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Get ready. It's one of America's most important, influential and respected voices on cultural and political issues. An apologist, Christian political advocate and author, here is the founder and chairman of the Citizens for America Foundation, Dr. Chris Hughes. I'm Chris Hughes.
Welcome to The Christian Perspective, where we look in God's Word in order to develop a Christian worldview and modern culture. If you read Newsmax, then you're going to know Jonathan Jacobowski. Jonathan has been a high level football player. He's a columnist. He's an author. Jonathan is on the cutting edge of our culture. And he has a keen eye for what's happening. And I think he's like a modern day Paul Revere. Jonathan has raised the alarm to let us know the dangers that we are facing in our nation and across the world today. It's an honor to have him on the show. Jonathan, welcome to The Christian Perspective. Well, Chris, what a compliment.
I have never been compared to Paul Revere. I don't know what to do with that. You just made my day. Well, when I was looking at your articles and things you do, you really address the issues of what's going on in our culture and the world today, which is really the focus of our show. And you're telling people to wake up and see what's happening in our country. And, you know, Paul Revere is the most famous guy to do that.
But I think you're right on this trail. It truly is an honor. I look to folks like you, Chris, and your leadership throughout the years here in our nation. And those are the inspiring figures that allow us to move forward. And I think, as it said, you've got to stand on the shoulder of giants. So men like Paul Revere and his bravery and many others give us the inspiration to share the truth today.
Yeah, we do. We need people like that who will wake people up to the coming dangers. So we're going to talk about politics and football and all kinds of cool stuff today. But before we do, I really want to focus some time on a ministry that you have called Champions in Action, because you're doing a great work around the world. And so before we get into the fun stuff of politics, I want people to hear what you're doing and find out how they can help you.
So what is Champions in Action? Well, yeah, I appreciate you asking that, especially on the heels of Giving Tuesday, where most ministries like ours are moving into kind of the final month of fundraising here to end the year. Champions was started because I was a missionary in Guatemala in high school, and then I came back to the States and played college football. But God placed a vision in my heart to reach out to kids without dads, basically, young girls and boys without fathers in the most dangerous, deepest, darkest places in Guatemala City called Red Zones.
Guatemala is in this place called the Northern Triangle. By the way, it makes me intimately acquainted with the immigration debate. I understand it from the stories of people that I've connected with on a personal level. But these children who have had their lives ravaged by violence, by poverty, by malnourishment, by fatherlessness, that was really the heart and soul of why Champions in Action was started. And the purpose of Champions is to connect these youth to life-changing mentors through soccer. And the Word of God, the Bible, is the foundation through which we communicate and coach and train not just soccer, as they call it on their football, but also life. And we've seen so many stories, thousands of stories of children whose lives have been transformed by the gospel and who are living differently because of that transformation. So is it like a league that you have set up down there with different teams?
Yeah, it's pretty comprehensive. So it's now a six-year program where it's an academy. So we establish an academy in their home region. We identify our coaches from churches, and we train those coaches through a mentorship academy. So those coaches go through six months of training, and then most of our kids start with a camp.
It's a premier elite camp that is five hours from the capital city. We take them out, we treat them like kings and queens on the best fields with food they've never had before, three meals a day to a place that they've never been before, would actually see a body of water near the Caribbean, kind of in that Gulf of Mexico area. And they, for a week, play a whole lot of soccer. They're incredibly tired, but they hear a lot about the gospel of Christ and experience this transformation of perspective.
But upon the transformation of perspective, and for most of them, the acceptance of Christ into their lives, back home, nothing's changed. So that's where our mentors really step up because they disciple these children who are turned back into their communities now with that soccer academy that's being established where they practice a couple times a week, and then they enter into a soccer league that we create. In Guatemala, they don't have soccer leagues like we have here for our high schools and junior highs, right?
There, we created a soccer league that's premier. They get jerseys, uniforms on top pitches, top fields with referees, with league statistics, with advertisements and promotions. And the only way, though, that they can play is there's a scripture verse theme that's etched into every one of the trainings that our mentors teach. And if the child does not share that scripture verse exactly verbatim, as it's been taught to them, they can't play. It's a big incentive to get them on the field, let me tell you.
They make sure they memorize that verse. What a great ministry. I mean, I bet that's got to be, you know, one, for kids, it's a big deal because they get these nice uniforms and get to play with professional equipment that their peers probably don't get and to get this great training where they might be able to go on. Do you have any stories of kids who've maybe gone on in their college system or I don't know if it's like our system here in America, but maybe went to the next level with the skills that you taught them? Hundreds of stories. There are a few kids that have moved on to kind of the elite professional soccer level from the years we've been doing this.
