Paul & Ashley: Trap Questions Asked by Evangelicals

Jesus was often asked questions meant to “trap” him by the religious people in Biblical times. Do religious people still ask trap questions of Jesus today?

Paul and Ashley Swearengin discuss in their latest Facebook live. Watch the video here. Audio podcast is linked below.

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Podcast Transcript – Transcribed by AI

[00:00:10] Paul Swearengin: [00:00:10] Alright, I think we’re alive.

[00:00:12] Ashley Swearengin: [00:00:12] We are alive.

[00:00:14] Paul Swearengin: [00:00:14] You’re alive. You may see, see a couple of others with us on here today. We were just doing a whoops. I get the mic there. Sorry. We were just doing a live event with our NPE Patrion community. And so for those who slash NPE podcast, every once in a while you get your own live.

[00:00:32] One on one or two on one with us. So, um, so we just been doing that and now we’re ready to do our weekly coffee.

[00:00:39] Ashley Swearengin: [00:00:39] It’s a bargain at twice the price for the sales pitch of the morning, Patrion five 99 a month,

[00:00:47] Paul Swearengin: [00:00:47] five 99 a month. If you sign up at the 1299 level, we sent you an autograph copy of my book. There it is.

[00:00:54] Joseph comes to town or you can see the sign right behind this, but yeah, we’re not in Pismo [00:01:00] today.

[00:01:00] Ashley Swearengin: [00:01:00] Well, for our, you know, I’m sure very loyal followers on Saturday morning, Facebook lives, you, you will know that our backdrop has changed. And that

[00:01:11] Paul Swearengin: [00:01:11] last week we

[00:01:12] Ashley Swearengin: [00:01:12] were sitting in front of the camera, it’s bundled up.

[00:01:16] The skies were gray. We were shivering. Because we’re not in the central Valley of California last Saturday morning, or, uh, we were in Pismo and we were on the third story of a little townhouse. We were staying in and the ocean was in the background and the waves we’re crashing and it was absolutely stunning.

[00:01:35]Um, so then today we’re like, okay, we’re back in our lives. Home office. Yeah, we gotta make this a little more visually stimulating look for people. Cause we have a heartbreak from last week’s beautiful shot. So we have a poster for you to enjoy this morning

[00:01:51] Paul Swearengin: [00:01:51] while we figure, uh, Something needed to be eye catching in the background.

[00:01:55] So we’ve put, put that up today. And so we’ve been talking about, you guys may even have some suggestions of [00:02:00] where we should go, but we’re going to put a, maybe we go out to Woodward, don’t give the secrets away.

[00:02:06] Ashley Swearengin: [00:02:06] They’re going to be surprises. I like surprises. So we’re going to do like. Maybe surprise location.

[00:02:10] So obviously they’re going to be outside cause we’re, um, we’re in a rollback County in Fresno, California. So, um, different from like sales at Walmart rollback in COVID means you’re back to sheltering in place and only being in essential, essential errands or being outside. So if we, if we go remote.

[00:02:30] Paul Swearengin: [00:02:30] Okay.

[00:02:30] Yeah. Well, we’ll do that. And we wear our mask everywhere we go. So we’re where we want to keep people safe and we think, yeah, we

[00:02:38] Ashley Swearengin: [00:02:38] have our, you know what, I will just stay on that point. This is, um, my little team at the community foundation. We have three people of six. 16 and isolate right now, um, or quarantining.

[00:02:48] So it’s, it’s filling very serious for us and, um, yeah, just really hope everybody who will be watching this, the hope that you’re safe. Um, we’re praying, praying, praying for people, um, to just [00:03:00] be free of this virus.

[00:03:02] Paul Swearengin: [00:03:02] Yeah. Yeah.

[00:03:04] Ashley Swearengin: [00:03:04] Yeah, so, okay.

[00:03:06] Paul Swearengin: [00:03:06] I agree. I don’t need to add anything to that. Yeah, I

[00:03:08] Ashley Swearengin: [00:03:08] know. That was probably all we can say about that.

[00:03:11] Okay. Um, all right. So we wanted to just kick off this morning and say, I see people are signing on, thank you so much for joining us. And we’re finding that people are tuning in throughout the week too. So we post these after we go live and we’ve, we’ve gotten some, some great participation. So thank you so much for sending me spending a little bit of time with us.

[00:03:28] We want to incentivize those of you who are logging on right now live. We want to incentivize you to hang out with us through the next 30 to 40 minutes at the most. Um, we always say it’s me 30 minutes.

[00:03:40] Paul Swearengin: [00:03:40] And then you’re on how much preaching goes on.

[00:03:42] Ashley Swearengin: [00:03:42] Paul and I are so verbal that we sometimes have a hard time reigning, but I can guarantee I will take personal responsibility for making sure we land this.

[00:03:50] Plain. Okay. By let’s say no later than 1130, 1125. Anyway, if you can hang with us to the end, we’re going to have a little surprise for you and an [00:04:00] incentive for your time. I’m so popping your air buds, you know, put your phone in your hip pocket and go about your Saturday morning, but stay on. Cause you might want to hear about that little prize or incentive at the end.

[00:04:12]Um, And yeah, I think the other thing we wanted to start off by saying before we jump into our, our little, our little talk for the day is we want to say thank you to those of you who subscribed this week to NPE podcast on Apple iTunes. So our goal was to get a hundred subscribers on one day, which we’re told is the way to like break through the algorithm and like get the world to start paying a little more attention.

[00:04:36] We obviously feel very strongly about what we’re sharing through NPE, nonpartisan evangelical. So we want more people to hear it. We don’t know. Cause you can’t tell how many people have

[00:04:45] Paul Swearengin: [00:04:45] stopped Apple. Won’t let you know how many subscribers you have,

[00:04:48] Ashley Swearengin: [00:04:48] but it seems like just based on

[00:04:50] Paul Swearengin: [00:04:50] messages and

[00:04:51] Ashley Swearengin: [00:04:51] things, those of you who let Paul know that you went on and subscribed, it feels like we got a pretty good result.

[00:04:56] Fonts to that. So thank you for that.

[00:04:58] Paul Swearengin: [00:04:58] I will also

[00:04:58] Ashley Swearengin: [00:04:58] say just because you [00:05:00] didn’t subscribe on the one day little blitz that we were doing, please, if you haven’t subscribed, it makes a difference. So it’s a, it’s the nonpartisan evangelical on Apple iTunes, no skin off your nose to stop what you’re doing right now.

[00:05:13] Jump on subscribe. And that helps, but just helps create a little more of a platform for us. And we’ll talk later today about how we’re envisioning this platform kind of moving forward. And so, yeah. Some things that we have planned.

[00:05:24] Paul Swearengin: [00:05:24] And so then did we go what we’re doing this week?

[00:05:27] Ashley Swearengin: [00:05:27] Okay. So, well, first of all, I was just thinking, I have to figure out what we have planned in the next 30 minutes.

[00:05:33] Paul Swearengin: [00:05:33] Cause

[00:05:33] Ashley Swearengin: [00:05:33] I just said, we’re going to say something. Um, yeah, but then yeah. Talk about this coming week. The promotion that we have planned,

[00:05:42] Paul Swearengin: [00:05:42] we want you to go. And do a review on Amazon for Joseph comes to town this Wednesday. Don’t do it before. Now. Some of you said I’ve already done a review. Thank you. Yes.

