Why Never Trumpers Need the Falwells

Because they are both fundamentalists of the double-separatist variety.

Here’s something for John Fea to consider (as he passes on advice to the new White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders):

There is a moral argument, I suppose, for men and women who chose to go into this administration to serve in Cabinet-level or sub-Cabinet positions out of a sense of obligation to the country. (The better argument is that working in this administration inevitably leads to enabling wrongdoing and horrible policy decisions, but I understand the rationale of those who disagree with me.) However, there is no moral argument for going directly into the president’s senior/political staff, which in this administration means defending indefensible conduct, denying reality and encouraging others to lie in defense of the administration. You cannot serve in a dishonorable White House honorably.

Now substitute mainline Protestant churches (read modernist) for Cabinet and president in that quotation and you have the same argument that prompted Bob Jones to reject Billy Graham’s — get this — crusades when in 1957 the revivalist started cooperating with mainline churches. It was the same rationale that led the OPC to reject the leadership of the National Association of Evangelicals for including in its membership ministers, laity, and congregations that belonged to the mainline churches. That was double-separatism then, and historians like John Fea who know a thing or two about fundamentalism have argued that such institutional purity lacked Christian charity and was even ornery.

But if applied to the secular realm, such double-separatism makes perfect sense.

Pardon me for thinking evangelical historians are not up to their A-game with Trump. Is it because they’ve gone soft on Russia?

14 thoughts on “Why Never Trumpers Need the Falwells

  1. It is hard to understand what makes Trump worse than Bill Clinton, for example, from an evangelical point of view, or even worse than Obama. They all lie. they all defend the “indefensible” (in some people’s opinion). It is doubtful whether anyone whom we would want our children to use as role models could be elected President. that may be a judgment on our culture or on all of us voters, but it scarcely supports picking out this or that successful politician as the principal moral pariah.Maybe it just makes them feel better about themselves to say, “There: THAT’s the really bad guy.


  2. So are you for or against “double separation”? if you know how to put the hyphen into hybrid, it makes no sense to be sectarian about “the things below” which are not done in the name of the visible church.

    Solzhenitsyn: “If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart? “(The Gulag Archipelago, Part I)

    I Corinthians 5:12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.

    Discipline cannot ultimately be one of the marks even of the visible church, which has correct confessions and sacraments. Those who hold the keys of grace can never be certain in this life about if both Lutherans and baptists are in the true church, but most likely it’s not the baptists. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1981/05/18/a-disciplined-charging-army


  3. As a graduate of BJU and a professor at the once Fundamentalist Liberty University, I recognize the type of “separatism” even “second degree separatism” the evangelical never Trumpers are pushing. They are the new separatist Fundamentalists.


  4. Separatism doesn’t always work out. In protest, the Mensheviks walked out the group where they were working with the Bolsheviks and the result was the Soviet Union. The difference between the two groups was that the Mensheviks were stagists. They wanted to gradually bring Socialism to the Soviet Union as the people became ready. The Bolsheviks were revolutionaries and because they were rushing Socialism on the people, they took the authoritarian approach by relying on Lenin and his central committee and dismantling the soviets.

    Yes, there are times to leave a group but there are also times when one must stick it out. Regarding working with the Trump Administration, as long as one can have an adequate degree of work autonomy, then sticking it out is a definite option. But the less autonomy one has, one has to let future possibilities be one’s guide. As for today, it is obvious that Trump is putting the wealthiest Americans first while leaving the rest behind to fend for themselves.


  5. We cannot segregate the evil in suffering from the good in suffering. We must be patient in waiting for the violence of God to do the segregation.


    “John Cotton argued that heretics are stubborn, prideful people who, even though they know better, rebel on purpose. If these sinners refuse to change their ways, they should be punished, either by the church excommunication or, if they corrupt others, then by the “Civil Sword” of the state.. Otherwise, these sinners would expose others in society to “a dangerous and damnable infection” Roger Williams responded that that the field represents the world , not the church, and not Cotton’s hypocritical sinners within the church. The wheat plants are “children of the kingdom” who must co-exist in society with the followers of Satan until the end of the age. .

    Martin Luther– “What raging and furious people we have been these many years, in that we desired to force others to believe; the Turks with the sword, heretics with fire, the Jews with death, and thus to out root the tares by our own power, as if we were the ones who could reign over hearts and spirits, and make them pious and right, which God’s Word alone must do. By this murder we separate the people from the Word, so that the Word cannot possibly work upon them and afterwards say we did God a service by our actions, and wish to merit something special.”

    Augustine–“They who today are tares, may tomorrow be wheat.”

    Augustine is not exactly saying that the Falwells may one day become like John Fea (or even that non-sheep can become sheep). But Augustine is saying that everybody in Christendom is one of Christ’s sheep. And Hart ( I think) is saying that everyone born in America (even those of us who do not agree with the liberal state) is still an American.


  6. D.G.,
    The USSR founding is something to avoid. And if you read what I wrote, you would have realized that.

    And considering the nonfriendly and sometimes mocking responses I get, not being taken seriously is not a problem I experience here. But in the end, the lack of respect I get is more of a problem who don’t show respect. It is a nuisance to me, it borders on sin for some.


  7. I know that the OPC is not fundamentalist, but of what variety—the single or double separatist from evangelicals ?

    How do you find the balance in saying “we” and ‘but not me” when it comes to “evangelicals” but also teaching that church is not about being suspicious of moral people who attend the means of grace?

    Billy preached by royal invitation in the private chapel of Windsor Castle—I considered various topics which speak to me personally, but I thought that I would start with a simple question. What is a Christian? Colossians 1:27 says that a Christian is a person in whom Christ dwells. It’s Christ in you, the hope of glory. It means that you have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. That encounter has taken place. You have received Christ as savior. And that is what a Christian is.


    In Morgan’s screenplay for the 2006 film, The Queen, an older Elizabeth (played by Helen Mirren, to Oscar-winning effect) responds coldly to the tragic death of Princess Diana. “I understand how difficult her behaviour must seem to you,” one of her private secretaries tells prime minister Tony Blair, “but try and see it from her perspective. She’s been brought up to believe it’s God’s will. She is who she is.” Blair mutters, “I think we should leave God out of it. It’s just not helpful.” (“We don’t do God,” one of Blair’s advisors famously said when an interviewer had tried to explore the PM’s own Christian faith. But the year after The Queen came out, Blair formally joined the Roman Catholic Church)

    “Any invitation to, or association with, Reverend Graham, not be perceived as an endorsement of his crusades, which would not be compatible with your role as the head of the Church.” ..

    Watching him preach on TV, the Queen Mother can’t believe that Britons are so deeply moved by “someone who learned their trade selling brushes door to door”.

    Then there’s the villainous Duke of Windsor. “What has happened to the people of this country,” he asks his wife in a typically snide letter, “turning like lemmings to this crusading showman from Charlotte for their inspiration?


  8. Lord and Savior? Or Savior and Lord? Is there a different ordeal or test for evangelicals in order to be given the sacrament for the first time in the OPC than there would be for Trump or the queen?


    The Church of the England has an evangelical wing. The OPC does not?

    If sincerity is not enough, but needs also the shape provided by the sacrament of ordination, will points be taken off for earnestness until seekers repent of their Arminian decisions and their Keswick surrenders?


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