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Being an Overcomer in a Foreboding New Year

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton
The Truth Network Radio
January 6, 2024 2:00 am

Being an Overcomer in a Foreboding New Year

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton

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January 6, 2024 2:00 am

GUEST: GRANT CASTLEBERRY, Senior Pastor, Capital Community Church (Raleigh, NC)

While no one but God knows and determines the events and timing of the future, 2024 portends to be a turbulent year. A presidential election looms in November which will impact to varying degrees whether the United States continues to run full-speed ahead on its God-rejecting, globalist course.

Many other major fissures contribute to the uncertainty: aggressive deconstruction of the Biblical marital, moral and gender norms, unprecedented financial debt, massive illegal immigration, major wars in Israel and Europe, and much, much more.

Before His crucifixion and ascension, Jesus timelessly declared, “in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

In other words, if one is “in Christ” (born again), one can have peace and take courage because our Redeemer has overcome the world (“to conquer, prevail”)…and therefore so can the believer with His help.

Comparing with other passages, overcoming the world doesn’t mean that believers and the church literally conquer or take dominion over the world but rather can live faithful, sanctified, and joyful lives in the midst of it.

Grant Castleberry, pastor of Capital Community Church in Raleigh, NC, joins us this weekend on The Christian Worldview to discuss how Christians, pastors, and churches can overcome the world rather than being aligned with and negatively impacted by it. Grant will also analyze how Christian leaders like Tim Keller and organizations like Christianity Today have influenced evangelicals under age 40 to support the political left (read this post by pastor Josh Howerton on “How Misapplying Keller Hijacked US Christianity”).
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Thanks to many of you for your encouraging notes and support of The Christian Worldview. We strive to do this radio ministry in order for God to say, “Well done, good and faithful slave…” (Mt. 25:21) but to hear that you are praying for us, being impacted by the programs, and urging us to keep on keeping on, is a shot in the arm to be faithful week after week. We are sobered and grateful.

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Being an overcomer in a foreboding new year. That is the topic we'll discuss today right here on the Christian Real View Radio Program, where the mission is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians and to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.

I'm David Wheaton, the host. You can connect with us by visiting our website, thechristianrealview.org, calling toll free, 1-888-646-2233, or by writing to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. Well, we hope you had a joyous and Christ-centered Christmas and are refreshed to love and proclaim Him in this new year.

And before we get to the preview for today's topic, just a couple of notes. Don Wildman, the founder of American Family Association and related ministries, such as American Family Radio, on which the Christian Real View airs, went to heaven to be with the Lord on December 28th at age 85. Mr. Wildman's legacy is his faithfulness in standing up for conservative Christian values and against the onslaught of godlessness that has corrupted our nation and people.

His legacy is also a loving family who have continued to press on and build further what he began. So please remember to pray for God's comfort and peace for the Wildman family. We also want to thank many of you for your encouraging notes and support of the Christian Real View at the end of this past year. We strive to do this radio ministry in order for God to say, well done, good and faithful slave. But to hear that you are praying for us and being impacted by the programs and urging us to keep on keeping on, it's a further shot in the arm for us to strive to be faithful week after week. And so we are sobered and grateful for your encouragement and support.

And I'll try to read some of the cards and the letters in a future program where we have more time. But now onto the preview for today's topic, being an overcomer in a foreboding new year. No one but God knows and determines the events and timing of the future, but 2024 portends to be a turbulent year. A presidential election looms in November, which will impact to varying degrees whether the United States continues to run full speed ahead on its God-rejecting globalist course.

Many other major fissures contribute to the uncertainty, the aggressive deconstruction of biblical marital, moral and gender norms, unprecedented financial debt, massive illegal immigration, major wars in Israel and Europe, and many more issues beyond that. In a similarly turbulent time before his crucifixion and ascension, Jesus timelessly declared, In me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage, I have overcome the world. In other words, if one is, quote, in Christ, born again, one can have peace and take courage because our Redeemer has overcome the world, and that word overcome means to conquer or prevail. And therefore, so can the believer overcome with Christ's help. Comparing this with other passages, overcoming the world doesn't mean that believers in the church literally conquer or take dominion over the world.

Christ will do that, but rather that we can live faithful, sanctified and joyful lives in the midst of a world full of tribulation. Grant Castleberry, pastor of Capital Community Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, joins us today on The Christian Worldview to discuss how Christians, pastors and churches can overcome the world rather than being aligned with and negatively impacted by it. Grant will also analyze how Christian leaders like the late Tim Keller and organizations like Christianity Today have influenced evangelicals under the age of 40 to support the political left.