We started in 2010 and we just have countless stories of kids' lives who have been changed. But one story that I'll share to your listeners today is not somebody that succeeded in the professional level, but somebody I met at the very first camp. His name was Oscar. He was 15 years of age and through his mentor we learned that he had killed three bus drivers. He was a member of a gang and that gang had a, as part of the red zone, they had fees that they would charge these bus drivers, basically extortion because there was no policing there.
And at 15 years of age, Oscar was recruited three years prior to. He had lost his father to immigration. His father had left the home. So he was without a dad in his home. He was with his mom. He had three younger siblings and he was required now to put money on the table. The only option that he could see was to sell drugs for the gang.
Well, that kind of just grew in responsibility. The next thing you know, he's actually killing people to be a part of that gang. Well, he ends up at our soccer camp randomly and I look at him and I'm like, as I learned this story, there's no way this kid could have killed three bus drivers. And it was amazing because really at the camp you can remember the innocence that you can see the eternal value of the soul that God has for all of us. And the love that he received from that camp, the recognition of God's calling on his life, the acceptance of Christ into his life, transformed his perspective. So when you returned, he left the gang.
But in most gangs you leave at the penalty of death. So we had to help him evacuate from that area. Him and his family, they were relocated and he ended up becoming a worship minister at his church. So a pretty amazing story for Oscar's life. That's an incredible story.
Thank you for sharing that. You mentioned that you were a missionary. Were your family's full time missionaries down there or did you just short term trip? Yeah, it was a six month missionary training school that I attended at the age of 18.
It was kind of like a gap year, if you would. So I was there for six months and the school was, it was a smaller school, but it was meant to kind of train missionaries to live internationally in perpetuity. But I really sensed from that that I wasn't called to live in Guatemala. I really felt like God was going to raise up Guatemalans to minister to Guatemalans. There was discipleship done in the local context. I really had a calling here in my country, in America and in my state, Ohio, to be engaged and invested.
So that's why Champions in Action is fully focused on raising up local champions. And we have staff that are from Guatemala that run it and lead it and manage it. So do you speak Spanish? Yes, I learned how to speak Spanish. I left Guatemala with two things. One was this love for these children and the ability to speak Spanish.
So you can communicate with them when you go. And I'm sorry to spend so much time on this, but I really have a heart for ministry and I just love what you're doing here. I want to share it with our our listeners. So how can people support you and then do you take teams like you take people or is money the best way for people to help you out? Yeah, absolutely. So no need to apologize. This is a passion of my life.
You can go to championsinaction.org and there they have you know, that we have all the information necessary for connecting and we do have teams. COVID was tough. COVID in Guatemala was shut down like every other nation.
The informal economy suffered more than the formal economy. So our ministry really turned into not only delivering kind of soccer instructions online, but also just the basic necessities of life. 70 percent of our families of the kids that are in our program didn't have food. So we became kind of a food aid ministry, at least for a season. But now that we're getting back to normal function, we have reopened the ability to bring teams from all over the country. We have from coast to coast, we've had teams that have come and supported us at these soccer camps. And this summer, I think there are some openings for a couple of the camps that we have.
That is great. So folks, it's championsinaction.org. And Jonathan, you don't know this about me, but I have a ministry in the Philippines. And just like what you said, we use indigenous people.
It is so much more cost effective to use people who are already in the country, but they're also trusted more than Americans would be, you know, by using someone who speaks their language, looks like them, sounds like them and that kind of thing. So, folks, I would really encourage you to go to championsinaction.org and make a donation today, because every penny counts. You might say, well, only have five or ten dollars. You know what I tell people, at least in the Philippines, and it's probably the same way in Guatemala, if your family would just not go to McDonald's one day a month, the money you'd spend at McDonald's literally would feed a family for a month, probably in Guatemala. So I encourage you to please go to championsinaction.org and make a donation today and help Jonathan's ministry out, because he's reaching young men for Jesus in a place where they really need to hear about him. You started this soccer ministry, which I think is funny, because you're a real football player, aren't you? Yeah, that's right. You know, I think God works in mysterious ways, and he chose to use a hard-headed football player who has very limited skills on the soccer field to start a soccer ministry.
That's funny. So you play. Tell us a little bit about your football career, because I think you played for a famous coach.
I did, yeah. Coach Urban Meyer was my first-year coach in college. I played football at Bowling Green, a Mac school here in northwest Ohio. It is a Division I program, which was always my dream, was to play Division I college football. It was the experience of my life, one of the hardest challenges. I came on, actually, as a preferred walk-on. I didn't have a lot of game film, because I had that time in Guatemala. But I ended up earning a scholarship and contributing and playing, and now, ironically, I've become the motivational speaker for the football team.
