Saturday, February 01, 2020

And We’ve Got the Evangelicals…

Why Mark Galli Doesn't Speak For Me




“...to the intent that the living may know
that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men,
and giveth it to whomsoever He will,
and setteth up over it the basest of men.”

(Daniel 4:17b)


An editorial by Pastor Jim Jenkins

We have short memories. Those who make a living creating narratives bank on this fact. In following the current politically-charged impeachment drama, I have been struck by the fact that the co-opting of language and the bastardization of the meanings of words has the effect of bringing about harmful cognitive dissonance in those whose sensitivities are assaulted by the barrage.

It has become painfully clear that those attempting to impeach the President are using tactics which are spelled out in the book Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky. Alinsky’s methods key off the fact that most folks have a sense of fair play and at least a modicum of respect for one another. His tactics call for ruthless pragmatic ‘whatever works’ bullying. Facts be damned, the object is to throw the opponent into confusion and once they are on their heels — to use whatever means necessary to destroy. David Horowitz is spot on in this observation:


Stigmatizing one’s opponent is a classical radical tactic. It is the thirteenth rule of Saul Alinsky’s Rule for Radicals: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it.” Attack your opponents personally and cut them off from any possibility of sympathy. That is why radicals paint their opponents as homophobes, xenophobes, and Islamophobes. They’re not just good-but-misguided people whose religious convictions have led them to a contrasting viewpoint. They are bad people possessed by irrational fears of “the others” because they are different.”[1]

Recently Mark Galli, the outgoing Editor in Chief of Christianity Today, published an opinion piece in which he called for the removal of Donald Trump. As happens with alarming frequency, this author used his platform to speak for ‘The Evangelicals’. He claims to have only run it by a few people before publishing what he knew would start a firestorm. He justifies his haste in an interview with The Atlantic’s Emma Green 

Green: Were there people at CT who knew you were going to write this editorial who cautioned you away from it? 

Galli: No, because really, only three people saw it before it went up. Ted Olsen is a longtime companion at CT. Anything important I make sure he goes over with a fine-toothed comb, and then of course my President — anything of such a sensitive nature that might affect the entire ministry I let him look at and comment on. I’m about to retire on January 3rd so I did not want to do something that would explode in such a way that would make his life and the life of the incoming editor in chief unnecessarily hard… so I showed it to him and said, If you have concerns, let’s talk and his only concerns were to add some additional paragraphs that made it a stronger editorial.[2] 

So much of the national conversation about ‘The Evangelicals’ is based, I feel, on a gross stigmatization of Christians who fit into the pigeon-hole category progressives have created. This mis-categorization is based on a construct fabricated by the same people who make a living creating political narratives. In other words, political operatives have co-opted the term evangelical and created a profile of this group as a bloc of voters that suits the progressive metanarratives — that in turn support positions and causes that many Bible believing conservative believers would never espouse. 

Galli, in a previous article, expressed his dismay that people he identifies as evangelicals could ever vote for Trump:

...most evangelical Christians like me exclaimed, ‘who are these people?’ I know hardly anyone let alone any evangelical Christian who voted for Trump. I describe evangelicals like me as ‘elite’ evangelicals…and this class of evangelicals has discovered that we have family members so different that seem like aliens in our midst. These other evangelicals often haven’t finished college, and if they have jobs (and apparently a lot of them don’t) they are blue collar jobs or entry level work. They don’t write books or give speeches and they don’t attend conferences of evangelicals or social justice or evangelicals for immigration reform. They are deeply suspicious of mainstream media. A lot of them voted for Donald Trump.[3] 

Perhaps you remember the humanitarian crisis at the U.S. Southern border during the Obama administration. Heart wrenching film footage showed children from Central America who braved the rapists the coyotes and the rigors of a dangerous trek and showed up at the border. However, in ginning up support for basically ignoring current immigration law, the President gave an informal ‘presser’ at the White House He didn’t hide his contempt for anyone who opposed his bypassing the law and using executive orders to accomplish his agenda. 

“I don’t know what the problem is… law enforcement is onboard with this… The military is onboard… then he wet his lips, paused for effect and concluded AND WE’VE GOT THE EVANGELICALS…” 

Something about the way he said “We’ve got the evangelicals” struck me as significant. I did some research and what I found troubled me. Obama's White House had ‘reached out’ years before to select, self-described evangelical leaders and organizations which came to be known as The Evangelical Immigration Table

Screen shot  from page posted 6/22/13*

One of the Founders was Jim Wallis a former card carrying communist and fellow community organizer from Obama’s Chicago days. (Think Jeremiah Wright, Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers.) The group Wallis founded is called Sojourners. The Evangelical Immigration Table is an impressive group with members like World Vision, Catholic Charities, The Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (Russell Moore) and Leith Anderson, the retiring president of the National Association of Evangelicals… to name a few.**

They were organizing years before the crisis at the border to facilitate the illegal dismantling of immigration laws — all under the banner of Christian social justice. A powerful complicit media ignored troubling evidence of the dangerous side of what was occurring at the border. A 45-minute documentary titled The Stranger was commissioned by the Evangelical Immigration Table and released in 2014. In 2016 Trump ran in large part to address the crisis at the border, and the move to de-legitimize his presidency began before it started. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNGiMMhO-88


I have asked numerous Christian leaders over the past 6 years if they ever heard of the Evangelical Immigration Table. No one responded in the affirmative and they were surprised when I pointed out the number of influential national and international entities which had signed on to the progressive agenda proffered by this organization… all in the name of The Christian Response… and ‘The Evangelicals’.

Has there ever been an accounting of where those children who got into the country went? The short answer is that they were relocated and dispersed around the country by groups that received grant money from the federal government and funding from… ready for it?… George Soros! Originally Wallis lied and denied any funding from Soros found its way to Sojourners. Later he ‘walked it back’ and acknowledged that yes, Soros was involved. 

