RGB & Evangelical Hypocrisy in Politics: A Paul & Ashley Podcast

During their regular Saturday podcast on Sept. 19, 2020, Paul and Ashley Swearengin share about the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and how Christians need to resist allowing the hypocrisy of Republican politics in this moment change their ethics and morals. Watch to the full podcast on the NPE YouTube Channel or listen to the full podcast at NPEpodcast.com #ReligiousRightReligiouslyWrong #OldPastorNewConversations #NonPartisanEvangelical #NPEpodcast #Roman12_2RenewYourMind

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Transcript for Podcast (Transcribed by AI)

yeah, good
It’s true. Your face is like covered up and we don’t want that to be this
poster of me behind. So it’s like this halo actually here, the actual hair.
Well, we just wanted to go with a different shot today. And so we’re, we keep experimenting with different shots.
We seem like hearted so far, but we’re actually not
It’s a really heavy day, heavy day,
a heavy day. Um, and, but yeah, preliminary so good morning, everyone. Welcome. Hope you’re doing well. This is Saturday morning with Paul and Ashley. We’ve decided we might want to, um, call this, uh, Saturday morning wth the week that happened with Paul and Ashley.
Is there another meaning to wth?
What the hell? What the hell? Yeah. As opposed to WTF, which I’m, which I’m feeling this morning.
I would’ve preferred WTF nickel and Ashley, but I
couldn’t think of another word. Fulfilled. I don’t know. It doesn’t work. Hi Chris, by the way, he says hello on the comments.
Um, yeah, so we’re here. This is the nonpartisan evangelical.
Thanks for tuning in. If you’re joining us live, that’s great. Or you catch us later in the week and you see this link. We’re really happy that you popped on for a few minutes. I’m Ashley and my husband, Paul, the nonpartisan evangelicalism. Hey, nonpartisan evangelical. And this is our time to just hang out, reflect on the week.
And, um, honestly our weeks are usually so busy. See, even in the middle of COVID like running a small nonprofit and. California’s central Valley, where there is like so much work to do and the community and civic sector. I almost don’t see Paul during, you know, I might be in the other room just like
I hear her talking on the phone all day in the other room.
So, um, anyway, it’s honestly, it’s like my time to catch up on what Paul has been doing and thinking
what the hay has been going on during the week. I benefit
from these times, this is our little hour sync up.
This is our debrief time together.
So, um, so yeah, so it’s a heavy, heavy start to,
yeah. Yeah. Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away at the age of 87 yesterday.
Um, from everything we hear about are tremendous human being, but obviously the, you couldn’t help. I felt bad because I felt badly because I heard she had passed and you can’t help, but immediately go to the political and cultural ramifications of that. It was truly the, the woman is. Is a superhero that she, she wouldn’t leave the bench because she realized the cultural ramifications of if she left and particularly now this happening so close to the election, this is things are going to be ratcheted up.
And the Republicans didn’t bother to wait even 24 hours before they started doing their thing after this, because. Well, I don’t know if you want to get totally into it, but this is the test of where the hypocrisy level is of the Republican party. We will find out now if they truly have left all morality and ethics in the rear view mirror, and it appears, it appears they have
let’s get to that.
And just, um,
yeah, you hate to do that in the midst of the death of a human being.
Yeah. Um, so I had the privilege of, of, um, hearing.
Ruth Bader
justice, justice Ginsburg,
justice bird, um, address a small group in Aspen, Colorado. And I think the year was 2017. So not that long ago, I have a picture of it and my phone, probably two, you know, round tables of eight
people away from the state.
How tall were you compared to her?
You know, she was, she was maybe four, eight.
Oh, wow.
Including her. And she was pretty stooped. So if she was four, eight, I’d be surprised. Want have to be tall. Um, I have a photo of that moment. Um, it was the Aspen Institute, like global leaders network. And
I’m sorry that microphone is you’re okay.
Go, keep talking.
And, um, uh, yeah, it was just like, Oh my God, I went to this conference, um, or this like whatever leadership retreat, and I really didn’t know what the event was and what I was in store for. Um, but so I just show up, there was a group of maybe seven or eight people from the central Valley who were underwritten to go participate in this leadership network, um, week long thing.
And, um, Nicole lender was with me for Marjorie Mason center for you locals out there, other people from the Valley. And there she was, I was like, what the heck?
like in the room right there. And, um, um, Whoa, what a giant, what? Incredible, incredible giant. Of a person. And then, um, yeah, so I happened to just catch the movie right. When it came out. Um, the, the, not the documentary. I haven’t seen that yet. I’m going to see that. Um, anyway, so just when you think about the fight of her life, how creative, how scrappy all of that,
a woman in a, in a man’s world.
Yes. Like couldn’t get a job literally as a lawyer. With a lot, you know, with a pass the bar, all that couldn’t get a job. So she ends up teaching. Um, and anyway, ultimately ends up bringing, you know, bringing down sort of the discrimination against women and then through the courts, descending men and demonstrating how this, um, this.
I’m going to, I feel like my words are failing me and I wish I had more of a legal mind, but I don’t, but like basically showing how discrimination against women is impacting men. And so her clients were all men and, um, and that’s how she ultimately toppled the. System.
Church View of Women
Wow, incredible. And that, you know, it, what saddens me some in our church world is sometimes we devalue that, that fight for equality.
For women. We have some sense that the Bible sort of makes women a little bit lesser and then we couch it in terms of like, they’re like fine China, you know? And, and what it really is is it’s other racism. It’s, it’s, it’s saying women can’t and shouldn’t do. What men do and. And we justify it that way. And what it actually is, is it’s discrimination of human beings.
And, and so people like you, uh, and, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and maybe you would say certainly not at the same level, but I think in a lot of ways you have. Gone into those male dominated fields as well. And had people say, Oh, this little girl is not going to do this to us. And you’ve taught them differently.
And I would say
that a woman can be all as tough as a man. And it’s okay for her to do that.
No way, grandma, I feel like,
I know you wouldn’t finish.
Um, because of my mom and my grandmother and Ruth Bader Ginsburg and like the generations before it never even occurred to me. I literally had, I think when I ran for man in 2008, I had two people sort of be like, Oh, but you’re a woman, two people.