[00:05:53] You can’t go do another one. Unless you go through another email address. I don’t know something, but yes. I want you to write a review for [00:06:00] the book on. On Wednesday on Amazon. So you just go to Amazon and search. Joseph comes to town or you, or you search Paul swear engine and it’ll come up and then just go to the review section, uh, and you get to write a review.

[00:06:13] So if we can get a hundred people to write a review this week, that’s going to tell Amazon like, Hey, there’s some momentum on this book. And, and what that does is once Amazon realized, is there some momentum on a book and a hundred may or may not be enough? We’ll see. But, but then it comes up in the also suggesting, or, you know, when you buy a book, they suggest other books to buy.

[00:06:34] And what you want is your book to get into that. Cadre of starting to be suggested by Amazon.

[00:06:39] Ashley Swearengin: [00:06:39] This is all about tricking the robot world that we all now live in and the algorithms that are really running everything. Like we’re trying to outsmart that

[00:06:48] Paul Swearengin: [00:06:48] how’s the time I was publishing my book. Uh, my friend in the publishing world said the great news today is anybody can publish a book.

[00:06:54]Uh, the bad news is. Anybody can publish a book. And so there’s tons and tons of books out [00:07:00] there, but I think mine’s pretty special. It’s a novel about what would Jesus say about the religious, right. If you were on earth in the flesh today,

[00:07:08] Ashley Swearengin: [00:07:08] and we want to say to Danielle who reached out to Paula by email.

[00:07:12] Yeah. Um, she said, Hey, can I meet you and grab a couple books? And, uh, did that this morning, she’s giving a book to her friend and she they’re reading it quickly so they can do the review on Wednesday. So thank you, Danielle. That is

[00:07:23] Paul Swearengin: [00:07:23] Danielle and

[00:07:24] Ashley Swearengin: [00:07:24] really, really, really awesome. And folks can get it, um, electronically, right?

[00:07:29] Paul Swearengin: [00:07:29] Yeah, you can get it on Amazon. Uh, you can buy the Kindle version if you want to read it immediately. Cause I heard Amazon is a little slow in delivery of the book. Well, you

[00:07:37] Ashley Swearengin: [00:07:37] could, yeah, you couldn’t get it into him. Yeah.

[00:07:39] Paul Swearengin: [00:07:39] If you’re in the Fresno area, um, you want to DM me on Facebook, we can, we can connect and get it to you that way.

[00:07:46]Um, and you can pay on PayPal or Venmo. And so if somebody is in the area and close by, we can figure out how to get you a book.

[00:07:52] Ashley Swearengin: [00:07:52] Okay. So a hundred, we want a hundred reviews. And asterix we’d like them to be good reviews, but we can’t be

[00:07:59] Paul Swearengin: [00:07:59] picky [00:08:00] if you’re writing or whatever you prefer.

[00:08:02] Ashley Swearengin: [00:08:02] We’ll take it.

[00:08:03] Whatever are you going to say? We’ll take it. All right. So, um, so this week, you know what we like to do on Saturday mornings, Paula and I honestly it’s, I feel like we are debriefing our week and then you guys are, are, uh, participants in that. So, um, this is just a little bit therapeutic for us. We are living in a crazy intense time, right?

[00:08:20] We think overall we’re, we’re hopeful and we’re optimistic that there are important things coming to light in American culture today that needs to be exposed and revealed. We need to carefully and thoughtfully reevaluate where we are as a country where we are as a society. And, um, Paul is adding his reflections to that, you know, every day, if you see them on social media, Um, he’s posting things.

[00:08:41] He’s posting blogs, hosting interviews. And so on Saturday mornings, we just like to catch up and say, okay, so what was on your mind this week? And I’m kind of a post of the week, if you will, type of thing. And so I asked Paul last night, All right. So give me the rundown. What did you post and like, you know, what do you, what do we want to really highlight?

[00:08:58] And he said, well, [00:09:00] I wrote in my head two blocks this week that I haven’t posted. And I was like, great, let’s talk about the post of the week. That didn’t happen yet. Um, and the, the, the, the halfway written blog in your mind. Um, and actually the one that I think is really amazing. It’s a modern day parable, so you’ll probably finish it and put it up this next week, but it’s a modern day parable.

[00:09:19]Um, about what we’re calling the trap questions of the evangelical church. So when you see this posted on the website, later in the week, this particular live will be called, we think the trap question

[00:09:33] Paul Swearengin: [00:09:33] of the ovens church. Alright.

[00:09:35] Ashley Swearengin: [00:09:35] So with that, um, first of all, it’s talk about like, uh, Jesus did, um, did the sort of governmental religious leaders of the day, how did they put forward track questions for Jesus?

[00:09:47] Paul Swearengin: [00:09:47] Yeah. And as a backdrop of modern, what I think of a modern day parable is. So I think if you read the Bible, well, just as a, as a text, you miss the importance of it. But if we can take what we read in the [00:10:00] Bible and put it into a modern day context, which is called hermeneutics, you really get a feel for what was happening there.

[00:10:06] That’s why I wrote a modern day parable called, uh, the good Islamic fundamentalist, rather than telling the story of the good Samaritan. We need to feel what that audience was feeling to really get. Get the impact of it. So yes. What the Pharisees, who were the good religious people of the day when Jesus was on earth, they were, they were the boy scout, troop, masters.

[00:10:27] They were the literally coaches. They were the Sunday school teachers. They were the good people. Well,

[00:10:31] Ashley Swearengin: [00:10:31] and more importantly, like not to impugn Lily coaches too much, but like, but more importantly, they were governmental leaders. Right. I mean, in some ways, like there was much more of a blend between like church and governmental structure.

[00:10:43] Paul Swearengin: [00:10:43] Yeah. In a lot of ways, the church was the governmental structure, but they had a governmental structure over them. That was the Roman empire. And they were constantly trying to manipulate the politics of Jewish and Roman relations, which was a big part of why Jesus had a big, big,

[00:11:00] [00:11:00] Ashley Swearengin: [00:11:00] so maybe another way to say that is the church was really linking up with.

[00:11:04] Government and politics to try to manipulate what they wanted for their religious outcomes.

[00:11:11] Paul Swearengin: [00:11:11] I would say, yes, they’re their modus operandi, their mindset. If you will. Very similar to the American evangelical church today that says, if we can just get the politics in order and get the right laws in place.

[00:11:23] Then everything will be good in our nation. Yeah. So

[00:11:27] Ashley Swearengin: [00:11:27] important point, like total parallel to what we see today. Right?

[00:11:30] Paul Swearengin: [00:11:30] Right. So one of the things they wanted to do was discredit Jesus because he was bringing a different message and he was pointing his finger at them and saying, those guys are hypocrites and they, they don’t see what God is doing in the season.

[00:11:43] So they really wanted to discredit him. So what they would do is come to him often with. Trap questions. And one of those was Jesus. Do you think we should pay tribute to Caesar? And it was one of the major issues of the day. Like, like today the issue would be players kneeling for the national Anthem.

[00:12:00] [00:11:59] Taxation to Rome was the big social media discussion of the day. And so they came to Jesus with this question. Should we pay tribute to Caesar? And they would often come to Jesus with questions like these, about, about social issues, because they wanted to trap Jesus. They wanted to force him to pick a side.

