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By Ian M. Giatti, Christian Post Reporter

Are Christian conservatives who support former President Donald Trump confusing the temporal for the eternal?

That question is the focus of The Political Seduction of the Church: How Millions of American Christians Have Confused Politics with the

Gospel, a new book from author and radio host Michael Brown that looks at whether the Trumpian political climate has hindered believers in Jesus from carrying out the Great Commission.

Brown says he voted for Trump in both the 2016 and 2020 elections and wants readers to know there's nothing wrong with being involved in politics, as long as the ultimate goal is advancing God's Kingdom, not man's.

"I do believe Christians should be involved in politics and should have a positive impact on politics, but somehow, especially in the last election cycle, we became obsessed with politics," Brown told The Christian Post. "We became more concerned with winning the election than winning the lost."

And while Brown believes the 2024 presidential election will be just as consequential as the previous two, he says the problem occurs when Christians merge the Gospel with the elections "as if a political party was the key to advancing God's Kingdom on the earth."

Brown, a Messianic Jew, is a familiar voice for CP. He is the author of over 40 books and over 2,000 op-ed pieces. He also hosts the nationally syndicated radio show "The Line of Fire."

With Political Seduction, Brown hopes to take a deliberate and measured approach in assessing the marriage of politics and faith underTrump, including the ongoing national debate over Christian nationalism, both its definition and application.

For Brown, there are three basic versions of Christian nationalism. The first is what he calls the "healthy" version, which essentially says, "I love Jesus, and I love my country," approximating the sentiments of tens of millions of American Christians.

Brown says there's also the "unhealthy" version, which equates America and her destiny with the Kingdom of God, merging Christian identity with Americanism.

But it's the "very dangerous" version of Christian nationalism that most concerns Brown.

Just as the Founding Fathers waged a war against British tyranny in the Revolutionary War, there are modern-day Christians who say, "We're we're going to have to take up arms against the government in the name of Jesus."

"That's what I warn about in the strongest terms" in the book, Brown added.

While he wouldn't completely write off the distant possibility of another Civil War at some point, Brown said he doesn't think that's something that will happen anytime soon.

"I do not believe we are anywhere near that point, and I believe we need to be sober and careful in our rhetoric because there are a lot of irresponsible people — Christians in name only — that could get stirred by this, and it could lead to real harm," he said.

If Christians first begin to look in the mirror and "put emphasis on repenting from sin in our own lives" instead of prioritizing a political movement or political figure, the country will recover from the turmoil of recent years.

"If the Church will be the Church, we can avert bloodshed," said Brown.

It's no surprise that the first chapter of Political Seductiontakes a closer look at the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

As Congress met to certify the election results, hundreds of Trump supporters — many of them Evangelical Christians — violently stormed Capitol Hill, claiming the election was either stolen or fraudulently conducted.

According to the DOJ, hundreds of individuals were charged with various offenses for their alleged involvement in the Jan. 6 riot, including a
youth pastor from Colorado Springs.

Five people died during or after the attack, including four protesters and one police officer, while approximately 140 officers suffered injuries.

Unarmed veteran Ashli Babbitt was the only person killed by lethal force during the riot. She was shot trying to climb through a smashed door pane into the House Chamber. U.S. Capitol Police concluded the officer who shot Babbitt acted lawfully when using deadly force.

Three others died of natural causes, and 34-year-old Trump supporter Rosanne Boyland was trampled to death by protesters fighting a police line.

Brown said while "only God knows" whether the 2020 election was fraudulent, Christians across the nation "prayed and prayed" for God's will to be done.

"If this went all the way through the courts, and no one overturned what happened, then we must accept this is the result," he added. "Maybe it's divine discipline. Maybe things were stolen. But we prayed, we cried out, this is what we got."

"I accept this as the will of God," he said.

Despite his personal views, Brown said he understands why some Christians don't agree. He urged them to use "legal means" to expose any alleged fraud, adding: "Just don't break the law."

While he doesn't believe any "organized insurrection" was involved on Jan. 6, Brown said the way Trump handled the rally before the event was "abysmal." He pointed to crowds chanting, "Hang [former Vice President] Mike Pence."

"The rhetoric leading up to it was dangerous," said Brown. "It gave the Left all the ammunition they needed to make all of us who voted for Trump into 'white supremacist insurrectionists.'"

"This hurts our cause deeply, and it was part of the downside of the president," Brown stressed. "He was irresponsible in his actions on that day."


By Nicole Alcindor, CP Reporter

Prominent Evangelical pollster George Barna says that most Americans blend their beliefs to create "a customized worldview" that is far from biblical as the country is in a spiritual "crisis."

The founder of The Barna Group, who now leads the Cultural Research Center of Arizona Christian University, spoke at the Family Research Council's Pray Vote Stand Summit last week, a Christian conservative voting rally held in Atlanta.