Two. Um, and they were both women and one lady one, or you could tell us the old lady just by her handwriting was kind of cool. Critic wrote me a note and was just like, Oh honey, you know, God bless you, but you, you should not be running for mayor because you’re a woman and you have young children. I was.
36 years old when I ran. And, um, um, anyway, so I had that one and then another, I won’t say a name, but maybe if you catch me offline, I’ll share with you a very, very wealthy local business. This man’s wife,
very nice, active,
large scale political donors, wife. Asked me or challenged me at a fundraiser that they were hosting.
Like, why, like, why do you think you can do this? You have kids, you need to be at home with them. And anyway, but other than that, I was like, what, why are we even thinking about this? You know? And I always would have all these people come, what’s it like to be a woman there? I’m like, I don’t know, like. I don’t know anything else.
just is you are a woman and a mayor. And so what else could it be? It’s a privilege. What
a privilege, my general, what a privilege I have because of Ruth Bader Ginsburg that I don’t even have to think about it and how ridiculous for me to not appreciate and value the sacrifice that she and others made and just be like, Oh, there was never that kind of fight.
Like whatever. We
just do our thing. Now I do have to throw out the one other story from running for mayor, where I get a call from somebody in a prominent. Pastor that if I said the name many would know, and you would certainly know, I think people’s
secrets this morning.
Local Pastor against Ashley for Mayor
And I get a call from a pastor friend of mine who says, you will not believe what this pastor just said in this pastor’s meeting I was in.
And, and he said, you know, we should vote for this other Republican candidate who was running. You were in the primary and there was like 11 of you running. And so this pastor got up in front of these other pastors and said, everyone should vote for. This other male Republican because he prays every day.
And so then somebody in the audience says, well, Ashley swearings is a Christian. She prays every day too. And the pastor leading this meeting, I kid you not, this is absolute direct. Quote says Ashley’s swear. Engine is too pretty to be mayor.
To which I said,
thank you. You appreciated the compliment, but that is.
Even though we don’t like to admit it, that isn’t undertone, you know, this Mike Pence can’t meet with a woman one-on-one that women are a little dangerous to men. They’re not the same. You’re going to entice him with your goods. We’ve really done some bad, bad theology on all of this. We’ve missed Deborah and tent pegs and things like that in Bible women can, it’d be bad ass and it’s okay that they are so, and RBG.
She was badass.
Ashley’s Reaction to RBG’s Death
So, so bad ass. I, um, so I was in a, I was on a zoom call yesterday with, um, two of my colleagues at the central Valley community foundation, Kelly Ball, and Gretchen Moore. For those of you that
now you are naming names. Okay.
Bringing people into my world for a second. And we were talking about, you know, some work thing and it flashed up on my phone, but she passed and I was like, Oh my God, you guys wait.
It was a bit of Ginsburg just died and it was like shock and silence. Like w we couldn’t speak for like three minutes. We sat there just like looking at each other, like, like taking in, taking this end. And then,
so what do you think that was
for me? It wasn’t instant. Like, Oh my God, she’s such a fighter. Like she fought. It’s hard to be weird and Carly, but I literally, when I heard yesterday, like I couldn’t, I almost started crying. I know I can only imagine how she was, is fighting to stay alive and how much respect I have for that. And because, because, um, she knew and anticipated what would immediately happen upon her releasing that seat.
And so just that spirit and like, Who she is. Um, that’s what was that’s what’s so moving to me. Um, and then I also, I talked to my other colleague, Sarah Moffitt at the end of the day yesterday. And she was like that, she was just like, on her couch was like crying, you know? And of course, Sarah worked for 15 years for Senator Feinstein who was on the judiciary committee.
I think she’s a ranking member of judiciary. So that’s the committee that runs the,
And so, you know, you see, she’s seen a lot of stuff, Sarah, up close from her time with Senator Feinstein. And she was just like, Oh my God, you know, she, she passed not knowing sort of the future, the outcome of this sort of civil war, shall we say?
And I’m sorry to use that word.
Yeah. Let’s not use that
word. Unrest and this power, this big generational shift power struggle that we’re living through. She died not knowing what the outcome is and she died not knowing if her efforts were in vain or not. Yeah. So I think that’s really what it is.
And I was in the middle of doing a local podcast with my friend, Craig Sharpton, and we were talking about the fires and getting some insight from both sides of the fire argument and.
And somebody texted me a friend texts me in the middle of it. And I said, yeah, I mentioned it on the podcast, Craig, this just came across that, that Ruth Bader Ginsburg has passed. And it was really the same thing. We’re both like, he didn’t know what to say because the weight of the ramifications of what that means are so significant in and our cultural discourse division, um, And shaking right now that it’s just, it feels like a really big shaking point.
And, and again, a time, I think we’re in a season where God is requiring people to decide which side are you on the fence? Sitters, don’t get to be fence sitters anymore. You now will have to decide which side you are on. And, and that is so it just feels like an incredibly significant moment and probably.
If you, if you believe in, um, Providence, maybe it’s not coincidence that it happened right now at this point, this close to such a significant point of this election coming on November 3rd.
Well, it is.
Yep. And turn on the fan by.
So we’re going to have a little background noise
for all listeners. All right.
Hopefully it’s louder than our dogs. Snoring.
He just looked at you when you said that I’m napping. Leave me alone.
Like, I can’t believe Hollywood hasn’t discovered this dog.
I think
so talented. And he’s got all my personality anyway.
Yeah. And he’s just flopped asleep in the corner right now. When
it comes to that dog, I love all my heart. Anyway,
he has sleep apnea though.
He clearly his snoring is getting bad and his own, each one knows
of a dog C-PAP
We need one that’s about this big really thought that big.
Yeah. Okay. That’s a large setup to our show, but yeah,
so that was kind of, you know, the first thing, obviously we wanted to just reflect on, on, um, justice Ginsburg, white life, and there’ll be this, this for the rest of our lives.