[00:12:16] So on that question of taxes, he was either going to have to say, yes, let’s pay tribute, which would then make him in opposition. A lot of Jews would then write him off because they thought taxation was immoral and horrible and trader us. Or he would then say, no, we shouldn’t pay tribute to Caesar, which would then allow the Pharisees to go to the Romans and say, this guy seditious.

[00:12:40] And he wants to overthrow Rome and maybe get him killed, which is what they ultimately did. And

[00:12:44] Ashley Swearengin: [00:12:44] so, um, the way we would talk about that in current political terms is, um, if you guys have heard of like purity tests, right? The, you know, we, we. In the evangelical church, we come up with, like, you have to exactly think this way, you have to be exactly this way.

[00:12:59] And then there are all [00:13:00] these, like people put people on the spot and say what you believe about this, the purity test. So essentially Jesus was being like, like he was being challenged in the same way by the religious political leaders of here.

[00:13:12] Paul Swearengin: [00:13:12] A lot of what we want to do in American evangelicalism today is slap a label on somebody.

[00:13:17] If I can. Call you a liberal, or if I can call you a Democrat or if I can call you a Marxist or a socialist than I don’t have to consider anything that you say. So we’re always in, it’s how the human mind works. We want to put something into category so we know how to deal with it. And so if I can slap a label on you, Uh, then I don’t have to consider what you have to say, or I can consider you all in on my side and know that you have to continue to be pure to my side.

[00:13:43] And so Jesus just refused to answer their questions.

[00:13:46] Ashley Swearengin: [00:13:46] Well, so when he was really pushed on this question, do you pay tribute to Caesar? What did he say?

[00:13:52] Paul Swearengin: [00:13:52] So is that the actual words we see in the text was. No, show me a coin whose image is on it. And they said Caesar’s on it. And so he [00:14:00] says, give to Caesar, what is Caesar’s give to God, what is God’s?

[00:14:03] And so what he was ultimately doing is saying, I’m not going to answer your question. I’m going to point back at your heart. And, and, and so again, in all of these trap questions, he would always point back at where are your hearts and this, and, and so he, what he was saying is. No, Caesar’s irrelevant in the discussion.

[00:14:22] Let’s, let’s check where our hearts are and if our heart’s in the right place, God’s going to take care of the governmental stuff of this. And we don’t have to intertwine our politics. He wasn’t saying don’t be involved in social issues. But what he was saying is don’t let that, so capture your heart, that now you become exclusive of people and you become hard-hearted.

[00:14:42] So the real task of, of showing and demonstrating what God looks like in relationship with people. That’s what he was constantly coming back to for the Pharisees is you’ve become hardhearted because of this religious ideology you’re walking in this, this thought that a Messiah is going to show up and overthrow the [00:15:00] government and that you have to manipulate that to make it happen.

[00:15:03] You’ve become hard-hearted and missed the mission. And that’s what he was constantly pointing at the Pharisees.

[00:15:08] Ashley Swearengin: [00:15:08] Okay. So on the question of, um, do you pay tribute to Caesar? Jesus basically says, Hey, give to Caesar what Caesar’s like, I’m not going to, you know, and as you just said, um, really the issue is why are you asking me that?

[00:15:19] And what are you aligned with whatever you’re aligned with, to come at me that way. But the other thing, uh, another example, um, talk about, um, he was pressed on whether or not he would condemn. A woman for what culture said was, uh, like Sans of the day.

[00:15:33] Paul Swearengin: [00:15:33] Yeah. So they brought out the story in the Bible is called the woman caught in adultery.

[00:15:38] They brought this woman before him, and there’s a whole lot of nuances to the story we won’t get into today. But basically what they did is they brought this woman caught in the act probably of prostitution. And they’re like, okay, now, Jesus, are you going to condemn this? Then we know you’re talking about grace with everyone, but here’s an actual center by our rules.

[00:15:57] We get to stone, her that’s

[00:15:59] Ashley Swearengin: [00:15:59] and [00:16:00] admit this as sin. Admit it, admit this as sin. How often do we hear that in this day and age,

[00:16:05] Paul Swearengin: [00:16:05] stand for truth. Now Jesus, here’s a center caught in the act and we have the stones in our hand and we’re going to stone her. And again, what he said is. Let’s go to the reason that you’re bringing her to me rather than her act.

[00:16:19] And he began to call out and write in the dirt sort of things that condemned those, holding the stones until all of them were so embarrassed, they walked away. And so again, Jesus refused to answer the question of. Is your theology pure Jesus. We’re going to trap you now either. You’re going to have to choose to stand for truth or stand for grace, which is your pick.

[00:16:39] And he says, I refuse to answer your question, but I’m going to point at your heart.

[00:16:44] Ashley Swearengin: [00:16:44] Yeah. In fact, he says, uh, those of you who are perfect, you know, throw the first stone. Like, you know, so he, he turns it back on

[00:16:52] Paul Swearengin: [00:16:52] that. If you can prove you’re worthy to condemn this woman, go ahead and throw it, throw the stone.

[00:16:57] And he knew their motives were to get [00:17:00] him. They didn’t care anything that they were making a public spectacle of this woman. And that was more of an affront to Jesus. And I would say more of an affront to God than the act of that woman. And today. With our churches, our desire to condemn sin versus love people is a problem for God I believe.

[00:17:19] And a problem for Jesus. We would rather talk about. Sin and say, those people are doing bad things rather than check our own hearts and have we become hardhearted toward people and toward our culture.

[00:17:30] Ashley Swearengin: [00:17:30] So, um, the last one that you were sharing with me, that’s, that’s in your half written blogged in your mind.

[00:17:36]Paul Swearengin: [00:17:36] Um,

[00:17:36] Ashley Swearengin: [00:17:36] and I’m sure this is going to help you write it, talking about it right now. So all of you is when you read it, you’ll be like, Oh yeah, I heard Paul talking about that. Um, the last one was this whole idea of like working on the Sabbath or breaking a religious law. So we see examples of like disciples jesus’ disciples, gathering food to eat on a Sabbath and getting condemned for that by, um, the religious governmental leaders.

[00:17:57] And then Jesus, like directly ministering, [00:18:00] literally healing people, but doing it on a day where everyone was not supposed to do anything. So he gets challenged on that a lot.

[00:18:09] Paul Swearengin: [00:18:09] And again, why are your disciples doing this on the Sabbath? And Jesus saying Sabbath, wasn’t created, man. Wasn’t created for the Sabbath.

[00:18:17] In other words, man’s not a slave to the Sabbath. The Sabbath is there for the, the people. Um, I, and I did say what he said is. Man wasn’t created for the Sabbath. Sabbath was created for the man. And what he was saying is that day of rest, isn’t there to be a tyranny to people. It’s there to be a help to people.

[00:18:34] And once we start saying, you can’t do anything on a Sunday or on a Sabbath day, which was Saturday for them. Um, then, then now you’ve created a tyranny over people. And again, it’s like you say, it was a religious purity test. And I, I hear this a lot in now today of like Paul. Why aren’t you upset that we’re not being allowed to worship in our church services, man, we’ve already been told we can’t gather.

[00:19:00] [00:18:59] Now we can’t sing. And, and I’m pointing to the heart behind that of saying. Is that so important to us that we would risk the lives of people in the midst of a pandemic? Because our true goal as Christians is to have a really comfortable, well padded seat with really good music, played through big speakers by a worship leader with skinny jeans, smoke machine behind it.

