Ralph Drollinger, who runs fundamentalist Bible studies for dozens of members of Congress and President Trump’s Cabinet every week, said in a fundraising letter this month that his group “has been blessed by God with extraordinary growth beyond our wildest imaginings in foreign nations across the globe and most notably in former Soviet Bloc countries.”
As RWW has reported, Drollinger’s Capitol Ministries is dedicated to teaching public officials a very conservative take on the Bible. Drollinger teaches that “the absolutely critical preeminent duty of the Church in an institutionally separated society” is “to convert the soul and disciple—Christianize—the leaders of the State and its citizenry.” In his recent letter he cites a biblical charge to evangelize kings and writes, “We reach leaders not because their souls are more precious to God, but because their influence upon the world is so great.”
Drollinger says he and Trump share “a Biblical understanding of the issues” and that Trump sends him handwritten notes praising his weekly written Bible studies. “I just love the guy,” he says. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, among Drollinger’s students in the Cabinet, was the headliner at a major Capitol Ministries fundraising event in February.
We noted last fall that Drollinger is aggressively expanding his operations both at the local government level in the U.S. and in national capitals around the world. His April 4 letter includes some details about the latter:
In the last few months discipleship Bible studies have been established to Parliamentarians in Romania; Ukraine; Fiji; Papua New Guinea; and the Republic of Equatorial Guinea. A ministry is about to begin in Guatemala, and before fall, we expect work to be completed for ministries in the Central and South American nations of Peru; Ecuador; Brazil; Mexico; Uruguay; and Paraguay, as well as in the European city Riga, Latvia.
Work is current an ongoing with partners to establish discipleship Bible studies in Berlin and Bonne [sic]. We are enthusiastically pursuing an opportunity to plant a ministry in the European Union Parliament, a body of 600 Parliamentarians from 26 Western and Eastern European nations who meet two weeks every month in Brussels, Belgium and one week every month in Strasbourg, France.
We thought the Lord did not want us in the Middle East, but to our great surprise discussions are currently underway to establish a ministry in a Muslim majority nation in the Middle East.
Drollinger’s April 13 Bible study says it is a “disservice to the country” for public servants to “craft policy that is not somehow rooted in Scripture.” Here are some of the other theological and political positions Drollinger teaches public officials:
- the government’s job is to “quell evil”
- governments and leaders “must send a constant message that sin will be punished”
- entitlement programs have no “biblical authority”
- liberal Christians aren’t really Christians, they’re “simpletons”
- Catholicism is “one of the primary false religions in the world”
- “Radical environmentalism” is a “false religion”
- “God only hears the prayers of leaders and citizens who are upright, who live righteously through faith in Jesus Christ”
- “God is a capitalist” and because of excessive environmental regulations in the U.S. “the economic benefits God intends from private property ownership have been greatly diminished”
- “righteous” people with government positions should not “compromise Biblical absolutes” and should hire only other “righteous” people
Drollinger likes to tell reporters that he doesn’t instruct public officials how to vote, but he makes it clear in his written Bible studies that, for example, Christian public servants are required to support the death penalty and oppose marriage equality.
Drollinger’s April 4 fundraising letter praises the group’s “Global Directors,” saying, “These men are the reason our international growth has skyrocketed.” They are all men because Drollinger believes the Bible does not permit women to teach men. Explains Drollinger, “there is a prohibition of female leadership in marriage, and female leadership in the church.” One of his Bible studies explains what he calls the “unambiguous” difference in responsibilities the Bible gives men and women, saying women’s “primary functions” include homemaking, home management, mothering, teaching younger women, displaying hospitality and dressing modestly.
Although Drollinger is quick to complain about news coverage he believes is unfair, his letter says a story published in a German newspaper helped attract new friends. And Capitol Ministries has been gushing about a recent BBC story that the group says “reached more than 1 million readers world-wide.”
In that story, Drollinger tells a story about a Democratic lawmaker who sought his advice about same-sex marriage and thought his teachings were “really good.” Drollinger told the BBC that while he wouldn’t have said this to the lawmaker’s face, supporting marriage equality would make her like a prostitute:
One Democrat, struggling with her party’s support for same-sex marriage, contacted Drollinger for advice. He explained the Bible’s teaching, as he saw it.
“The next bible study, she said ‘that was really good’. Now she can’t necessarily stand publicly on what I just taught her, but it’s going on in her heart.”
He says he won’t tell her how to vote on the issue – voicing opposition to marriage might cost her an election.
“But at the same time, she’s going to have to think, what’s different between that and a prostitute? A prostitute sells her soul to maintain a salary. Are you as a Christian legislator, growing in Christ, selling your convictions in order to stay making a salary, or have influence?
“I’ll never say it that graphically to a member. But you get my idea.”