Barna, who also serves as an FRC senior fellow, told those gathered that he believes one of the "brilliant strategies of the evil one" is luring people into believing that they can combine and adopt as many worldviews as they want.

Barna warned that "America is a nation in crisis" because its citizens do not hold a biblical worldview and will instead add their own "worldly ideas."

"Your worldview is the filter that you use to see and understand and experience and respond to the world around you. Because your worldview enables you to make sense of the world, you need a worldview just to get through every day," Barna explained.

"In fact, every single decision that you make, and you make hundreds of them if not thousands of decisions every single day — every one of those flows through your worldview. The choices that you make are a result of what you believe, as described by your worldview."

The Pray Vote Stand event, which was a three-day summit starting last Wednesday, aimed to "equip and encourage believers [by] discussing current cultural issues impacting faith, family and freedom and evaluating these through the lens of a biblical worldview."

"The crisis is that the predominant worldview in America is syncretism," he said.

Barna cited research conducted by the Cultural Research Center showing that there are seven major worldviews that Americans are most influenced by: biblical theism, Eastern mysticism, Marxism, moralistic therapeutic deism, nihilism, postmodernism and secular humanism.

"As we look at America today, we know that there are a number of competing worldviews competing for the heart and the soul of the nation," Barna said.

"Each has a different understanding of everything that takes place in the world, a different explanation for why things are happening, a different concept of how you might best live your life."

The most common worldview isn't any of the eight main adopted ones, according to Barna, who noted that the primary worldview dominating America is "syncretism," or varying combinations of all eight worldviews into one belief system.

"As we've done this research, what we've discovered is that, frankly, we don't like any of them. Instead, what we do is we listen to all of them, and we take bits and pieces from each one. And we blend that together into a customized worldview that describes what we feel, what we think, what we want, where we want to go, how we want to live," Barna explained.

"[Syncretism] really doesn't have a mind of its own. It doesn't have a pathway of its own. It doesn't have a consistent, constant narrative. It is what you make it. And so, we live in a nation that's difficult to direct in a different way."

Barna called syncretism one of "the brilliant strategies of the evil one," because "when you have a nation of 255 million adults and another 80 million children who are choosing bits and pieces from many different worldviews, and they come up with their own personalized, customized way of thinking and living, that's much more difficult to combat because every person, in essence, requires a different strategy."

Barna reported that 6% of Americans currently possess a biblical worldview, meaning that less than 10% have "thinking and behavior [that] isn't perfect, but it's closely aligned with what the Bible teaches."

"In the 30 years or so that I've been measuring this, what we discovered is that [Americans with a biblical worldview] has been cut in half during that time. It's on the decline. And what we're finding is that right now, that decline is faster than it has been in quite a while," Barna said.

"The biblical worldview [is important because it's a] way of experiencing, interpreting and responding to reality that's consistent with biblical perspectives. It's interesting that we have a nation where almost seven out of 10 adults call themselves Christian, but only six out of every 100 try to think like Jesus so that they can live like Jesus. So, there's a big gap there."

A person's worldview is "crucial to defining who [they] are, and how [they] live," Barna noted, because a person will always do what they believe.

"If you don't do it, you don't really believe it. So we have to see that consistency in there. A biblical worldview is critical because that's what enables you to become a true disciple of Jesus Christ. If that's your goal in life, what you're saying is 'I want to think like Jesus so that I can live like Jesus,'" Barna said.

"But in order to do that, notice first, as Romans 12 talks to us about, you have to have your mind' renewed,' you must be 'transformed' by that 'renewing of your mind' with God's principles at the core of all of your thoughts so that you can in fact live like Christ."

According to Barna, the only way to achieve cultural transformation is if people choose to "believe God's truths," which in turn will allow them to "act upon those truths based upon those things that you believe."

"We are here to be salt and light. That's what transformation is: changing the world around us forever based on God's truths. But in order to do that, we need a healthy Church — Capital C. We need believers who get it, believers who are willing to put their lives on the line," Barna said.

"As you're thinking about what you can do, first of all, think about your church wherever you go. Think about the other churches that you can influence through your relationships, through your activities. What can we do from top to bottom to cleanse the Church, to make it holy and righteous, to make it biblical, to make it capable of bringing people back to Jesus?"

Barna stressed the importance of pastors in helping parents raise godly children, saying that pastors who guide parents to know Jesus more intimately will allow those same parents to have biblical wisdom to guide their children.

"As you read the Scriptures, you find that biblically, it is the role of the community of faith, i.e., our churches, to be supporting families and particularly parents in that process, equipping them for raising up their children to be dynamic followers of Jesus Christ," Barna advised.