[00:19:23] Is that what true worship looks like in America today? And so again, people are coming saying. Let’s be pure. The Bible says don’t forsake gathering yourself together. Don’t forsake worshiping in the sanctuary and I’m saying what’s the heart behind that? Yes. We love going to church and singing music and worshiping, but at a time when we have a chance to really display a different spirit, what we’re displaying is that our rights matter more than the wellbeing of people around us.

[00:19:54] and I just don’t think that’s a reflection of

[00:19:56] Ashley Swearengin: [00:19:56] well, and I don’t want to get too far down on this point, but, um, but, uh, [00:20:00] w we heard this week from, uh, you know, very esteemed, um, evangelical community leader. Um, literally say that the government has taken away our ability to worship. And I about fell out of my chair because I thought to myself, yeah,

[00:20:15] Paul Swearengin: [00:20:15] absolutely not, not happening.

[00:20:17] So you can

[00:20:17] Ashley Swearengin: [00:20:17] take that ability away from me. I mean, like I, you know, and, and if you’ve so defined and confined worship too, You know, the Sunday morning, nine 30 service within, you know, this little square footage of building then. Okay. Yeah. You, along with every other group gathering, we are under restriction, but who thinks of like that?

[00:20:41] That’s the only way worship. I dunno. That’s that was, I was startled to hear because. An hour sort of stream of Christian dumb. I mean, it seems like people understand like, no, no you’re worshiping all the time. I mean, your acts of service or worship your heart attitude, wherever you are, any moment in the day is your connection [00:21:00] to God is your worship.

[00:21:00] Paul Swearengin: [00:21:00] Yeah. And the, the, the idea that we’re being restricted from sharing the gospel, I heard spoken this week and that’s just not true people as, as a. As a pastor of a church for 10 years, every pastors meeting, I sat in for that decade, the pastors were all asking this question, how do we get the people out of the church and into culture, making an impact around us?

[00:21:25] How do we, how do we get people out of this mindset? That church happens on Sunday morning for an hour and a half or an hour in some cases. And, and here we are, we’re we have an unbelievable chance to redefine what Christianity and the church is and we’re screaming about it. And the rest of culture is looking at us.

[00:21:45] Like you guys are nuts, so. I want to say I I’ve been on clergy calls with the governor’s people. And I expressed to them, my concern that clergy was not considered an essential service. I think clergy and [00:22:00] chaplaincy are as essential as psychologists and all of those things, which I also think are essential and counselors.

[00:22:06] So I have expressed that concern. But oppression is when you’re no longer allowed to proclaim yourself a Christian. It becomes against the law for a single religion to be able to practice their religion and proclaim themselves as a part of that religion, when all religions and all concerts and all music halls and any, any music joint are not allowed to sing.

[00:22:34] All at the same time, that’s not religious suppression and someday we may face religious oppression. Let’s make sure we’re not the boy that cried Wolf when it actually had.

[00:22:43] Ashley Swearengin: [00:22:43] Okay. So just to reel it back

[00:22:46] Paul Swearengin: [00:22:46] questions. Yeah.

[00:22:47] Ashley Swearengin: [00:22:47] Having coffee, uh, with each other. And, um, this is, as we always kinda like to acknowledge like, like this is heavy stuff and, um, I think part of why we like to just sit together and talk through this a little bit is because.

[00:22:59] You know, um, [00:23:00] Paul, every week, every day, you know, you’re just kind of pounding away, trying to break through on social media. Um, and it’s, it’s hard to hear some of the stuff we’re talking about. And so I just want to stop and say in the middle of this, um, we maintain an attitude, uh, and an outlook of being encouraged.

[00:23:17]Um, we actually think some of these really hard things we’re going through as society are going to ultimately, um, reveal God’s love and God’s grace. And so we are encouraged like, And like us kind of raising our face right now at our own brothers and sisters on the evangelical world. Um, we’re doing that because we think there’s something more and better for us who were trying to demonstrate the love of God in our society today.

[00:23:41] So that’s why we’re doing this. Um, and by the way, well, if you’re just tuning in and maybe you’ve never watched Paul nationally or whatever, the, I just want to make sure you know, what you’re listening to. So this is the nonpartisan evangelical. Paul is the nonpartisan evangelical. I am. A nonpartisan evangelical.

[00:23:55]Um, Paul pastor started in pastor church for 10 years. I’ve been doing community [00:24:00] and economic development in central California for the last 20 years, including serving in office.

[00:24:04] Paul Swearengin: [00:24:04] Really. I don’t get to talk enough about what you do on this podcast, but she does amazing.

[00:24:09] Ashley Swearengin: [00:24:09] Well, I hang out with amazing people who are doing amazing stuff and we get to support them.

[00:24:13] And that’s awesome. Um, And, uh, yeah, so ways you can know more about the nonpartisan evangelical, you can go to NPE, sign up for the email insiders list and that’ll get you connected almost every day. You’re sending out something now, you know,

[00:24:30] Paul Swearengin: [00:24:30] few times a week. I won’t try to overly blast.

[00:24:33] Ashley Swearengin: [00:24:33] I don’t want to spam people, but, um, but direct connection with Paul, um, certainly check out his social media handles and.

[00:24:39]Uh, you can DM him at any time if you want. I mean, this is, I will tell you, there’s almost not a moment of the day. And now that we’re sharing during a place for so long, I’m very aware of his work patterns. He is all the time talking to people, connecting on social media, responding to criticism, um, helping people kind of think through

[00:24:59] Paul Swearengin: [00:24:59] some of these [00:25:00] cultural

[00:25:00] Ashley Swearengin: [00:25:00] religious issues that we find ourselves in now.

[00:25:02] So he’s like. He’s pumping it out as what he does. And he does that because like I said, we just really feel like we recognize the significance of this moment in American history and frankly, to be way dramatic the history of the world. Um, but we’re coming up on a major anniversary of our country. Um, in the year 20, 26, it’s going to be a very significant anniversary and

[00:25:25] Paul Swearengin: [00:25:25] two 50.

[00:25:27] Ashley Swearengin: [00:25:27] So I don’t want to do the math in my

[00:25:28] Paul Swearengin: [00:25:28] head cover up. It must be

[00:25:35] Ashley Swearengin: [00:25:35] like it’s a 50 something, so yeah.

[00:25:37] Paul Swearengin: [00:25:37] Okay. Two 50, 300,

[00:25:39] Ashley Swearengin: [00:25:39] whatever. We’ll,

[00:25:40] Paul Swearengin: [00:25:40] we’ll get back to you on that.

[00:25:42]Ashley Swearengin: [00:25:42] Um, But I think it’s a marker. And I really am thinking about between now and then sort of what’s the old stuff, the stuff that we’re going to shed, there’s going to be this huge, full on generational shift from boomers to millennials.

[00:25:56] Paul Swearengin: [00:25:56] What are we as gen Xers

[00:25:58] Ashley Swearengin: [00:25:58] going to do in the middle of that to [00:26:00] best position millennials and then gen Z for success and for all of the freedom and prosperity that we believe is available for them. Um, and so, so we think this bizarre kind of marriage between religion and politics has gotten, gotten our balloons in a bunch and the white evangelical American church.

[00:26:21] And we need to untwist that. So that’s what we, what Paul has dedicated himself to, and you can help support this.

[00:26:27] Paul Swearengin: [00:26:27] Okay.

