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Mohler on Beck: "We Have A Problem"

Yesterday, I wrote a post noting that while the Southern Baptist Convention's Richard Land was calling Mormonism "the fourth Abrahamic faith" in explaining his willingness to work with Glenn Beck, other SBC leaders were decrying Beck's revival rally as a "scandal" and Mormonism as a "cult."

Shortly thereafter, Al Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Tweeted that he would be appearing on The Janet Mefferd Show to talk about the issue of Evangelicals joining with Beck in seeking revival. I missed the first part, but I managed to record the second segment in which the two discussed just how dangerous and outrageous it is for Christians to partner with a Mormon like Beck in calling for spiritual renewal:

This turn toward spiritual renewal is just out of the blue and [Beck] obviously feels that he has some divine destiny here in terms of him talking about this, God told him to do this, this is a divine moment. Well, again do Christians understand what he is talking about there? When he's referring to God? And you're talking about someone who clearly identifies with Mormonism and was a convert to Mormonism? There is something very strange going on here and I don't understand the disconnect on the part of Christians.

You know, when you look at this Janet, for instance when you hear Glenn Beck, much of what he has to say on economics and politics makes a great deal of sense to us. And I'll tell you, he really gains a lot of points and deserves credit for identifying many really horrible and very dangerous liberal ideas. But just to debunk liberal ideas does not give you then the authority to be taken at your word, or at just your media presence, to be speaking truth when then you talk about the Gospel. That's where he just have to be mature Christians to say "let's look at the Scripture, let's look at what is being said here. We have a problem."

You know, [Beck's Mormonism] actually comes out at times in his conversations such as when he talks about Native Americans and their language being rooted in ancient Biblical Hebrew. You know, there are a lot of Christians who listen to that and go "well that sounds interesting." Well, it's not interesting; it's wrong. It's right out of the Book of Mormon. You also have other things going on here, far more important than Jesus visiting the Native Americans and that has to do with what the meaning of the cross was and exactly who God is. How many American Christians who are watching that and resonating with the call to spiritual revival know that the man who is up there speaking, using words about God, and Gospel and all the rest believes that there was a male and female deity? That the Godhead is a reproductive pair? That eventually we will be divine ourselves if indeed we follow the path of righteousness? What you have here is a complete confusion of the Gospel ... Christians have to understand: it is Jesus Christ who is the Alpha and the Omega. There is no successor. There is no completion. There is no new book we're waiting for.

This is just an edited excerpt of the discussion - if you want to listen to the entire segment, you can do so here:

NOM's Capital Chutzpah

The National Organization for Marriage, which has been pouring money into District of Columbia elections to punish officials who supported DC’s  new marriage equality law, has sent voters in the city’s Ward 5 a lurid campaign piece supporting an anti-marriage-equality candidate (see below) and warning that “Outside Special Interests are Targeting Delano Hunter.” 

Thousands of dollars from homosexual activists outside Ward 5 are attacking Delano Hunter because he supports our right to vote on whether the District legalizes ‘gay marriage.’
 
Radical, gay marriage activists are flooding Ward 5 with money to defeat Delano Hunter, not because they don’t like his plan to improve our community, but only because he supports the Biblical definition of marriage.
 
The outside gay activists don’t care about our right to home rule and right to vote on gay marriage. They only care about their agenda to redefine marriage. Don’t let them target Delano Hunter.
 
Of course, flooding states with “outside special interest” money is NOM’s own modus operandi.
 
In July, we noted that NOM’s Brian Brown was bragging about the formation of the DC Values PAC:
 
Bishop Jackson's heroic leadership has lead to something no one has ever seen before: a coalition of black Democrats leaders and white suburban Christian Republicans to help elect pro-marriage and pro-life black Democrats in the District of Columbia. 
 
Outside money, anyone? The August 10 filing for the DC Values PAC at the DC Office of Campaign Finance showed that the PAC had raised $3,275 – of which $2,500 was from outside the District of Columbia, including $1000 from Maryland-based “Harry Jackson Jr. Enterprises Inc.”
 