We have a post about this on our website, thechristianworldview.org. And so let's get straight to the interview with pastor Grant Castleberry about being an overcomer in a foreboding new year. Grant, thank you so much for coming on the Christian Worldview radio program. This is your first time on the program. Tell us about your background and how you became a follower of Christ.

David, first let me say thank you for having me on the program. And it's really just amazing to think about all that God has done in my life. You know, I could talk about for the next 35 minutes about how the Lord led me to himself, but suffice to say, he did so in dramatic fashion when I was a little boy. My father was a Marine Corps fighter pilot, and he was involved in a mid-air collision over the Atlantic Ocean and huge search and rescue operation after the fact.

And unfortunately, his body was never found. But he was a Christian, and the Lord used his legacy in that event as I was a little boy. I was asking all sorts of existential questions about where my father was, what had happened to him, what did he believe. And that gave my mom, family members, Sunday school teachers an opportunity really to lay out the gospel and those truths of heaven and hell and the atonement of Christ and faith in him, the resurrection.

And those truths really hit me as a young boy of four, five, six years old. And I really remember the night at church hearing a sermon, I think it was a Sunday night, and just the scales being removed from my eyes and just seeing very clearly the reality of the atonement and understanding that that was for me and that I truly believe that. And I went home and prayed with my mom and trusted Christ more formally that evening as my Lord and Savior. And by God's grace, he's worked through my life all these years.

I've never had years where I wandered away or had sowed wild oats or something like that. Obviously, I haven't lived perfectly, but the Lord has shepherded me and brought me to this point where now I'm 39 years old. I'm the senior pastor of Capital Community Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. And I too do a radio ministry called Unashamed Truth.

That's unashamedtruth.org if people want to check out the website, but I'm just trying to faithfully serve the Lord, exposit the scriptures, disciple men, and equip families to live for Christ amidst this crooked and depraved generation. By God's grace, I married my wife, Grace Anna, in 2009, and we have five children, two girls and three boys, all the way from age 12 to six months. Thank you for sharing your story about coming to Christ and also about your dad and that terrible accident and credible the way God used that tragedy in your life to make you search and come to him. Now, just a brief follow up to that, you went into the Marine Corps as well and became a captain. Just tell us briefly about your military experience. My father's dad had been in the Marine Corps.

My father had been in the Marine Corps, and after he was killed, my mom remarried a man who had also been in the Marine Corps. So that was part of my legacy, and I really faced a crisis of sorts in college because I felt the call to ministry, but I also felt like I should do my duty to our country because we were at war post-9-11. I was just weighing whether or not I should serve in the military or go straight into ministry. My father, now Preston, who remarried my mom, took me out to the Master's Seminary.

The head of admissions at the time was a man named Ray Marringer. It was one of those moments where sometimes somebody speaks truth into your life, and it's just God speaking through them, and it really helps bring clarity to your situation. I told Ray, I said, should I go into the Marine Corps right now, or should I come straight to seminary?

He said, do both. You should go into the Marine Corps first. God's going to prepare you for ministry. Through that experience, you'll have the opportunity to stand for Christ as a regular officer in the Marine Corps, and then you're going to be that much more effective later on as a pastor.

He said, by the way, churches aren't looking for 25-year-old senior pastors right out of the seminary anyway. So the Lord really used that, went into the Marine Corps, loved my time, just met so many great Marines, so many people that I was able to invest in and who invested in me. And the Lord really did teach me a lot about leadership and a lot about perseverance and decision-making and all sorts of things through my time in the Marine Corps. I get the sense, I haven't been in the military myself, but just reading about the social engineering going on in the military, did you sense that back then when you were in the military? Is that something more of late that you would say would be very difficult to be in the military now? When I was in the Marine Corps, the don't ask, don't tell policy was in effect. So essentially, if you came out as LBGTQ+, you would be discharged, but as long as you kept that quiet, you could continue to serve. Whereas now, I think they're really pushing that agenda as opposed to suppressing it.

So that would be one difference. And then the whole woke agenda where people are essentially pressing for equity and inclusion regarding your ethnicity, that was not going on when I was in the Marine Corps at all. And that's really one of the things that I think made the Marine Corps so special is when I was in, what really unified people, whether they were Latino, Asian, white, African American, whatever their ethnicity, what unified everybody was that we had the same training.

