Charisma, the Trump-supporting Pentecostal media operation, is promoting video of a sermon based in part on Republican operative and “historian” David Barton’s book “Original Intent.” It’s the kind of sermon that should warm the hearts of Religious Right leaders like Barton and David Lane, who complain that pastors aren’t preaching Christian-nation politics aggressively enough.
Charisma circulated a video excerpt of a sermon by Shane Idleman speaking at Westside Christian Fellowship in Leona Valley, California. “I’m so sick of this politically correct culture that can’t offend anyone—except believers,” said Idleman, charging that the culture is trying to silence the church and “the voice of truth.”
Waving his Bible, he said, “I’ll give you this when you pry it out of my cold, dead hands.”
“The pulpit sets the tone for the nation, not Fox News and CNN,” he said, arguing that Americans should look to the Bible for answers about immigration, guns, gay marriage, and other issues. But, he said, “they” want to “silence the pulpit. ‘You just do your little church stuff, let us control the world. Let us control the United States.’”
Idleman mentioned that he recently read “Original Intent,” one of Barton’s books, and he indeed sounded like it, citing the Mayflower Compact as evidence that the U.S. was founded for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith, and quoting Declaration of Independence signer Benjamin Rush talking about the role of Divine Providence in the nation’s founding.
“If you wanted to run for office in our nation, you had to profess a faith in Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, to even run for office,” Idleman said.
But now, he says, without revival, the U.S. is “going to hell in a handbasket” because the country has “catered to political correctness” and the courts have misinterpreted the idea of the separation of church and state:
See, we can openly acknowledge God in all areas of government, because our government was built on His word, His precepts and His principles. We must acknowledge Him as the source of our nation’s strength. …
We’re not establishing a religion, we’re acknowledging God’s sovereign hand, and what He has done. And then all these groups like to use separation of church and state. It’s nowhere in the Constitution. Nowhere. Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to the Baptists, and he said, ‘Don’t worry, it’s not going to become a national denomination. There’ll be a wall of separation between church and state so they can work and function separately.’
But then the court takes that phrase and now says, ‘Oh, now that means, the church can’t be involved in anything. Get the church out of everything.’ Separation of church and state. That’s not what it meant. … The people who started the nation would roll over in their graves. Because the whole reason for coming and founding it was to elevate God’s word, was to be a city upon a hill.