NOM itself reported making $82,446.40 in independent expenditures in July, with all but $4000 of that going to King & Associates for production and distribution of flyers attacking the mayor and councilmembers who had voted for marriage equality legislation. (A campaign finance report from June had shown another $60,900 going to King & Associates, which is run by Ward 5 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Bob King.) 
 
In addition, NOM donated more than 85 percent of the income reported by Stand4Marriage DC’s initiative effort in its July 31 filing - $40,000 out of $46,122. In an intriguing twist, almost every single contributor in that report is listed as living in DC, even though the zip codes and city names make it clear that many are from around the country. Among the reported contributors are those residing in Nashville, DC; San Diego, DC; and Tucson, DC.
 
Hunter is challenging incumbent Councilmember Harry Thomas, whose support for marriage equality legislation generated some heated opposition and made him a top NOM target. In an August 23 straw poll held by the Ward 5 Democrats, Thomas handily defeated Hunter, 613 to 239, with two other candidates far behind. The Democratic primary will be held September 14.

NOM's Capital Chutzpah

The National Organization for Marriage, which has been pouring money into District of Columbia elections to punish officials who supported DC’s  new marriage equality law, has sent voters in the city’s Ward 5 a lurid campaign piece supporting an anti-marriage-equality candidate (see below) and warning that “Outside Special Interests are Targeting Delano Hunter.” 

Thousands of dollars from homosexual activists outside Ward 5 are attacking Delano Hunter because he supports our right to vote on whether the District legalizes ‘gay marriage.’
 
Radical, gay marriage activists are flooding Ward 5 with money to defeat Delano Hunter, not because they don’t like his plan to improve our community, but only because he supports the Biblical definition of marriage.
 
The outside gay activists don’t care about our right to home rule and right to vote on gay marriage. They only care about their agenda to redefine marriage. Don’t let them target Delano Hunter.
 
Of course, flooding states with “outside special interest” money is NOM’s own modus operandi.
 
In July, we noted that NOM’s Brian Brown was bragging about the formation of the DC Values PAC:
 
Bishop Jackson's heroic leadership has lead to something no one has ever seen before: a coalition of black Democrats leaders and white suburban Christian Republicans to help elect pro-marriage and pro-life black Democrats in the District of Columbia. 
 
Outside money, anyone? The August 10 filing for the DC Values PAC at the DC Office of Campaign Finance showed that the PAC had raised $3,275 – of which $2,500 was from outside the District of Columbia, including $1000 from Maryland-based “Harry Jackson Jr. Enterprises Inc.”
 
NOM itself reported making $82,446.40 in independent expenditures in July, with all but $4000 of that going to King & Associates for production and distribution of flyers attacking the mayor and councilmembers who had voted for marriage equality legislation. (A campaign finance report from June had shown another $60,900 going to King & Associates, which is run by Ward 5 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Bob King.) 
 
In addition, NOM donated more than 85 percent of the income reported by Stand4Marriage DC’s initiative effort in its July 31 filing - $40,000 out of $46,122. In an intriguing twist, almost every single contributor in that report is listed as living in DC, even though the zip codes and city names make it clear that many are from around the country. Among the reported contributors are those residing in Nashville, DC; San Diego, DC; and Tucson, DC.
 
Hunter is challenging incumbent Councilmember Harry Thomas, whose support for marriage equality legislation generated some heated opposition and made him a top NOM target. In an August 23 straw poll held by the Ward 5 Democrats, Thomas handily defeated Hunter, 613 to 239, with two other candidates far behind. The Democratic primary will be held September 14.

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The Pacific Justice Institute is trying to force California to defend Prop 8.
  • Richard Land may not support the "Ground Zero Mosque," but he condemns anti-Muslim crimes like arson in Tennessee.
  • Glenn Beck has some new website.
  • Peter LaBarber really likes Ryan Sorba.
  • Joseph Farah really hates GOProud.
  • Liberty Counsel wants you to cast a "Vote of No Confidence" in President Obama.
  • Jordan Sekulow says people will continue to question President Obama's faith so long as he continues to be a bad Christian.
  • Finally, behold Mike Huckabee featuring AshleyMadison.com on his program:

Bauer: Obama, The Left, and Islamic Terrorists All Share The Same Agenda

In a new column in Human Events, Gary Bauer explains that, at heart, President Obama, progressives, and Islamic terrorists all have the same agenda, which is to destroy America and its Judeo-Christian values: 

Progressives and Islamists are indeed on the same side. Their common disdain for Christianity explains why left-wing judges in America find any inkling of Christianity in the public square unconstitutional, while Islamist judges in the Middle East deem it executable.