As he emphasized this need for pastors and parents to "get in the game and fight for Jesus," Barna also pointed to a CRC report which found that only 2% of U.S. parents with children under the age of 13 have a biblical worldview.

"Why does that matter?" Barna said. "Because you can't give what you don't have. And here we have 98 out of every 100 parents in America who cannot give their children a biblical worldview because they don't have one."

FRC President Tony Perkins, a leading evangelical conservative political activist who is also a Baptist pastor, blamed some pastors for being hesitant to "preach the full counsel of God."

"As a result, we have Christians that are hesitant to live out their faith. We need our pastors who understand the Bible and its application to the world in which we live, the times in which we live. That is what we talk about a biblical worldview."

A study released earlier this year by the Cultural Research Center of 1,000 pastors found that 37% of Christian pastors in the United States have a biblical worldview, while the majority possess the hybrid syncretism worldview.

The study was based on 54 worldview-related questions and found that only 47% of the pastors have a biblical worldview regarding family and the value of life; 44% concerning issues related to God, creation and history; 43% in relation to personal faith practices; 43% when it comes to matters of sin, salvation and one's relationship with God; 40% pertaining to human character and human nature; and 40% when it comes to measures of lifestyle, personal behavior, and relationships.

With pastors under the sway of syncretism, the Cultural Research Center also found that parents of preteens are in a "spiritual state of distress" because parents many don't possess a biblical worldview.

"The American Church has lowered the entry bar so much that it is difficult to identify any beliefs that disqualify one from claiming to be Christian. The parents of children under the age of 13 are a stellar example of this Christian nominalism that is widely accepted as spiritually normal and healthy," Barna said earlier this year.

"Indeed, a worldview is comprised of a unified series of beliefs that then determine behavior. The alarm bell has not been rung because there is no single belief, or even limited series of identified beliefs, that are acknowledged as undermining Christianity or disqualifying an amenable adult from being considered a disciple of Jesus."

As his address at last week's summit ended, Barna told the crowd that changing the statistics "is not going to happen overnight."

"America didn't get in this mess that it's in today overnight. And we're not going to turn it around overnight. But we need to start somewhere. It starts with you. And it starts today. And I pray that you will go out there and be Jesus to the world," Barna concluded.


NOVEMBER 04, 2022

Are we going to see more war in the months ahead? Both sides just continue to escalate the conflict in Ukraine, but it may soon have to share top billing as more wars suddenly erupt around the globe. Now that it looks like Benjamin Netanyahu will be returning to power in Israel, a major confrontation with Iran is seemingly closer than ever. Meanwhile, tensions between North Korea and South Korea have risen to the highest level in my entire lifetime. Most people don't realize this, but the North Koreans are poised to launch an invasion at all times. All they need is an opportunity, and that may come when China invades Taiwan. Chinese President Xi Jinping recently reaffirmed his commitment to "reunification" with Taiwan, and officials in the western world are warning that this could come sooner rather than later. As I detail in my brand new book entitled "End Times", we truly are living in a time of "wars and rumors of wars". Let us hope that the potential wars that I just listed can be delayed for as long as possible, because the death and destruction that they would cause would be off the charts.

Personally, I am so glad that Yair Lapid has been defeated and that Benjamin Netanyahu will be the next prime minister of Israel. But without a doubt, it also brings war between Israel and Iran much closer. For years, Netanyahu has pledged that he will never allow Iran to develop their own nuclear weapons... "Iran has never given up its quest for nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them," Netanyahu said. "I will never allow Iran to obtain the nuclear capability to carry out its genocidal goal of eliminating Israel." Unfortunately, the IAEA says that Iran has now reached a point where they could potentially create their own nukes. So the clock is ticking. One way or another, war between Israel and Iran will happen.

That is why any potential provocation should deeply alarm all of us. For example, the following story was in the news on Wednesday... The United States and Saudi Arabia are on high alert after Saudi intelligence shared with the U.S. indicated that Iran is expected to carry out an attack on targets in Saudi Arabia, the Wall Street Journal reported. Officials from both countries reportedly told the Journal about the concern over coming attacks. Saudi officials said that in addition to Saudi Arabia, Iran is also looking to strike Erbil, Iraq, where U.S. troops are located.

The planned attacks are said to be intended as a distraction from protests taking place in Iran against the Islamic nation's leadership. In addition, the Biden administration is extremely upset that Iran has been sending highly advanced weapons to Russia. In fact, it is being reported that the Iranians are about to send the Russians a whole bunch more...

Iran is preparing to send approximately 1,000 additional weapons, including surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missiles and more attack drones, to Russia to use in its war against Ukraine, officials from a Western country that closely monitors Iran's weapons program told CNN.

