Billy Graham: The Transparent Evangelist

By now, most readers of social media know that Billy Graham passed away today. While he leaves behind many legacies, one seldom noted is his early dedication to financial accountability. In a 2016 Christianity Today article, a story is told of Graham’s conversion to transparency.

In the 1950s, one event solidified Billy Graham’s dedication to financial transparency, according to Grant Wacker, author of America’s Pastor: Billy Graham and the Shaping of a Nation
In Graham’s early crusades, he accepted “love offerings” made by the throngs who came to hear him speak. But in 1950, an Atlanta newspaper ran two front-page photos that changed Graham’s mind. One photo depicted “three or four gunny sacks stuffed with greenbacks,” said Wacker. Next to it was a photo of Graham wearing a big smile.
“The implication was that Graham was gloating because he’d just gleaned so much money from the crusade,” said Wacker. “It wasn’t true, but it appeared that way.” It was the beginning of what Wacker called “Billy Graham’s long-running effort to avoid the appearance of evil, as well as evil.”
By 1952, Graham required every ministry salary to be regularized and public. The elder Graham was the first to formalize salary transparency, Wacker said. “I don’t know of any other evangelistic organization that preceded his.”

It is a shame that the ministry that uses his name changed IRS status a couple of years ago and no longer files documentation of donations and expenditures. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is now considered a church. Churches don’t have to file such forms. All this does is shield information and reduce accountability, something that is contrary to Graham’s legacy.
However, today, we should remember that Graham’s principle focus in life was the Gospel. He stood in sharp contrast to “evangelists” such as Kenneth Copeland and Benny Hinn who brag about their wealth with no accountability or transparency.
Today, BGEA is broadcasting Graham’s sermons and crusades continuously.

Sovereign Grace Churches Posts New Response to Rachael Denhollander (Updated with Reactions)

In a January 31, 2018 Christianity Today article, former gymnast Rachael Denhollander described her experience being the first to make public abuse allegations against Olympic gymnastics team physician Larry Nassar. Her brave disclosures led to many more from other women which eventually led to Nassar’s conviction and sentencing for criminal sexual contact.
In the CT article, Denhollander confronted the topic of sexual abuse in the church and specifically raised the controversial case of Sovereign Grace Churches. She didn’t feel supported in her struggle against Nassar by her church because that church was sympathetic to what she believes to be a past cover up of abuse within Sovereign Grace Churches. Denhollander said she and her husband didn’t feel welcome in the church after she expressed concerns about SGM.
In response, SGC posted a blog entry challenging Denhollander’s knowledge of the case.

On January 31, 2018, Sovereign Grace Churches became aware of an article published that same day in Christianity Today. The article is an interview with Rachael Denhollander. Rachael was the first to publicly accuse Larry Nassar of sexual abuse, and her testimony was instrumental in drawing attention to the horrific crimes he committed. We thank God for Rachael’s courage in confronting Nassar and commend her invaluable work on behalf of other abuse victims. Like so many, we were impressed by her faithful witness to Christ in such difficult circumstances. At the same time, it needs to be said that she is mistaken in her accusations made against Sovereign Grace Churches and C.J. Mahaney. The Christianity Today article publicly mischaracterizes Sovereign Grace and C.J. based on accusations of which Rachael had no involvement and which are not true and have never been true. It’s extremely difficult to respond to false accusations without appearing unsympathetic to victims of abuse. It is our sincere hope that this brief statement has done both by speaking truthfully, respectfully and in a way that honors God.

Then, on February 5, Denhollander posted a response to SGC. In it, she issued a challenged to the organization to allow an independent organization, GRACE, to do an independent investigation of the allegations:

I am asking SGC to support their recent claim that I am making “false accusation”, “mischaracterizing” and communicating things that “are not true and have never been true”, and instead show true care for the victims by finally dealing transparently with these concerns, through taking one specific step:
Allowing GRACE, an Christian organization whose expertise is sexual assault and institutional dynamics, to do a thorough independent investigation of the organization’s historical and current handling of abuse complaints, which will be released to the public.

