Capitol Ministries leads Bible studies in Washington, D.C. for political leaders of the United States and that makes some people uneasy, including some in the secular news media.
Recently, stories about Capitol Ministries’ Bible studies and President and Founder Ralph Drollinger have been published — from major newspapers to small, niche, on-line publications.
Those stories have contained many inaccuracies, misinformation, conjecture, opinion and rumor presented as facts, and much misunderstanding about Capitol Ministries (CM) as well as what a pastor’s responsibilities are in fulfilling his calling.
We think it is necessary to set the record straight.
Who We Are
Capitol Ministries exists to share the Word of God with the political leaders of the world in keeping with the mandate of the Great Commission.
Drollinger is a traditional, historical Evangelical Christian. As such, he believes, among other things, that the Bible is the inspired and inerrant Word of God and per the Great Commission, he is to “teach” others “to observe all that I [Jesus] commanded.”
Accordingly, he teaches the Bible without compromise or apology, and without leaving out Scripture that may offend people.
A pastor has much love and compassion in his heart for people whose sin separates them from God. His goal is always to teach them the Gospel so they may reconcile with God.
This method was used by the apostle Paul, known as the Great Apostle, whose mission was not to please men, but to teach them the full and unvarnished Word of God, leaving nothing out. Paul wrote:
“For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God.” (Acts 20:27)
The Bible makes it clear that teaching the whole purpose of God is what is expected of pastors and that they will be held to a stricter judgment (James 3:1) in how faithfully they carry out this calling.
Being confronted with sin has never been popular with people. It was a problem in Paul’s day and it remains a problem today because people have always preferred sin.
People use words such as “alternative lifestyle,” “free spirit,” “choice,” and “relative morality,” among others, to justify the choices they’ve made that are antithetical to God’s precepts.
But the Bible does not teach relative morality. God’s precepts are steadfast. And when a pastor preaches God’s morality and confronts people head-on with their sin, the sinner often responds by attacking the messenger.
Pastors are accused of being intolerant, judgmental, homophobic, racist, misogynistic, arrogant, ignorant, uneducated, anachronistic, anti-science, holier than thou, out of touch with the times, among other things.
In truth, the pastor who preaches the whole purpose of God as Scripture commands is none of those things.
Some of Drollinger’s teachings have been called into question by the news media.
Drollinger on Homosexuality
One of the criticisms is that Drollinger has called homosexuality a sin. Drollinger was teaching from the Bible, which says:
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified…justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. (1Corinthians 6:9-11) (cf. Romans 1:26-27, Jude 1:7, Genesis 19; Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13)
God loves everyone, but sin separates people from Him. A pastor has great compassion and love in his heart for any person who is locked in sin.
As the Bible instructs in the passage above, the pastor makes no distinction between the sins of drunkenness, covetousness, swindling, idolatry, homosexuality or any of the others. These sins are of the same magnitude and the person who is captive to any of them is separated from God.
The pastor’s job, in keeping with teaching the whole purpose of God, is to help the person recognize his sin as defined by the Bible, understand the Gospel, and be reconciled with God.
The pastor does not call homosexuality a sin. God does.
The Scripture advises everyone: Do not be deceived on this issue.
Drollinger on Catholicism
Drollinger has been criticized for calling Roman Catholicism “one of the primary false religions in the world.”
Drollinger was teaching on the Council of Trent, the 19th Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church that met between 1545 and 1563 to answer charges of the Protestant Reformation.
Drollinger noted that after years of intense debate, the Council rejected Luther’s doctrine of justification by faith alone.
By including “the works of man” as necessary for salvation, the Catholic religion’s position is in direct opposition to what the Bible says:
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
If people may work themselves into heaven by good deeds or keeping the law, why then, did Jesus have to die on the cross? This is fundamental theology. This is why the apostle Paul states,
“I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.” (Galatians 2:21)
Drollinger was not commenting on the faith or salvation of individual Catholics; his remarks addressed historical theology.
These historical facts are not in dispute.
Drollinger on Women in Office
Drollinger has been criticized by the media for suggesting that four days a week is too long for working mothers to be away from small children.
Thirteen years ago Drollinger suggested that female California legislators who have young children at home temporarily interrupt their political careers to raise their children and resume their careers when the children are older. He wrote:
“It is one thing for a mother to work out of her home while her children are in school. It is quite another matter to have children in the home and live away in Sacramento for four days a week. Whereas the former could be in keeping with the spirit of Proverbs 31, the latter is sinful.”
The Proverbs 31 wife lives at home and cares for her family and children and also finds time to be a businesswoman.
While the word “sinful” may sound harsh, the literal translation of “sinful” from the Greek New Testament means “missing the mark.”