We will be reflecting on her contribution to our society. It’s just, that’s going to, so this is just the beginning. There’s no way to do justice to this moment sitting right here other than to just say, okay, for the rest of our lives, we’re going to be realizing, um, her genius and her contributions to society.
I think too, and that she felt like she was holding back something by staying alive and fighting for life. And, um, And, and people on both sides of the aisle of political thought feel that way. And so it feels like something is removed and, and now we’ll, we’ll see where the kind of the river flows from here in our, in our cultural world in history.
And it’s going to be interesting, but, but not pretty. I share
I’m gonna, um, How can I keep track of the number of times when, on the WTA show with Paul and Ashley, I need a tissue.
You have a good heart.
What was it last week? I don’t remember.
I don’t know.
Anyway, uh, Oh, I know I was,
it was, we were talking about the Brady bunch, right?
It was, um, Cindy Brady getting braces. Um, no, it was, it was the, um, Oh, the Atlantic story that came out that revealed president Trump’s, um, inside voice being and talking about
the military
military. And it was me seeing military moms and dads and, um, former, you know, retired military leaders. Talking on, you know, like on their cell phone and posting on social media about what that did to them, how they felt like my son’s death wasn’t in vain.
That’s what made me cry.
When Truth Mattered
Yeah. Yeah. I wrote a blog on that, by the way, this, if anybody wants to go to NP podcast.com, I wrote a blog called wind truth mattered. And you and I sort of hearkened back to the old days of. There was always this big teaching on absolute truth, absolute truth.
And those of you who grew up in the evangelical church in the seventies, eighties, you know, like it was, this was what we were being, you know,
Truth matters.
There is absolute truth. And any relativist who tells you that that truth is, is relative, is putting your soul in danger. It was a major teaching focus on the family, talked about it nonstop, and, and I wrote how the irony is now. Now sort of world political thought is led by. This idea of alternative facts that Kellyanne Conway, uh, coined this term called alternative facts.
And now, so when we hear the president’s own voice on tape saying, yes, Corona virus is really dangerous and it’s airborne and it affects children. Uh, and we hear that from February in his own voice, Christians and sort of conservatives can still say, ah, nah, it’s a hoax. It’s a, you know, we can just put that away because, uh, the irony is absolute truth really doesn’t mean anything at all, or we’re more in tuned to alternative facts that fit our narrative now than we are absolute truth.
So you can pick up that blog on the, on my website in PE podcasts.
And while you’re there, sign up for the.
Patrion where for five 99 a month, you can support this fantastic messages coming to you live right now, raise a little bit of money every month. We want to put that money into like
ads, you know, I like
that. Yeah. Like, yeah. And, and we think, obviously we think this is a really important season and, um, and certainly in our lives, and this is a generational shift moment and big stuff’s going on.
And we have this opportunity to choose who will we be as a people and as a society. So we think nonpartisan evangelicalism important and important voice in that. And if you agree, you can sign up on Patriot support us though. There’s go to just get the word out, basically.
Yeah. I just, in fact, just had three people sign up in the last day for our NP Patrion community.
Ronald Kathy and Diane and they they’ve all been commented. Well, not all, but I’ve had comments from them on the audio book series. So we just put up section four, Joseph comes to town. This is the book. Plug it. Um, and so I’m, I’m recording the audio book in chunks in series, and I do commentaries and they’re all, like, I got a message from, I think, DeAnn last night.
And she’s like, when it’s segment five, it’s coming out, I’m dying. You know, I’ve got, that’d be here in the next segment. So if you join our Patrion community, you get the audio book series, you get a private. Facebook group page, where I do most of my ranting that I can’t really do out in the general public.
It’s actually an unfiltered version
of the
no matter what, no matter what medium Paul is always on folders back, you’re telling me. So like, I’m not even on that Facebook page. Cause I don’t know my password.
You don’t even know what really is coming out. So yeah, Joanna. So if you go to NP podcast.com in the upper right corner, there’s a Patrion button click on that, get in our Patrion group and it just, the finances help a little bit.
You see, we’re making a little bit of money that helps fund some of this equipment and stuff. But what I really want it to be as a, is a place where we get to build intimate community. Because part of what I think is, is coming out of all this shaking is what does. What does a community of faith look like on the other side of this uninclusive faith, where we allow people to, to disagree and discuss and explore, rather than having this set theology that you have to agree with or you’re out, which I believe is not the theology that Jesus brought for us.
And so that’s part of what we’re doing in the patron community. In fact, we’re doing a live tomorrow afternoon. So if you get in there, yeah. Today. Yeah, I am. When I say we, I mean, Me.
It’s just a place to get a little more connected. Sorry. I keep interrupting you our
second segment of the WCHL with Paul and Ashley, um, which is a, probably our most popular segment. And I think it’s really the only thing we ever talk about. I have, I have chosen to call it today. The seriousness of this moment, I E the craziness of the American evangelical church.
We could do that segment every week.
Okay. So no, in all seriousness, um, We joke, but only because, uh, because what else are you gonna do? Yeah, this is so I think I want to just toss to you and, and say like, tell us what your, tell us what you’re seeing on Facebook that would cause you to my, my husband and getting his coffee this morning.
You know, shuffling around in the kitchen. It’s the first thing Paul Dodds, when he wakes up in the morning is like rolls over, picks up the phone and sees
bad idea, bad idea, not how I should start the day.
but it’s kind of what I do.
You know, you’ve, you’ve chosen to create this communication arena where it’s, it’s literally like.
You know, the inside voice of the depths and darkness of evangelical church feels free to come forward.
you are uniquely qualified. You are uniquely able to receive that, to like catch it, lift it up to God and release it and be like, Oh God have mercy on us. Now this morning, when you shuffled downstairs to get your coffee, you’re just like, Oh, my gosh, like there, this is really, really dark.
So tell, explain why.
RGB Death and Abortion
Yeah. We’re, we’re insane. Um, so obviously, you know, the elephant in the room topic, when we talk about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, passing away is, is, is abortion, is, is the central issue. And, and it’s a word that some of us are afraid to say out loud, but it is, it is the central issue of all of this, that, that Christians.