Every Marine goes through boot camp or officer candidate school, then the basic school. And then we had the same mission that we all were focused on fighting the Taliban and Al Qaeda and all the bad guys in the Middle East. So that really formed us where we were a team, and we weren't so concerned about the person's ethnicity or socioeconomic background. We were concerned about does that person have the wherewithal to perform the mission?

And are they going to have my back when the going gets tough? And that really made a great culture. I think that's true in the church as well, that our unity is in the spirit, our unity is in the truth, not our backgrounds and those types of things. And the fact that we have the same great commission, the same mission that Christ has given to each of us. So when you're focused on what unites us and the mission that God has given us, the differences between whether you're from Texas or California or New York or the city or the country, all those things start to fade to the background when the church is truly functioning properly. Grant Castleberry is our guest today here on the Christian Real View radio program. He's the senior pastor of Capital Community Church in Raleigh, North Carolina.

We have all the links to him and his preaching at our website, thechristianrealview.org. Our topic today is being an overcomer in a foreboding new year with, look ahead in this year, a presidential election, economic liabilities in our country, massive immigration we're seeing right now. As Grant was just saying, there's a lot of division in our country as well, a lot of tribalism and wars going on overseas.

And, you know, what does 2024 hold? And Grant, I saw that you posted something on X, formerly known as Twitter recently, and you said this, without love for Christ, it is impossible to live the Christian life. Obedience must flow from our love. Thus, the necessity of the new birth or being born again, we must receive a new heart from God, which loves Christ.

That was a really good word to think about as we start this year. So how would you explain how one receives this, what you call a new heart or this new birth? And then from there, how do we deepen our love for Christ? You know, when George Whitfield was preaching in America in the 1740s, his message was really simple. It was, you must be born again. And he said that message to a lot of people who grew up in the church. And his point was that you must have an encounter with God.

You must have a new heart given to you. You must become a new creature, as Paul puts it in 2 Corinthians 5. And the New Testament is really clear that the only way that happens is through the Word of God, through the preaching of the gospel. Paul says in Romans 1, I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation to the Jew first, and then to the Greek. So it is the Word of God, the gospel, that really pierces the heart, opens the eyes. It's the instrument that the Holy Spirit uses to do that heart transformation surgery on your soul to make someone a born again person, where they have a new mind, where they have new affections, where they have a new will. And that right there is the essence of true Christianity. You can't mimic it, act it out.

It has to be the genuine article. And what I was saying in that tweet is that somebody that is truly born again, the product of that is a genuine love for Christ. And the way that you know whether or not you love Christ, Jesus says is very clear in John 15.

He says, if you love me, you will obey my commands. So there's this desire to obey the Lord. Now, this obedience is not the grounds of how someone becomes right with God. I was talking to a Roman Catholic friend recently, and he was stressing, yes, we believe in Christ, we trust Christ in faith, but we also must work in order to be accepted by God. And the Bible is very clear that it's the work of Christ, His life, His death, His righteousness, which is given to us as a gift through faith. So trusting Christ, hearing the word and trusting Christ in faith as Lord and Savior, that is the means by which we receive this gift of salvation of Christ's righteousness. But then through that, God the Holy Spirit does that heart transformation where we genuinely love Christ, desire to obey Christ, and desire to live for Christ. And that right there is really what is so needed in America today. I know your radio program is about the Christian worldview. And if the Christian mind is to be transformed, it will only be transformed because somebody is born again. And that's what is needed.

America is in a very dark place, and people are lost, people are in darkness, and they need the light. They need their minds to be opened to the truth, and that only happens through the preaching of the gospel and the new birth. Yeah, that was so well answered, and I couldn't agree more that to have a Christian worldview, you must first be born again, to have that new heart and the renewed mind that the Spirit works in us as we take in the Word of God. And then you can have a Christian worldview. But I wanted to ask you that question up front today, because it is the foundational, you say prerequisite or entry point into everything else, how we live our lives, that we must be born again, as Jesus said in John chapter 3.

So thank you for that answer. And Grant Castleberry is our guest today, the pastor at Capital Community Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. Just to follow up on that, here we are at the beginning of the year, Grant. Oftentimes as Christians, we think, well, what do I need to change this year? How can I live a more sanctified life, glorifying to God this year?

I think sometimes that we have trouble identifying what needs to change in our lives. Things we need to either cling to, move toward, or things we need to move away from that are hindering our sanctification. So do you have any recommendations at the start of a year for Christians to identify what needs to be changed in their life?

