“There has never been a society or a nation without God. But history is cluttered with the wreckage of nations that became indifferent to God, and died. … Faith is the central problem of this age. The Western world does not know it, but it already possesses the answer to this problem — but only provided that its faith in God and the freedom He enjoins is as great as Communism’s faith in Man.” – Whittaker Chambers
In an interview Tuesday on Fox & Friends, President Trump put it plainly: “This is the most important election in the history of our country … We will never allow this country to become a socialist nation, and that’s what (the Democrats) are trying to do.”
It’s not the first time the president has warned Americans about the looming threats of socialism to our nation. Even his 2020 campaign slogan to “Keep America Great” is a stark reminder of all that we stand to lose if radical progressives continue on their trajectory to — as President Obama said — “fundamentally transform” our nation.
Had this watershed moment occurred even 10 years ago, it’s likely that the majority of evangelical leaders with pulpits, parachurch ministries or publications would be echoing the president’s warning as loudly and as passionately as possible. Socialism, aka Communism, is the mortal enemy not just of Christianity – but of humanity itself.
One need only look at how Leftist totalitarians have trampled on churches during the pandemic, in many locations robbing them of their constitutional right to meet in person while abortion clinics and Black Lives Matter activists carry on as normal, to see what happens to Christians when Leftists are at the helm. You’d think that during times like these, all evangelical leaders would rise up as one and denounce the Left as enemies of the church and enemies of American freedom.
God bless them, a number of faithful evangelical leaders are standing up against socialism and urging Christians to preserve a free America. But not the lion’s share of those we have come to call “BigEva” — the Big Evangelical Elites, the Trump-hating, race-baiting, social justice-promoting gatekeepers and contributors to Woke evangelical websites and ministries. They encompass leaders and writers from the Southern Baptist Convention to Christianity Today to The Gospel Coalition, just to name a few.
Instead, we’re hearing constant Woke talking points like the following (paraphrased):
- “Sure, abortion is bad, but if you were really pro-life, you’d support the ‘holistic pro-life’ movement we invented, value every illegal alien the way you value unborn babies, and vote for Leftists!”
- “We’re closing our churches for the foreseeable future because we love our neighbors and don’t want them to catch the coronavirus. And by the way, we also publicly marched in large crowds during the early days of the church shutdowns to support Black Lives Matter.”
- “Christians who vote for Republicans are basically a bunch of crazy QAnon supporters and conspiracy theorists!”
- “You are not loving Jesus or your neighbor if you assert your rights as a free American citizen.”
Think I’m kidding? Read them and weep:
- J.D. Greear, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, said in a recent message that the Bible commands Christians to “care for the sojourner” (which he equated with modern-day “immigrants”) and bring that command into the voting booth: “As Christians, when we go to the ballot box … we ought to be thinking not just about our own rights … we ought to make decisions based on what helps others, not just what helps us. .. we should have no tolerance for statements or politics that denigrate or harm these groups.”
- Jeff Christopherson, a missiologist at the Send Institute, recently penned a piece in Christianity Today, saying that Christians who stand up over Leftist tyrants’ unconstitutional and unfairly applied COVID-19 restrictions are somehow responsible for COVID-19 deaths — and also don’t care that we allegedly killed people! Here it is, in his own words: “It seems that to many of us, whether unconsciously or with great and dark premeditation, we have substituted biblical freedom (being free to sacrifice for others) to a cultural concept of freedom (free to exercise my rights) as a world watches our example in horror. Instead of being known for our leadership in advocating for those on the margins – we speak only and entirely for ourselves. And our boisterous demands are far from being Gospel words of life. Watching the news or thumbing through our social media feeds, we see evangelicals unapologetically declaring, ‘You cannot make us wear masks. We have our rights.’ ‘You cannot stop us from filling our building. This is a free country.’ ‘Some people are just going to have to get sick and die. I’m sorry, but that’s how it is.’ And so, the body count ticks up as strangers and neighbors alike enter eternity, while we, clinging to our rights, absolve ourselves of any responsibility.”
- Ed Stetzer, Christianity Today writer and dean and professor at Wheaton College and head of the Billy Graham Center, and Joe Carter, an editor for The Gospel Coalition, both have seized this critical time in American history to … scold Christians for their alleged interest in QAnon. Carter claimed, “As (a) movement of Satan, QAnon is incompatible with Christianity.” Stetzer wrote: “In a 2018 poll we conducted at Wheaton College Billy Graham Center Research Institute, we found that 46% of self-identified evangelicals and 52% of those whose beliefs tag them as evangelical ‘strongly believes the mainstream media produces fake news.’ … But bias doesn’t equal fake news, and too many are rejecting legitimate news sources while being discipled by their social media.” In fact, the Media Research Center recently claimed that 94 to 95 percent of the media is not just biased, but “openly hostile” to President Trump. FakeNews isn’t just a Trumpism. It’s an obvious, daily occurrence! Big Tech censorship against conservatives and outlets like the New York Post is outrageous. Media outlets blacking out stories they don’t want to report on is journalistic malpractice. But in Stetzer’s world, your problem with Leftists lying in the media, or your fact-based recognition that there are progressives actively working against the president within the federal government, just makes you a QAnon nut — even if you’re not.
