New York Times Gets it Wrong – Again
So do Copy Cat Media who Regurgitate NYT’s Every Wrong Word
The New York Times has once again falsely and libelously labeled Ralph Drollinger, President and Founder of Capitol Ministries, as a Christian nationalist.
The defamatory comments were made in a Dec. 31, 2018 opinion piece by contributor Katherine Stewart who wrote about the “paradox” of Evangelicals backing President Donald Trump, who she calls “an imperfect man.”
Stewart concludes: “…the real problem is that our idea of Christian nationalism hasn’t caught up with the reality. We still buy the line that the hard core of the Christian right is just an interest group working to protect its values.”
She continues, that today’s Christian nationalists give voice to respecting the Constitution and America’s founders, and concludes: “but at bottom they sound as if they prefer autocrats to democrats. In fact, what they really want is a king.”
This is false
Let’s begin with the definition of Christian nationalist.
In “What is Christian Nationalism?”,a column published by the Huffington Post, liberal author Michelle Goldberg discusses her book, Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism, and defines the term.
She writes that since her book has been published, she’s been asked what Christian nationalism is. Here’s her answer:
“It is an important concept to understand, because the threat to a pluralistic society does not come from those who simply believe in a very conservative interpretation of Christianity. It comes from those who adhere to a political ideology that posits a Christian right to rule.”
“Christian nationalists believe in a revisionist history, which holds that the founders were devout Christians who never intended to create a secular republic; separation of church and state, according to this history, is a fraud perpetrated by God-hating subversives.”
Not only has Ralph Drollinger said repeatedly and written extensively that he is not a Christian nationalist, nor does he believe in a Christian-ruled state, but he is not a Christian nationalist by the definition of this liberal writer who wrote a book on the subject.
For the Record
Drollinger holds to a conservative interpretation of Christianity.
He believes the founders intended to create a republic form of government.
He does not believe in a Christian right to rule.
He believes in the separation of Church and State.
Drollinger is a conservative Evangelical Christian who serves as a missionary to political leaders. He does not believe in changing the structure of the United States to a theocracy. He does not believe in what Stewart describes as: “a political ideology that posits a Christian right to rule.”
A principle that Stewart fails to grasp is that there is a major difference between teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ – evangelizing – to change the hearts of leaders, which is missionary work, and working to change the structure of an existing republic government into a theocracy, which defines Christian nationalism.
Drollinger has spoken often and written extensively about his opposition to Christian nationalism because it is not biblically based.
On page 1 in the introduction to the Bible study, Understanding the Separation of Church and State, Drollinger writes:
“The Bible clearly teaches that today, there is to be an institutional separation of Church and State. To think otherwise is to believe in a theocratic or sacerdotal form of government.”
There is a distinction to be made that Stewart and others are missing.
As this Bible study and others reiterate: the Christian knows that society will benefit from political leaders who believe in God, worship Him, and study His Word.
Atheist, progressives, environmentalists, pharmaceuticals, big business, and many other individuals and groups support like-minded candidates and lobby Congress for laws that represent their point of view.
Stewart’s story implies that Christians are the only ones in the United States who do not have a right to influence their government.
Her story also implies that she does not understand Drollinger’s methodology.
While others attempt to place candidates in office and lobby Congress for laws that benefit their interests, Drollinger works to influence government through heart change in Jesus Christ. He is a preacher/evangelist who shares the Word of God with elected and appointed political leaders with the objective of converting them. It is old-fashioned, time-honored, widely-supported missionary work.
He does not believe government should be operated as a theocracy; he believes in a separation of church and state, and even though he has made this position clear in many interviews and numerous Bible studies, Stewart refuses to accept who Drollinger says he is and quote him accurately.
Rather, her writings reveal that she thinks her opinion of what Drollinger believes is more valid than what Drollinger says he believes.
By using qualifying words such as “they sound as if they prefer,” Stewart hedges her bets but then builds on that shaky premise and pounds home opinion that she delivers as fact: “In fact, what they really want is a king.”
Advancing on that faulty logic and displaying biblical ignorance, Stewart writes:
“Ralph Drollinger, who has led weekly Bible study groups in the White House attended by Vice President Mike Pence and many other cabinet members, likes the word “king” so much that he frequently turns it into a verb. “Get ready to king in our future lives,” he tells his followers. “Christian believers will — soon, I hope — become the consummate, perfect governing authorities!”
This is False
Drollinger has never held Bible studies in the White House.
As for the king reference, king was used as a verb as it was used in the Greek translation of that passage and it refers to the eschatological future.
Revelation 20:4: …and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
Stewart writes: “Mr. Drollinger insists that the Bible describes only “male leadership.”
This is False
Stewart is misleading readers about what Drollinger believes and teaches.