Their common view that life is expendable explains the left’s embrace abortion-on-demand and why the Islamists don’t hesitate to deploy their own children for homicide bombings.

Their common totalitarian impulse explains why each group has as its governing objective to render its subjects entirely dependent on the state for everything in their lives, from education to healthcare.

...

There’s a reason Obama won the Muslim American vote by more than nine to one, and why it is suspected that he received millions of dollars in contributions to his presidential campaign from Muslims abroad.

It’s not because Muslims thought Obama would fight for gays in the military. It’s because they knew he’d treat Israel as more of an annoyance than an ally, and because he’d be sure to diminish America’s stature in the world. And they were right.

More fundamentally, left-wing progressivism and Islamism both hold that religious belief and reason are at odds. Of course, Islamists embrace faith and reject reason, while progressives value reason to the exclusion of faith. Eventually these groups may have to address their basic differences.

But there will be time for that later. For now, there’s a greater goal to achieve: the annihilation of moral accountability and individual liberty and the destruction of the Judeo-Christian philosophy that is the foundation of Western civilization.

Bauer says that any "differences between the left and radical Islam fade to irrelevance in the face of such common enemies as traditional Christianity, Judaism, Israel, free enterprise and the very idea of America itself."

And just to claify, when Bauer uses the terms like "radical Islam" or "Islamist," he means "terrorist."

Southern Baptist Convention Launches Its Own Pre-Election Prayer Effort

What was it that I was just saying about the fact that Religious Right groups seem to do nothing but duplicate the work of other Religious Right groups and that every new organization or event or program seems to have the same mission as every other one?

Well, in addition to the Pray and ACT 40 days of pre-election prayer and fasting, and Cindy Jacobs' 40 days of pre-election prayer and fasting, and the National Religious Broadcasters' 40 days of pre-election prayer, we can now also add the Southern Baptist Convention's 40 days of pre-election prayer:

The 40/40 Prayer Vigil is designed for people to pray for 40 days, between Sept. 20 and the morning of Oct. 29, and then pray for 40 hours between 4 p.m. on Oct. 29 and 8 a.m. on Oct. 31. A downloadable prayer guide and more information is available at www.4040prayer.com. The 40/40 prayer guide is written so that it can be used by an individual, a small group or the focus of an entire church body.

The vigil focuses on personal and church revival and national renewal, [Richard] Land said, noting participants are encouraged to heed the truths of 1 Timothy 2 and pray for those in positions of authority in the government.

A pitched spiritual battle rages across the country and around the world, Land said. "Such warfare must be met first of all with spiritual weapons," he said. "We must pray for a great outpouring of God's Spirit on our homes, our churches and ourselves that our moral foundation might be recovered."

The Black Robe Regiment: Glenn Beck's Redundant New Group

One thing I find fascinating about the Religious Right is how seemingly every major new organization or effort that it launches is literally the same as every other organization or effort it has ever launched.

Just today I noted how yet another group was calling for 40 days of prayer heading into the mid-term elections, as if all the other calls to 40 days of prayer and fasting were not enough.

Similarly, it seems like every few weeks, some new Religious Right group is formed that does exactly the same thing all of the other Religious Right groups are doing.

And now we have Glenn Beck announcing the formation of his Black Robe Regiment:

Apparently, the idea began with Beck's favorite historian, David Barton. When Beck told Barton he wanted to "get religious leaders together," Barton suggested forming a Black Robe Regiment -- named after what Barton had said was a group of preachers who supported the American Revolution from their pulpits. Beck decided that was "exactly" what he was looking for because it was a movement supposedly like his that was "not about politics."