SGC Responds

This evening, Sovereign Grace Churches posted a lengthy and detailed response to Denhollander’s request for an investigation by GRACE. In addition to a denial of the bulk of Denhollander’s allegations, the church organization flatly rejected her request.

Rachael calls for a “fair, independent” investigation into SGC led by GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in a Christian Environment) because of the organization’s supposed neutrality. However, Boz Tchividjian, the leader of GRACE, has on multiple occasions written and spoken publicly in ways that suggest he has already prejudged the case against SGC. He has publicly indicted the motives of SGC as it relates to those allegations, and he has publicly criticized others who have expressed any support for SGC.

The rest of the statement takes on some of the points raised by Denhollander as well as others which she did not raise. It also refers to an independent investigation secured by Covenant Life Church. Covenant Life is no longer affiliated with SGC. However, this report has not been released to the public and remains mysterious.
Essentially, the statement from SGM denies a cover up of abuse. Although the church leadership team acknowledges “in hindsight that there were grave errors in judgment, and the abuse should have been reported regardless of the circumstances or a victim’s wishes,” they deny protecting abusers through a policy of not reporting abuse. Furthermore, the organization expressed regret over past mistakes and claimed to have improved their processes for handling allegations in the present.
I reached out to Rachel Denhollander for comment. On her behalf, her husband Jacob said she would respond to this new statement after a careful review. Later, Jacob Denhollander posted this tweet:


Other Twitter reactions to SGM’s statement range from approval to scathing criticism.

Christians, Pastors, and Mental Health Treatment

Desiring God, the ministry of John Piper, continues to receive negative reaction to a Twitter message about mental health posted on Tuesday (2/6/18).


Many readers, including me, felt the tweet implied that the cause of mental illness is a lack of faith. However, many believers experience emotional distress and many non-believers don’t. The tweet and later effort to put it in the context of a 2007 article fell flat. Adding insult to injury, Desiring God had nothing else to say, leaving the tweet in place and offering no apology. As Phoenix Preacher Michael Newnham wrote, “Being a Christian Celebrity Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry…”

Being a Christian Celebrity Doesn’t Mean You Are an Expert at Everything

Some of them think they are. And their fans often put them in that role. I rather like what Newnham has to say about his approach as a pastor to mental health concerns.

As a pastor my “expertise” is limited and I’m as broken and fallible as you are.
In some ways, maybe more so.
I don’t know how to fix your sex life, raise your kids, manage your finances, or treat your ills.
I’m not even that good at what I’m trained to do.
My job is to help you grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus, just as I am growing as well.
My job is to be present when you need me, to the best of my ability.
My job is to pray with and for you, that God will give you wisdom about the problems that are beyond my scope of expertise…which are most of them.
Sometimes, my job is to give you a referral to someone I trust can help you.

This is really good. Keep all of the Desiring God ministries and give me men and women like this in community churches everywhere.

Therapy Helps

The Desiring God tweeter should meet some Christians who found help from psychotherapy. I am the first to acknowledge (and call out) the shoddy and quack therapists, but I also know that therapy can be a lifeline to people when everything else (including the church) has failed them. Read the response of this Christian blogger with who responded to a challenge about therapy.

Last night I read a disturbing sentiment on someone’s blog. In effect, she said she doesn’t support therapy because there is nothing therapy can provide that can’t be provided through a relationship with God. This disturbs me because so many Christians feel this way or similar, and it is essentially a way of saying that all mental illness or emotional issues are a result of a broken relationship with God or a failure of faith. I can’t tell you how hard it is to hear this; I lost many friends who made this conclusion out of ignorance or arrogance.

In response, she wrote:

The first thing to be said here is that yes, God can and does have the ability to heal anything. Read this blog if you doubt that. Yes, my hard work and new variations of meds and finding the right (and strange) combination of meds matters, along with many other things like vitamins and diet and sunshine, but that I’m in remission (partial or otherwise) is nothing less than a miracle.
However, I firmly believe that God uses tools to heal. For those with mental illness, one of those tools can be therapy. I don’t know a single therapist (even the really bad ones I’ve had and there were several of those) who have claimed to be a cure for anything just by themselves. Instead, therapy provides support while you do what needs done, just like a cast supports a fractured arm.
Bipolar illness damages my relationship with God. I am not good at connecting with anyone and I need help to do so. That’s one place therapy comes into play. I also need help with things that should be basic. Reading the Bible and understanding it is one of them. I can’t follow a “real” Bible. I use a children’s version when I can, but truthfully that’s not a lot. I just have a lot of emotions surrounding the inability to handle the real Bible that make it hard to stomach my watered down one. Maybe a better person wouldn’t struggle with the anger that I can’t be an adult in all things, but I do. It’s a side effect of an illness that took away so much of what I wanted in life.