So I speak to them before each game. I didn't realize he coached there, so that's interesting. He did, yeah. That was his first head coaching experience.
He was at Bowling Green two years before he went to Utah. Okay, neat. How about that? Well, you've got a great story. And so let's continue, because you've done even more neat things.
Tell us about SmartSolve and what your role is there. Well, because I'm a volunteer in the capacity of Champions in Action and the other boards that I serve on, there has to be some way that I bring money to the table to feed my family. By the way, I'm married. We have four kids.
They are the love of my life as one scripture verse which motivates me every day. What profit to demand to gain the whole world but lose the soul? I've got to make sure that I take care of my soul, which includes my wife and my kids. And that means I've got to have a way of earning income. So I actually run a company called SmartSolve, as you know to Chris. And SmartSolve sells water-soluble paper-based materials. And in an economy where more and more companies are driving for more sustainable packaging solutions, we're really meeting a niche. It's the right material, the right technology at the right time, and we're growing like gangbusters. In fact, it's hard to keep up with the demand. Are you actually the manufacturer, or do you just distribute the product? Yeah, no, we do manufacturing, coding, printing, and converting. In the U.S.?
In the U.S., yes. Good for you. That's something we need more of these days. Yeah, absolutely. It's been tremendous as we're growing. Obviously we're hiring a workforce here to build out more and more job opportunities. This show is brought to you by Generous Joe's, the coffee company with the Christian perspective. This is the answer that Christians and conservatives have been looking for, a coffee company that gives back to causes you care about.
Order your coffee today at shopgenerousjoes.org, and even subscribe to a subscription coffee plan and never forget the coffee you love or the causes you care about. You know, you spend more time at work than anywhere else, so one of our goals within SmartSolve is to ensure that we infuse our employees with the recognition of their purpose and calling, and that work is not just work. Work can be ministry. Work can be a calling. We've got to make sure we redeem that time so we're not just slaving away Monday through Friday to get to the weekend.
What a terrible way to live life. Rather, let's find purpose in what we do every day. So we're trying to build a really special culture around that, and have seen a lot of success so far with our small but very quickly growing team. I've got to come meet you. We have never met before. We were on a radio show together a few weeks ago that a mutual friend host, and you're just fascinating. I'm enjoying getting to know you on air here. So you have a ministry life, you've got your business life with SmartSolve, and then somehow you find the time to write a book called Bellwether Blues, A Conservative Awakening of the Millennial Soul. What inspired you to write the book and then tell us a little bit about it? Well, yeah, I would love to meet you, Chris. Absolutely.
That sounds great. Yeah, Bellwether Blues came as a surprise. I would never have thought of myself as an author, especially if I go back to my early English. If this guy ever writes a book, then anybody can write a book. I probably would have agreed with him in that sentiment, but I found out a really interesting fact about where I live. I'm the executive chairman of the Wood County Republican Party, and I found out that our county is a swing county. So that means it's voted with the president in the presidential election at that time in 2018.
So all the way back to Jimmy Carter, Wood County was accurate, and really, as Wood County votes, so votes the state of Ohio. So I said, well, there's something fascinating about that, and one thing that really intrigues me is my generation. I'm a millennial. I'm on the older side of the millennial generation. But what makes millennials vote, and is there any hope that's left for conservatives of winning millennials towards, as I say, a conservative awakening of the millennial soul? So those factors led to the authoring Bellwood and Blues, and it's been quite a journey.
Wow. So in your book, you talk about millennials, and you say that millennials are leaving the left. Is that true? Yes, it is, especially as you look at mainland America. So moving away from the coast, when you get into mainland America, there's a lot of millennials who have seen the left lurch away from things like the First Amendment, things like basic tenets of religious freedom. When you see the left's embrace of radical, far-reaching policies, even kind of the COVID measures that occurred over the last year, a lot of millennials started to sense a distaste for that, and millennials, they're aging, right, 25 to 40 now, so starting to pay taxes, have jobs, have kids. The natural evolution of how we view the world that surrounds us, especially when we have children, changes the way we perceive politics. So there's two things that are happening, and because of that left lurch, and look at, like, for example, Joe Biden's approval ratings. A lot of millennials are not satisfied with his job performance.
A lot of millennials in the Virginia gubernatorial election voted towards the right because of what they were seeing with kind of the radical messaging of the left. Boy, that was a wake-up call, wasn't it? Oh, my word, yeah, it was. It was a welcome one, too.
