Onward Christian Cowards

Let’s get right to the point: Where are all the splashy full-page ad campaigns from purported Christian “leaders” condemning the moral degeneracy of this Biden administration?

Or does being a “prophetic witness” to the “political class” only gain renewed interest in elite evangelical sectors when the person occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has an “R” next to his name?

For context, let’s rewind back to 2017.

Shortly after Donald Trump assumed office, he issued an executive order that suspended travel into the United States from seven countries and paused most refugee resettlements for 120 days. The order was largely temporary, and its goal was to give officials time to improve the security process of vetting those coming from nations that were hotbeds of Islamic terrorism.

This executive order was smeared in the press as a “Muslim ban,” even though most Muslim territories were excluded from the list and even though President Obama signed something similar during his presidency, but without the comparable media meltdowns.

What a difference that “R” makes!

That difference is not just for D.C. journalists either. It’s for many evangelicals as well, who are all too eager to “punch right” and “coddle left” in their ongoing effort to curry favor with the left-wing gatekeepers of America’s cultural institutions.

To wit, after the President announced his directive, the humanitarian organization World Relief organized high-profile evangelicals to scold both Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in the pages of the Washington Post for allegedly betraying Christian principles.

The “open letter” advertisement began this way:

“As Christian pastors and leaders, we are deeply concerned by the recently announced moratorium on refugee resettlement. Our care for the oppressed and suffering is rooted in the call of Jesus to ‘love our neighbor as we love ourselves.’ In the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), Jesus makes it clear that our ‘neighbor’ includes the stranger and anyone fleeing persecution and violence, regardless of their faith or country.”

This ad wasn’t exactly well thought out, because a few lines later the authors conceded that we “live in a dangerous world and affirm the crucial role of government in protecting us from harm and in setting the terms on refugee admissions,” which, of course, was the entire purpose of the moratorium. Still, they concluded that “compassion and security can coexist,” and petitioned the White House to scrap the executive order.

The “open letter” was headlined by, among others, influential theologian Tim Keller, bestselling author Max Lucado, disgraced Willow Creek pastor Bill Hybels, Leith Anderson of the National Association of Evangelicals, and Ed Stetzer, who is a dean at Wheaton College and director of the school’s Billy Graham center.

Stetzer, for his part, bragged to the Washington Post that this “is a surprising list of prominent evangelicals who care enough about this issue to use their leadership platform to speak out, even when many evangelicals have deep fears and concerns about refugees entering this country.”


If these folks want to put their names to a cause that they believe in, okay. I have no objection to that. Like me, they’re American citizens and can exercise their free speech as they see fit. Plus, the Church shouldn’t be an “appendage” to any political party and, as such, we must stand up for godly values, especially within the corridors of political power. Ambitious media campaigns directed at politicians should always be on the table.

What I do object to is the relative silence from these same folks today, who were ready to call down the wrath of God on Donald Trump for briefly restricting travel to the United States until better security mechanisms were in place, but who haven’t found that same energetic “conviction” to push back at the Biden administration as this current White House champions the castration of kids.

Seriously, where are all the “open letters” in the Washington Post, New York Times, and other “legacy” media outlets decrying the left’s transgenderism craze, where children are having perfectly healthy body parts whacked off because they’ve been told that they were “misgendered” at birth?

Where is Ed Stetzer’s “surprising list of prominent evangelicals” using their “leadership platforms to speak out” against this stomach-churning evil?

Christians of good faith can disagree on how many refugees should be admitted each year and can likewise differ on how to handle immigration in general. On these topics, believers can exercise their freedom of conscience because there are overlapping biblical factors at play, such as kindness to the “stranger” (Leviticus 19:33-34) but also the civil government’s explicit authority to keep the peace and maintain a civilized society for its people (Romans 13:1-6), which the signatories themselves acknowledged.

At the same time, there is absolutely zero freedom of conscience afforded to believers as it pertains to transgender ideology. In fact, other than abortion, it’s hard to think of a public policy more inimical to God’s created order than cutting off the destiny, literally, of our next generation, leaving them unable to fulfill the cultural mandate to be “fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it,” as it states in Genesis 1:28.

And yet, here we are.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently published a document called “Gender-Affirming Care and Young People,” wherein they explicitly sanction “puberty blockers,” “hormone therapy,” and “surgeries” for minors, which include, in their words, top surgery -- “to create male-typical chest shape or enhance breasts” -- and bottom surgery -- “surgery on genitals or reproductive organs.”

HHS calls these gruesome procedures “crucial to overall health and well-being” of adolescents whose “gender identity and or expression is different from their sex assigned at birth,” and considers attempts to “restrict” or “challenge” their transgender activism a “civil rights” violation. The HHS Office for Civil Rights has even promised to investigate any medical facility that receives taxpayer funding and refuses to go along with their demonic agenda.

I’ll ask the question again: Where are all the hard-hitting PR crusades from professed evangelical “thought leaders” denouncing the Biden White House for spearheading such a moral atrocity?

Have they been kidnapped?

Nah. They’re still around. Their courage, however, only makes a comeback when they support cheesy left-wing propaganda like “compassion and security can coexist,” while remaining impotent on verbalizing a forceful response to a matter that has far deeper worldview significance than how many runaways from Yemen we accept each year.

The truth is that this overzealous accommodation to liberal constituencies and causes is by design.

It’s easy to earn sympathetic coverage as a “Christian” within the secular press if the person is using his influence to reinforce a progressive narrative, which is why “gospel” screeds that toe the culture’s line on racism, big government, climate change, open borders, genderism, and more are rewarded with gobs of glowing ink, as was the case with the refugee “open letter” mentioned above.

There is zero political risk involved when attacking conservative ideas and voices, which are already marginalized by the “mainstream” media. Congrats, fellas, you’ve joined a very full chorus!

So what are the next steps?

Well, to paraphrase Wheaton’s Ed Stetzer, let us pray that God grant these “prominent evangelicals” the spiritual stones to use their “leadership platforms to speak out” against the evil of our day.

Jason Mattera is a New York Times bestselling author and Emmy-nominated journalist. Follow him on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram.

Image: Library of Congress

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