And then to live out what Paul writes in Galatians 2 that I've been crucified with Christ, and it's no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me in the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself up for me. So what are some recommendations you have for Christians to identify what needs to change in our lives and then how to live that out? All right, our guest today, Grant Castleberry, will answer that question after this first break as we pause for some ministry announcements. These are some very important issues to discuss right here early in the year, how one can be saved and then how one can identify changes that need to be made in our lives for the glory of God. All the links to Grant Castleberry, his church, his ex or Twitter account, you can find at our website, thechristianworldview.org.

Stay tuned, much more to come. I'm David Wheaton, and you are listening to the Christian World View radio program. To kick off the year, we are offering a listener favorite from our store, the Christian World View desktop calendar, for a donation of any amount. The calendar is made up of five by seven cards held in a small wood block with each month's card displaying a beautiful landscape or wildlife scene of God's creation from Richard Ganzel Photography, who's also a member of our team. Each card has a verse of scripture and the days of the month. You can preview the calendar in our store at thechristianworldview.org. The formal retail is $12.99. For a limited time and while supplies last, the desktop calendar is available for a donation of any amount to the Christian World View.

We encourage you to get one for yourself and gift one to a friend. To order, go to thechristianworldview.org or call toll free 1-888-646-2233 or write to Box 401 Excelsior, Minnesota 55331. What is the Christian World View radio program really about? Fundamentally, it's about impacting people, families, churches with the life and eternity changing truth of God's word. We know the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only message that saves us from God's wrath, by God's grace, for God's glory.

And we know the Bible is the inspired word of God, providing the only way to think and live to the glory of God. We are a non-profit listener supported ministry. If you would like to help us impact listeners with the biblical world view and the gospel, consider becoming a Christian World View partner who regularly give a specified amount to the ministry. As a thank you, Christian World View partners automatically receive many of the resources featured on the program throughout the year. To become a Christian World View partner, call us toll free 1-888-646-2233 or visit thechristianworldview.org.

Give us a call for recommendations at 1-888-646-2233. That's 1-888-646-2233 or thechristianworldview.org. Welcome back to the Christian World View.

I'm David Wheaton. Be sure to visit our website, thechristianworldview.org, where you can subscribe to our free weekly email and annual print letter, order resources for adults and children, and support the ministry. Our topic today is being an overcomer in a foreboding new year, and Grant Castleberry is our guest.

He's the senior pastor of Capital Community Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. Grant, at the end of the last segment, I was getting into the issue of changing things that need to be changed in the believer's life. So what recommendations do you have here at the beginning of the year for Christians to identify what needs to be changed within themselves, and then how to live that out in this new year? Psalm 16, 8 has been really pivotal for me in helping me to do this, in helping think through how to do this. David says in Psalm 16, 8, I have set the Lord always before me.

Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. So there was an intentionality on his part to live his life with a vision of God. And I found that the more you live your life with a vision of God, a vision for God, the more the problems you face seem to disappear, or you see them in the right perspective, that you don't fear man, you fear God, you don't fear the events going on in Israel, you trust God's sovereign hand in everything. And so I think the question is, what do you need to set aside that is preventing you from putting the Lord always before you? And it could be good things.

It could be that you're spending too much time on your phone, or you're spending too much time watching Hallmark specials, or whatever it is. You want to eliminate the things that are distracting you from setting your gaze on Christ. And it could be sin issues as well. We need to be honest with ourselves, and if there are sin issues, we need to repent of those.

We need to crucify them, as you quoted from Galatians 2.20. And then positively, we need to do the things which will help us set the Lord always before us. And immediately we think of personal prayer, we think of spending intentional time in Scripture. I personally believe that every Christian should read through the Bible once every year.

That's just a few minutes of their time reading or listening. Every Christian should be a member and involved in a local church. Every Christian should be serving using their spiritual gifts. So if we're doing those things, then we're intentionally putting ourselves in the place where we are going to encounter God, and keep a vision of God, and see God as He really is, and not be distracted by the things of this world. And when we do that, when we keep that big vision of God, then as crazy events happen, all under the sovereignty of God, we're not taken aback by them. We're not fearful of them.

We're not afraid, because our eyes are on Him. So that's the way, not perfectly, but the way that I try to begin every year is to minimize what has been distracting me from seeing God, and to accelerate those things that help me see God. Grant Castleberry with us today here on The Christian Worldview.

You are working on a PhD right now. You're writing your thesis on Martin Lloyd Jones, the great British preacher of the early to mid 1900s. And we're going to get into some other topics today about what's going on in the church in America and the world and so forth. But I would just be interested to ask one question about what are some of your big takeaways that you are discovering or being impressed upon you from the life of Martin Lloyd Jones? He's one of the greatest preachers and prophetic voices of the 20th century.