Drollinger has said in many interviews and written in many Bible studies that the New Testament does not prohibit female leadership. It prohibits women teaching the Bible to mature men.
In 1 Timothy 3, the apostle Paul is laying out the qualifications for pastors, those in top positions in church (overseers). He uses male pronouns to define those who may serve.
“…if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach…”
In Titus 1:5-16, Paul establishes the qualifications of elders and again, uses male pronouns:
“If any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife…hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word which his in accordance with the teaching so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.”
Despite numerous Bible studies that contradict her charges and without offering one fact to back her inflammatory remarks, Stewart lumps Drollinger in with the Christian nationalist movement, and concludes:
“This isn’t the religious right we thought we knew. The Christian nationalist movement today is authoritarian, paranoid and patriarchal at its core. They aren’t fighting a culture war. They’re making a direct attack on democracy itself.”
This is False
It is also blatantly unfair, dishonest, and libelous.
On January 2, Fred Clark, contributor for Patheos, made disparaging remarks about Ralph Drollinger’s Bible studies in his Slacktivism column. (Slacktivist, noun, a person who supports a political or social cause through social media or online petitions in a way that involves very little effort or commitment.)
Whether Clark, himself, worships God or holds any degrees in theology is unknown, but Clark did offer this about his background as justification for his qualifications to criticize Drollinger, a pastor who holds a master’s degree in theology and has decades of preaching and pastoral experience:
“In a past life, I was a teaching assistant in seminary classes on Christian political thinking,” Clark wrote. “I graded papers — a lot of papers.”
He also wrote: “Ralph Drollinger of “Capitol Ministries” says he’s not a Christian nationalist. (Warren Throckmorton, correctly, disagrees with him.)” And he referred readers to a Dec. 31, 2018 story written by Throckmorton on his blog.
Throckmorton makes no bones about being a Monday morning quarterback. He describes his blog as a “college psychology professor’s observations about public policy, mental health, sexual identity, and religious issues.”
According to Wikipedia, Throckmorton has no formal training or education in theology.
Throckmorton’s credentials are listed as: bachelor’s in psychology in 1979 from Cedarville College; an M.A. in clinical psychology from Central Michigan University in 1982; and a Ph.D. in counselor education and community counseling from Ohio University in 1992.
In stating his reasons for calling Drollinger a Christian nationalist, Throckmorton objects to Drollinger evangelizing legislators, or, as he writes, “converting legislators to his view of God’s moral law.”
Converting people to Christianity is a directive in the Bible that Christians take seriously.
Jesus gave the Great Commission in Matthew 28:16-20:
“Go, therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19
Throckmorton objects to Drollinger establishing “his view of Christianity.” What other view of Christianity would Drollinger impart?
In likeminded logic, does he object to those same actions by other religious leaders, such as the Catholic Pope imparting his brand of Christianity on Nancy Pelosi? Or is it only conservative Evangelical Christians whom Throckmorton believes should be silenced?
Perhaps Throckmorton misunderstood when he mocked Drollinger’s point that conversion to Christianity was preeminent to education for the leaders of the state. Throckmorton wrote:
“If President Trump’s handlers are truly listening to this advice, this could help account for some of the truly unqualified appointments to high administration positions and the judiciary.”
This is False
As Drollinger has said and written many times, education, knowledge, experience, and the proper qualifications are important.
The point Drollinger was making refers to the effect of sin on an individual and strikes at the heart of his ministry as a Christian pastor – to introduce people to God and to teach them why they need His Word.
When someone is “dead in their trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1), they will not be effective in office or anyplace else due to the noetic effect of sin.
“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.”
Throckmorton’s argument boils down to this:
“While Drollinger criticizes Christians who want Mosaic law as a basis, he sees no problem with his version of Christianity being the basis for civil government. If the nation can only prosper through the Christian church, then what else can you call this but Christian nationalism? According to his plain teaching, if you aren’t a Christian as a leader or a citizen, you are part of the problem. His answer is to convert you to his tradition of Christianity. The principle goal of Capitol Ministries is to evangelize legislators and as he wrote in the lesson cited above – Christianize – leaders and citizens. When the goal is political change, what else can this be philosophy be called?”
This is False
Drollinger does not teach “his version of Christianity.” As a traditional, historic, Evangelical pastor, he teaches “the whole purpose of God.”Acts 20:27
What else can this philosophy be called?
Sharing the Gospel. Bringing about change and personal salvation one heart at a time through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Traditional, historic, Christianity with an emphasis on evangelism which is the responsibility and the calling of a Christian pastor.
The outcome – not the goal – is a peaceful society.
“When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when a wicked man rules, people groan.” Proverbs 29:2