Beck then described the first meeting he held with "the largest evangelical leaders in the country" some of whom had been involved in the Christian Coalition. ... Beck elaborated on his call to "mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes," calling on his listeners to "tithe 10 percent" and encouraging them to "sacrifice our fortunes so our children don't have to pay for our lifestyle." Beck implored his listeners: "You must tithe because these people [the Black Robe Regiment] are going to be in trouble. They're going to come under attack."

So Beck's brilliant idea is to bring together a bunch of Religious Right leaders in an effort to motivate pastors to play a bigger role in politics and the culture?

Has Beck never heard of the Patriot Pastors?

Fellow pastor Russell Johnson lacks [Rod] Parsley's charisma, but he has mastered the art of organizing. His group, the Ohio Restoration Project (ORP), recruited nearly 1,800 churches with "Patriot Pastors" and deputized them to draft new "values voters."

The ministers signed 410,000 Ohio homes onto Johnson's mailing list, and the ORP can tap 100,000 prayer warriors through e-mail in a moment's notice. This is more than just a group of voters ready to punch some ballots. According to ORP outreach materials, it is a "mighty army" ready to do battle.

While Johnson reaches white evangelicals and fundamentalists, Parsley appeals to both African Americans and Pentecostals. Together, the two men have forged a political machine that aims to remake Ohio politics—and the nation.

Or what about the US Pastor Council?

The mission of the Houston Area Pastor Council and sister councils in USPC is to empower pastors and their congregations across racial and denominational lines to impact the culture and community through concerted prayer, to equip our congregations for effective citizenship and to provide a unified voice on spiritual, cultural, social and moral issues from a Biblical perspective. The AMERICA Plan was developed as a Purpose Statement of how pastors and churches can and must enage in godly citizenship.

HAPC has become a respected voice on front line cultural and political issues from a non-partisan perspective, holding elected officials of both major parties and non-partisan offices to a Biblical standard. The Pastors' Declaration of Godly Citizenship was developed to clarify the core values of this coalition.

HAPC has conducted numerous luncheons, workshops, rallies, elected official summits, Pastors' Day At the Capitol and many other activities bringing pastors together, proving top quality Biblical, historical, legal and public policy information as well as standing in the gap for our nation.

Or what about the Pulpit Initiative:

Historically, churches have emphatically, and with great passion, spoken Scriptural truth from the pulpit about government and culture. Historians have stated that America owes its independence in great degree to the moral force of the pulpit. Pastors have proclaimed Scriptural truth throughout history on great moral issues such as slavery, women’s suffrage, child labor and prostitution. Pastors have also spoken from the pulpit with great frequency for and against various candidates for government office ... It is time for the intimidation and threats to end. Churches and pastors have a constitutional right to speak freely and truthfully from the pulpit – even on candidates and voting – without fearing loss of their tax exemption.

Or the Watchmen on the Wall:

Watchmen on the Wall" is a powerful conference in the nation's capital especially designed for pastors and ministers, based on Isa. 62:6: "I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem. They shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent..." FRC launched the Briefing in May 2004 to:

* Remind spiritual leaders of our nation's Judeo-Christian heritage.
* Inform them about the moral issues being debated in the public square.
* Ignite their passion to become watchmen who will sound the alarm.
* Inspire them to encourage their churches to engage the culture.

Our hope is that you will return home encouraged and educated about the issues of the day that affect faith and family and that you will be inspired to share with your congregations what they may do to take a more active role as salt and light in your community and government.

Or what about the Patriotic Pastors, or Pastors for Family Values, or even the Patriot Pastors’ T.E.A. Party?

And those are the groups I can think of just off the top of my head. 

Obviously, none of the previous efforts have accomplished their goals - if they had, there would be no need to keep launching new groups with the exact same mission over and over again. 

But apparently Beck believes that Beck thinks that he (with the help of the very Religious Right leaders behind all these other efforts) has finally found the key:  getting pastors more engaged in the political process. 

Gee, why has nobody ever thought of that before?  

FRC Defends Use of the "Southern Strategy" by Completely Redefining It

Robert Morrison is a Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council, so you'd think that he'd be familiar with what the term "the Southern Strategy" actually means and what it entailed. 