While the precise timing of when the shipment will arrive in Russia is unclear, officials believe the weapons will definitely be delivered before the end of the year. The Biden administration absolutely hates the current Iranian regime, and so do the Saudis. When Israel and Iran finally start going at it, both the U.S. government and the Saudi government will be hoping that the Israelis score a resounding victory. Speaking of sending weapons to Russia, the U.S. is also accusing North Korea of doing this... The US is accusing North Korea of secretly supplying Russia with artillery shells for the Ukraine war by concealing where they are being transported to, according to newly declassified intelligence.

US officials believe that the surreptitious North Korean shipments - along with drones and other weaponry that Russia has acquired from Iran - are further evidence that even Moscow's conventional artillery arsenals have dwindled during eight months of combat. North Korea is trying to hide the shipments by making it appear as if the ammunition is being sent to countries in the Middle East or North Africa, the intelligence says.

As more and more countries get involved, the conflict in Ukraine is truly starting to become a "world war". But the North Koreans aren't going to get too involved in Ukraine, because a potential war with South Korea is looming. For the very first time since the Korean War, a North Korean missile has flown "over the de facto inter-Korean maritime border"... North Korea fired 25 missiles and around 100 artillery shells over the course of about 11 hours on Wednesday, the South Korean military said. But one North Korean ballistic missile unprecedentedly flew over the de facto inter-Korean maritime border and landed in waters south of the border for the first time since the division of the Korean Peninsula.

In response, the South Korean military fired three missiles from fighter jets toward the north of the inter-Korean maritime boundary to demonstrate its precision-strike capabilities, denouncing the missile launch as a "direct and very serious provocation." During the Trump years, it seemed like we were making so much progress with North Korea. But now everything has changed, and the North Koreans are openly threatening to use nuclear weapons against the United States and South Korea... North Korea issued a veiled threat Tuesday to use nuclear weapons to get the U.S. and South Korea to "pay the most horrible price in history," an escalation of its fiery rhetoric targeting the ongoing large-scale military drills between its rivals. However, I do not believe that North Korea would actually make a move against South Korea unless China invaded Taiwan first. Unfortunately, that day appears to be closer than ever.

In fact, the top officer in the U.S. Navy is warning that we are looking at "a 2022 window or potentially a 2023 window" for that to happen...
China could invade Taiwan as early as this year, speeding up naval experts' predictions of a 2027 attack, the Navy's top officer said Wednesday.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday said China's 20-year track record of delivering "every promise they've made earlier than they said" indicated the Communist country could try to take Taiwan by force any day now.

"It's how the Chinese behave and what they do," Gilday said during an Atlantic Council event. "So when we talk about the 2027 window, in my mind, that has to be a 2022 window or potentially a 2023 window."

Personally, I don't think that an invasion will take place during the last two months of 2022.

But 2023 is another matter entirely.

Meanwhile, the war in Ukraine continues to escalate.

The Russians have been hitting Ukrainian infrastructure night after night, and at this point much of the country could be heading into winter without any power and without any running water...

Much of the Ukrainian capital of Kiev is without electricity or water, after the latest round of major Russian airstrikes on Monday. The Russian military announced 'successful' strikes on multiple of the country's vital infrastructure facilities.

"The Russian Armed Forces continued to launch strikes with high-precision long-range air and sea-based weapons against Ukrainian military and energy facilities," the Defense Ministry said. "The goals of the strikes were successful. All assigned objects were hit." Meanwhile,
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal confirmed direct hits on 18 sites - most of which were connected to the nation's energy supply.

These ramped up attacks have created a growing sense of panic with temperatures plunging and winter approaching.

At the same time, western powers just continue to get even more deeply involved in the conflict.

In fact, the U.S. military is now telling us that U.S. troops are on the ground in Ukraine in a limited supporting role...

U.S. military personnel are now on the ground in Ukraine, keeping track of and inspecting weapons the U.S. has shipped to Ukrainian forces, a senior defense official announced during a Pentagon background briefing on Monday. These U.S. personnel are some of the first the Pentagon has acknowledged have entered Ukraine since Russia launched its large scale invasion of the country in February.

The senior defense official who spoke on background during an official Pentagon event, said, "U.S. personnel have recently resumed on-site inspections to assess weapon stocks in country whenever and wherever the security conditions allow." The official said "the return of our defense attaché and Office of Defense Cooperation personnel in country has allowed us to resume this critical function."

So the good news is that there are no U.S. military forces on the front lines yet.

But will that eventually happen?

None of us should want to see U.S. troops and Russian troops directly firing weapons at one another.

Because that would put us dangerously close to a nuclear conflict.

Unfortunately, leaders all over the world are being exceedingly reckless right now, and that should make all of us very nervous.

Originally published at End Of The American Dream - reposted with permission.


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