[00:26:28] Ashley Swearengin: [00:26:28] Let’s talk about Patrion

[00:26:28] Paul Swearengin: [00:26:28] real quick. Sure. Remind people, we’re going to have a surprise at the end. Cause some people are coming in and out, so stay with us till the end and

[00:26:37] Ashley Swearengin: [00:26:37] yeah, please do we, uh, and we committed to ending by, I said 1130.

[00:26:41] I’m a say 1125.

[00:26:42] Paul Swearengin: [00:26:42] Yeah. Oh really? Okay. Well we better get trucking. All right.

[00:26:45] Ashley Swearengin: [00:26:45] So real quick on Patrion. Um, we’ve got a number of folks who support us. It’s five 99 a month, or it’s 1299 a month. And we’re just cobbling together resources putting those dollars back into promoting this platform because in trying to connect to other people who are doing similar [00:27:00] things, because we really think like the future of our country is at stake.

[00:27:04] So we’re very

[00:27:04] Paul Swearengin: [00:27:04] committed. And I don’t think that’s an overly dramatic statement. Uh, we think, um, the Bible has a really clear statement if we want America to be great again. The Bible says, if my people called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, which I mean, I think means seek my ways rather than their own and turn from their ways.

[00:27:26] Then I will hear from heaven and I will heal their land. For those of you who

[00:27:30] Ashley Swearengin: [00:27:30] have been in the evangelical culture, like we have, you know, that that verse gets thrown around every year on the national day of prayer. And when we say it, what we mean is. All of you,

[00:27:41] Paul Swearengin: [00:27:41] other people, most people,

[00:27:43] Ashley Swearengin: [00:27:43] other people out there, people who aren’t Christian or people who are in a different stream of Christendom.

[00:27:48]Um, if all, if everybody else would turn from their wicked ways, then God would heal our land. But actually what that verse says is us people who, who go by the label, Christianity, if [00:28:00] we would humble ourselves, that’s the key to healing our land. So we’re just really in a time of. I’m in some ways, enjoying the process of just humbling ourselves and, um, and, and praying and leaning into stuff that maybe has not been something we’ve been too familiar with

[00:28:15] Paul Swearengin: [00:28:15] and humbling yourself means sometimes you have to set aside your strongly held precepts and be able to hear something else.

[00:28:23]Um, Romans 12 two says, you know, don’t be conformed to what you’ve always known what’s, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you can know the good and perfect will of God. So sometimes humbling yourself means. You don’t get to believe what you’ve believed for a long, long time. You’re going to have to set that.

[00:28:38] Ashley Swearengin: [00:28:38] Okay. So that was a really long commercial break. So what I like about live Facebook is we’re not confined to 32nd class, so that was that’s going okay. But backing up a second. So Paul’s put it going, you know, doing this partially written blog this week, you’ll see it in full form on his website in PE this next week.

[00:28:55] And the title of this blog is. The trap [00:29:00] questions of the Evan gelical church. And we just talked about the way in which Jesus. Got all these trap questions, you know, like the purity test questions that a lot of times we use and know modern society to like test whether or not a politician or a religious leader is like good enough to receive our support.

[00:29:16] Jesus faced the very same kind of scrutiny. So we just kind of walked through what the trap questions were like in his day. But now let’s turn to what you’re seeing people put forward to you in response to a lot of the stuff you’re putting out there. Um, top three American evangelical. Trap questions of today,

[00:29:35] Paul Swearengin: [00:29:35] top three Americans.

[00:29:36] Right? Well, I wrote,

[00:29:37] Ashley Swearengin: [00:29:37] I wrote, okay, good. So

[00:29:40] Paul Swearengin: [00:29:40] one of these I faced this week, um, Was somebody asking, well, Paul, how do you feel about the fact that you’ve stood with black lives matter now, knowing it’s a Marxist organization? I got that question. And then, so being one of those trap questions that we, when I was in, worked in media, We used to call [00:30:00] that the, how long have you been beating your wife?

[00:30:01] Wife question? It’s it’s, it’s meant as a trap. It’s not a, it’s not a legitimate question. And so I got knowing that VLM is funded by George Soros, the evil behind everything. Okay. And a Marxist organization. How do you feel about it now? And, and so I really did, again, take the posture of Jesus of like, Well, why has that become a major issue?

[00:30:23] When we have this opportunity to stand with people and mourn with people as we’re commanded to in the Bible and follow the lead of Jesus, to sit with people that that are marginalized by the religious community, why as all of a sudden, it’s so important to you to have sort of this label, you can slap on the movement and on anybody who’s standing for.

[00:30:45] Our communities of color these days. Why, what is in your heart to, gosh, darn it. I gotta quit hitting that. What is in your heart? That’s making you want to be able to lay well, this and an essence discount. The idea that there’s something [00:31:00] that needs to change in our culture with, with our communities of color.

[00:31:03] And, and so when I. When that was my response then, Oh, you should have seen the piling out of, Oh, you won’t answer the question. You’re not a Christian. You’re not smart. You’re getting manipulated by the mainstream media. You know, all of the things that these are, all the trap questions we have now in the angelical

[00:31:20] Ashley Swearengin: [00:31:20] community.

[00:31:21] And so just for those of you who follow Paul on social media, believe it or not, he loves this kind of stuff. So, um, when I was in elected office, I was like, I will never read comments, the comment section of the Fresno bee. I

[00:31:33] Paul Swearengin: [00:31:33] wouldn’t allow you to not

[00:31:36] Ashley Swearengin: [00:31:36] look at my Facebook page. Um, but, uh, but Paul, you love it.

[00:31:38] I mean, you weren’t, you were born to do this.

[00:31:41] Paul Swearengin: [00:31:41] I just think it’s important every once in a while to hear something different than what we’ve always heard, but. Like I quoted Romans 12 two there, and it says don’t be conformed to the age. That’s like, don’t get stuck in a bubble. Allow your mind to be transformed.

[00:31:54] And in the evangelical church, I don’t think we’re ever asking the hard questions of what if we’re [00:32:00] wrong. What if this is not God’s main purpose for the season? And it was the same with the religious people when Jesus was on earth. Of course. This woman committing prostitution and adultery means everything to God.

[00:32:12] And Jesus was like, no, actually your heart condition is more important to him. And so we can yell marks, sister, these other things. And I think God is saying to us, like, what’s going on with your heart? That that is so important to you while these hurting people crying out means nothing to you. What has happened in your religious system to make you this hard Hartford?

[00:32:35] Ashley Swearengin: [00:32:35] Yeah, that I think, honestly, I think that is. Probably the most important point right there. I think you just summed it up like it. We just have to, we have to evaluate our hearts. And if we’re really dug in on admit, you’re a liberal admit, you watch mainstream media admit that you’re not calling people out for riding or whatever.

[00:32:54]Um, the problem there is like, what is it in you? That is, um, that is. It’s [00:33:00] requiring you to be so focused on what you see going on and other people like what’s, what is that about? So, um, we kind of just blurred a few of those there together, but there’s a couple other ones that you mentioned, I think are really important.

[00:33:11] So, um, top three. Trap questions of the evangelical church today, uh, you know, BLM is Marxist anti-family communist, something like that. So you talked about that, but this other one you’re a liberal or like, like just putting a label on someone in order to discount what they’re trying to express. That is a really, I mean, that happens frankly, across the board and all kinds of different, you know, cultural groups, but, um, but you know, we’re calling it out in the evangelical church.