Tend to feel like justified, to have really horrible viewpoints of other people based upon, uh, a theology they’ve created around God’s desire to, to pass a law, to, to criminalize abortion and to criminalize pregnant mothers who would, who would seek to terminate a pregnancy. And I, and I get that there’s big emotions around that, and I’m not actually going to go into a deep discount if you want to sort of see my theology around whether God really wants us to pass a law to combat that issue.
Or if there’s another way we can do it without setting aside our moral integrity. Uh, there’s a, there’s a great blog on that. And we did a wonderful discussion group a couple of weeks ago on our Tuesday night discussion groups within PE to show that there are other ways that. Other solutions God could have that are more kingdom minded.
Yeah. Okay. So you can find those resources,
my NPE YouTube channel, and I’ll put it on the, on the podcast page as well. So always you can look on our YouTube channel and our, and our podcast, NPE podcast.com website to find these things. Um, so. Obviously, this opens up a seat on the Supreme court. And, and what I hear from Christians all the time is this idea of, well, I don’t, I don’t really like what president Trump does, but abortion, my term is butter, abortion, but abortion justifies everything.
We can justify anything. And so it used to be like, Like we had really good hearts for the world, but we just really wanted to pass a law for abortion. But what that pursuit has done, what I see is that it’s given us, uh, a premise it’s given us a justification to, to take a whole bunch of other issues that are more ideological and make them a part of that whole discussion.
And so what I see coming out of Christians now, Is this idea of, of a pursuit of abortion also means I have to be extremely hostile and angry about a whole range of other issues. Black lives matter, um, immigration, second amendment, all of these things that we, we say there, if, if you don’t believe in the extreme stream position on any of these issues, taxes, you’re not a Christian.
Yeah, that, that you are against God, we’ve lost all perspective. And so it’s come to a place this week where, where
Rick Joyner Militia
Rick, Rick joiner, uh, an Evan evangelicalism, pastor of some note out of North Carolina this week made the audacious statement and I believe evil, evil statement. That we should start collecting ourselves.
Christians should start collecting ourselves into malicious. And you almost didn’t want me to mention this because I don’t want to fan that flame either, but I want to say to people here he is wrong because we remember James and John. A village, a Samaritan village rejected Jesus and James and John. Two of Jesus, very best friends on earth.
They’re like, Jesus, those people rejecting you as wrong. Let’s call fire down from heaven and destroy them. They deserve to be punished for reject. Can you Jesus. And they did reject Jesus. They wouldn’t even let him come into their village. You can’t reject Jesus more than that. And they said, let’s call fire down from heaven and destroy them.
And Jesus responds to that. It says he rebuked them. If you really study it, like it was the strongest possible review key. He said, stop it right now. You stopped. Like my dad would have snapped his fingers. That’s it stop it. He had the loudest finger snap of any human being. You
must put it
in the family.
So when he would snap, we would freeze. We knew. And so Jesus snapped his fingers at them. And he said, you stop that right now. And some translations, this verse is not in every Bible, but some translation says. He turned, he turned to them and said, you don’t know the spirit you are. And what I believe he was saying, there was like, What you just partnered with James and John.
You’re tremendous people. You’re my disciples. You’re going to be my apostles to the world. You need to understand when you’re partnering with a spirit that’s not from heaven and your desire to punish those bad people. That is because you’ve partnered with a spirit, not from heaven, and you need to come out of that agreement.
Right now, because I didn’t come to destroy these people. I came to show them that God loves them. And I believe in the evangelical church that we’ve been partnered with a spirit that we don’t know the spirit we’re of for so long, long, now, five decades, at least that. Now we start to believe these are Christian stances to be angry and divisive around issues that are.
Horrifying and they’re driving people away from the gospel and I’ve just seen it so stark and so dark this week.
So, um, I often wonder when we gather on Saturday mornings and in general, the people who are collecting around the nonpartisan evangelical, are they? And it’s probably, probably all answer my question before.
You’ve been saying it’s probably a little bit of both, but I think some people gather here because. They have experienced with the evangelical church, like us, they grew up in it and they’re like, yeah, God, this doesn’t feel right. We’re looking for an outlet. Cause the shirt doesn’t reflect, I’m the God of the Bible that we love and want to serve.
And then other people have no experience or exposure to the evangelical church. And I always feel like we have to do some translating, you know, like, like, okay. So what, like if you’re asking yourselves, why do evangelicalism show up this way and look. Like this in our society today, there’s some translation yeah.
Needed. And so, um, I just want to put it out there. You can find yourself in that space. Um, you know, you’re, you’re not wrong to be asking these big questions and I think that’s part of what we’d like to try to do. I want to ask you to, um, talk about this. You you say, like, can you say stuff a lot of, a lot of times that I, again, I don’t think people necessarily understand what you’re
I joke with Paul it’s like, you know, if we were living 4,000 years ago, Paul would be like wearing burlap and his long ratty beard and his hair would be like, be like scrapping for bugs in the front yard to eat.
Yeah. Still playing fantasy football with my friends. Yeah. Um,
so like this sort of old timey, like the lemon house, I imagine Paul in my head, because what you’re bringing really is like a quote voice in the wilderness.
Like you’re bringing a voice and a message that is counter to the culture of the evangelicalism church. And yet we are the evangelical church read pastored in the evangelical church. We’re both preacher’s kids from the evangelical church, you know, my entire life. That’s all I’ve known. And, and standing in the middle of that space where like, Hey, something’s not right here per Jesus, per what?
The model
for the Bible. Yeah.
And so, um, I want to ask you just to unpack a little bit when you constantly point to. But where beware the left lemon of the Pharisees, which you shared with me, Jesus said
The Leaven of the Pharisees
like four times four or five different times referenced the 11 of the Pharisees, 11 of the Pharisees and the Sadducees, or the 11 of the Pharisees and Herod Sadducees were also called the Herodians at sometimes because they followed and they were closely aligned with King Herod who was a really evil, horrible King at the time of the, of the Jewish community.
Give us a little explainer is the 11 of the Pharisees. And why did you,
well, the way I interpreted. So if, if you really look at how Jesus interacted with people, he was very kind, very inclusive, always drawing the tax collector and the Samaritans, the hated people of culture to himself. So like
basically the prostitutes and the tax collectors were the most evil and then foreign nations too, you
know, foreigners.
