As many readers will know, my most recent book was titled The Political Seduction of the Church: How Millions of Americans Have Confused Politics with the Gospel. And while I did make passing reference to the errors of the Christian left, my focus was on the Christian right, in particular conservative evangelicals, part of the community with which I identify.
But as the 2022 elections continue to be decided with a major senatorial runoff in Georgia, it is a good time to focus on the overt and unashamed merging of politics with the gospel on the Christian left.
I wrote in October that, “The left is also guilty of this very thing, to the point of celebrating the marriage of politics with the gospel.” And, I added, “it is just not the right that is guilty of blurring these lines [meaning, the lines between the gospel and politics or between Church and State]. The left most certainly is, and even more blatantly.”
That’s why it was no surprise when Bishop T. D. Jakes openly endorsed Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke or Pastor Creflo Dollar openly endorsed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.
Both of these candidates made appearances in these respective churches, where they were openly affirmed by these influential leaders. And although both Jakes and Dollar are conservative scripturally (meaning, believing that the Bible is the Word of God and that Jesus is the only Savior), they lean left politically.
In such circles, there is virtually no separation between Church and State.
The reason, though, for another article on this subject is that recent ministerial endorsements of Pastor (and Senator) Raphael Warnock have become even more pronounced and extreme.
But let me be blunt here before you read any further. Because of various political and ideological divides, the great majority of White evangelicals vote Republican while the great majority of Black evangelicals vote Democrat.
So, the major focus in my Political Seduction book was on White Christian leaders. The major focus of this article is on Black Christian leaders.
That means that skin color is not the issue. The issue is the merging of politics and the gospel as if they were one and the same, but with this notable (and major difference): the same left-leaning media that bashes White evangelical Christian involvement in politics completely ignores (or even celebrates) Black evangelical Christian involvement in politics.
The former is viewed as a dire threat, yet another attempt for nefarious Christian Nationalists to take over the country. The latter is viewed as a beautiful expression of spirituality, where justice, righteousness, politics, and Jesus form a beautiful and harmonious chord.
Having said that, let’s look at just a few examples.
On Twitter, Woke Preacher Clips has posted a number of pro-Warnock video clips in which he is plainly endorsed as God’s man for the job, called and appointed for such a time as this.
A Baptist pastor prayed over Senator Warnock, acknowledging how God had “given him this assignment,” paraphrasing Psalm 23 over him and likening him to biblical figures like Moses, David (standing against Goliath), and Nehemiah. Warnock, in turn, addressed the congregation, urging them to vote, since “faith without works is dead” (Jam 2:26).
In another clip, a pastor stands behind a podium with an entourage of other leaders behind him, shouting out, “Joshua had to ask the people: Which side are you on? Which god are you going to serve? Choose ye this day whom you will serve. Walker or Warnock. As for me and our house, we're gonna serve the Lord. We're gonna vote for Warnock...It's our time because it's God's time.”
With great passion, this leader declares that they are sending a message to the nation (and to Donald Trump and Herschel Walker) that they have been on the battlefield too long and that they are not going back. They will not let their votes be denied.
Another pastor, speaking to a smaller congregation, disparagingly referenced “the 88% of the evangelicals, the right-wing evangelicals” who “voted for Herschel Walker.” Yet these 88% are “at somebody's church this morning, talking about ‘Praise the Lord’.”
How, he wondered, could these Christians vote for a man like Walker with his (alleged) moral failures. As for Pastor Warnock, who defends abortion and LGBTQ+ activist causes, there’s apparently no problem voting for him.
Even more blatantly, after 35 minutes of worship, another pastor declares: “God would have us to mix worship + justice + politics...I'm decreeing + declaring that folk who had no intention on voting for Raphael Warnock...the Spirit Of God is gonna arrest them [meaning, arrest their attention].”
And there is this proclamation from a white-collared minister, again about Senator Warnock: “It's time to put the Kingdom over the government...What God is doing by sending this man of God into the U.S. Senate, he's putting a man there with a Kingdom identity, Kingdom mentality, and Kingdom authority to establish Kingdom territory.”
Can you imagine the national outcry in major publications like The New York Times and The Washington Post and the Rolling Stone’s of this world if a White evangelical had made these comments about a Republican candidate?
The shouts of “Dominionism! White Supremacist Nationalism! Christian Insurrectionism!” would have been heard across the land.
More broadly, another reverend, a nationally-recognized leader who regularly appears on MSNBC, preaches fervently to an equally passionate congregation, calling for the largest voter turnout ever for the 2022 midterms. He culminates with this word of warning to “every politician that benefits from this massive turnout: Don’t play with us this time. If we put you in, you better make abortion rights a national law.”
Yes, this was an ordained minister, preaching in a church building, calling for the national codifying of the “right” to shed innocent blood. Talk about an abomination. The false prophets of old would be proud of this.
Do you need any more examples? (If you do, just scroll down this thread.)
By all means, let churches lead the way in standing for righteousness and justice and mercy and compassion. Let us lead by our deeds and not just by our words.
But let us be careful to be involved and make a positive influence on politics without merging politics with the gospel.
And let no one accuse the Christian right of blurring the lines between Church and State without acknowledging that this has been part and parcel of the Christian left for decades, and a celebrated one at that.
The hypocrisy and double standards are beyond glaring.
In the case of the Christian left, this has not simply been a political seduction. It has been an open affair.