I’ve been an evangelical Christian since I was a child. I’ve been in the Gospel ministry all of my adult life. I attended two evangelical Christian colleges, received honorary degrees from two others, and taught and preached in several others. I’ve attended many of the largest evangelical pastors’ gatherings and have been privileged to speak at Christian gatherings–large and small–all over America. I have been part of the inner workings of evangelical ministry for nearly 40 years. I think I learned a thing or two about evangelical/fundamentalist Christianity in America. And I’m here to tell you: I don’t like what I see happening these days!
Let’s get this straight right out of the gate: nothing touched by man can be perfect, because none of us is perfect. There is no perfect church, perfect school, perfect mission board, perfect Sunday School class, perfect pastor, perfect deacon, or perfect Christian. Until the afterlife, we are all yet encased in Adamic flesh, complete with human weaknesses and imperfections. And only the Pharisaical among us are too proud to admit it.
That said, I do think it is more than fair to say that, historically, Christians have always attempted to be–and have always publicly taught the importance of being–peacemakers. Historically, Christians have preached–and tried to practice–love and brotherhood. The early church was born in a baptism of love and unity. Oh sure, there were always individual misunderstandings and differences, but, on the whole, the church was a loving, caring, compassionate ecclesia.
Mind you, Christians historically were not afraid or ashamed to defend themselves, their families, and their country. The Lord Jesus, Himself (the Prince of Peace), allowed His disciples to carry personal defense weapons (see Luke 22:36,38). Yes, while some Christian sects were conscientious pacifists, these were the exception, not the rule. The vast majority of Christian believers understood the Biblical, Natural Law principle of self-defense. But believing in the right of lawful, God-ordained self-defense was never to be confused with warmongering.
So, what has happened to turn the most peace-loving institution the world has ever known (the New Testament church) into the biggest cheerleaders for war? I’m talking about un-provoked, illegal, unconstitutional, unbiblical–even secret–wars of aggression. The biggest cheerleaders for the unprovoked, unconstitutional, pre-emptive attack and invasion of Iraq were evangelical Christians. Ditto for the war in Afghanistan, the bombing of Libya, the attacks in Yemen, etc. Who is calling for the bombing of Iran? Evangelical Christians. Who cheers for sending more and more troops all over the world to maim and kill more and more people (including innocents)? Evangelical Christians. Shoot (pun intended)! Most evangelical Christians didn’t even bat an eye when the federal government sent military and police personnel to murder American citizens, including old men, women, and children–Christian old men, women, and children, no less–outside Waco, Texas.
And where are today’s evangelical Christians giving a second thought regarding their fellow Christian brothers and sisters in many of these Middle Eastern countries that are being persecuted, imprisoned, tortured, and killed by the puppet regimes being put in power by the US government–at US taxpayer (including Christian taxpayer) expense? I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but more Christians have been persecuted under the US-imposed regime in Iraq than were ever persecuted when Saddam Hussein was in power. Oh! And don’t forget that it was the US government that was responsible for putting Saddam Hussein in power to begin with. The US government set up Osama bin Laden, too. But I digress.
In addition to the “white” wars (the ones everyone knows about), the US government authorizes some 70 black ops commando raids in some 120 countries EVERY DAY. In fact, the secret, black ops military of the US is so large today it now totals more personnel than the ENTIRE MILITARY OF CANADA!
A recent report noted, “In 120 countries across the globe, troops from Special Operations Command carry out their secret war of high-profile assassinations, low-level targeted killings, capture/kidnap operations, kick-down-the-door night raids, joint operations with foreign forces, and training missions with indigenous partners as part of a shadowy conflict unknown to most Americans. Once ‘special’ for being small, lean, outsider outfits, today they are special for their power, access, influence, and aura.”
To see the complete report of America’s secret wars, go here.
Yet, how much of this knowledge would even faze the average evangelical Christian today? All we hear from today’s “churches” is “bomb,” “attack,” “wipe them out,” etc. Then, at the same time, they get all emotional about sending missionaries to the same countries that they had just cheered-on the US military in raining down missiles of death and destruction upon (to bring salvation to the lucky ones that weren’t killed, I suppose).
And who are the ones that belittle and impugn Ron Paul? Evangelical Christians. Why? Because he tells the truth about America’s foreign policy being responsible for much of the hatred and bitterness erupting in foreign countries against us. I guarantee you that many of the “conservative” Republicans who booed Dr. Paul’s comments to this regard at the GOP Presidential debate this week would identify themselves as evangelical Christians.
See the report here.
The disciples of our Lord were called “Christians” first by the Gentiles of Antioch, because of the manner in which the disciples reminded them of Christ’s nature and teachings. I never thought I would hear myself say what I’m about to say, but the truth is, the term “Christian” today means anything but Christ-like. To many people today, “Christian” refers to some warmongering, mean-spirited, throw-anyone-to-the-wolves-who-crosses-them person, who then has the audacity to look down their nose in contempt against anyone who disagrees with them for even the smallest reason. And the word “church” has the stigma of being simply an enclave of warmongers to many people today. And that, my friends, is one reason so many people are so turned off with today’s Christianity. And I can’t say that I blame them. I’m turned off too!
Am I a pacifist? Absolutely not! Do I believe an individual, a family, a community, or a nation has the right to protect and defend itself? I absolutely do! And the fellow who breaks into my home or who attacks my loved ones will personally discover I believe that! But this blind support for illegal, immoral, unconstitutional war is anything but Christian. Not only is it turning people against our country among people abroad, it is turning our own countrymen against the Christ we Christians claim to love right here at home.
I dare say that the modern Warfare State would grind to a screeching halt tomorrow if evangelical Christians would simply stop supporting it! And the thing that most evangelical Christians fail to realize is that the Warfare State is one of the primary tools that the evil one is using to usher in his devilish New World Order that even babes in Christ know to be of Satan. Hence, Christians are helping to promote the very thing that Satan, himself, is using to enslave them.
Yes, I’ve been an evangelical Christian for most of my life and an evangelical pastor for all of my adult life. And if we Christians do not quickly repent of this bloodlust that seems to dominate evangelical Christianity today (spiritually and militarily), the word that was first used by un-churched Gentiles to describe Christ’s followers will be used as a curse-word to describe those who facilitated the ruination of our country.
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Dr. Chuck Baldwin left the Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida to move to Montana in 2010. He hosts a weekly radio show. His website is here.