It’s the best of times, it’s the worst of times.
Tuesday was a moment that confirmed how much the church is truly responsible for what’s happened to Western civilization in our time.
First, the worst of times, and there’s no time worse than the present.
Tuesday saw the publishing of an in-depth and grisly-detailed look at the (in my opinion) heretical charlatan known as Paula White, which I would urge everyone to read for themselves. White is a modern-day Elmer Gantry in pumps who profits off of empty prophecies and promises, hustling some of the poorest among us to fund her private planes and jet-set lifestyle.
This is a woman who has used money given to her in hopes of incurring God’s blessing to bless herself, including several multi-million-dollar homes. A woman who bypasses the true Gospel of a suffering savior bleeding out on an old, rugged cross for the sins of mankind, in exchange for the false gospel of materialism, for a not-so-nominal fee.
She also happens to be the “spiritual adviser” to the president of these United States — arguably the most powerful man in the world.
Many of you reading this have probably never heard of her, and probably even fewer of you know what a deceiver she really is. In case you were wondering who that woman was at President Trump’s right as he signed his religious freedom protection order – which didn’t actually protect religious freedom – that was none other than White.
See, that’s the problem, because if a Democrat had put such a nefarious figure in a place of prominence as his “spiritual adviser,” nearly everyone reading this would likely know. Furthermore, “Christian leaders” would be asking you to send them money to “push back against the godless Left” in order to fundraise off such troubling news. But it’s mostly crickets where White is concerned, because apparently only Democrats are capable of preaching the doctrines of demons.
We were rightfully concerned about the former president being mentored and discipled by the heretic named Jeremiah Wright. By all means, the deceptions and demagoguery Wright modeled for Barack Obama were fair game in assessing the worldview he would eventually govern us with. There are only two reasons someone belongs to such a godforsaken place as a church under Wright — he’s a hostage against his will, or he shares similar views.
Why then are we not similarly concerned about White’s influence with and over President Trump? Why are there “Christian leaders” serving under her on the president’s evangelical council, which she chairs? Why would anyone voluntarily align with a given person, let alone submit to her, unless he shared her views? Can a house divided against itself stand? Can two walk together unless they agree? Is no one concerned the president is providing a platform for a false teacher to be seen as legitimate by the American people?
Or is hell only for Democrats?
However, just when I was about to give up hope, Tuesday then showed me the best of times. A not-too-distant past, when of course we struggled with political corruption and human fallibility as we do now, but the church had not yet failed us. The church was still capable of inspiring our political leaders to be better than they are, rather than shilling for them while they were worse than we feared.
And our leaders, though in need of grace and forgiveness like the rest of us, still had the humility to accept that challenge from the church and the courage to rise to the occasion for such a time as this.
That hope came in the form of an interview I did for CRTV with Paul Kengor, a best-selling author, on his new book, “A Pope and a President: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century.”
This evangelical was moved as Kengor shared with our audience stories from his book of a Catholic pope inspiring Reagan to join him in the “divine plan” to take down the godless evil empire of the Soviet Union. He told how Reagan recognized that Pope John Paul II’s spiritual guidance was needed to provide the moral authority to topple that godless evil empire. He further explained how both sides, church and state, did not resent each other or challenge the other’s authority, but instead understood they were better together and that each needed the other to save Western civilization from godless statist oppression.
Yet though I’m just 43 years old and can well remember these days of my childhood, they seem so long ago at the same time. This is the age of “Christian leaders” beclowning themselves for spots on cable news and a seat at the king’s table.
But it need not be so. Dry bones can live again. The stone can still be rolled away. For the same timeless God that inspired a president and a pope to take down an evil empire is willing to inspire us to take down the evils of our day. All we need are leaders with the humility and courage to be willing vehicles.
And I heard the voice of the Lord asking, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”