I was present on one occasion when he addressed Episcopalians in the Diocese of New Jersey. His preaching brought a bunch of moribund, spiritually dead Episcopalians to their feet, with the bishop so excited by his message that he prayed extemporaneously at the end of Tony’s address. You could have picked me off the floor. It was vintage Campolo.
Lots of charisma, of course. Or maybe intelligence, or a massive social network, or an instinct for entrepreneurial startups.
Satan looks for those who have God-given gifts, and moves to steal the men who hold them, the gifts, or both.
Tony was a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat.
A dyed-in-the-wool Republican will do just as well, so far as Satan is concerned.
He could out preach Billy Graham, but never gained his national exposure, recognition or public acceptance. Tony always believed that an evangelist had to go beyond getting people saved and joining a local church; the gospel demanded action, the gospel demanded that a saved person had to show it by doing the works of God. The gospel meant reaching out to the least of these. In the words of the epistle of James, “faith without works is dead.”
To his credit, Campolo really did create useful and beneficial works for the poor: a field Calvinists need to get into, and Christian Reconstructionists need to lead.
To his debit, Campolo really did believe in government theft, in taking what belongs from people who earned their money, to give to people who didn’t work for it, by force of arms (instead of a godly charity).
Satan is happy when Christians believe in theft… but he wants more corruption, more disobedience, a greater, more public fall.
Satan is a cunning enemy and a slick liar. Flee from his lies. Hew close to the Word of God.
See what’s in front of your nose.
But a dark cloud sadly and suddenly over shadowed the fierce evangelist.
The eruption of homosexuality as a culture war issue took the Church and nation by storm.
Satan is unsatisfied with the amount of evil you and I and the nation does. He wants more failure, more sin, more delusions, more death.
Shun his filth. Call onto God to drive out the corruption that is within you.
Sanctification — drawing closer and closer to God, more and more filled with the Holy Spirit, and more and more repulsed by even the slightest evil you do — is absolutely necessary.
And what is the measuring rod, to see if you are drawing closer or wandering farther from God?
His Holy Law-word, as written in the Scriptures. The Commands of God, as inscripturated by Moses and strengthened/expanded/fulfilled by Jesus Christ.
That is your measuring rod. Watch it carefully, and relentlessly push for a godly perfection!
Peggy Campolo, Tony’s wife, rolled over first and said clearly and without any conditions that being LGBT was perfectly normal, perfectly healthy, perfectly acceptable, and perfectly compatible with Christianity. Not only that, LGBT Christians were blessed, important, integral members of the Christian community. Homosexuals had something to offer.
Tony disagreed. He remained “somewhat ambiguous” on the morality of homosexuality and held out that while homosexuals were being discriminated against, he still said the behavior was eschewed by scripture and he could not go all the way with his wife. They debated their points of view publicly, but I always felt that even in these debates Tony was soft and he seemed unconvinced by his own position and stance.
Then, in June of 2015, Tony, who had famously disagreed with his wife about homosexuality, announced he now supported the full acceptance of Christian gay couples into the church. “It has taken countless hours of prayer, study, conversation and emotional turmoil to bring me to the place where I am finally ready to call for the full acceptance of Christian gay couples into the church,” he said.
The die had been cast.
Women like to pose as morally pure, but remember that it was Eve who listened to the serpent first, and it was she who offered the fruit to Adam.
Men who fear God must command their families to obey the words of the Lord.
Job would have certainly soiled himself and died, has he put value on his wife’s rebellious words. Despite the pain, Job refused to value her worthless counsel: and he has been richly rewarded for doing so.
Don’t let any woman steal your reward.
But Tony had turned. He confirmed his feelings and theology recently in England, where he spoke on Premier Christian Radio in the UK opining that “Suicide is the second major cause of death among teenagers in America, second only to automobile accidents. Almost three-quarters of those suicides are by Christian young people who cannot reconcile their sexual orientation with what they’re hearing from the pulpit. I don’t know what the Church is about, but if it’s about driving kids to suicide it’s not doing the right thing.”