Yeah. Anybody not, not a part of their nationality or their religion and, and the only people that Jesus ever seemed to be pretty cruel towards, or as we were talking about last week, like mocked a little bit where these people, the Pharisees, the religious leaders, the law keepers, the law. And they had some power, you know, there was a Roman government that had taken over and was running the civil government.
Uh, the, the Pharisees were, were a part of the religious establishment. And so their belief system was that God wanted to make Israel. Great. Again, that was the, that the whole of God’s purpose. Mega was that the, the civil government that was in control at the time be overturned and that the religious stuff, the STEM that the Pharisees were a part of would be installed as the power over the nation.
It would be made a Jewish theocracy again. And they would run the country and they believed that was God’s purpose. So, so they were very political. They were, they, they, uh, they were also very self righteous and, and believed they were pure in the law and anybody that ever made a mistake, anybody that ever sinned was horrible and, and, and put them down.
So they were this mix of religion and politics that I see. Very similar to what we have in the evangelical church today, we believe that God’s goal is to sort of overthrow civil government. As we know, it’s why we love Donald Trump. We want him to be our bull in a China shop to overthrow the system and install Christian law over the nation.
And if Christian law is established in the nation, then our country will be. Great again, whatever that means. And so, I don’t know, am I making, like, I see a direct parallel between the two? And so if Jesus was very critical of that, telling people again and again, be aware the 11 of the Pharisees than maybe we should be where the 11 of the Ferris.
So, um, so in jesus’ day he was pointing to religious. Leaders who were also governmental leaders for the subculture of the Jewish people who are, you know, living in an occupied, like basically the Roman government had come and occupied them.
They, they did have a very evil civil government there.
And so Jesus was saying was warning people.
Don’t go thinking that just overthrowing this current evil, corrupt government is actually God’s plan. And haven’t the kingdom of God’s view. He was constantly pointing to the kingdom of God is inside of you. It’s is your heart connection to the heavenly father. And that’s, that’s what was so radical, really powerful and different at his time at that time.
And it’s what we did. I still fully to this day. I mean, it’s why we say we are Christians because we. We we pursue Jesus. Right? Wait. So, um, anyway, so Jesus was calling out, um, Hey, people don’t think that overthrowing, they don’t think that partnering with political power is the heart of God for your sister
or the solution for the time in history
and the solution.
Leaven of the Pharisees is hypocrisy
And he goes on to say that the loving of the Pharisees is hypocrisy. It leads you to hypocrisy. So, can you make that connection just a little bit, and then we’re going to turn to today and ask ourselves, do we see any hypocrisy happening?
Yeah. Yeah. And I think one thing that’s really important to note is there were a lot of people around called zealots.
There was this group of people called the zealots. Ultimately when Jesus went to the cross, they asked the people, you know, do you want to release Jesus from prison or Barabis and Barabis, wasn’t the zealot. And the zealots were a group of people who believed in, in a. They were terrorists. They’re like, we’re going to blow things up and create chaos until the Romans will just leave.
And I always think like if God endorsed that idea, it would, all it would’ve taken was Jesus. Once go, Hey Bob, the zealot bless you. Bless your work, keep doing it. But, but never once. Did Jesus ever hint that he thought the, the idea of the zealots. And government overthrow was a good idea.
Sorry to interrupt you, but
I’m sure you’re my translator.
So I trust you to help people understand what I’m saying.
Um, he was just constantly saying you guys are barking up the wrong tree. You’re focused on. Like, like the temporal things and I’m telling you, there’s a God in heaven. There’s a kingdom of God. That is, that is completely different than what you’re pursuing here on earth.
And I’m, I’m the way the understanding. Look what I do, watch what I watch, what I do. Pick up what I pick up, stand for what I stand for. And that’s gonna, that’s gonna expose you to, um, our heavenly father, his way of thinking, right? So that’s, that’s basically the bottom line of it. You’re barking up the wrong tree.
You’re pursuing the wrong tools. You’re after power and I’m telling you, there is a power far greater, and it looks like sacrifice and it looks like service and it looks like laying your life on the line. Because that’s how much God loves you. So like be willing to show it by laying down everything.
I mean, you talked about the kingdom of God and I think what. A way to translate what is the kingdom of God? Cause some here kingdom of God and you. Yeah. So you were supposed to take over the government yeah. And establish the kingdom of kingdom of God. But what I think, what, what Jesus was demonstrating is the kingdom of God, is that the creator of the universe.
Loves humanity. And if we understand that love and we live out of that, love to one another, and all of us start to understand that then, then things will change. And so Jesus, I think was saying, you know, guys, the Roman government’s irrelevant. If you start to live the way God lives, it will naturally be thrown out.
It’ll naturally be overturned.
The inner government. The inner core case G the way we interact inner govern ourselves and walk out our expression of faith and love as God loves people. If we walk that out, it can’t help, but change and alter.
So you’re
yeah. Outside government, external government is merely a reflection of that.
Yeah. And that none of that means we, we ought not be involved in government, but just not our hope be in sort of this overthrow and establishment of, of our religious theocracy being. Cause that’s not the solution.
Dont take the bait of religious hypocrisy
Don’t take that bait. That is tit for tat and you are trying to bring. You know, ma your version of man’s political power, like in the name of Jesus, you’re trying to just go toe to toe with what you perceive to be your, you know, your opposing.
You know, your opposing force of man.
Yeah. And so that’s where the hypocrisy comes into it. That, that she’s a said, said the ultimate outcome. So the actual verse in Luke 12 says beware the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. And, and so what he was saying is. If your goal is sort of this religious political mix that the Pharisees have, what the outgrowth of that is going to be hypocrisy today, we might say, why is political pragmatism, you know, any, any means.
Justifies the ends of a law, banning abortion. We can do anything. We can call anybody any name and it’s justified because of our righteous pursuit of banning this act.
That’s a really significant light bulb moment
for me. Okay. This is
like, when you, when you, honestly, I had like, kind of walked past that verse a million times.
