So I was headed west down I-40 from a day trip to Raleigh (which I'll be posting about tomorrow) this afternoon and around Burlington, I started flicking through radio stations.
And as I was going across the AM dial just after 5 p.m. I happened to catch some pastor preaching with all due exuberance and conviction that Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama is "the Antichrist". This pastor also added that just as the Antichrist does not have "a single Christian ounce in his body" that Obama is going to Hell.
Not that this really surprises me.
Apart from sporadic music, from sunrise to sunset WPIP's broadcasting is pretty much wall-to-wall a network of "good ol' boys" who like to preach variations on (1) the King James Version is the only Bible and any other translation is a work of Satan, (2) independent fundamentalist conservative Baptist churches are the only real churches (similar to the local "Church Of Christ In Name Only" that's been talked about here lately) and (3) Democrats and "liberals" are evil and are all Hell-bound sinners.
You can get a sense of what WPIP stands for just from its bumpers. WPIP's staff likes to call it the "conservative Christian radio voice". Berean Baptist's head pastor Ron Baity is often heard proclaiming that WPIP is "the way radio ought to be": apparently holding to the notion that to contend for the faith means aping Rush Limbaugh. And then sometimes I hear this station boast that it sticks to the "old paths".
Yeah, they're "old paths" all right: as old as Babylon.
Any Christians that obsess on the American flag, American military might, love of George W. Bush, hatred toward "liberals", and electing Republican candidates far more than they do with serving Christ in love and humility, are not Christians that God can possibly bless the work of. I'm hard-pressed to believe that these "Christians" worship anything but power.
And part of me has to wonder how many of these preachers have truly experienced the salvation that can only come with the grace of God. Think about it: How can so many professed "Christians" in America be free from sin if they can't even be free from the Republican Party?
But then, any "Christian radio station" that sincerely believes the world needs to listen to a cult leader like the late Lester Roloff is hard to take seriously, anyway.
According to WPIP's program log for Monday through Friday, this would make the program that I heard this afternoon that of Meadowview Baptist Church in Winston-Salem. I found the church's website. If this is indeed the same show that I heard this afternoon - although this being AM radio and how lax WPIP seems to be in maintaining its website, this is not a confirmed certainty - then its pastor Robert Hutchens is apparently the one who's already consigning Barack Obama to Hell.
If you're a longtime reader of this blog, then you know where I'm coming from. I don't call myself a "liberal" any more than I call myself a "conservative". I don't profess to being an active supporter of any political party. I'm just a guy trying to do what's right and what God would have me to do. So nobody can claim that I'm trying to pursue a "political agenda" by taking these supposedly "God-called pastors" to task for their un-Christlike motives and methods.
First of all, it's not this preacher's place to already condemn someone to Hell. As long as anyone... any person... has breath in his or her lungs, he or she is free to call upon God for forgiveness. In rashly stating that Obama deserves Hell, this minister is forgetting that he himself deserves Hell also, just as we all do.
And it's a much worse thing to practically be gloating about Obama or anyone else going to Hell. Especially if the basis of that condemnation is something so silly as a political dispute.
But what bothered me especially is that this preacher, whoever he is, is way too consumed with the patterns and politics of this world. Now, I do believe that we as Christians should be fully active wherever it is that God puts us, and that if they happen to live in America then this means living up to the stewardship that God has charged us with over this land. But that means taking our roles as citizens seriously... and that's not something that's possible by blindly following a political party! And these "men of God" are trying to goad us into doing just that, when they seek to rile up our emotions.
For someone who claims to be a "man of God", this kind of vitriol is symptomatic of an unregenerate mind. A mind that is yet carnal and has not been transformed like unto that of Christ.
It's a shame that these "conservative Christians" are scouring the gutter. As it is, they show nothing in their actions that could convince the lost of the existence of a real and loving God. Not when they focus more on this world than they do on Heaven.
And I think we can expect worse from some of them as the months progress.
Maybe if they would repent of their own arrogance, their prayers that America as a nation might repent could come true.
Will that happen? Could these people do that?
Let's put it this way: I have faith in God. I do not have faith in too many of my fellow Christians.