This person didn’t get sick by staring in a mirror, nor was the remission due to looking away from it. The Desiring God-style advice yielded frustration and as she said, condemnation from Christians. I urge pastors to put aside fear and reach out to local experts in mental health for referrals when someone in your congregation needs help. Not all encounters will go well but begin seeking referral sources now as you would sources for other medical and health specialties.
A Christian organization which may provide assistance is Christian Association for Psychological Studies.

Red Letter Christians Plan Revival in Lynchburg VA

The organizers are hoping for an April revival in Virginia.

This follows Twitter rumblings for several months and an open letter to Liberty University last November for a peaceful debate after Jonathan Martin was disinvited to speak at the school. That letter is below:

Dear Jerry Falwell, Jr.,

We know you did not intend to make national news this week by sending armed officers to escort the Rev. Jonathan Martin off of Liberty University’s campus. You have been clear about your support for President Trump. Rev. Martin has made clear his opposition. But this fundamental disagreement, you insist, is not why Martin was barred. “The University cannot be concerned with whether its actions provide additional oxygen to either side of a debate,” your official statement said. Your only concern, you insist, is the “safety and security” of your campus.

Despite the fact that Liberty University could not exist without federal loans and grants, it is a private institution. You have the legal authority to use its police force to stifle dissent. But you say this is not your intent: “Members of the Liberty community are always welcome to engage in peaceful debate,” you wrote. Though you might prefer to asphyxiate a prophetic Christianity that criticizes your personal political positions, you understand it is not in your interest to do so.

We write, then, to ask you to make good on your promise. If you are not opposed to a debate, then host one.

As fellow ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we disagree with your celebration of Donald Trump as a “dream President” for evangelicals. Along with a majority of Americans, we experience his administration as more of a nightmare. But our disagreement is not about personality; rather, we see the stark divergence in our discernment about politics as a reflection of fundamental differences in how we understand the gospel of Jesus Christ. From Isaiah 58 to Luke 4 and Matthew 25, the God who is revealed in Jesus Christ speaks prophetically against false religion that props up injustice.

This divide is not new. It is as old as the many denominations that split over the abolition of slavery in the 19th century. As Frederick Douglass wrote in the midst of those divisions, “Between the Christianity of the slaveholder and the Christianity of Christ I see the widest possible difference.” In the 19th century, this basic divide led people like Angelina Grimke and William Lloyd Garrison to part ways with slaveholding religion in order to keep their faith. In the 20th century, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel argued that we forfeit the right to worship God if we do not stand with the marginalized and oppressed. We contend that the greatest threat to Christianity in the 21st century is that our Lord’s gospel would be confused with the religion of white supremacy. In our estimation, you and others who see the Trump administration as a Redemption movement are contributing to just such a conflation.

And yet, we know from the scriptures and from our own experience that the truth of the gospel is greater than our individual and corporate sins. For this reason, we are willing to pay our own way to come to Liberty University and engage in the debate which you have said is welcome. Because we believe that a diversity of voices is essential in these matters, we write together as male and female, black and white, gay and straight ministers of the gospel. We are prepared to present witnesses in equal number to those whom you would choose to represent your perspective. We only ask that we be allowed to mutually agree on a moderator and set of questions beforehand and that we have access to livestream the debate via a production company that was started by one of your alumni. You can contact us via the office of Repairers of the Breach.

We write this open letter in hope that you will be true to the promise of your public statement about why Rev. Martin was removed this week and in greater hope that America might experience a moral revival as we face the truth about how the gospel has been compromised and receive the good news that another way is possible.

