Daily Devotional for Thursday May 29, 2008
Senator McCain Throws Pastors Hagee and Parsley Under the Bus
(John 15:18-25; 1 Corinthians 9:16)
Senator McCain throws Pastors Hagee and Parsley under the bus! In watching the recent news coverage of Senator John McCain renouncing the endorsement of Pastors John Hagee and Rod Parsley, I found it to be a very instructive look at how the secular media and the public at large views the Christian faith and our beliefs. Let me share with you a quote from yesterday's Devotional about the new CBS prime time program Swingtown, a program glorifying the swinging lifestyle, "IN THE YEAR 2008, NOBODY IS AFRAID OR CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT CHRISTIANS THINK. WE NO LONGER HAVE ANY VOICE OR INFLUENCE IN OUR CULTURE AND THE MAJOR MEDIA KNOWS IT!"
I think back a few years to the days of Walter Cronkite, John Cameron Swayze, and Huntley and Brinkley. Regardless where these men were at in their own lives spiritually, they would have never DARED to mock or demean Christians or the beliefs we hold so dear. Those who ran the major network news might have been stone cold atheists, but they would never even think to allow anyone on air to mock God, the Bible, or blaspheme the name of Jesus. Even the general public who rejected the Truth of the Bible and the Gospel, were usually respectful enough to temper their public criticism of the Christian faith.
Senator McCain, the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party, and his handlers understand how critical it will be to have the Christian vote this November. Make no mistake about it, it was the Christian vote that gave President Bush the White Hose both times. In the past, Senator McCain has not had a good relationship with the Christian community, having said some negative things about many high profile Christians. While he has attended Christian churches his entire life, the Senator has never made any real public pronouncement of his faith in Jesus Christ. Unlike most politicians today, he has actually refused to talk about his faith other than to simply state that he is a Christian.
While Senator McCain has a staunch voting record for life and has held marriage to be between a man and a woman, know up front that if he becomes our next President he will be no friend of God. He is NOT going to push for a Constitutional Amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman. He will not sign an Executive Order to cut off all funding for Planned "how to kill your baby" Parenthood. He says he will nominate conservative judges to the Supreme Court, but that remains to be seen. The bottom line, as President, Senator McCain will not be out front to turn this nation back to God and Biblical values and using the power of the Presidency to deal with the pressing spiritual issues that face our nation.
During the primaries, Senator McCain and his staff courted a few well known ministers who had large churches. One of those ministers was Pastor John Hagee of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas. Another was Pastor Rod Parsley of World Harvest Church outside of Columbus, Ohio. In the aftermath of the controversy caused by the fact Senator B. Hussein Obama had been sitting under a pastor for 20 years who preached a radical, racist message, strategists for Obama began to look at any of Senator McCain's clergy connections to try and neutralize the damage done by Obama's personal connection with Dr. Jeremiah Wright.
The endorsements from Pastors Hagee and Parsley came into question when supporters of Obama began to go through all of their messages over the past 10 years, pulling out snippets that to the non-churched public sounded just as extreme as the words of Dr. Jeremiah Wright. They took sound bytes of Pastor Hagee trying to put world events in line with the Scriptures. His views on the Roman Catholic Church and comments taken out of context about how Hitler was used in God's plan to lead Jews back to Israel came under scrutiny. Likewise, Pastor Parley's comments about the evils of Islam were used to paint him as a hate monger.
The liberal media was all too happy to use their statements to paint these men as no different than Dr. Wright and Christians in general as being hateful, bigoted, nutcases. Those in the conservative media correctly pointed out that it was foolish to equate Senator McCain's relationship with Pastors Hagee and Parsley, men who were not his pastor or had any role in his campaign, with that of the 20 year close and personal relationship between Senator B. Hussein Obama and the pastor of his church Dr. Jeremiah Wright. However, the conservative media, many who love to call themselves Christians, did NOTHING to defend Pastors Hagee and Parsley to put their statements in context. Of course, nobody on Christian TV had anything to say, they never do since they are too busy raising more money. And sadly, there is NO Christian voice in the marketplace to defend them.
I do find it a bit ironic that Pastors Hagee and Parsley are crying foul, however, it is their own fault they have no mechanisms to defend themselves in the secular media. They are two of the biggest ministries in the Christian trough, and are reaping the consequences of having abandoned the secular media for the safety and profitability of the Christian TV world. With the tens of millions they rake in each year, it is their greed and lack of vision that has kept them preaching to the choir instead of getting out into the marketplace where they belong. That is why as big as they may be in the Christian community, few in the marketplace and most in the secular media didn't even know who they were.
So the end result was Senator McCain did what any gutless politician would do, he quickly denounced the endorsements of Pastors Hagee and Parsley. The secular news media was in its glory reporting on the "offensive and extreme views" of these two pastors. Those who live in rebellion to God and His Word, having rejected the love of Christ in their life no doubt felt further justification in their decision. Those in the growing group who call themselves Christians, yet don't accept the Bible as God's only Truth were also emboldened, since it only helped reinforce in their mind the watered down beliefs they held and feelings that those who choose to believe the Absolutes of the Bible are extremists. Bible believing Christians were once again portrayed as loons on the fringe and NOBODY was there to tell our side!
I love you and care about you so much. It is frustrating to sit and watch the media portray followers of Christ in such a negative way, mocking our beliefs, showing total disdain for the Absolute Truth of the Bible. Worse yet is knowing the lost masses who watch, are only having their rejection of Christ reinforced making it that much harder to reach their hearts. We don't have to be ashamed of our faith and we should not be afraid to go into the public square and take a stand for God's Truth. I have told you often the only way God loses is when we don't put Him into the game. The prophets of Baal were leading souls to hell without opposition until one day a man of God, Elijah, stood on Mt. Carmel and challenged them. GOD IS UNDEFEATED MY FRIEND!
I will be praying for you today to do your part in speaking up for the faith. Let me encourage you to seek out the opportunities to take a stand for God's Truth and may you have a spirit of boldness as the Holy Spirit gives you the words. Don't forget, your job is not to change anyone's mind, only to tell them the Truth. Also, it is not your truth you are espousing, it is God's Truth. You are simply His spokesperson. Don't be shy. Those who serve satan are not shy with their lies, why should we be shy with the Truth. God puts people in your path every day, gives you opportunities every day to take a stand for Him. I pray today that you will not only look for those opportunities, but embrace them!
It is sad that Senator McCain made the politically expedient move to throw Pastors Hagee and Parsley under the bus. It is sad that their words were taken out of context and used by the media to paint Christians as hateful extremists. It is sad that the non-believing masses will use these types of events to justify their rejection of God's Word and faith in Jesus Christ. It is sad that the media is allowed to unfairly characterize what Christians believe and who we really are because we don't have a real voice in the marketplace. But fear not my friend, because our God WILL have the last word. There is a great move of God's Spirit getting ready to move throughout this nation and world that is going to lead tens of millions of souls to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ!!!