It couldn't have come a moment sooner. I think we're going to see a lot of that in the year to come because of Americans' frustrations with largely how the left has governed our nation. We're so idealistic when we're in college, and when you start having children and a family and you've got to put food on the table, then some of those things that we thought in college were great are not so great anymore when it's your pocketbook that's being affected and you have to put food on the table for your own family. But when we're looking at this group of millennials, how can Christians and conservatives embrace them, not only to bring them into, say, the Republican Party, but also into God's house and into the family of God? Well, I'm toying with this for my next column as I think about what the chasm is that separates us. We're very much on the same sides because of how far politics has moved away from what looked like kind of center governing, if you would, 40, 50 years ago.
Today we now see this polarization where there are extremes on either side, and if you go further upstream, as the old saying goes, politics flows downstream of culture. If you go further upstream, what it is that actually divides us, I think, is the difference that we notice in the Declaration of Independence. We know these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.
What are the self-evident truths and where do they come from? In this age and era, there's an attack specifically on the left to say that, no, God does not give rights, there's no sovereign, there's no providential deliverer of those rights. Those rights are really defined by man, which is similar to what France would have viewed in 1789, whereas on the side of conservatives or kind of those who traditionally view the founding era, they would understand that, yes, there is a creator who is above government, and that creator does give us rights, and government's role is to secure those rights. First comes rights, then comes government.
And I think that fundamental switch is critical because it really impacts how we look at the political scene of today. And as I talk to conservatives about how you speak to millennials, one of the things you can point to is a guy like Thomas Paine. Even if the millennial is an atheist or doesn't believe in God or is agnostic, even Thomas Paine believed that that central idea to the Declaration of Independence, that first comes rights, then comes government, which comes from the idea of God giving those rights. He believed that that was the best possible form of government in an age where there was so much destruction and totalitarian chaos and anarchy.
He believed that that was the right solution. And I think amongst our millennial friends, the best way we can do that is by communicating directly with them and helping them understand that if we have a government that is formed around the majority, then might's going to make right, and that's going to destroy the liberties and freedoms that we've experienced. However, if they can agree with us that no, right makes might because God gives rights, it changes the fundamental way in which we view elections.
So it comes down to relationship and kind of communicating those basic central truths. So is there a website where they can find your book and buy it directly from you, or do they need to go to Amazon? Sure, they can go to Amazon, but also we have a website, bellwetherbluesbook.com, where listeners can check out more information on the book itself with some videos of the seven stories of millennials who I interview in the book and tell their stories about what led them to go from voting for Hillary or starting with the left and then voting for Donald Trump, I should say Obama to Trump. Well, I sure hope that the leaders of the conservative movement will read your book and pay attention because that is a group that we really need to go after. And like you said, I think they are changing and there's an opportunity for us to win them over and also to lead them to Jesus.
So we've got a few minutes left. I want to hit a couple of issues real quickly. You mentioned earlier open borders. What is your opinion of open borders is going to be a problem in our country?
What can we do about it? Yes, and actually in my Newsmax red pill note there with the blog, I wrote a column that says the title of the article was open borders destroy families. I think we have to make more holistic arguments on the border situation. We know the devastation and chaos that open borders has caused our nation. A nation with no borders is no nation at all. We understand that we recognize that we see the issues that follow it, but a lot of people don't know how open borders destroy families from the point of origin.
And I've worked with, personally, through our ministry, we've worked with countless individuals, children who do not have fathers because they've emigrated out of the home. We've worked with families that have sent their daughters on these perilous journeys where an estimated 80% of those girls are raped or sexually abused on that perilous journey from the Northern Triangle through the border of the United States where this process, all that it does is it empowers those that are involved in human trafficking, the trafficking of arms and the trafficking of drugs. These transnational organizations of crime only grow and increase.
So I think understanding it from a more holistic viewpoint helps us thread the needle to I think gain a broader majority, a coalition of folks to join us in saying let's secure this border for the good of those that we're concerned about in Central America and the Northern Triangle, but also for the good of our nation. Jonathan, I don't know if you've written a column about this or not, but as you mentioned human trafficking, it is such a huge issue. And for a Democrat Party and a Biden administration that claims that they want to protect women and children, by having these open borders, it's just the cartels have really turned this, I don't know that drugs is as big a business now as human trafficking is for them. It's a huge problem, and we are perpetuating it in the United States by allowing open borders and these not just girls but young boys too are being brought into our nation and then sold around the world as sex slaves.