I have not picked up on the hypocrisy of the act in the. In the verse, at least in the front of your reading ESV. Yeah. Um, the word had is you. So Jesus is saying, if you try to just use maps tools to get the power yourself, because you believe if you have the power that you’ll be able to enact. God’s righteous rule of law because you are all that and a bag of chips and you think you can do it better than the other guy or gal it’s going to lead you to become a hypocrite.
And I just think like in this day and age, I mean, what do we hear? Constant public opinion, polls constantly. My entire lifetime reveal that people in America don’t trust their government leaders because they think they’re all hypocrites, right? Because they’re engaged in that tit for tat struggle that Jesus said as believers.
Don’t take that bait. You’re going to become hypocrites. Right. And that brings us all the way back to Senate, majority leader, Mitch McConnell.
He’s doing, and I think I would say, and what happened to the Pharisees is ultimately their political pragmatism, their political wisdom led them to determine. Oh, we’re going to have to execute Jesus.
So the religious leaders of the country determined we’re going to have to kill this man. And their statement was because if we don’t, people are going to believe in him and the Romans will come and they will take our, our temple. They’ll take our religion and they’ll take our country. So the Pharisees thought they were the protectors of their religion and their country.
And wouldn’t we say the religious right. Believes the same today. If we don’t do what we do, president Trump says, I am the protector of God. We believe that if people really believe this Jesus stuff in the Bible and start living it out are we’re going to lose our religion and lose our country. So it’s the HIPAA, the hypocrisy.
It’s what Jesus laid out. The logic. Train for us if this and that, this therefore, that,
Hypocrisy of the Pharisees today
what does this look like? Um, you know, I I’ve used the example many times of how Franklin Graham said of bill Clinton. He can no longer be president. He has forfeited his right to be president because he cheated on his wife.
And then when Donald Trump is known to have cheated on his wife and used campaign funds to pay off his mistress, to keep her mouth shut. We say, yeah, he’s not perfect. Yeah, but we’re not electing a pastor, you know? So that is the 11 of the Pharisees stark, I mean, just right in front of it. And so today this is what we see what happened in 2016.
Barack Obama, president appoints a Supreme court nominee
in February, 2016 with justice Scalia passes.
Yes. And what this Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, the Republican do, he
says. Let the people decide,
so we will not bring what Merrick Garland. I honestly,
I’m sorry for not knowing the names.
Somebody can tell us in the comments, but I think it was
okay. Judge. Lawyer,
the nominee of president Obama would not be voted on by the Senate. Mitch McConnell would not allow it to happen. And his reasoning was. We’re so close to the election. The people ought to be able to decide whether the next Supreme court justice, this is going to be a conservative or, or a liberal judge.
And so he did something unprecedented in refusing to bring that to a vote. And go ahead. You were saying five days out.
He says yesterday, And they will vote on,
by the way, on the day of the death of her, he doesn’t even give like a 24 hour period day off. He immediately says, no, we’re going to vote on this nominee.
So the president should immediately nominate somebody and we’re going to vote on them. And we’re going to rush the vote before the election. And he gives this muddled. Because, you know, you don’t vote on it when the Senate is the other party from the president, which is ludicrous. I mean, ludicrous, you have to have been totally taken over by 11 of the Pharisees to believe that’s a logical reasoning.
And so we now will find out how much hypocrisy there is. In our partisan system, and I’m not saying it doesn’t happen on both sides, but there is one party that Christians claim is the party of God. And so I tend to hold that party to a higher standard. If you claim to be God’s party, you should have the highest of ethical standards, but the Pharisees were able to set aside their ethics because the end.
They were fighting for was so just any means was justified. And we, likewise evangelicals have determined that abortion and taxes and second amendment and old glory are so important that God will justify any means any hypocrisy he’ll forgive for us to get there. And this is a stark portrayal of how that has infiltrated
Okay. I feel like. I dunno, I’m feeling like really riled up.
Me too. I am. I mean, it’s, it’s a tough day. It’s an interesting, we’re
feeling like we are like overdosing on indignation right now. Um, so I have a lot of like feelings that are flooding me on this moment. So just to kinda like take a step back and let’s, let’s do some bread crumbing this morning and, um, And we talked about, um,
our time is growing by the way.
This is the test today
So, you know, okay. So nevermind. Let me not, what I, what I really just wanted to say is like, okay, so let’s remember, we started off talking about how we, as the evangelicals were raised with this deep understanding of connection to absolute truth, that God is the author of truth that we ought to never be afraid of the truth, even in the.
You know, like, I don’t know, sometimes it can be embarrassing or painful or whatever, but I mean, my parents, they taught me, boy, the truth is your friend. The truth is your friend. The truth is little friend, and I believe
the spirit of God will lead you into all truth. You will know the truth and the truth will set you free
God lovers.
And hopefully God bring hers. Into current situations and problems. Like we have these people saying like, Hey, whatever is absolute truth. We stand for that. Even if it means sometimes we lose political arguments or we lose favor power or whatever, no matter what we have got to hold on to that absolute truth.
Right. So, um, so then Jesus, so then we, you kind of detoured into this conversation around why is Paul always talking about. The 11 of the Pharisees or, you know, the 11 of the Herodians or whatever. Cause Jesus, when faced with the very same debate in his day, the very same debate we’re having today. He said, Hey, y’all if you’re trying to follow me, don’t take the bait and try to go after.
Societal rule through governmental power because it’s going to cause you to be hypocrites. Cause you’re no different, you’re human. You’re no different than people. On the other side, you just have different policy procedures. That’s it. So if you try to just, and I go at this, like it’s all about this political power.
We’re going to turn into hypocrites. And now we’re landing on this very, very, very significant hypocritical moment. Forget the issue for a second. Forget that it happens to be about. This know, voting on the Supreme court. She put that aside and just look and see it’s exactly as Jesus prescribed. It’s exactly what, and he said would happen if we put our face.
In the ability to garner political power. And we step away from loving God who was the author of ultimate truth and saying, you know what? We trust him more than we trust our own ability to enact the right laws. It leads us into hypocrisy and here we are landing in the biggest turd pile of hypocrisy that in my recent memory, I can think of that’s where we’re at.