But a few examples of some silly statements from BigEva don’t matter, do they? Does anyone really care?
We all should care, because what BigEva is doing is conducting a massive betrayal, not only to our nation but to the very Christians they purport to shepherd and influence. They are actually betraying the same Christians who keep the coins rolling in to the coffers of their faithless institutions, even as they insult, manipulate and berate many of these trusting sheep for the “sin” of voting for Trump. News flash: The 2020 election isn’t about a man anymore. It’s about the future of a free America.
BigEva’s constant affinity for Leftist causes, Leftist rhetoric and Leftist propaganda also says something very profound about the increasingly visible spiritual collapse of once-faithful evangelicalism. While many weren’t looking, many of these same leaders forged careers by actually undermining the solid biblical teaching about Christianity and truth about the blessings of American freedom that previous generations of evangelical leaders rightly built into us. You’ll hear it in their sneering about the American flag, or patriotism, or fighting the culture wars. Has it occurred to most evangelicals that these statements have been gigantic red flags all along?
And look at the effects. Are the younger generations of evangelicals more faithful to Christ and His Word than the older generations? Not at all. Studies have shown that younger evangelicals have almost no biblical worldview whatsoever. Many today, if not most, actually think being a Christian means being Woke, thanks in large measure to the world and the supporting online omnipresence of a culturally obsessed BigEva.
Which brings me to Whittaker Chambers’ classic book, “Witness.”
Chambers is a man whose name is largely lost to the younger generations of Americans who are more fascinated with the latest TikTok star than the great men of history, more fascinated with socialism than the battles against it. But Chambers’ witness — and warning — is vital for today’s American evangelicals to understand and heed.
Born in Philadelphia, Chambers became a Communist Party member in the mid-1920s and served as a Soviet agent in the 1930s, running a spy ring in the nation’s capital. After leaving the Party, he later appeared as a federal witness in what became the case against federal government employee Alger Hiss, whom Chambers identified as a communist. Hiss ultimately was convicted of perjury for denying his own role as a Soviet spy.
That short description doesn’t do justice to this profoundly moving and beautifully written book (and, might I add, drop everything, go buy “Witness,” and read it!), but the theme of Chambers’ book couldn’t be more timely.
As he recounts his own break from Communism and muses over why others left the Party, he boiled down the reason to a simple explanation: “A Communist breaks because he must choose at last between irreconcilable opposites — God or Man, Soul or Mind, Freedom or Communism.”
Freedom or Communism. Chambers knew: You have to pick one. They cannot co-exist. He also understood that freedom has a source: God. As he put it, “Political freedom, as the Western world has known it, is only a political reading of the Bible. Religion and freedom are indivisible. Without freedom the soul dies.”
Some might ask: Is our struggle in America today really about Communism? Or is it just about “Democratic socialism” or “social justice” (i.e., cultural Marxism)? Well, bicker over the etymology if you like, but it’s difficult to say Communism isn’t a threat when an increasing number of American Leftists are looking and talking and acting an awful lot like the Marxists of old: rioting and looting in the streets, violently attacking and even killing their political enemies, openly calling for an end to capitalism, demanding the redistribution of wealth, burning Bibles and opposing freedom of speech and religion — and the Democrat Party, whether through silence or open support, largely backs them up. Its presidential nominee even plans to implement specific policies to make some of their policy demands — like free college and massive redistribution of wealth under a Marxist-like “climate plan” — reality. Are these people Communists? If not, they’re doing an Oscar-worthy imitation of them.
And if the stakes for our country are as high as Trump says, and if the descent into Communism means the loss of God, the loss of the soul and the loss of freedom (which it does), then why aren’t all BigEva leaders marshaling every resource at their fingertips to warn the church of this existential danger and fight the Left and its revolutionary objectives, tooth and nail? Don’t they claim to be Christians?
What is wrong with these people?
It’s a curious question, really. And don’t peg me as a conspiracy theorist. I’m not asserting that most of these evangelical leaders are open supporters of Communism. They’re not members of the Communist Party USA, they’re not hailing Lenin or Mao, and they’re not calling for a glorious, 1917-level workers’ uprising. Their open dirty secrets are much less exciting, though noteworthy — like George Soros money flowing to the National Immigration Forum, which in turn funded ads for BigEva’s Evangelical Immigration Table.