This is terrible. The day Joe Biden took office was the day the human traffickers in Mexico celebrated because they found their golden ticket. It's an incredible profit-making industry, and it's incredibly damaging to the dignity and sanctity of human life. I don't understand anything about this administration. He wants to shut down the border with countries that might have COVID or might not have COVID, but you've got the southern border of the United States wide open and they don't even test people for COVID. If he's so concerned about it, I don't know why you're letting hundreds of thousands of people come across our southern border and then secretly shipping them across the country into cities all over the country, and people don't even know that these immigrants are coming into their communities with COVID and all kinds of other things going on. Yeah, it definitely is abridging the rule of law, and it's very hypocritical when you look at the exact examples that, Chris, you just provided.
It's very unfortunate. It's damaging to our nation. But as you get deeper into the argument, the reason why the Democrats have really flipped what used to be an embrace of secure borders. I mean, think of Cesar Chavez.
He would actually go after and persecute these immigrants that would come across, and he's a leftist hero. But that was the labor movement of the 70s and 80s. Now Democrats see a meal ticket, if you will. They see an opportunity to get illegal immigrants to become voters and in the process embrace them in the states where they're going to change laws, which I think we just saw in New York.
They're now allowing them to vote, and they give them the access to citizenship, a green card, and resources, and in exchange they demand a vote. I think that's the primary motivating factor in why these policies are the way they are. Yeah, we have, we've got to, hopefully there can be a change and Congress at least slow down some of this stuff.
I mean, the damage that's going to be done over the four years of the Biden administration is almost going to be irreparable. It's crazy. You know, another big issue, and I know you've written about this, is critical race theory. What is your opinion of critical race theory?
Do you think it's hurting our country? Well, I was on a journey to learn about it. I honestly didn't know much about it before I traveled to Minneapolis, Minnesota, ground zero about two months after George Floyd was killed, and that whole process of meeting all the various interest groups that were involved in that led me on a journey to really study deep into critical race theory before it really became a thing. So as I studied it and came to understand it, what I found it to be was a sinister theory that has the power to really, like a train, it's the engine because a lot of people of goodwill throughout America who oppose racism, we can't stand it. It's a wretched mark on our history. It's something that we stand against and oppose. They're using that goodwill and compassion to get that through the door, and then they bring along with it all sorts of other things like transgender theory, feminist theory, all of these other implications and motivations that basically surrender our kindergartners to not only have to be told that they're racist on the basis of immutable characteristics, but also they need to embrace all these radical gender ideologies.
So I saw it from what it was very early on, and the thing, Chris, that really concerned me most is when he looked at it. I looked at it through the lens of the gospel. If critical race theory holds true, and it's the idea that you have people that are in power on the basis of certain immutable characteristics, then Jesus himself was a sinner. Because according to critical race theory, patriarchy, the male just being a male, is a wrong. It is a sin, and it must be undone, and those that are males must repent of their privilege and step down for those that are victims. Well, Jesus was a male in a patriarchal society, so on its own merit, Jesus was a sinner, and obviously the gospel falls within itself that Jesus sinned.
He was the perfect sacrifice. There's a lot of problems with it, and it goes even deeper into theology. Yeah, and critical race theory has basically become a religion unto its own, and there's no way that a Christian can embrace this because there's no allowance for forgiveness, and Jesus has opened a door through faith in Jesus Christ. We can have forgiveness of our sins, but not in critical race theory.
They're not going to forgive you for anything. Jonathan, you are a fascinating guest, and I've got to have you back. Our time has run out. So can you tell us one more time how they can support Champions in Action? Where do they go? Yeah, championsinaction.org. You'll also find our ministry on Facebook. There's a bunch of videos and stuff that we have going on for the next month.
So either of those places you can learn about it. And his book is called Bellwether Blues, a conservative awakening of the millennial soul. And then if they want to read your articles on Newsmax, how do they find that?
Just type in the red pill, and maybe my name, but the red pill Newsmax, and there you'll find those articles. Jonathan, thank you so much for being here with us today. It was such a blessing to have you on the show.
The blessing was mine. Thanks, Chris. Folks, thank you for joining me today. I'm Chris Hughes, and this is The Christian Perspective. Please subscribe and like our podcast, and please share it with your friends on social media. Now let's go change the culture for Jesus.
Thank you for listening. The Christian Perspective with Chris Hughes. Learn more about impacting the culture for Jesus.
Visit christianperspective.us. This show is brought to you by Generous Joe's, the coffee company with the Christian perspective. This is the answer that Christians and conservatives have been looking for, a coffee company that gives back to causes you care about. Order your coffee today at shopgenerousjoes.org, and even subscribe to a subscription coffee plan and never forget the coffee you love or the causes you care about.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-03 20:13:06 / 2023-06-03 20:25:46 / 13