He lived 1899 to 1981. He was a minister at Westminster Chapel in London from 1939 to 1968. And just had a tremendous ministry. And the great thing is, is that you can go listen to his sermons at the Martin Lloyd Jones Trust website or on the app. It's really hard to put into words all the takeaways that I've gleaned from Lloyd Jones. But if I could just say a couple, one would be Lloyd Jones was really pivotal in recovering sound doctrine in England and America. He helped start the Banner of Truth Trust.

He helped bring about this whole revitalization of Reformation theology in England. Secondly, I would say there was a real emphasis with Lloyd Jones on the necessity of the Holy Spirit being present in the life of the church and the Holy Spirit doing the work of ministry. And this goes back to the very beginning of this show where we were talking about the new birth and the reality of what the Holy Spirit does. Jesus says in John chapter three, the Nicodemus, you know, Nicodemus is confounded by how somebody can be born again. And Jesus says, well, it's of the water and the Spirit and the Spirit's kind of like the wind.

You know, the wind blows and you don't know where it comes from and you don't know where it goes. And he says so it is with those who are born of the Spirit. And Lloyd Jones really emphasized that, that it is the work of the Holy Spirit that brings about the new birth, that brings about revival and reformation. And that's why we have to be so careful to anchor all that we do in prayer, that we truly become dependent people on the work of the Holy Spirit. And we're pleading with God the Holy Spirit to come do his work in our lives and in the life of our churches and in the life of our country. So that would be something that is also very much a part of his emphasis, his ministry is that dependency upon God the Holy Spirit.

Well, you did well to answer that in just a couple minutes there, because there's a whole lifetime of things you could talk about, Martin Lloyd Jones, and maybe down the road we can do a fuller program on who he was and his influence and his preaching. But I think it provides a good segue into our next topic today is what's going on in the evangelical church in America, because Lloyd Jones has such a simple view, a foundational view of how the church should operate. Yet today we see there's almost like this cookie cutter formula for evangelical churches, you see it wherever you go. There's this hip environment and experience created with a concert like setting, a type of very emotional, repetitive music, and the way people dress and so forth. It's meant to create a setting that attracts sort of like, this is a cool place. And then not only is the environment and experience crafted that way, but the message, the preaching, if you could call it actually preaching, is really more of this positivism, motivational messages.

There's not a lot of emphasis on sin and righteousness and judgment at all, but just about how to help your life and to stay positive and work through things. And there are endless conferences, you see this online, there are endless conferences for church leadership and how to cultivate your church to be like this and promises of more families will come and how you can speak to more people and expand and so forth. Some people will call that the seeker model.

That's an older term, but that's probably close to maybe what it should be called. But what do you think, Grant, has been the effect of that model that we see in so much of evangelicalism today? What has been the effect on Christians over the last several decades of that and just the evangelical church itself?

Wow. What you just said is the disease of American evangelicalism. And I think the symptom of that or one of the symptoms is that you have a lot of self-deluded false believers, people that aren't even Christians, but might think that they are a Christian because they go to the hip church that you're describing on the corner. And I say that because in so many of these so-called churches, the message of the gospel is not even present. And it all goes back to this, that if the gospel is not present and the gospel is not proclaimed, then someone cannot be born again because it is the message of the gospel which brings about the spiritual rebirth. So I think about what Paul said and certainly Lloyd-Jones would have. I mean, if he were to walk into so many of the churches today, he would just be appalled, probably deeply saddened to see where evangelicalism is gone. But he said, my speech and my message were not implausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the spirit and of power so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. And I really think that's what's missing.

I think what you see in the seeker-sensitive movement is a lack of faith in the word of God, that the word of God ultimately is not enough. So to get the families, to get the people, to get the crowds in the door, we need to wear the nice clothes. And I don't mean like suits or something like that.

I mean, you know, the newest Air Jordan shoes and Armani designer shirts, things like that. We need to dress cool and we need to make the service as cool as possible, as hip and trendy as possible. And the problem with that is that the message then is either diluted or completely lost. But it's the message of the gospel, the message of the reality of man as a sinner before God, that God is a holy God, that God sent his son as a substitutionary savior to live for us and to die for us. It's the message of the power of his word and the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit, all of those things. That's where the power is. And so if American church leaders would return to simply trusting God and his word, we would begin to see the Holy Spirit really move again in power rather than trying to entertain people with silly dramatizations and sermon series on movies, for example.