[00:33:40] I remember. Um, I remember one time talking to a local Republican political leader. Great guy loves God praise all the time, you know, wonderful guy. And I just remember saying like, Hey, you know, uh, I’m, I’m praying for. Um, people across the political spectrum and I’m just trusting and believing God to like, bring about, you know, more of what he wants for [00:34:00] Democrats and more viewed into Republicans.

[00:34:01] And, um, the very fact that I suggested that we

[00:34:04] Paul Swearengin: [00:34:04] be, or a Democrat

[00:34:06] Ashley Swearengin: [00:34:06] Democrat, Democrat. Yeah. The party in general, he almost like abruptly stopped the conversation. He couldn’t hear it. He could not hear that, that God in fact has a plan for people on the other side of the political aisle.

[00:34:19] Paul Swearengin: [00:34:19] Yeah.

[00:34:20] Ashley Swearengin: [00:34:20] And, um, so that labeling thing, the label and the discount is really, um, pretty stinky.

[00:34:27] Paul Swearengin: [00:34:27] And so that, that. Term liberal in the evangelical church has come to me and you’re not completely in, on our ultra extreme standing on politics. I don’t think ever Angelicals understand. I hear up Angelicals all the time say, well, I’m a moderate I’m in the middle are our stance has become so extreme that anybody that’s not a hundred percent in on the extreme is now called a liberal.

[00:34:51] And, and we don’t recognize that that’s where we’re coming from you and I have. Conversations with democratic friends and people [00:35:00] that are like, Hey, there’s some issues on your side, but, but our side has become so extreme that anybody who’s not in that extreme is, is labeled with something else. And that is actually driving people away from the church and away from the gospel.

[00:35:15] And ultimately that’s my issue is, is not ultimately political it’s it’s that we’re injuring the voice of the church to be able to speak into the problems of culture. With our extremes. And so that desire of anybody, that’s not a hundred percent end that knows the laws we want to pass are the most important thing.

[00:35:34] Can any, any. Means to that is justified by the ends of those laws being passed is just not from heaven. That is something that we’ve taken on and we want to be able to label people so we can discount them and not again, have to deal with our own heart condition. He’s in the middle of it. Okay. Foreign stuff.

[00:35:53] Today, you say something about real quick, and I know I’m going to violate your time thing, but this idea of. [00:36:00] I’ve heard this a couple of times recently that black lives matter is against sort of the traditional family. The traditional family is a big word and evangelicals circles. And I, and I want to, I want to caution people about something in that term, that terminology, cause what I’ve heard either blatantly or hinted at, by quite a few Christians in recent weeks is this idea that the problem in our communities of color in our towns is.

[00:36:25] Their fathers are not taking care of their households. I’ve heard that several times and what we have to be careful. Oh, love is, is, is we’re not asking a why with that and, and what it becomes if you’re not sure whether or not it’s. Yeah. Yeah. But, but if you believe it’s true, instead of saying. If you’re not asking a why, is there something systemic?

[00:36:49] Like, are we incarcerating more black men than we are any other race or genre of people out there? And why are we doing that? And is that causing the problem [00:37:00] that we’re talking, but if we’re not willing to consider those things, it becomes a pretty racially tension. If not racist statement of all time.

[00:37:08] Similarly underneath what we’re saying is. Those people don’t care about their children as much as we do. And that’s the problem. And if we keep saying that and not exploring deeper into what we’re saying, it becomes a very racist,

[00:37:23] Ashley Swearengin: [00:37:23] I want to, I want to pause because I think like if you find it, I mean, If that’s where you find yourself sometimes, you know, maybe just kind of, you never verbalized it, but yeah, you’re kind of just thinking that, Oh gosh, you know, low income people or people of color, black, Brown, Asian, whatever, um, they, you know what, they don’t, they don’t take care of their kids the right way or the, you really, what you’re saying is they don’t love their kids the way that I love my kids.

[00:37:49]Um, and just stop for a second before you even ask the why. Oh, you know, looking at mass incarceration and other systemic and structural issues, [00:38:00] why would you even think that in the first place

[00:38:03] Paul Swearengin: [00:38:03] what’s like a hard top right there.

[00:38:05] Ashley Swearengin: [00:38:05] Yeah. Um, and, you know, man, that, uh, you know, probably being mayor of Fresno and spending time, uh, in communities that I had not previously spent time in, I will absolutely admit.

[00:38:16] And I will indict myself that I carried judgment and bias that I didn’t really, even, there was no way I even knew it was there. Um, but just being in communities and, and, um, seeing the way that people. Love and fight for and will do anything for their kids and every square inch of this city. I mean, every square inch, even if not in, you know, a higher income, more stable part of the city, um, it is worth, it is worth just taking a little tour of the city and observing, and considering that maybe that thinking is so far off, um, that we really, I appreciate you calling that out.

[00:38:56] Yeah.

[00:38:56] Paul Swearengin: [00:38:56] I think that’s a real important question to ask [00:39:00] ourselves is what is my heart condition behind that question? Why, why am I even calling that into being am? Am I being led by my partisan tribe to use that as a reasoning, rather than wanting to take on my own responsibility in the process, but, but to are our friends from the communities of color in our neighborhood, when they see a statement, I like that it, it absolutely tears.

[00:39:25] Their heart out of their chest. And we need to be aware of the pain that that statement causes

[00:39:31] Ashley Swearengin: [00:39:31] us

[00:39:31] Paul Swearengin: [00:39:31] to just say like, and it’s not true.

[00:39:33] Ashley Swearengin: [00:39:33] It’s okay. Here. Here’s the difficult thing. Um, it is important that we surface some of this stuff because it’s just under the surface and really, frankly, it’s not even under the surface anymore.

[00:39:45]Um, but as we are attempting to do that as white people, um, it is very traumatic for people of color to here. Like, Oh my God, you guys really think that. And so I just want to put words on that for a second. If you happen to brush by this content [00:40:00] and you’re being exposed to this conversation with white people saying like, yeah, you know, let’s be honest.

[00:40:07] We have judged people of color to not love their kids the same way. And that’s why they’re, um, families are more unstable or their neighborhoods are more unstable. We are saying that and hearing that is trauma with a capital T. For a lot of people, and this is in the Springs us, believe it or not. I’m getting us back

[00:40:26] Paul Swearengin: [00:40:26] to

[00:40:26] Ashley Swearengin: [00:40:26] the third trap question that you’re really calling out in this blog that you are writing in your head and will be out in print.

[00:40:32]Um, this next week is, um, that social justice and focusing on social justice issues. Undermines the gospel of Jesus. We have heard this quite a lot, even in the last week I heard evangelical leaders say, all we care about is preaching the gospel and therefore we’re going to violate public health directives or whatever.

[00:40:53] And it just makes us realize that. The way we’ve so narrowly defined quote, preaching, the [00:41:00] gospel really needs to be called.

[00:41:02] Paul Swearengin: [00:41:02] Yeah. We’ve defined the gospel as getting people to say a sinner’s prayer that all God cares about is getting people to say this prayer so that in eternity they’ll go to heaven.

[00:41:13] And I just don’t believe that’s what it says in the Bible. I don’t believe that’s what Jesus modeled, because you know how many times Jesus asks people to say the sinner’s prayer in the gospels? I do do how many? Zero, zero. He never wants invited somebody to say a sinner’s prayer, uh, which is kind of interesting.