Yeah. So I don’t know. I felt like we needed to like hose each
other. Right. I think what it is is a really good heart test. And I think if. If a Christian feels like, yeah, I’m glad the Republicans do that. Glad, because we need to get to that end. Then that’s a great heart test. That’s a great place to check.
Wow. Maybe my heart, maybe. I don’t know. The spirit I’m have, maybe I’ve partnered with something that’s not from heaven and it’s because I think that’s what God. That’s what the purpose of this season is for. It’s a shaking, it’s a transition, it’s a generational transition. And I think a cultural transition.
And so it’s going to be uncomfortable. It’s going to be nasty. And what, what grieves me beyond belief is not that people are wrong. It’s that? I see the anger and the fear and the vitriol coming from Christians across my social media. And I’m just, it just makes me sad. You you’ve been taught. Wrongly.
You’ve been taught that this is God’s position and it’s not. The Bible is clear that it’s not Jesus. Isn’t saying I’m in favor of bad government or bad. Anything I’m not in favor of oppression, but he’s saying the answer is buy into God’s way of seeing these things changed. And that is serving. That’s loving your neighbor and Oh, by the way, your neighbor is that person you hate beyond.
And let me just again, say. Um, as a person who really loves elected service and loves, um, you know, I’m, I’m not a government basher. I do believe that government needs to be stewarded well and in service to the people that it’s supposed to serve. So, um, at all, like if, if pardon me now literally choked up, like
even though our air has finally cleared.
Thank God. Yeah.
Um, if you walk away. From the commitment to the truth. If you walk away from it and you sacrifice that on the alter to ju you know, as a, in the end justifies the means, um, like that’s everything that is game over. If you are trusted with governmental power, then you walk away from. Absolute truth and valuing the truth.
It’s you’re done it’s over.
So then there’s a blessing on the other side of it
and let’s get to that. Cause I’m feeling
so Jesus says. Then for those of you that do be aware of the leaven of the Pharisees and don’t partner with that spirit, there’s this amazing blessing. And he says, you guys, who aren’t partnered with that, you get to see the outcome that all these profits wanted to see.
He said, you remember Jeremiah, Isaiah Amos on those. Those had happened way before Jesus was on our, and he’s saying those guys all long to see this amazing outcome of humanity walking in this idea that we’re to love one another. He says, if you don’t partner with that leaven of the Pharisees, you get to see it.
Your blessing is you can see a different life out there. You can see a different world. You’re not going to go into that angry fear and anger and divisiveness and vitriol that we say, you’re going to get to have a spirit where you’re going to see a bubble that and understand that that violence and anger and divisiveness is never going to get you to the goal, but you’ll be able to see.
Oh, wow. There is another way of life out there. That’s higher and bigger than this. And I don’t have to be caught up and terrified in what’s happening around me because there’s this bigger thing we’re getting to this, this new on the other side,
I really appreciate you bringing us back to hope. And I w and I want to, um, also close on like that, like my hopeful message and all of this is like, kind of your.
You’re always taking us back to the old Testament prophets, and I kind of want to jump into like in, so therefore current times, how would we reflect it? What that message is for our hope, I believe. Okay. I’m confident in this that God’s allowing us to walk through this season. Um, there is,
I think it’s the natural culmination of human events.
We’ve just seen it in history over and over and over again.
The Shift of the Generations
And, and we should’ve seen it coming because I think any generational shift, like what we’re going through and we, as Xers are in the middle, you know, we’re sandwiched in between these major population centers being, you know, the baby boomers and then the, um,
Sorry to interrupt you, but I just have to laugh a little bit because our friend Craig, uh, just put a link up.
He’s he’s contributing money to Mitch McConnell’s opponent in the Senate. There’s a practice. That’s putting your money where your mouth is on the 11 of the Pharisees. Um,
but anyway, we should have seen it coming. It’s a generational shift. We look at, you know, the fifties and sixties, the last 50 years, a long order, the.
You know, all it’s like clear as Taran snow now, like, Oh, you know, there’s going to be a fight to maintain. You know, this point of view, we’ve got a very different point of view of coming up behind us in the next generation. So yeah, we’re having this clash point. Um, the opportunity that in the hope that I keep holding onto is that this is a major moment for us to choose who we want to be for the next 50 to a hundred years.
And who are we? Who, what will we bless the millennials and the gen Ys and the gen Z to be? What, what will we stand for? What door will we hold open? Um, to correct. You know the things of the past and, you know, hold on to anything that is of God and of value and create a new space for the next 50 years for people to
live this out.
Can I, can I jump in on that? Just with a thought that I just had? I love Craig of course, but, but the solution isn’t like, okay, let’s go to the other side and throw the bastards out. Although I do believe this will probably be the end of my. My Republican registration. I just can’t be a part of, of a party that would do this anymore, but that shouldn’t be our hope.
And certainly in short term, we can say, yeah, I would love to see people vote some of these guys out who do this, and I’m not against that, but, but the much great what I would much rather see as there’d be a groundswell of evangelicalism saying no, no, no, I am. I am totally devoted to overturning Roe V Wade, but I will not partner with.
Hypocrisy to get there. I refuse. And so I would love what I would much rather see is ever Angelicals rise up and say, Senator McConnell, do not do this. Do not do this. We cannot win it this way because we lose ourselves in the midst of it. I posted this meme I was telling you about, and then I’ll shut up and let you go to it.
Yeah. Um, this guy named, he was a pastor, his last name was spelled M U S T E M. And so I don’t know how to pronounce that. And I don’t know a lot of his story, but I ran across this quote the other day that I just loved. So apparently this guy would, would stand out in front of the white house during the Vietnam war with a candle lit and just stand in silent vigil.
Against the Vietnam war and, and night after night rain or shine, he was there with that candle. And so one night a reporter came out to talk to him and he said, you know, kind of asking him why he does this. And the reporter says to them this Reverend, um, do you really think you’re going to change the policy of the United States by standing out here with a candle?
Yeah. And this, this Reverend musty says, Oh, I’m not standing out here to change the country. I’m standing out here so that the country won’t change me. And I just think that’s such a powerful statement. Don’t let your desire to see abortion outlawed change you and change who you are. Don’t let your desire to fight for the second amendment or old or anything else.