But you'd be wrong, because Morrison is claiming that the "Southern Strategy" is nothing more than run-of-the-mill political efforts to win votes in the South:

A former Republican National Chairman is getting kudos from the liberal media for an odd thing. Veteran political reporter Dan Balz of the Washington Post applauds Ken Mehlman’s decency, reserving generous commendations for Mehlman’s efforts at “outreach” to black voters. He notes that Mehlman made a special effort to apologize to black voters for Richard Nixon’s “infamous” Southern strategy of 1968 and 1972.

For a savvy reporter like Balz, this is nonsense on stilts. Can anyone imagine Democratic National Chairman Tim Kaine apologizing for Thomas Jefferson’s Southern strategy? Or Andrew Jackson’s? Woodrow Wilson’s? Franklin D. Roosevelt’s?

FDR won four elections as president, something now barred by the Twenty-second Amendment. Every one of those elections started out with Roosevelt’s campaign managers banking on the electoral votes of the Solid South.

First of all, that is obviously not what people mean when they use the term "Southern Strategy," as Mehlman's actual apology illustrates:

"By the '70s and into the '80s and '90s, the Democratic Party solidified its gains in the African American community, and we Republicans did not effectively reach out," Mehlman says in his prepared text. "Some Republicans gave up on winning the African American vote, looking the other way or trying to benefit politically from racial polarization. I am here today as the Republican chairman to tell you we were wrong."

The "Southern Strategy" was a targeted effort by Republicans to win over traditional Southern Democrats through the use of racially polarization. As Richard Nixon's strategist Kevin Phillips explained:

From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don't need any more than that... but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That's where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.

Or, as Lee Atwater bluntly put it:

“You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘Nigger, nigger, nigger,’ ” said Atwater. “By 1968, you can’t say ‘nigger’ — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things, and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.”

Morrison asserts that "there’s nothing infamous at all about seeking support in the South" and, as such, Republicans have nothing for which they need to apologize ... which I guess is true provided that you redefine the term "Southern Strategy" to mean the exact opposite of what it actually was.

Election 2010: Now With More Praying, More Fasting, More Humbling and Turning From Our Wicked Way

Pray and ACT is calling for 40 days for prayer and fasting heading into the 2010 mid-term elections and so is Cindy Jacobs ... and now the National Religious Broadcasters is getting in on the act as well, announcing its own pre-election 40-day prayer effort:

In response to the unprecedented spiritual and moral decline in our nation, the NRB Executive Committee is issuing a call to God’s people to devote ourselves to 40 days of earnest, soul-searching prayer, beginning September 1, 2010 and ending October 10, 2010. The theme verse is 2 Chronicles 7:14, "If my people.” We must seek God for the revival of our souls and the life of our nation.

NRB is requesting that you join us in calling upon God's people to commit to these 40 days of prayer. God will hear our prayers and heal our land only after we humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways.

Specifically, we are asking:

  • Stations to air 30- and/60-second PSA’s, encouraging Christians to take part in the “If My People” prayer initiative. To assist you, previously recorded PSA’s are available here.
  • Ministries to include the NRB call to prayer in their September programming. This would remind and encourage audiences to participate beginning September 1 for 40 days.

As Peter said, judgment begins with the house of God. Now is the time when we must be transparent before the Lord to let Him change us, so that through the power of the Holy Spirit we might change the world.

And if 2 Chronicles 7:14 sounds familiar, that is because it has become the passage around which just about every Religious Right events has been organized including Janet Porter's May Day 2010 Prayer Rally, the Global Day of Prayer, the National Day of Prayer, and the FRC's Call 2 Fall event.  In fact, even the fast at the center of Pray and ACT mission is explicitly linked to this passage:

The fast will begin at 7:14am (based on 2 Chronicles 7:14), on Sept 20 and end at 7:14am, Oct 30, 2010. Although many will follow only a liquid diet, persons can fast as God directs them during this 40 day span.

Ever since President Obama was elected, 2 Chronicles 7:14 has become the verse around which the Religious Right has mobilized ... and that should give you a pretty good understanding of their mindset at the moment:

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.