Very well said. Grant Castleberry is our guest today, senior pastor at Capital Community Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. You're listening to the Christian Worldview radio program. There was an interesting post recently on online by a pastor named Josh Howerton. He's the pastor of Lake Point Church in Rockwell, Texas. And he started this way by saying, large platform evangelicalism got covertly hijacked by secular progressivism.

Many aren't yet understanding what's happening and as a result are attacking the opposite net problem we are facing. Here's how it happened. Step one, Tim Keller, and he says, correctly popularized the phrase, the gospel is neither right nor left. Step two, Keller's followers incorrectly applied the phrase as right and left are equal and opposite errors.

Many people would dispute whether they incorrectly applied it, but that's what Josh Howerton says. Step three, a willingness to adopt left coded positions became a sign of gospel centeredness, a good thing. And saying things that sounded politically conservative became a sign that, quote, you weren't gospel centered, unquote.

As a result, these subtle dynamics emerged. Christians advocating a left coded issue equaled social justice, a good thing. Christians advocating a right coded issue were seen as culture warring. The right became seen as the moralistic Pharisees Jesus harshly condemned. The left became seen as the irreligious seekers with whom Jesus compassionately reasoned. As a result, thoughtfully engaged the left unequivocally condemned the right became the gospel centered approach to cultural engagement. Christian political influence to the right equated with dangerous Christian nationalism. Christian political influence to the left equaled a quote faithful presence or a quote prophetic witness in the public square unquote. Publicly disagreeing with the right became, quote, speaking truth to power. Publicly disagreeing with the left became, quote, harming our public witness before a watching world unquote.

And then Josh Howerton gives an example of this. He says, an approach to anything that seems left, you were to look past the bad to find the good in it. And so he posted a picture of Christianity Today with a headline, Barbie, the Barbie movie, and Taylor Swift are bringing us together. That's what Christianity Today said. Then another example he gives from Christianity Today, an approach to anything that seems on the right, you were to look past the good to find the bad. And he showed an image of this young man.

I can't remember his name now, but he sang this song, Rich Men North of Richmond, which became super popular. And Christianity Today said the song perpetuates the narrative of only the lazy in America go hungry. He goes on to say he became, quote, super cringe to say anything that may sound like moral asymmetry between right and left on an issue.

Pastors felt they always had to give equal airtime to flaws on all sides of all issues. For example, he said he became uncool to simply oppose abortion because that sounds like it's on the right. You got to give equal emphasis to things like immigration policy, refugee care, welfare strategies to be, quote, truly pro-life. Again, pro-life isn't just in the womb.

It's all the way to the tomb, as they'd say. The primary emphasis of all of the above was to break up evangelicalism's, quote, idolatrous marriage to the right. This was viewed as the, quote, big problem. But here he says is the reality in capital letters.

A rising generation, quote, married to the right isn't in the universe of the net problem we're facing and is to hyper-focus on a 1989 reality and not a 2024 world. We have the entire post that I'm reading by Josh Howarton linked at our website, thechristianrealview.org. I'd encourage you to go there to read it for yourself. But first, we'll take a short break for some ministry announcements. When we return, I'll read a little more of this post by Josh Howarton about the leftward move of younger evangelicals and get Grant Castleberry's reaction. Grant is our guest today, the senior pastor of Capital Community Church in Raleigh, North Carolina.

I'm David Wheaton, and you are listening to the Christian Real View Radio program. We've largely lost the honor and the nobility and the glory of biblical manhood. And so many young men are not trained to be a leader, a protector, and a provider in a Christ-like way. That then creates the actual end product of young men who don't know how to be a man. So we've largely lost the script for what being a biblical man is. That was Owen Strand, author of the excellent book The War on Men. This is a book for the entire family to read, understand, and then pursue what biblical manhood is.

The War on Men is hardcover, 256 pages, and retails for $29.99. For a limited time, you can get a copy for a donation of any amount to The Christian Real View. To order, go to thechristianrealview.org, or call toll-free 1-888-646-2233, or write to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. To kick off the year, we are offering a listener favorite from our store, The Christian Real View Desktop Calendar, for a donation of any amount. The calendar is made up of 5x7 cards held in a small wood block, with each month's card displaying a beautiful landscape or wildlife scene of God's creation from Richard Ganzel Photography, who's also a member of our team. Each card has a verse of scripture and the days of the month. You can preview the calendar in our store at thechristianrealview.org. Normal retail is $12.99. For a limited time and while supplies last, the desktop calendar is available for a donation of any amount to The Christian Real View.