Anything you’re fighting for, change your own integrity, your own ethics and your own morality, or you’ve lost. Even if you win the political battle, you still lost yourself in the midst of it. And that. And I
think that is what the nonpartisan evangelical is
for us
is us standing in front of the political right wing evangelical church with a candlelight vigil and saying, we won’t let this political politically motivated church change us.
We don’t want, I want that to happen. Right. So that’s a, that’s a really powerful,
I mean, we’ve had to, we had to step outside of its leadership a little bit because we just couldn’t be a part of where it was going. Right.
For, you know, people weren’t ready to hear this. We don’t want to hurt, you know, we’re not seeking to hurt anyone.
Of course. Um, we are, um, we are seeking to, we are standing for. Um, who we believe Jesus to be, and to have represented when he was on here.
And my, my grievance is ultimately that I think good people, good hearted people with really good intentions are being taught. That you need to be a way that you, that God’s not requiring you to be that’s.
That’s human. Preachers and teachers that are telling you that human media people that are doing it for profit motives, that’s not God telling you to be that way. Justice
in jesus’ day, you know, the, the religious and governmental leaders, um, felt empowered that like this was what God wanted them to do.
This was how they were going to usher in what they thought was the religious view. You know, the religious rule of law. That’s what they believe. And Jesus, Jesus with lift in a time in history, like almost exactly like the time we’re living in now,
a friend of mine, Gary, who comes to our Tuesday Tavern group on a regular basis.
He and his wife, Sherry they’re amazing people. And he says, he’s written a letter. To Senator McConnell. And he says, this is the last, uh, the last line of the letter. And he says, this matter will show you Senator McConnell. If you are merely a political power or a man of principle, I am looking forward to seeing what kind of man you are.
And I think the bigger question there, Gary of that amazing sentences and Republican party and Christian conservatives, we’re looking forward to knowing who you are. And what your heart really is because this is a moment where we get to decide, are we that are we partnered with 11 of the Pharisees? Do we care about what spirit we’re partnered with or are we just in it to win political battles?
This is going to tell the tale. And I’m. Yeah, I’m very concerned about the future of our culture. If we don’t make the right decision, how, what, what calamity lies ahead of us in what is a natural shaking and transition of a culture? We can either do it well or not. Well, and those are the decisions we’re making as Christians to partner with God, or to partner with this political spirit.
Yeah. Yup. Well, um, I think we just need to end it there. Um,
I really appreciate the comments counting coming in from everybody. And
we’ve got a lamp plane
because we
have a birthday party to host.
Woo. Do you want to tell whose birthday it is? Oh, okay. No, no, no, no, no. I actually was thinking of the birthday party.
We’re going to later tonight for a friend of ours.
Yeah. Our friend Shantay. Davey’s
happy birthday
already. So we’re doing a little. Socially distance striped by hanging out party for her tonight? Um, no, but our son too. And your birthday too,
we’ve said for many of you who don’t know my son and I have the same birthday, he was born on my birthday
Assuming we go live next Saturday as well, it will be on your birthday and our son’s birthday. So sounds turning 17 and you will be
five double nickels. You didn’t know. I was thinking you were 54.
Nope, that’s awesome. 55. I love that.
There you go. So
we got to wrap up. So some cheese pops in a bowl.
Okay. Well, let’s pray real quick. So God. I don’t know anything other than saving. Thank you for bringing us to this moment of decision and let it be stark to our hearts. Let people let us repent of where we’ve been going. I just feel real peace around that lettuce, repent and turn. But. But also let the purposes of the moment be fulfilled and let us come out of this with something new on the other side, that is, that is better and stronger than where we’ve gone in this season.
And so we do pray for your mercy over our households. I pray for your protection of us physically, mentally, and spiritually in our country. Let our election process succeed and work no matter what the outcome and let us accept it together. As a people. Let there be integrity in our system and morals and just put down anything that would take us to a place of just partisan, um, absolute damage to our society.
And let goodness come out of your people in the middle of this to understand that you love even those people who disagree with us on the other side.
Yeah, I agree. Thank you. That you are not surprised by this moment. You were not taken aback. None of the gravity of this moment is in any way startling to you.
Um, God, we just again say. We trust you. We’ve looked to you. We thank you for your powerful love. We thank you for your perfect engineering of this moment in history. We thank you for the opportunity community to again, say yes to you. And we just say whatever you have for us, God, we trust you. We look to you.
For for, um, for that we don’t look to ourselves. We don’t look to Mansystems. We look to you and we just want to constantly reposition our hearts to be in alignment with yours. We just say yes to you and what you have for us. So God protect us and give us wisdom, give us creativity and joy in these moments.
Um, Lord, we just say, we consider it a joy to sacrifice for you the truth of who you are and the truth of how much you love people. Even people who don’t agree with us, even people who look differently than we do or who espoused different religious views. We thank you that you love them and you give us the opportunity to make a sacrifice to love.
That like you do. I’m sorry. Well, just less the people who are listening to this guy, um, may they know your presence this week in ways that are meaningful to them. And I pray in Jesus name. Amen.
And anybody who’s feeling that upheaval? No, that six o’clock Pacific time on Sunday nights, um, nonpartisan evangelical, we do a spiritual gathering.
We take communion, but it’s, it’s welcoming to all you don’t, you don’t have to be even a Christian necessarily to join us, but we just share sort of life and a faith moment. And so I just encourage you to come. I’ll post the zoom link on the nonpartisan evangelical Facebook page. Maybe I’ll put an event on there, but.
Come join us Sunday night and we sort of work some of these things through sometimes. So love to have you join us for that. And the other thing you can do to really help us is share this video and give it your endorsement, your friends, and your network trust you. And so if you given a endorsement and stay, I trust Paul and Ashley, and this is a really great message to hear.
That means a lot to the people in your network and then Facebook and everybody else starts to share it out. So share this video and that’s a, that’s a way you can really help us in all of this. Have
a great weekend.
Bye guys. Bye.
We’re almost done.

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