Hey, isn’t it great that Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, is getting so much time on MSNBC these days? I imagine he’s really winning some hearts for Christ there among the Rachel Maddow fans and the people who miss Melissa Harris-Perry’s pro-abortion tampon earrings.
Of course, any platform, even a tavern, can be used for Christ, but my question for Al would be: when are you going to start? (As in, using it for something useful, that is.)
Let’s be real, shall we? Al Mohler won’t be getting as many TV appearances on MSNBC after the election, will he? Of course not. Al’s a brilliant man, but from their perspective, he’s presently fulfilling the role of useful evangelical idiot — the one who can be counted on to dutifully castigate both Hillary and Trump in a way that will only help Hillary.
Of course, giving Al some credit, he thinks he’s preserving evangelical “credibility,” by attempting to sway the body of Christ away from both Hillary and Trump, (thus, as we all know, assuring a victory for Hillary Clinton). He doesn’t care; in fact, he’s very likely convinced of his own rectitude here. The body of Christ will remain pure, paradoxically, by sacrificing the pro-life candidate in favor of the pro-death candidate.
I know it’s confusing, but if you really want some profound confusion, consider how little care has gone into honoring the Lord’s Supper by the evangelical church for the last 60 years. Nearly every congregation of any size in America is propped up, financially, by the benefits of their 501c3 corporate status. Members of the church can make tax-free contributions and the pastor agrees not to “name names” or become overtly partisan in his pronouncements.
In practice, that means that most conservative, Bible-believing churches will likely vote Republican in large numbers, but the blatantly pro-abortion policies of the Democratic Party and a church member’s personal, spiritual culpability for voting in Democrats isn’t really addressed. The problem of “Jesus-believing” church members aligning themselves politically with a party that defends killing unborn babies right up to the moment of birth (Hillary’s position) remains an issue apparently completely out of the Lord of Host’s jurisdiction.
The church, if we define the “ecclesia,” the “called out,” by New Testament standards, has some specific standards for association. Paul was clear that church members shouldn’t hang with idolaters, drunkards, the sexually immoral, greedy, scorners, and dudes who sleep with their step-mothers. He didn’t mention baby-killers, but maybe that’s implied? Maybe even the Corinthians didn’t need that reminder?
These days, those standards are largely theoretical as Al Mohler’s Southern Baptists (and others) have built ultra-large sanctuaries and even multi-church campuses, capable of seating thousands at a time. Some of them even “fellowship” by watching pastors on jumbotrons, tending the flock from the mother ship some distance away. In practice, serving bread and wine to that many people isn’t their thing, but if it were their thing, (as Christ commands), you can bet they aren’t going to be putting communicants to any political test, no matter how vile that affiliation might be. In fact, the association standards of 1st Corinthians 5 aren’t even addressed at all.
The Roman Catholic church, to its credit, has at least publicly fretted about the problem of giving the Lord’s supper to politicians who advocate abortion on demand, but actual church discipline, among both Roman Catholic and protestant congregations, has become a kind of relic. Look around you. The church is full of fornicating couples, people who have been granted un-biblical divorce, people who brag about committing insurance fraud, porn addicts, and quite a few young ladies who flip you off in traffic, as you’re looking for a space in the church parking lot. (That happened to us once, when we were young mini-van parents at Harvest Christian fellowship in Riverside, California.)
The church these days, for good or bad, is about praising God and having an ecstatic worship experience. It’s not about catechizing, teaching, or discipling.
And now, according to Al Mohler, Russell Moore, James White, and a few others, high character standards for the presidency should be rigorously enforced? You mean multiple divorce isn’t really a standard for communion, but it is for the presidency? A church full of porn addicts isn’t a communion issue, but Donald Trump on the cover of Playboy is? Voting for abortion on demand is not a church member’s communion issue, but it’s fine to shame a Trump voter for attempting to protect life? The American church, after creating a cultural and political wasteland for six decades, now has altar boy standards for the president of the United States.
Admission to the Lord’s Supper has lower standards than election to a secular office?
Re-examine your priorities, gentlemen — and take stock.