We encourage you to get one for yourself and gift one to a friend. To order, go to thechristianrealview.org, or call toll-free 1-888-646-2233, or write to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. Welcome back to The Christian Real View.

I'm David Wheaton. Be sure to visit our website, thechristianrealview.org, where you can subscribe to our free weekly email and annual print letter, order resources for adults and children, and support the ministry. Our topic today is being an overcomer in a foreboding new year, and Grant Castleberry is our guest. He's the senior pastor of Capital Community Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. Grant, I've read portions of this post by Josh Howarton, a pastor from Texas, about how the younger generation of evangelicals has been persuaded to move to the left politically.

Just one more illuminating part of what he said. Once trusted Christian institutions are increasingly progressive—listen to this—100% of Christianity Today magazine staff political donations went to Democrats since the year 2015. And he gave the image of a Daily Wire column written by Megan Basham, where the headline is, Christianity Today staff made extensive campaign donations between 2015 and 2022.

All went to Democrats. And then he concludes his post this way, if you're aware of all the above and still think, hmm, what we really need to be concerned about right now is our people being discipled into a marriage to the right, then I've got a Nigerian prince who needs just $5,000 I'd like to connect you with. Summary, if you're still doing, quote, coddle the left and give a haymaker to the right in an effort to combat a quote, marriage to the right in 2024, you're bringing a fire extinguisher to a flood.

And in a miscalculated effort to quote, counterbalance, you're rushing to the side of the ship that's already underwater. In other words, if you're complaining that evangelicals are too married to the right, the reality is the younger generation of evangelicals is largely with the political left. So the question for you, Grant is, what was your reaction to it, and how younger evangelicals and an organization like Christianity Today are so strongly on the left, despite the exceedingly ungodliness of the left's policies. And at the same time, there has been a relentless shaming of evangelicals for being in the pocket of Republicans and is particularly Donald Trump.

I think you've really seen a parting of the ways I think in the millennial generation between conservative millennials and more progressive millennials. And part of this goes back to influential leaders that you would call them boomers, I guess, but people in their 50s and 60s, who really led this charge, and Josh Howerton in his post credits Tim Keller. We could talk about Tim Keller, we could talk about Russell Moore, who is now the senior chief editor at Christianity Today, which had all the donations to the Democratic Party.

But many of my generation look to these leaders as influential and as prophets, so to speak, that they look up to that are speaking the truth to the culture and speaking the truth to the church. And as so many of these things go, the reason why somebody like Tim Keller was so effective is because so much of his ministry was prophetic and was profound, and God used his book, The Reason for God, just in monumental ways amongst millennials, you know, when I was when I was a young 20-something. But Tim Keller also signed his name to BioLogos, which pushes theistic evolution.

You know, Keller also partnered with Francis Collins, who was pressing for just extreme measures regarding COVID. And Keller also basically called those who signed the Dallas Statement on Social Justice, which was a very conservative and very good statement on social justice, I signed it. And it basically impugned the character of those who signed that statement as not caring for the poor and not caring about justice and things like that. So there were leaders like Keller who were pushing left, and many millennials, unfortunately, followed them. Institutions want to be seen in a favorable light by the world. They want to be accepted. And so in people's minds, the thought process was, well, if we can be cool on the social justice stuff, then we'll be accepted. If we can be cool on this issue with progressives, then we'll be accepted. But of course, you and I both know that the world will never truly accept you as a Christian as long as you're truly proclaiming the Christian message.

The world will always hate you at the end of the day. But a lot of Christians took that line, hook, line, and sinker, and bought off on that. And I'm praying that many will reverse course, many will repent and really come back to understand, look, you know, in terms of politics, I'm not saying that Donald Trump or the Republicans have everything right. But I don't see how you can be a Christian and support a party that is pro-abortion, pro-LBGTQ++ and everything else and has written God out of the Democratic Party platform. So yeah, there is that division now. And I encourage your listeners that are listening to pay very special attention just to the doctrine and the ethics that are being taught by the Christian leaders that they are listening to.

Well answered. And the pretext for the question was not, oh, evangelicals, you need to be a Republican or vote for Donald Trump at all. But it's just the opposite of what is constantly screamed from the mountaintops about how right wing evangelicals are in the pocket. And according to this post, especially for the younger under 40 generation, how it's just the opposite now, especially in Christian institutions. Grant Castleberry with us today on the Christian Real View. I'd be interested, Grant, as a follow up to how the younger generation of evangelicals has moved to the left. You were formerly the executive director of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. And I was wondering if you have any thoughts on not only the leftward move of the younger generation of evangelicals, you've already discussed that, but what impact, let's say Keller and others who were influential on this generation, what kind of impact do you think on it had on the issue of biblical manhood for younger evangelical men?