That letter was signed by many people also involved in the Red Letter Revival.
I hope this doesn’t turn into a commercialized event with books and CDs for sale. Inasmuch as the event focuses on separating church and state, I wish them well.

Military to Hear From Kenneth Copeland Who Teaches PTSD Can Be Cured by Bible Verses and Rebuking Satan

A military religious freedom watchdog group is asking Commanding General Major General Pete Johnson to uninvite Kenneth Copeland from theKenneth Copeland Jet February 1 prayer breakfast at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Kenneth Copeland has a rather checkered history but the main reason for the outrage is Kenneth Copeland’s past teaching on how to address post-traumatic stress disorder. On that topic, the head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation Mikey Weinstein told the General:

But there’s something else that makes Copeland an even more outrageous choice to speak to any military audience. He has claimed that PTSD isn’t real because it isn’t biblical, saying on a 2013 Veterans Day episode of his TV show:
“Any of you suffering from PTSD right now, you listen to me. You get rid of that right now. You don’t take drugs to get rid of it, and it doesn’t take psychology. That promise right there [referring to a Bible verse he had just read] will get rid of it.”
Copeland’s guest that day, Christian nationalist pseudo-historian David Barton, wholeheartedly agreed, adding that warriors in the Bible fighting in the name of God were “esteemed” and in the “faith hall of fame” because they “took so many people out in battle.”

At the time, Barton and Copeland took a lot of heat over that “advice.” Before I go on, here is the segment:

Gospel Destroying and Demonic Advice

The Gospel Coalition’s Joe Carter called this advice “gospel destroying” and “demonic.” Copeland still has aspects of this advice on his website (source and source). I did a short series on PTSD which highlighted damaging aspects of Copeland’s and Barton’s advice. In short, their advice was insulting to PTSD sufferers. The military should warn their people about Copeland, not invite him to lecture them.

Copeland Disqualified Himself

I hope the General decides to find another speaker. In my opinion, Copeland disqualified himself to speak to our service men and women. In addition to his bogus advice about PTSD, he teaches that people who recite certain Bible verses will survive war. In essence, his teaching is that Christians will survive if they do the right things and recite the right magic Bible verses (Psalm 91 is one he suggests). In his PTSD video, he claims that the Bible gives a promise of survival to soldiers who fight for God. I don’t know what happens to people who don’t believe these things according to Copeland.
I can’t imagine what he will say that will be of general benefit or encouragement to people of all faiths. His teaching in his Veteran’s Day video and on his website requires a rather close adherence to his specific interpretation of the Bible. There are many Christians who reject this approach, not to mention those of other faiths and no faith. Surely, General Johnson can find someone who can bring people together and respect troops of all faith traditions.
Here is the announcement in the Fort Jackson newsletter:

National Prayer Breakfast to take place Feb. 1 at NCO Club sponsoring the National Prayer Breakfast for the Fort Jackson Community 7:30-9 a.m. Feb. 1 at the NCO Club. Nationally recognized televangelist Kenneth Copeland will be the speaker. Tickets are available from your unit. The event is free, but offerings will be accepted at the event. Attire will be duty uniform or civilian equivalent. The purpose of the NPB is to emphasize the importance of prayer for the Nation, Fort Jackson, our armed forces, and our Families. The themes for the breakfast are: prayers for the nation, community relationship and spiritual fitness.

 
This tip came from fellow Patheos blogger Hemant Mehta (who got it from Chris Rodda).

Samaritan's Purse Loses Erick Erickson's Recommendation

If Erickson has given up on Samaritan’s Purse, Franklin Graham should start to worry that his unwavering support for Trump will hurt his bread and butter.

Scroll down for a satirical look at Franklin Graham’s defense of Trump.
……………………….
Erick Erickson is a conservative pundit who is an evangelical Christian. If Erickson has given up on Samaritan’s Purse, Franklin Graham should start to worry that his unwavering support for Trump will hurt his bread and butter. After watching Graham’s defense of Trump’s morality in the face of Trump’s deceptions, Erickson has had enough.