[00:41:30] Cause it’s become such a big thing in the oven. Angelica, a very good Christian. He was not a good angelical at all. Um, I know that statement’s just gonna kill a lot of people we just said, but the point is. That what Jesus did is he destroyed or was trying to destroy and disrupt these religious presuppositions that, Hey, it’s all about getting Judaism restored to being the ruling faction in our country.

[00:41:55] And that God’s plan is going to exist on the earth. If Israel is [00:42:00] restored as the greatest military and economic power on earth, that was the belief system of the religious leaders. Right. They fought the key to getting there was getting every Jew to follow the law. And so they would impose really difficult rules.

[00:42:13] And we have to look at that our mindset is somewhat similar. If we can get people to pray the sinner’s prayer and then follow our laws that we want to impose on the country, then America will be great again. And I don’t think we see how much that parallels. Yeah. The same people that Jesus said, man, your hearts, our heart are hard and they’re so hard that you no longer have eyes to see and ears to hear what God is doing in the season.

[00:42:36] And, and so this idea that the gospel doesn’t include. Hearing the voices in our black and Brown community saying, Hey, we are in pain and we want you to hear the pain and we want you to share in the pain and we want you to change the things that are causing us pain. And if we’re not willing to hear that we are not walking in the gospel [00:43:00] and, and what is scary to what you’re saying, because I’ve had people say, no, that is in the way of the gospel.

[00:43:06] That idea of social justice is blocking us from sharing the gospel. And I just say, okay, That statement I 100% disagree.

[00:43:14] Ashley Swearengin: [00:43:14] I think maybe I would say it this way, just to add to that. Um, repentance is a really popular word in the evangelical church and we are so like we so value, um, the church based service, where people are asked to evaluate their hearts and, um, and repent quote unquote from.

[00:43:34] Any, you know, sin or thing that they’ve done, that’s in violation of what we understand God’s will to be. And we love it when people walk down the aisle, the center aisle of a church and kneel in front of an altar and say like, yeah, I’m here repent. And I’m here to turn around from what I’ve been doing.

[00:43:51] And I want to follow God. We love that in the church. And when you think about, um, really all the social justice movement is to me, it’s [00:44:00] about questioning. Um, it’s really calling for a corporate repentance and it’s asking people, um, who have had power, which in America aligns very much with the white evangelical church in the last 50 years.

[00:44:12]Um, asking people who have had power to consider whether or not the systems, not necessarily us as individuals. Cause I wasn’t even here 50 years ago. You were.

[00:44:23]Paul Swearengin: [00:44:23] Um, but, um, as you like to continue to point out.

[00:44:26] Ashley Swearengin: [00:44:26] But, but to the extent that that I have walked an ignorance of what those systemic or structural barriers have been for people, can I agree that that’s wrong?

[00:44:37] And can I agree that I need to lend a hand to change that that’s a corporate repentance? And so getting back to our favorite verse in second Chronicles, if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves to me, that’s what a corporate. Like nationwide corporate repentance would look like is that we would, we would own and acknowledge the [00:45:00] way that these systemic and structural barriers have existed for people.

[00:45:02] We would, we would call into question our own personal hearts. Um, and then we would say, Hey, we don’t want anything to do with that. We, we do want to partner with you in building community and a society that is aimed at the, the, the true concept of, of justice and equality. And so it’s really, honestly, it’s like, if you can see it really easily and an individual level on a church service in a Sunday morning, just zoom it out.

[00:45:27] The same principle. That’s true for an individual. It’s

[00:45:30] Paul Swearengin: [00:45:30] true.

[00:45:31] Ashley Swearengin: [00:45:31] Yeah. That’s all. This is

[00:45:33] Paul Swearengin: [00:45:33] well, and we’ve defined, repent as. Going to the altar and saying, Jesus, I’m sorry. I still gone. I it’s 12. But what repentance actually means is to change your mind and change your direction. It’s it. The term literally means make a 180 degree turn and go in the opposite direction.

[00:45:51] So it’s. Repentance is not just speaking on, sorry for doing something, it’s changing your ways. And then we missed that Jesus in, and [00:46:00] I don’t want to preach big sermon on a bunch of stuff, but he was constantly talking about us in people, groups. He was saying, Oh, Jerusalem, why do you do this? Oh, Capernum, it’s going to be better for Saddam on judgment day than you.

[00:46:11] Oh, Israel. You’re this fig tree. That’s not bearing fruit. So you’re going to be cut off at the roots and thrown in the fire. So, so constantly through the Bible we’re being looked at in people groups, and that corporate mindset is something that impacts us all. And because we read the Bible as Americans, through our American lens, we’ve made repentance, just an individual God and man thing, which it also is the whole point of the gospel is to remove any obstacle that keeps people from living a full and abundant life in connection with heaven.

[00:46:41] And with, with the creator of the universe and that’s our job, not just to get people to come and say, here’s a sinner’s prayer and I’m sorry that I cussed and said, damn, when I was 17,

[00:46:53] Ashley Swearengin: [00:46:53] you have hung with us on this Saturday morning. I literally feel close to tears. Like I think. [00:47:00] This has been a little bit of a heavier Saturday morning coffee time.

[00:47:04]Paul Swearengin: [00:47:04] Um,

[00:47:04] Ashley Swearengin: [00:47:04] I know you were totally wired for this, but, um, but you know, this is dense. It is, it is, um, condensed and dense conversation and we really just appreciate you for. Tuning in and giving us a space to share. We, you know, we’re not afraid of hard and big things. We’re not afraid of having these hard conversations.

[00:47:23]Um, but we do recognize that if it’s just Paul and me constantly convincing ourselves, then really what’s the impact there. So thank you for staying with us and for listening. And we said, when we first jumped on about 10 40, we were going to land the plane at 1130. Then I backed it up to 1125. It’s 1127.

[00:47:40] So we better. Do that, but we said we would give a little incentive for anybody who is still on at the end.

[00:47:46] Paul Swearengin: [00:47:46] Squeeze in one other thing, please read, please read my post about the San Francisco giants manager in baseball players, taking in the don’t go to knee jerk reactions, kind of a, an ironic term to use.

[00:48:00] [00:47:59] Don’t go to your knee jerk reaction. When you see a picture of those guys taking a knee during the national Anthem. Let’s consider that through all of the history of the civil rights movement. Whenever we saw a protester, we found a way to respond, to discount those protesters and history proved us wrong in that.

[00:48:17] And I want people to consider will history prove us wrong again today. And can we correct that real time instead of 25 years from now? So please read my post on that. I think it’s a really

[00:48:28] Ashley Swearengin: [00:48:28] read the post go giants. See

[00:48:31] Paul Swearengin: [00:48:31] how they’re horrible. There. There’s no hope for the giants, but they’re rebuilding. I get it.

[00:48:35] They’re in a rebuilding, which I’ve wanted them to be for years, but they are without question the best AA team in the major league.

[00:48:41] Ashley Swearengin: [00:48:41] Okay. If there’s anything that could cause you to lose your religion, it would be giants baseball, but not because players are kneeling, but because. Players are kind of stinking on the

[00:48:51] Paul Swearengin: [00:48:51] field.

[00:48:52] Ashley Swearengin: [00:48:52] Okay. But we’re rolling with them anyway. Um, alright. So what I was going to say, we promise a little incentive if you hung out with us for this whole time. So thank you [00:49:00] so much. Drum roll, please. The first person. The next person who puts in the comment section right now that they want a free copy, an autographed copy of this book.