Drollinger believes that: “If you are pro-life in the womb, it follows — in order to be consistent — that you would be pro-children in the home.”
As a pastor to the Capitol Community, Drollinger must think of and represent the best interests of not only the elected public servant, but all the members of his or her family.
Each person must discern what God’s will is for his or her life, so what female legislators decide to do about their careers is up to them.
However, in keeping with the pastor’s responsibility to teach the whole purpose of God, Drollinger is obligated to teach what the Bible says about a mother being away from small children for extended periods of time. The apostle Paul instructed Pastor Titus to teach the younger women to be workers at home (Titus 2:4-5).
The Los Angeles Times published that Drollinger said: “Mothers do not belong in state office.”
This is false.
Drollinger on Theocracy
Media have charged that Capitol Ministries is using the Bible studies in an attempt to create a theocracy, or a country that is ruled by religious leaders who impose their religion on others.
This is false.
Drollinger believes in an institutional separation of Church and State, but not an influential separation of Church and State.
His position is based on the New Testament (NT). While Old Testament Israel was a theocracy, the NT makes it clear that today, Church and State are to be separate institutions.
Drollinger on Influencing Public Policy
Media have charged that Capitol Ministries is using the Bible studies to influence public policy.
This is false.
Capitol Ministries does not lobby nor attempt to influence legislators on policy.
As a pastor, Drollinger focuses on teaching the Word of God. He helps Christian legislators grow in their faith, and helps those who do not know Him come to understand and embrace a salvific Christ.
In each Bible study, individual books of the Bible are taught, verse by verse. Upon occasion, topical studies are introduced such as the aforementioned, or handed out as homework.
These Bible studies, which are also distributed to those who request them, examine social issues from a biblical perspective such as The Remedy for Racism and Solomon’s Advice on How to eliminate a $19 Trillion Debt.
Bible Study Attendance
Media have charged that legislative staff are coerced to attend Bible studies and fear retaliation of their powerful boss if they refuse.
This is false.
The Bible studies are voluntary and are open to elected and appointed officials only.
Drollinger on Grace Community Church
Media has reported that Drollinger was fired from his home church because his teachings were radically far right.
This is false.
In 2009 Drollinger led Bible studies to members of the California legislature.
As president of Capitol Ministries, one of Drollinger’s objectives had always been expansion. That year he began work to plant a ministry in Washington, D.C. to national political leaders.
This expansion was met with the objections of a minority of CM’s board members who were also church elders or members of Grace Community Church where the Drollingers attended. Some of CM’s headquarter staff, subordinates of Drollinger, had close ties to the church and sided with the elders.
This disagreement resulted in ties being cut and Drollinger proceeded to plant the D.C. ministries that exist today.
Intolerant or God’s Word?
Many churches do not interpret the Bible literally and some pastors preach a more tolerant friendly and loving theology that sounds as if it comes from a different god entirely.
That’s because it does.
Few Christians understand that 120 years ago, liberal theologians began to challenge the infallibility, inerrancy, and inspiration of ancient manuscripts that all Bible translations are based upon.
These men led movements that resulted in a completely different religion based upon their theories and opinions that said: Jesus is not the Son of God; the Bible is not infallible nor the inspired Word of God; and man is basically good and not in need of a savior.
The problem is, this new, completely different religion called itself Christianity.
Confusion began to build in the early 1900s when this theology, called Liberal Theology, Liberal Protestantism, and The Social Gospel movement, infiltrated many mainline American Protestant denominations, their seminaries, colleges, and subsequently, their pulpits.
The American Fundamentalists, also known as Evangelicals, did not embrace liberal theology.
These “tolerant” pastors believe and teach a different, man-created religion altogether. Compared to them, the traditional Christian pastor seems intolerant when he is simply teaching the Bible as written.
Kirsopp Lake, a leading liberal theologian, makes that very point:
“It is a mistake, often made by educated persons who happen to have but little knowledge of historical theology, to suppose that Fundamentalism is a new and strange form of thought. It is nothing of the kind; it is the . . . survival of a theology which was once universally held by all Christians . . .
“It is we who have departed from the tradition, not he, and I am sorry for the fate of anyone who tries to argue with a Fundamentalist on the basis of authority.
“The Bible and the corpus theologicum of the Church is on the Fundamentalist side.” (The Religion of Yesterday and Tomorrow, p. 61-62; Kirsopp Lake.)
Like the apostle Paul, Drollinger and other pastors who work with Capitol Ministries will continue to preach the whole purpose of God despite attacks and criticism and though it may be unpopular. Paul said:
For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or, am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ (Galatians 1:10).