I think it was all in all a more negative impact. I think the differences between men being providers, protectors being courageous leaders, those were minimized in an effort to platform more women and put women on an even keel, not in terms of equality or worth or those things, but in terms of just functionality. So complementarianism teaches biblically, I believe, that men and women are equal before God, equal at the foot of the cross. But in the context of the home and the church, men and women have different roles that are fitted to who God made us to be.

Owen Strand was the president. I was the executive director of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. But we felt that we were at the far right side of the spectrum. We got that Elijah syndrome a little bit, that we're the only ones left that are really holding the line here.

And of course, that's not true. There's many God-honoring, faithful complementarians. But it did seem like that in the 2010s that we were on that far right.

We were kind of that lonely voice crying out in the wilderness. And one of the good things I think that's happened in the 2020s, a lot of people are coming back and saying, you know, how should we really think about the family? Should men be providers and courageous and strong? And how should we train young boys then to fulfill that role? And how should we train our daughters to be kind and workers at home, as Paul says in Titus 2?

And going back to those passages in Scripture that directly address men and women. So there really has been, as we've seen in the 2010s, a really kind of a progressivism. There's been a response the past four years going back towards biblical complementarianism.

And I think that's a good thing. Grant Castleberry, senior pastor of Capital Community Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, is our guest today. As we've talked about different issues regarding Christians and facing this year, a foreboding year ahead, I'd like you to finish by speaking to pastors and church leaders about what your exhortation to them would be on how they can cultivate strong disciples who live holy lives, will die if necessary for their faith.

What would you like to say to them who might be listening today? Just keep on, keep being faithful. The Lord sees all your challenges, all the trials that you're enduring, the Lord sees. If you are faithful to do His work and do what He's tasked you to do, to simply preach the Word in season and out of season, to invest in your men and women and make disciples, if you are doing that work, then God can and will come alongside you and bless your ministry.

He will. He is faithful and He will preserve you. He will keep you and He will bless your people. But it all begins with you simply being faithful to the Lord, keeping Him before you.

I know that that's easier said than done. There's many challenges that we face within our own churches and within American life. But if our eyes are on Him, I know this because it's true in my own life, the challenges become much more manageable when the Lord is your strength. I'm thankful for so many other faithful pastors that are simply doing that work week in, week out, and I'm praying that God will raise up an army of thousands more that would do that work because it's not really appreciated work anymore in our country or in the world even.

It's not appreciated, it's not glamorized, it's sadly not really respected as much as it should be. But it's, I think, as Martin Lloyd-Jones said, it's the most glorious work that God can call a man to do, to be a faithful pastor and a preacher of the gospel. So I'm praying that the Lord will raise up men to do that. Well, it certainly is the highest calling and we're appreciative that you answered God's call and that you are striving to be faithful to Him as you lead your church and your family. Grant, thank you for coming on the Christian Royal View radio program. We just pray all of God's best and grace to you. Thank you so much for having me, David.

It's been a real joy. Well, that is all we have time for today here on the Christian Royal View. Again, all the links to our guest, Grant Castleberry, are located on our website, thechristianrealview.org. Thank you for joining us today on the Christian Royal View.

In just a moment, there will be information on how you can hear a replay of today's program. Order transcripts and resources and support this nonprofit radio ministry. Just remember Jesus' words in light of this foreboding new year. In me, you may have peace. In the world, you have tribulation, but take courage.

I have overcome the world. By His grace, believers can overcome as well. So until next time, think biblically, live accordingly, and stand firm. The mission of the Christian Royal View is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians and to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.

We hope today's broadcast encouraged you toward that end. To hear a replay of today's program, order a transcript, or find out What Must I Do to Be Saved?, go to thechristianrealview.org or call toll-free 1-888-646-2233. The Christian Royal View is a listener-supported nonprofit radio ministry furnished by the Overcomer Foundation. To make a donation, become a Christian Royal View partner, order resources, subscribe to our free newsletter, or contact us, visit thechristianrealview.org, call 1-888-646-2233, or write to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota 55331. That's Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota 55331. Thanks for listening to the Christian Royal View.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-06 04:39:32 / 2024-01-06 04:58:13 / 19

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