[00:49:10] Paul’s novel. Joseph comes to town. You’re going to get this mailed to you and let’s see, drum roll drum, roll

[00:49:19] Paul Swearengin: [00:49:19] the one. We got some good comments on here

[00:49:22] Ashley Swearengin: [00:49:22] who is

[00:49:22] Paul Swearengin: [00:49:22] going to get,

[00:49:24] Ashley Swearengin: [00:49:24] who

[00:49:25] Paul Swearengin: [00:49:25] wants it? I don’t know. Does it automatically update Suzanne Christina song?

[00:49:32] Ashley Swearengin: [00:49:32] The winner, Susan, thank you so much. It’s good to see you on, uh, Oh, we got another one.

[00:49:38] What are we? Okay, now we’re now we’re getting a lot of requests.

[00:49:42] Paul Swearengin: [00:49:42] All right.

[00:49:42] Ashley Swearengin: [00:49:42] Well, we’ll find a way to get folks a copy of the book and I’m for sure. We’ll get, we’ll get

[00:49:47] Paul Swearengin: [00:49:47] them autograph for you. Write a review on Amazon.

[00:49:50] Ashley Swearengin: [00:49:50] Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. So Wednesday is our Amazon book review.

[00:49:53] Paul Swearengin: [00:49:53] Yeah. Happy birthday, three lane road.

[00:49:56] Blessed by the way. Happy birthday. Elaine’s yesterday, yesterday, I think

[00:50:00] [00:49:59] Ashley Swearengin: [00:49:59] yesterday. Yeah. Happy birthday, Elaine. The newlywed. She’s in marital bliss right now.

[00:50:05] Paul Swearengin: [00:50:05] Yes. Yes. Yes.

[00:50:08] Ashley Swearengin: [00:50:08] All right. So do you want to close on a scripture of the week slash prayer?

[00:50:13] Paul Swearengin: [00:50:13] Yeah. Um, I don’t know if I have a scripture other than, you know, in the middle of great turmoil in the Bible, in the book of Jeremiah in the middle of their city being ransacked.

[00:50:25] Of their men being taken into captivity and being dragged to a foreign land. Jeremiah gave us one of the best, most popular verses in the Bible. And it’s Jeremiah 29 11. And that verse says, no, this no, the plans I have for you declares the Lord plans, not to harm you, but to prosper you and to give you a.

[00:50:45] A future and a hope. And that verse was in the middle of one of the most calamitous times in the history of the people of Israel, in which the book was written. And it was written not to an individual, but to the group of people. And I [00:51:00] just think that I want to, I want to tell all of you out there, even as we’re, we’re bringing our critique of the evangelical church and sort of the right wing religious culture.

[00:51:08] The, the statement ultimately is like this turmoil, this overturn all of this nastiness that is being brought into the light today, we believe is part of just the natural progression of humanity and relationship with the universe and with heaven and with God to get to a place where he can bring us hope and a future.

[00:51:26] And it feels hopeless right now. One side. Hates the other side, one side hates black lives matter. And the other side hates these guys. And in the middle of all of that, God is saying good. All of this stuff has to be surfaced. My people’s heart has to be revealed so I can give you that future and that hope.

[00:51:42] And so that would be my blessing for everybody.

[00:51:45] Ashley Swearengin: [00:51:45] Yeah. That’s good. That’s good. Hopeful note. All right. Yep. Should we slap a prayer on this thing,

[00:51:50] Paul Swearengin: [00:51:50] slap a prayer. Yeah. So last week, everybody really loved your prayer about, about, just about waves of the spirit coming. And [00:52:00] that’s really hung in my head this week.

[00:52:01] And so I just pray a blessing over your household. Those of you watching this live, those who will be watching as it’s recorded on Facebook and just. To me wave after wave of sort of feeling the emotion of being connected to each other connected to God is just this ongoing renewal of man. I can even have joy.

[00:52:22] I can even have peace. I can have wellbeing in the middle of COVID-19 in this, in this very divisive time. So I just speak that peace into your household and your heart today and bless that. With the, in the name of heaven of, of Jesus to come and say, yeah, you’re good. And I bring you peace in this season.

[00:52:43] Ashley Swearengin: [00:52:43] Okay. That’s awesome. I think I agree with that. And um, I feel really convicted to pray about, um, sickness and COVID right. So I’m going to do that. And I close my eyes.

[00:53:00] [00:52:59] Paul Swearengin: [00:52:59] Ouch. Yes

[00:53:02] Ashley Swearengin: [00:53:02] gloves. Okay. No, actually, yeah, I do close my eyes because it helps me like think and just kind of whatever. So that’s more why I do that. Not to be religious. Alright. So I’m going to pray for sickness, so God, God, we just pray that you would cover. Cover households right now. I’m just going to pray for where I live Fresno, the central Valley, and pray for California and for our entire country, God, we pray your healing power.

[00:53:26] Over this nation. I asked, ask God for supernatural miraculous healing. I asked God for vaccines. I asked God for supply chains to work for governmental systems to work for people, to, um, to be respectful of one another, to wear masks, to honor public health directives. God, I pray for anybody who’s struggling right now with this virus, I ask that you would heal them miraculously.

[00:53:52] I pray for people in my own office who are sick, whose family members are sick. God, would you heal Marcos [00:54:00] and Tony and Francisco, would you protect Claudia? Would you protect Laura and all of their loved ones and God, just as you would provide for healing for them, would you provide healing for anybody who listens to this?

[00:54:13] Who knows someone who is sick? And God, we just pray your mercy on us. All of our best efforts to deal with this virus. Would you add your supernatural power in your glory to our efforts? And would you bring about a physical healing in this land? Just as we ask you God, for a healing of our mindset. And our spiritual that we will come out of alignment with spiritual, um, thinking that would create division in our nation.

[00:54:39] God, let us walk away from that in the evangelical church and let us, let us repent. Just, I just got to really believe you’re calling us to repent and to set down stuff we’ve been holding onto for over 50 years. So I pray all of that in the name of Jesus. And I just pray God, anybody who’s listening to this today that they would experience your love this week.

[00:54:59] That you would [00:55:00] overwhelm them with your presence. And I pray that in jesus’ name.

[00:55:05] Paul Swearengin: [00:55:05] So I kept my eyes open during the prayer because I was looking at some of the people that have joined us. And so just such a cool group D and, and Latitia Suzanne our friend Jamal Jones. Um, Alison Hughes. Who’s a great follower of NPE, John.

[00:55:20] Bruski the superstar of KMJ radio. We’re

[00:55:24] Ashley Swearengin: [00:55:24] infecting your airway,

[00:55:27] Paul Swearengin: [00:55:27] our friend Nancy Boyd, Elaine, Marty, all of you guys joining us. So. Just, we really love having you guys with us on a Saturday morning.

[00:55:35] Ashley Swearengin: [00:55:35] Yeah. So it’s been good. Okay. So we’re 10 minutes over. Um, which is pretty good for us. People who don’t know how to like stop.

[00:55:41] Paul Swearengin: [00:55:41] Yeah, absolutely. So review on Wednesday. Joseph comes to town,

[00:55:46] Ashley Swearengin: [00:55:46] have a great week.

[00:55:47] Paul Swearengin: [00:55:47] We’ll see you next week. I’ll have you guys. Oh, how do I stop this now? Okay. I got to get up here and do this. Okay. We’ll see ya.

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