Campolo never cited the source of his statistics or explained their significance more fully. Suicide is increasing among teenagers in Western countries. The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta noted that suicide is a serious public health problem, and for youth aged between the ages of 10 and 24, suicide is the third leading cause of death. It results in approximately 4600 lives lost each year. But more young people survive suicide attempts than actually die, noted the CDC.
Several factors can put a young person at risk for suicide. However, having these risk factors does not always mean that suicide will occur, says the CDC.
The risk factors are:
History of previous suicide attempts
Family history of suicide
History of depression or other mental illness
Alcohol or drug abuse
Stressful life event or loss
Easy access to lethal methods
Exposure to the suicidal behavior of others
None of them included Christian young people who cannot reconcile their orientation with church teaching. Campolo dogmatically tried to blame the historic teaching of the Church for these suicides!
Those who serve him also lie.
Shun lies. Speak the truth.
(As for what actually threatens the health and poisoned the future of young, unrepentant sodomites… well there is always articles like Study Reveals Significant Health Disparities for Homosexual Teens.
Really, you don’t need to look too far for the truth.
Unless you decide to be willfully blind.
“He said that young homosexual Christians were committing suicide in droves because they felt unaccepted by parents and their churches. With no evidence or source to prove his statement, he boldly stated that these suicides could have been prevented if they had just been accepted for who they are without fear and judgement from either god or man.”
In a moment he had rubbished 2000 years of biblical and church teaching. He had rejected the ontological understanding of human sexuality and said that the sexuality was no longer an order of creation. He had rolled over.
It has become one of the saddest days of my life to see an old and dear friend capitulate before a handful of strident pansexualists. His emotional soul had over ridden Scripture’s call for sound teaching on sexuality.
“The Will of Man Comes First!”
“My Feelings, My Heart is FAR more important than the direct commandments of God!”
“The Truth is What I Say It Is!”
“The most important thing in life is that I Feel Good!”
So saith rebellious men… counseled by their new poisonous serpentine friends, whispering what they always wanted to hear into their ears.
Later, his son Bart and his wife would renounce the faith saying they were no longer Christians and would now identify as humanists, continuing good works in San Diego, but without God. A broken hearted Campolo said he was sad by their rejection of the faith because they were no longer part of “my tribe.” The faith once delivered is beyond tribalism, but I have no doubt the pain must have been very deep as it was hoped that Bart would follow in his father’s footsteps as Franklin Graham had followed in his father’s celebrated footsteps. Now it will never happen.
Hmmm…. what is that laughter that I hear?
Ah well. At least here, what was in their secret heart has been now revealed for all to see.
You and I need to be sure to purify our hearts: one day, in some way, what is in our secret heart will be revealed as well.
Make sure that all the filth in it is purged out now, while there is still time to repent.
Christian Reconstructionists carry the future. Don’t track any of today’s filth with you as you stride forward in your work and in your life.
In different ways father and son had compromised the faith and now all that remains to be seen is what Tony’s legacy will be. How will history treat him?
Forget the judgement of history.
Fear the judgement of God!
I doubt it will be good. America is deeply polarized and the American evangelical left is in major decline, and fast disappearing.
To the gasping astonishment of the world, God is not mocked.
For whoso findeth me findeth life,
and shall obtain favour of the Lord.
But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul:
all they that hate me love death.
— Proverbs 8:35-36
Now, to continue the article::
Tony gave the closing prayer at the recent Democratic Party Convention in Philadelphia, but he looked sad and tired. I wondered what he was really thinking as he strode from the platform.
And the Establishment laughs, and tosses dog biscuits to the eager servants of power. “That’s a good boy!”
We can wait for as long as we please for public repentance after the critical moment has passed. God is merciful, should it be ever offered: but the years and the authority has been wasted, and it ain’t coming back.
Stewards need to fear the watching eyes – and the cutting lash – of the Master, should they choose to despise him.
Learn from the failure of Tony Campolo. Don’t let your heart — or your mind — ever trump the commands of God.
(For Satan does not merely wish to crush Democratic Christians.
That evil one is much, much more ambitious than that!)