HOW EVANGELICALS WENT ASTRAY
By Rev. Ted Pike
29 Jul 13
Editor's Note: This is an edited version of the recorded Bible study under the same title at Truthtellers.org.
Modern evangelical Christianity in America emerged from the Billy Graham revivals of the early 1950s. With America rising to affluence out of the suffering of World War II, evangelicals desired an upbeat, positive approach to Christian life and evangelism. They wanted to distance themselves from the old-fashioned stereotypes of a “thou shalt not” religion preaching hellfire against sinners. They turned their backs on any suggestion that shame and embarrassment was an inevitable consequence of preaching the Gospel.
But Jesus said it is fundamental to Christianity that Christians be embarrassed and even persecuted by sinful humanity. (John 15:18-21) This is because the Christian must testify that sin is wrong and has to be repented of. Sinners hate to hear this. If any form of Christianity determines not to incur hostility from the world, it will be mastered and eventually destroyed by the world.
Evangelical leaders believed much of the “offense of the Gospel” (Gal. 5:11) could be replaced with a formula of salvation that strongly appealed to people’s self-interest. They told Americans God has a wonderful plan for their lives; all they must do is believe Jesus died for them, repent, and accept His gift of eternal life. Calvinist evangelicals, such as Graham, believe anyone who is once genuinely “saved” can never lose their salvation, regardless of sins they commit.
The majority of evangelical leaders omitted any mention of Christ’s demand for death to our rebellious self-wills and total trust and allegiance to Him throughout life. (See List of Conditional Salvation) Evangelicals aligned their message with the American dream. Until the “Reagan Revolution” in the early 1980s, evangelicals resolved that the church need not venture into politics or social issues, which were sure to engender controversy, disunity, and reproach. Instead, most evangelicals believed that, if Christians just preached the (heavily edited) gospel, God would take care of political and social evils. Evangelicalism thrived in the materialism of the postwar era, preaching prosperity and luxury as valuable tools for Christian outreach.
Israel: "Crown Jewel" of Evangelicals
The burgeoning state of Israel, strongly supported by Christian America, was the crown jewel in evangelical arguments that Bible prophecy was being fulfilled. The Bible was true, and people should become Christians. But, again, evangelical leadership chose not to mention the dozens of Old Testament verses banning a nation of disobedient, Christ-rejecting Jews from re-occupying Palestine. (See Conditional Occupation Verses) They ignored the many New Testament verses blaming the Jews for the crucifixion (see O'Reilly's Phony Explanation for the Crucifixion) and warning against Talmudic Jews as “enemies of the Gospel.” (Rom. 11:28) What really mattered to evangelicals in the 50s and early 60s was the roll Christianity was on. Presidents, monarchs, and even the pope feted Billy Graham, and Protestant Christians luxuriated in a more respected status than ever before.
But there was a problem: Christianity was birthed in lack of respectability – in the shame and embarrassment of Jesus hanging naked and impaled on a cross. Christ’s message is called in the New Testament "the offense of the cross.” It describes the Christian life as one of bearing Christ’s cross with Him.
Let’s consider how much Jesus was shamed and embarrassed to empower our salvation. He was considered insane by His brethren, and Jewish leaders publicly described Him as demon possessed and empowered by the devil. (Mark. 3:21-22) As His crucifixion drew near, He endured the humiliation of public betrayal by His disciple Judas. Christ was arrested and bound like a dangerous criminal. (Today, mug shots and fingerprints would be taken, and His picture would be shown in the media.) He was humiliated by all His friends forsaking Him and having to listen to many false witnesses, seeing them believed and Himself scorned and rejected. He was mocked as a blasphemer by the high priest. The Pharisees spit in Christ’s face. They struck Him and mocked His supposed prophetic powers. He was bound and delivered to the governor, Pontius Pilate, under recommendation of death by all the esteemed leaders of his people. Jesus was stripped naked, jeered at, and dressed in a scarlet robe, the color of royalty. He was humiliated and pained by being made to wear a crown of thorns. He was forced to carry a bulrush, mockingly suggesting a royal scepter. The soldiers bowed before Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews.” They spit on Him and struck His head. Contemptuous of His suffering, they gave Him vinegar and gall for His thirst. Because Jesus' garments were valuable, the soldiers cast lots for them. Jesus probably was crucified nearly naked, covered possibly by a loincloth, of little value. Scripture says women "viewed Him from afar off," perhaps because He was naked. Our Lord was lampooned by a sign above His head saying, "Jesus, the King of the Jews." The holiest Being who has ever existed, Creator of the universe, was humiliated, crucified between two criminals. He was made a public spectacle to all who passed by.
Evangelicals clearly believe that Christ suffered shame, so we don’t have to.
Jesus' Suffering Shames Evangelicals
Rationalizing that Christians shouldn’t be part of anything controversial or shameful, evangelicals didn’t oppose the rising system of Jewish international control of media, government, and finance, which Revelation calls “Babylon the Great.” (See 'Babylon the Great' is Israel)
Jewish supremacists wield the term “anti-Semitism” as a weapon to intimidate all who oppose them. They have made the term equal in repugnance to "child molester.” Most American leaders have cowered before the threat of being called anti-Semitic. But evangelicals prove especially fearful. The American church has for 60 years taught its members to at all costs avoid shame for the sake of the whole truth. Above all, Christians must avoid any possibility of incurring the shame of being called “anti-Semitic”—the ultimate humiliation in our Jewish-dominated culture. Furthermore, American theology spurred the church to go further than avoid criticism. It says Christians should actually aid and support the Jewish agenda, since the Jewish people have eternal favor before God, just like the “once-saved” sinner.
Far from being harmless, the original decision of Graham and the evangelicals to be noncontroversial has created a body of "believers" terrified of the truth. They are paralyzed to expose the Jewish Zionist ethnic/religious agenda to subvert Christian America through big media, pornography and ADL’s free speech-destroying hate crimes laws. (See Jews Confirm Big Media Is Jewish, Talmud: Wellspring of Jewish Pornography Industry, and ADL Applauds Itself for Hate Bill Victory) Instead, pro-Zionist evangelicals assent to Mideast wars that benefit only Israel.
A church committed to avoiding shame now bears no resemblance to their Lord, crucified by the Talmud followers evangelicals now embrace.
Anyone who loves the truth should seek to become as much as like Jesus as possible! Far from a religion of Rolls Royces and perfect health, Christianity only promises spiritual success, often at great earthly cost. Jesus said, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me." (Matt. 16:24) The apostle Paul says, "For unto you is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him but also to suffer for His sake." (Phil. 1:29) "If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him." (II Tim. 2:17) The imprisoned disciples rejoiced "that they were worthy to suffer shame for His name." (Acts 5:41)
Jesus and His followers were persecuted by the Jews, yet rejoiced. Christians should joyfully accept the relatively mild indignity of being labeled anti-Semitic, both by Christ-rejecting Jews and shame-rejecting evangelical Zionists. As Jesus rose from the tomb in power, unaffected by the shame He had just undergone, and His disciples rejoiced to be imprisoned for His name, so out of our willingness to accept shame for Jesus and the whole truth, we discover the true power of Christianity. It is a power to save not only ourselves and our families from the ravages of sin but also to save the United States of America, a nation created by God to be inhabited by those who rush forward to defend Jesus and freedom.