But spend a day or two reading their articles and social media posts, listening to their podcasts or streaming their conferences, and you’ll have a hard time refuting this one very unnerving fact: In the fight between Chambers’ binary of Freedom or Communism, BigEva sure looks and talks and acts like it wants Communism to win.
Of course, they’ll deny this as a terrible “slander” (one of their favorite words) and probably kick up a temporary flurry of PSYOP-type blather to distract from the central issue. Too late, fellas. We didn’t create your schizophrenic conundrum. You did it all to yourselves, and shame on you.
Let’s be clear here. When BigEva refuses on a regular basis to raise a finger to fight the plain evils in front of us, when they fail to clearly articulate a detailed polemic against modern Leftism/Communism, when they regularly criticize conservative Christians’ every position and lecture and shame them as Trump voters, and when they promote much of the Leftist agenda to the hilt, what else are we to conclude? When you’re strongly for something, people see it. When you’re strongly against something, they also see that. The Lord Jesus Christ highlighted this very principle in Matt. 12:30: “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”
It’s time to face the plain truth that BigEva does not speak for or represent biblically faithful Christians anymore. Some never did, though others faked it pretty well, here and there, for a while. But the moment is too precarious, and the dangers are too acute, to let these frauds get away with their failed leadership anymore. With apologies to Dorothy Parker, BigEva’s influence “is not to be tossed aside lightly — it should be thrown with great force!”
My own opposition to Communism has a personal element, as well, which I should mention. I studied the Russian language all through my high school and college years. I also traveled for several weeks to the Soviet Union, when it still was the Soviet Union, and I talked to many people who had lived under Communism their whole lives. Their horrible stories of life under that demonic system still haunt me.
In particular, I remember our tour guide in Moscow. Her name was Tanya. One day, while our group was touring a Russian Orthodox church, she approached me and said, “I have to ask you a question. Are you Christianized?” I paused, partly out of confusion over the word “Christianized” and partly out of an irrational fear of being sent to a gulag. Then I thought of the Lord’s words: “Whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” And so I told her, “Yes, I am a Christian.” She replied, “I thought so. I would like to talk to you later.”
Not knowing what her intentions were, I was slightly terrified. Was she about to turn me in to the KGB?
Tanya surprised me, though. When we finally talked alone, she revealed, “I knew you were a Christian, because I am one, too. And I want to give you these.” In her hand were two, silver Russian Orthodox crosses on a necklace. As she put the necklace in my hand, she told me, “I can’t wear this, but you can. Please wear it for me when you go back home. And when you pray for me, thank God that He made you an American — and that you are free.”
I still tear up when I remember Tanya. I still have her crosses. And I will never, ever forget her words. I was so moved by them, and by the entire experience of seeing the Soviet Union in action, that when I returned back home, the first thing I did was kiss the ground. Thank you, God, for making me an American. Thank you, Lord, that I am free.
The Russians living under Communism understood — as millions of its other victims do – that Communism is evil. Not “a good idea that wasn’t implemented correctly.” An evil system that bore evil fruit and stole the lives of more than 140 million human beings.
Communism is vicious to many people, but it especially opposes Christianity, and with a fervency that we can’t imagine. Refugees from Communism came to the United States from all over the world because they know it is not just any country. It is the greatest country in history: a country built on freedom, and that is because it is a nation forged on the foundation of the Bible. Here, they knew they’d be safe. Safe and free.
We are a free nation because we are a nation built upon the idea that God Himself has granted us unalienable rights, and that we are free because He — not government — has made us free. And because of the rights God has given to us, we the people should govern this nation, and we should restrict the power of government over us. That way, we can maintain our freedoms to speak freely, assemble freely, practice our Christian religion freely, defend ourselves freely and freely own private property, among other enumerated rights.
Perhaps I am further moved on a personal level by this fight because I am also a Mayflower descendant, the multiple-great-granddaughter of ancestors who boarded that boat in a desperate quest to escape Christian persecution and find refuge in the New World. Given all this, and given my faith in the Lord, I’m not about to take for granted the tremendous blessing of my Christian freedom, given to me by God because of my own family’s monumental risk and sacrifice. I want my children and grandchildren to enjoy the same blessings of liberty that I have. Today, that requires a fight. So fight I will.
And BigEva can’t guilt me out of it. Don’t let them guilt you, either. Cast aside their influence in your life, with great force.
If we love our country, if we love our churches and our families, if we love our Bibles and if we love the Lord, and if we love His blessings of liberty, then all of God’s people are bound by Christian duty to plant our feet firmly on the side of Freedom and oppose Communism with all our might.
And if we have to do it without our famous and faithless shepherds, then so be it. We have other faithful shepherds, out of the spotlight, and above all, we have the Lord — the most faithful of all Shepherds. He is the very Author of Freedom.
As Christians bearing His name, let us go forward now and fight to preserve our beloved nation.