one of your go-to sermons that if every pastor in the country internalized it and gave it, the country would be in a better place? Sir, with you, Richard.

Oh, wow. Yeah, so I would have to go back on Revelation 21 verse 8. Don't be a coward. Get out there and speak truth. You know, if you preach on sin, you're going to pull out. That's what got me saved is I walked into a church. My pastor to this day, he was preaching on sin and he preached, I mean, he preached me to repentance and complete transformation in my life. You can't be worried about what people are going to say or how they're going to judge you. God, when he released the word and the prophets and everybody wrote the Bible, they didn't ask me for my opinion.

They didn't ask me what I thought, right? Just like Job. The word is the word. Preach truth. Get out there and preach sin.

It is what it is. God hates sin. Call it out and let's heal from it and let's restore and let's transform our communities. Why are churches so afraid to talk about sin? Because they're going to lose people, the headcount in their churches, you know, who they're going to offend. We have gone to a society of where we care more about people's feelings than actually caring for their eternal life.

Rob, what's your go-to? Matthew 18, 24. Upon this rock I'll build my public square, Ecclesia, City Hall. That's what Jesus, that's the word he used.

It's very simple. And then I will also say, Galatians 3, 24. The law, the law is a school teacher guardian to point us to Christ until faith comes. So as we contend for the moral law in the public square, it causes people to be convicted of their sin and point them to the hope of Christ. But if it's a culture that everything's a go, what are you saving them from?

Nothing. So it all works together. I would say 1 Timothy 3, 15 says, I write to you that you might know how to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is a church of the living God, the pillar and ground of truth. Truth is the highest value because on truth hangs every other value, love, hope, peace. If we depart from truth, we depart from everything that makes us unique as Christians, makes us unique as a nation. And if we depart from truth, we're in effect departing from Christ because he is the way, the truth and the life.

Yeah. I think all the way to Old Testament, 1 Samuel and just the story of Eli and how Eli was the high priest. He was the judge. I mean, if anybody was poised to take Israel down an incredible road, it was him. But at the end, where do we find him? He dies. Israel is not in a good place.

The ark is taken. And it's interesting when you look at his life, on all accounts, he was a good man, except for one thing, he tolerated his kids. He didn't stand for righteousness. He didn't stand for the truth. He didn't stand against sin.

He let his kids do, I mean, if you read it, all the things. And the truth is, is that his main sin was what we tolerate. We can't tolerate things like this. And we have to stand. What we tolerate, we allow, and what we allow is going to destroy us. And it destroyed them.

The ark of the covenant was gone. So what I would say is, we need to be careful. You don't get to have a neutral ground.

There's no neutral areas. You either stand against sin or you encourage it. It's our only choice.

That's good. Jesse, you were saying, both of you guys were saying, I think actually the table, this idea that truth becomes more costly if we don't stand in defense of it. And I think this last go round, people didn't take the shot because they believe in its efficacy. They didn't want to lose their job. Well, that's the cost of truth.

That's right. And the government had the power to make you make that decision, even though you mentally couldn't process that. And you're going to lose your job. The country doesn't have any business doing that. Your authority ends where my skin begins.

Wherever you feel about that thing, whatever you've read about it. But the more we contend for truth, then it's more accessible for the total of the populace. The more we're silent, the more expensive it is. And most people are afraid of the consequences of truth. We need to fight and tell that that's something that we were raised with and we value.

That's right. Amen. Can I ask you a question? Yeah, we have about 10 minutes. I know we can open it up, whatever you want.

Like you said something last night that was very good. You said that the church really had an opportunity, a big open door at the start of COVID. I mean, you knew where the church was going to go, but the church fell asleep. It didn't take its opportunity to be the church.

My question is, and I thought about this last night, what do you see right now as opportunities or big open doors for the church today? Yeah, the transgender issue, I think is the number one thing happening in the country. The transgender issue is a war in God's design.

We're in parental rights. It's coming politically. It's coming culturally. It's coming from children.

It's coming educationally. Almost every aspect of the things that I spend my time in, government, politics, culture, education, is the trans thing is not just on the fringes. It's the dominant state-run pagan belief of our time.

So in Genesis 1 through 11, God laid out the distinctions that keep us free, distinctions between God and man, holy, profane, good, evil, man, and woman. The transgender goes after every single one of them. It is one of the only things, even more so than even the abortion issue, that go after the ultimate distinctions. And I'm not saying the abortion issue is not important.

I'm incredibly pro-life, but this one's a whole new wrinkle of demonic activity because with the abortion issue, a lot of it was done in the shadows, done in private. I don't see it. I don't see it. Now this is forefront. Now the evil's in your face. Now the evil's advertised. Now the evil's on TV.

And still people are forced to tolerate it. It goes after the false god and the fake pagan god of tolerance. It goes after the idea of how far is the church going to take it. The fact that if you have people at your church where the kids are getting recruited into and groomed into the transgender lifestyle, this is in the church actively. And I'll be honest, vast majority of churches are failing the test. I got in a big debate recently with a pastor in Austin, Texas. He said, I can't speak out about it until my elders have trans kids, 16-year-olds that had their breasts removed and they're on Lupron.

And I can't. We have to just love them. So the new position of the American big EVA church is to love a child, is to cut off their breasts, give them hysterectomies, put them on Lupron, and then antidepressants that follow.

So they're basically an annuity for the pharmaceutical companies. So that's the one where I say if we cannot unite the entire body, I mean the abortion issue, we were not able to unite the entire body, but at least most of it, there should not be a single dissenting voice. If not, I hate to be self-righteous.

I doubt you're a Christian. God bless you guys. Any final thoughts? Yeah. I just want to say thank you guys for everything you guys do. Thank you.

The thanks is to you. We'd be going on a long walk without them. Yeah. We just challenge you and all pastors out there, get other pastors to attend our events, especially the ones that need it, the ones that are not speaking out. There are some great men that are leading churches right now that need to be speaking up and they are.

And we need to challenge them. And I feel as if we're starting to create a community where that can happen lovingly and to get them into hopefully conviction. God bless you guys. Thank you. Thanks so much for listening. Everybody email us as always freedom at Thanks so much for listening. God bless.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-14 06:15:06 / 2024-01-14 06:28:19 / 13

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