Baptist Press rigorously denied any Soros involvement. 

Baptist Press published a demonstrably false report today claiming that George Soros did not fund The Evangelical Immigration Table. However, the likes of Eric Metaxas, The National Review, The Institute of Religion and Democracy and a host of other conservatives report the truth—that Soros funded The National Immigration Forum and the and the National Immigration Forum funded the Evangelical Immigration Table.[4] 

Claiming to speak for ‘The Evangelicals’ is at once a credential to ensure national media coverage, and a get out of jail free card…  depending who makes the claim. I was struck by the absence of coverage of Franklin Graham’s denunciation of the Christianity Today hit piece.***

That politicians trot out the Bible and their religious affiliation when it suits them is not new. Nancy Pelosi is a devout Catholic when impeaching a duly elected president but, curiously, her faith religion doesn’t come up when infanticide is normalized by her Planned Parenthood allies. 

That powerful leaders seek out and sometimes manipulate so called Spiritual Counselors is well known. What is not inevitable however is that Bible believing conservative Christians must acquiesce to this pigeon-holing. I wonder how the average Christian in the pew would feel if they knew their tithes were being bundled with Soros’ money to bring down the United States as we know it. 

Christianity Today does not speak for me.**** The National Association of Evangelicals does not speak for me. Jim Wallis and George Soros do not speak for me. I have a Bible. I believe that the Holy Spirit can guide me in my thinking on the thorny issues of our times. 

I am not a ‘deplorable,’ but I am a sinner. 

I am not ‘clinging to my guns and my religion’. I am clinging to my Savior Who is the same… yesterday, today… and forever. 

They may indeed have ‘got’ ‘The Evangelicals’… but they haven’t ‘got’ me.


“Be watchful,
and strengthen the things which remain,
that are ready to die:
for I have not found thy works perfect
before God.

(Revelation 3:2)


Endnotes:
1. Horowitz, David, Dark Agenda: The War to Destroy Christian America (Humanix Books, West Palm Beach Florida, 2018),  p.164. Citing Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals (New York: Vintage, 1989), p. 130. Bold added.
2. Emma Green, "How Trump Lost an Evangelical Stalwart," The Atlantic, December 19, 2019, https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/12/christianity-today-trump-removal/603952/
3. This statement is quoted in an article titled "Trump, Franklin Graham, 8 other evangelicals react to Christianity Today's call to remove president," Leonardo Blair, The Christian Post, January 29, 2019. https://www.christianpost.com /news/trump-franklin-graham-8-other-evangelicals-react-to-christianity-todays-call-to-remove-president.html Note that this is a very offensive mis-characterization. 
4. Capstone Report Commentary on Politics and Religion, January 9, 2020, Red in original.
https://capstonereport.com/2020/01/09/baptist-press-lies-and-denies-george-soros-connection-to-evangelical-immigration-table/33713/. Red in original. 

Editor's Notes: There is a disturbing increase in the polarization of American evangelicals within the context of these political and media-driven narratives of current events. The message that gets lost is the Gospel. It is a sad fact that for decades leading evangelicals have been working both sides of the political spectrum for both profit and power. It is also a sad fact that most evangelicals in America do not know what their leaders are up to -- and one big reason why is because the mainstream evangelical publications like Christianity Today have ignored reporting on serious concerns and failed to delve into unsavory facts. In this blog's history we have written hundreds of articles detailing both the political Right and political Left agenda for Dominionism. Pastor Jim Jenkins' post is an indication of the extent to which this polarization in leadership, and who is funding whom and for what motive, is now affecting the church itself. In our ongoing article series, "Anti-Semitism and the Rise of Techno-Media Imperialism" we document the rise of "Big Media Narratives" and their harm not only to Christians but also to Jews and other ethnic and religious minorities. https://herescope.blogspot.com/2019/06/ethnos-vs-ethnos.html  See "Civic Church Anti-Semitism": https://herescope.blogspot.com/2019/07/civic-church-anti-semitism.html 
*See "The Evangelical Immigration Table Exposed As Another Soros Front," June 5, 2013, https://juicyecumenism.com/2013/06/05/the-evangelical-immigration-table-exposed-as-another-soros-front/.
**See Michelle Horstman, "The Faux Conservative Evangelicals Fighting for Immigration Reform," PJ Media, 4/23/14, https://pjmedia.com/blog/the-faux-conservative-evangelicals-fighting-for-immigration-reform. Note that one of the top New Apostolic Reformation "apostles" Samuel Rodriguez is prominently pictured in this article. His role has always been to merge Left and Right Dominionism. We've published many articles about him on Herescope.
***See an article published in The New Yorker, which talks about Franklin Graham's public reaction. The article is by Michael Luo titled "What It Would Take for Evangelicals to Turn on President Trump," Dec. 23, 2019 (Source). This article offensively mischaracterizes all evangelicals as white racists! 
****See the excellent article describing what Christianity Today actually believes, published by Lighthouse Trails Research and titled "Christianity Today: 'We are theologically conservative... committed to the glory of God."--CT History Shows Differently," 1/7/20, https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=31240. Note that many of the articles warning about these trends were published by good fact-based discernment ministries over the years. But we were all totally ignored by "mainstream" elitist evangelical publications such as CT. See especially the late Pastor Ken Silva's excellent research website Apprising Ministries where many of the personnel and issues discussed in this post are highly documented: http://apprising.org.

Dr. Jim Jenkins is the author of Fatal Drift: Is the Church Losing Its Anchor? (Deep River Books, 2014). For related reading see: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2016/02/fatal-drift.html and also read http://herescope.blogspot.com/2016/03/mind-numbing-narratives.html.