The bold is mine.
Shapiro asked if the pulpit ought to be engaged in preaching about political issues, or how should that be done. MacArthur, as he has done in the past, didn’t give a clear answer. On the one hand, he doesn’t want to be accused of confusing the Gospel and politics, or “preaching politics,” which is so often seen as a no-no. On the other hand, he doesn’t want to be accused of ignoring obvious cases of injustice, such as have happened so often right under the nose of the church, while the churches turned a blind eye: slavery, holocaust, Jim Crow, etc.
The only way out of this dilemma is to state a clear, biblical social theory and a clear set of standards for society (i.e., biblical law). MacArthur won’t do that, and neither will the vast majority of evangelical leaders. So, they’re stuck. So, when Shapiro pushes a slight bit and notes that if you just preach straight biblical values, they are de facto going to have real-world political consequences, even if some of those issues like “pro-family” weren’t so “political” 50 years ago, respondents like MacArthur are stuck on the fence, paying lip service to both sides.
JMac says, “It was different 50 years ago.” Back then it was about “some sort of social structure and economics.” But, it’s about “morality” now. Now it is “fraught with moral issues.”
A charitable hearing says he is simply acknowledging that something like marriage, sexuality, or abortion that is politically divisive today was assumed as normal 50 years ago, and thus not so “political.” Whereas, economic issues were not.
The problem is, none of this is true (except in a very superficial way). The attacks on the family may not have been as widespread back then, but they were very intense and very real. If you go back far enough, you have slavery and the overt attacks on the black family that literally ripped children from their mothers and ripped spouses apart—by the hundreds of thousands. Men who held MacArthur’s view against “preaching politics” stood by and watched it happen, and in some cases approved of it. It’s easy to say that was a long time ago; forgive me for thinking it’s still a huge part of American history, a huge part of the failure of the churches and her ministers. We serve a tremendous insult to hearts and minds of many blacks today when we dismiss it as inconsequential to “the big picture” or any other picture of American life, or worse, simply ignore it.
Likewise, the rise of the welfare state led to overt attacks on the family through economic means. World Wars and militarism, standing armies, did too. We could go on.
More importantly, however, is this dualism that says economic and social issues are not moral issues. This is simply false from a biblical perspective. Money and budgets are huge moral issues, and they hinge upon fundamental commandments of God. Taxation, wealth redistribution, oppression, police powers, military power, prison, courts, due process, and host of other such issues are all applications of bedrock fundamental moral values. In fact, we could say that there is not a single serious political issue that is not at its root also a moral issue.
The problem for preachers like MacArthur and his host of anti-social justice signatories is that the moment you admit that, you indict the conservative Christian churches across the board for decades and centuries of failures in this area. So, they speak of some great divide between political issues and alleged “moral issues.”
There is no such divide, and the pulpits stand indicted.
The pulpits stand indicted for the decades and centuries they should have been preaching against all manner of violation of God’s moral standards: public education, slavery, racism, lack of due process, inequality, police brutality, monetary inflation, unnecessary warfare, military drafts, welfarism, unjust weights and measures, regulated markets, corporate welfare, etc., etc. The vast majority of them for the vast majority of American history stood by silently as members of their society and members of their own churches engaged in such activities and approved of them forced upon others through civil government. The vast majority never resisted all these tyrannies for generations. But now, as the tyranny has crept into other areas of morality—as Paul tells us it does (Rom. 1)—suddenly we pretend society has gone crazy and we have to stand up and be the moral voice of it. Suddenly, when we feel threatened by the political power of homosexuals and “intersectionality” and “feminism,” we now have to “take a stand.” In short, we ignored evil by retreating into a corner, but the evil we ignored has now found us, and . . . we’re in a corner.Thoughts on the Shapiro and MacArthur Interview by Joel McDurmon
You don’t get to win, by retreating into a corner.
But you could protect your own
sin skin, and save your ministry (i.e. source of funding for a comfortable living), by kneeling and falling silent before your Betters.
As for me?
I’m not interested in dying by shivering terrified in a corner somewhere, fearful of some delusional, self-destructive Ruling Class, a decade or two from losing their welfare-state powerbase.
(And who have already lost much of their gatekeeping power.)
But then again, I have no interest in defending centuries of corruption and privilege either.
In the meantime?
“The preachers have made their bed. They can now lie on it.”