When Bill Clinton was president, Christian leaders expressed so much concern about the corrosive effect of Clinton’s immoral behavior on theTrump court evangelical pic morals of the nation. Now, Trump’s behavior is rationalized or denied.
Many people commenting on Erickson’s tweet agree but some don’t. There are many reasons to consider another charity. Franklin’s excessive salary ($800k or so) is a good reason. Franklin spends a lot of time on political commentary which is ultimately underwritten and associated with his non-profit ministry.
If you have some extra funds to donate, I suggest your local food pantry.
 
 
A satirical look at Graham’s reaction to Trump. This is satire.
 

Graham: Trump Isn’t the Same Person as Five Minutes Ago
Boone, NC – Son of famed evangelist Billy Graham, Franklin Graham yesterday brushed off reports from the Wall Street Journal claiming that President Trump had an affair with porn actress Stormy Daniels and then covered it up with payment of hush money during the 2016 campaign. He said President Trump wasn’t the same man today he was a couple of days ago.
“He is constantly changing,” the evangelist said. “President Trump, at 70 years of age, is a much different man than he was last week or even five minutes ago. God isn’t finished with him yet.”
“I am sure he isn’t done changing. I don’t think anyone but God knows what’s coming next,” said the famous preacher.
Graham said even if the charges leveled by the WSJ are true, Trump isn’t the pastor of the nation and shouldn’t be held to the same standard as evangelicals have held other politicians.
Graham asserted that America has a sin problem and no one has a grasp on that problem like President Trump. He said Trump uses his own resources to address the problem head on and used the Stormy Daniels situation as an illustration. Graham explained, “In Donald Trump, we have a president who isn’t afraid to put his money where his mouth was.”

Kenneth Copeland Loves His New $36 Million Jet

Kenneth Copeland is one lucky dude. It seems pretty obvious to me that his ministry is about him and how much stuff he can accumulate.

Kenneth Copeland Jet
Kenneth Copeland is one lucky dude. It seems pretty obvious to me that his ministry is about him and how much stuff he can accumulate. In this video, he can barely contain his gleeful pride in his latest acquisition: a $36-million jet. Watch:

Why does Copeland need another jet? According to him, flying commercial would require him to rub elbows with “a long tube of demons” and real people who might want him to pray for them. Watch this video done before he acquired this recent jet:

These rich preachers justify their jets to themselves and to their sheep with the most outrageous stories. The men of God need to concentrate on God and being bothered by people and demons would just mess things up. They couldn’t do ministry without them. Pity the poor local church pastor who can barely keep his used car running.
These preachers think they are so important that they must go to a different city everyday to preach their gospel as if there are no other Christian churches or preachers in these cities. There is an arrogance and narcissism in these “explanations” that is astounding.
I feel a mix of sadness and anger when I think of what $36-million could do for the truly needy. In addition, I suspect someone is getting a tax write off for the donation(s) to Kenneth Copeland “Minitries” which went to the purchase of the plane. It may be that a rich donor simply gave the plane to Copeland as a year end donation. If owned by the nonprofit, the plane is supposed to somehow provide for the public good. Since Copeland won’t disclose how he spends his nonprofit funds, we may never know.
For more on Copeland, see the following:
Taxpayers Pay for Televangelists’ Lavish Lifestyles Churches Damaged by Lack of Oversight and Disclosures
Televangelist’s Family Profits from Ministry
News 8 Investigates Kenneth Copeland
 
UPDATE: Copeland also has his own airport, provided by the sheep.
copeland airport

Trump Religious Advisor Robert Jeffress: Nothing Racist About Restricting Immigration by Race

Trying to defend President Donald Trump’s comments preferring immigrants from Norway over Haiti, El Salvador and Africa, First Baptist Church of Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress told the Washington Post that race is an acceptable reason for the government to discriminate in immigration.
According to reporter Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Jeffress told her that the U.S. has the right “to restrict immigration according to whatever criteria it establishes, including race or other qualifications.” He claimed that there isn’t anything racist about such restrictions.* I would like to hear an explanation for that. What else besides racial prejudice would lead the U.S. to prefer whites over non-whites? I would like to hear Rev. Jeffress’ answer to that question.
Jeffress’ blatant defense of racial discrimination is reminiscent of opposition by other Southern white men to the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act. INA struck down immigration quotas and increased immigration from Africa, Latin America and Asia. INA was opposed by those who wanted to maintain discrimination in immigration policy. Essentially, the policy prior to 1965 favored European immigration with limits on people coming in from elsewhere in the world. Now in 2018, Trump’s preference for white Norwegians over dark skinned Africans and Jeffress’ defense of his position sound like the same rhetoric used by opponents of the INA in 1965.
One of the most vocal opponents of INA was Senator Sam Ervin (D-NC). During Senate hearings on the bill, Ervin expressed that race and country of origin should be used in immigration discrimination. Ervin said:

The people of Ethiopia have the same right to come to the United States under this bill as the people from England, the people of France, the people of Germany, the people of Holland. With all due respect to Ethiopia, I don’t know of any contributions that Ethiopia has made to the making of America.

He wasn’t alone in his views.
As Tom Gjelten documents in his book A Nation of Nations, Spessard Hollard (D-FL) asked during debate on the bill:

Why, for the first time, are the emerging nations of Africa, to be placed on the same basis as are our mother countries – Britain, Germany, Scandinavian nations, France, and the other nations from which most Americans have come?

Without the profanity, Ervin and Spessard raised the same questions in 1965 as Trump and Jeffress are raising now. Why do we want these people from Africa? We should have more people from Europe.

Blinded by the White

A sign of white privilege is the distortion of reality it promotes. Ervin and Spessard seemed oblivious to the fact that citizens in their states had African heritage. As Gjelten points out in his book, “In the 1960 census, Americans of African descent out-numbered Scandinavian Americans by a margin of two and a half to one, and there were more African-Americans in the United States than there were Americans whose origins lay in Italy, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, and Switzerland combined.”
Apparently, as Gjelten notes, Ervin and Spessard didn’t consider African nations as “mother countries.” Of course, that is absurd. One would have to look at U.S. history through the lens of white privilege to think people with African heritage have made no contributions to American life and culture.
Some of Trump’s defenders have said Trump just said what some people are thinking when he expressed his preference for Norwegians over people

Robert Jeffress - from Twitter page
Robert Jeffress – from Twitter page

from “shithole” countries. Perhaps some white people are thinking those things, but a look at the history of the Civil Rights struggle shows that some people always have. In the 1960s, those views were shown the door legislatively. Now they are front and center in the White House, with evangelical religious leaders to defend them.
As a religious advisor to the president, Jeffress claims that the United States has the right to engage in racial discrimination in immigration policy. His evangelical peers should not let that stand without condemnation. Racial discrimination was evil in 1965 and it is evil now, wherever it occurs. There is no national interest in that kind of evil.
Tomorrow we remember Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy. King, Jr. lamented the silence of the white church during the fight for civil rights. The church should not be silent now.
 
*I confirmed this conversation with Washington Post reporter Sarah Pulliam Bailey. Jeffress told Bailey that the United States has the right to restrict immigration according to whatever criteria it establishes. She then asked him, “Would you include race?” He said, “Whatever criteria we deem necessary.” She asked him a direct question about race which he agreed to.

Whistleblowing Moody Radio Host Julie Roys Fired After Disclosures about Moody Bible Institute (UPDATED)

See the end of the post for updates…
Julie Roys, host of the Moody Radio show Up for Debate, was terminated from her radio show yesterday after she alleged the existence of questionable fiscal and employment practices at Moody Bible Institute. Roys’ disclosures include a loan nine years ago from MBI to the school’s president Paul Nyquist for a condo (source). According to Roys, that loan has not been repaid. She also details alleged irregularities with college facilities, gambling by a board trustee, heavy handed tactics with faculty and much more (source, source). According to her post today, in the midst of these revelations, she was fired from her job.
Roys stated:

Then yesterday at noon, I received an email from Greg Thornton, MBI senior vice president of media, informing me that “after consulting with the Executive Committee of the Moody Board, leadership is terminating your employment.” No reason was given and I was informed that my boss, Program Manager Dan Craig would be at my house in two-and-a-half hours to pick up my laptop.

I reached out to Roys and she repeated the quote above which came directly from her email from MBI’s Greg Thornton. A voice mail was left with Moody Radio’s public relations office.
A January 6 article in the Christian Post contained rebuttal from MBI. Brian Regnerus said Roys’ blog post relied on “anonymous and second-hand sources and include past events that have been resolved.” He added that the statements were “incomplete” and “inaccurate.”
 

Up for Debate

On her Up for Debate program, Roys personally leaned to the right of center, but she often featured two sides of controversial topics. I have been

Julie Roys - From Roys Twitter page.
Julie Roys – From Roys Twitter page.

on the show before and I found her to be fair in moderating the guests and callers. In my view, talk radio is often a waste of time with people shouting over each other with loads of misinformation. However, in my limited experience on her show, it seemed to me that she sought to provide a place for different points of view to be heard. I especially enjoyed the conversation about the Johnson Amendment back in April, 2017.
In any case, I suspect that — as often happens — MBI will find that firing an employee who is asking questions will not make those questions disappear.

Board of Trustees to Meet January 10

UPDATE (1/9/2018) – Earlier this week, MBI president Nyquist sent this email to the “Moody community” which includes at least students…

Dear Moody Community,

You were all made aware last Friday that a number of accusations have been made against Moody’s leadership including members of our executive team, Board of Trustees, staff, and faculty. As we continue to pray and seek resolution to these allegations, we are committed to keeping you informed about this matter and how we are proceeding.

 First, please know that we are deeply grieved and disappointed over these allegations, have taken them very seriously, and are consistently prayerful before the Lord. We’re reviewing each of the issues raised and determining how it was addressed in the past, what we need to do in the present, and lessons learned for the future. And while interest and concern about specific details regarding personnel-related matters has been voiced, we will not violate the privacy of those involved, nor debate these issues through a third-party outlet. That is not helpful to the process, nor is it honoring to the Lord as His children.

 In addition to last week’s meeting of the Board’s Executive Committee where these issues were discussed at length, the full Board of Trustees will deliberate further on Wednesday, January 10. We covet your prayer for that meeting, and when more information is available, we will inform you, our Moody community, first.

 As we press forward, despite the challenges and hard conversations that are taking place at Moody, our executive team and the Board of Trustees are unified in our love for the Lord and this great institution, the pursuit of truth, and seeking reconciliation where possible. With that, we have also come to recognize the need for, and are committed to, improving our culture and climate at Moody through greater transparency, frequent, concise and timely communication.

 Please continue to be in prayer for Moody, our leadership, and each other that we would reflect the unity of one body joined together by Christ as expressed in Ephesians 2.

 Moody has faced and overcome numerous challenges throughout the course of our 132-year history. We must not forget that ceaseless prayers and God’s guidance are how we’ve been effective in ministry for so many years in a rapidly changing world, and that He continues to bless us with the incredible privilege of equipping people in the Word of God.

 Thank you for your commitment to prayer and seeing God glorified through this. We will continue to be in prayer for you as well.

Just How Divided Is the Republican Party?

Everybody knows how divided the GOP is but these two tweets within inches of each other in my Twitter feed depict the situation.
First, Sen. Jeff Flake:


Then, as if on cue to illustrate Flake’s assertion, enter Dinesh D’Souza:


These are two people who would agree about many things related to policy but are worlds apart on character. All that goes with Trumpism has served to split the GOP in ways the Dems could only hope to do. The witches brew of Christian nationalism and nativism is a political religion which has led so many people to call evil good and good evil. The destruction has come from within.
For GOP readers on the fence due to life issues and tax cuts, let me point you to the reality that the current administration is supporting pro-death policies in Yemen, and the middle class tax cuts become tax hikes after a few years. Big families will be negatively effected more than smaller families (pro-family?). The tax cuts benefit wealthier Americans with minimal relief for most middle class people. About 10% of middle class taxpayers will never see a tax cut due to the way the legislation is structured. Many Trump voters who supported him because he promised relief for the middle class will actually pay more while he gets a big tax cut.
D’Souza wants to stick it to media. At the end of the day, what’s the good of that? He may feel better somehow, but how does that help ordinary working people? Here’s hoping some principled people rise up in positions of power who seek the common good, not just for their tribe.