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Friday, March 28, 2014

World Vision Homosex "Marriage" Fiasco: Is an Apology Enough?

By Rick Pearcey • March 28, 2014, 09:09 AM

Here are a few responses to World Vision's reversal of its "decision to hire 'married' homosexuals."

In "World Vision Withdraws From the Brink," Mark Tooley at American Spectator writes, "Kudos to World Vision for relatively quickly rediscovering its doctrinal and intestinal fortitude. . . . Groups like World Vision will need double doses of such warming fortitude in the cold, secularist Winter ahead."

Not so fast, writes Bryan Fischer in an article titled "An Apology Is Not Enough -- World Vision Needs to Clean House," published at BarbWire. "This is not the end of testing for World Vision but the beginning," Fischer writes. "They had better make sure they have leaders who are up to the task. Right now, they don’t."

Also, I stated on Facebook: "The mere fact that World Vision has people in leadership anywhere close to thinking in this manner raises significant questions about the group's understanding, ethos, staffing, and direction."

In addition:

Whether with prodigals or with organizations, forgiveness and long-suffering are always in order. Legitimate concerns about forgiveness, etc., are issues separate from what should or should not happen structurally at a place such as World Vision in the aftermath of such a debacle.

As for "guts" and "showing fidelity," etc., there are other explanations that account for their quick reversal. The threat of massive donor pullout, for example. . . .

I, for one, would prefer a leadership who have demonstrated an understanding that the Lordship of Christ applies holistically across all of life -- to content and to methods.

Being clueless about the issue of marriage in the face of today's cultural breakdown is stunning, to say the least.

"A loss of funding may be the least of the organization's problems," I concluded earlier in Pro-Existence.

Related 
Nancy Pearcey: Who Respects the Human Body? Not Homosexuals
The Revolt of Intelligence Against "Marriage Equality"
Boycott: Evangelicals Blast World Vision Decision to Hire People in Homosex "Marriages" 


Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Real Reason Petraeus Resigned

By Rick Pearcey • November 10, 2012, 05:56 PM

Kris Zane writes at the Western Center for Journalism:

Petraeus towed the party line with the video but refused to fall on the sword and say the CIA gave this stand down order, thus implicating that it was Obama who had denied help to both the consulate and CIA annex which later came under attack.

And when you cross a Chicago thug like Obama, payback is swift and lethal.

Petraeus needed to be taken out -- but after the election -- and before he was scheduled to testify under oath this time to Congress about what he knew about Benghazi.

"Petraeus’ resignation had nothing to do with an affair," Zane asserts.

"In fact, the affair had been over for months. The FBI has been investigating literally thousands of emails that Petraeus had sent to his former paramour, biographer Paula Broadwell, for longer than that and could have dropped the guillotine months before if they wanted to."

If not the stated rationale, then what?

Zane concludes: "It was rather about paybacks and keeping the American people in the dark about the real reason Petraeus had to be kept quiet about Benghazi: gunrunning. Gunrunning of tens of thousands of Libyan weapons to the al-Qaeda-linked Syrian rebels."


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Death to Wimpy Pastors

By Rick Pearcey • October 27, 2009, 10:26 AM

When it comes to applying what clearly are the fact-based truth-claims of the Creator to the whole of life, including public life and political life, many, many pastors are simply AWOL, says Dave Welch in "Where Are All the Godly Men?" at WorldNetDaily. Welch is founder of the U.S. Pastor Council.

The wimpy "nice" pastor who nevertheless does not lead needs to become a thing of the past, replaced by those who are fully engaged in being salt and light here and now. Unless, as Welch observes, you don't mind putting up with a "church and country" that are in "spiritual, moral, cultural and political disarray."

Read "Where Are All the Godly Men?," by Dave Welch.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Politics From the Pulpit

By Rick Pearcey • September 26, 2009, 10:39 AM

From OneNewsNow:

Sunday services may be a bit different this weekend in some churches across the U.S.

September 27 is "Pulpit Freedom Sunday." According to senior counsel Erik Stanley of the Alliance Defense Fund, it is a time when pastors can stand in their pulpits and proclaim the entire truth of the gospel -- even as it applies to candidates in elections.
 
"It really flows from the fact that pastors have a right to speak freely from their pulpits without fearing government censorship or intimidation -- and that no one should be able to intimidate pastors into giving up their constitutional rights," the attorney explains.

The Creator is, of course, a public figure. He is not stuck somewhere inside a "religious" closet, in obedience to the ACLU or MSNBC. 

And He cares about liberating the whole person from sin, death, and decay, as expressed in our relationships as persons across the coherence of our private and public lives -- as fathers and mothers, teachers and students, pastors and politicians, artists and scientists, and all the rest.

The Leader of the Resistance himself could not have been more clear: "Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation" (Mark 16:15). That includes pulpits. Even in America. Even on Sundays. And the rest of the week, too. Across the whole of our lives.

Living as a free, dignified, and whole people in community with our Creator has consequences. Among them are what our Founders called "The Blessings of Liberty." This is one reason freethinkers rejoice. And why tyrants with all their god-talk tremble.


Friday, September 4, 2009

Calling 1,000s to Courthouses 9/11 to Pray for New "Great Awakening"

By Rick Pearcey • September 4, 2009, 02:11 PM

"America is in need of a new 'Great Awakening' -- an awakening that some Christian leaders say can only come about if Christians get on their knees," reports CNSNews.com.

That's the view of Rev. William Wilson, who is executive director of the International Center for Spiritual Renewal (ICSR), quoted by CNSNews: 

America right now is facing great complexities. We have a financial struggle that we’re in, we’re facing health-care issues that have us scratching our heads. Our place in the world has shifted. We’re a nation that really needs help from beyond ourselves. We feel like God is the help.

ICSR is a member of the Awakening America Alliance, which CNSNews reports is sponsoring "Cry Out America," a September 11 event challenging thousands to "gather at noon [Friday] at county courthouses across the nation in repentance, to pray for the lost, to cry out for God to send another 'Great Awakening.'"

While free-thinking Americans watch, pray, and rebuild, here are three resources we think provide timely and essential content for national renewal:

* Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto, by Mark Levin

* A Christian Manifesto (DVD), by Francis Schaeffer

* Total Truth: Liberating Christianity From Its Cultural Captivity, by Nancy Pearcey


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"Patriot Pastors" Challenged to Crush "Hate Crimes" Bill

By Rick Pearcey • May 20, 2009, 09:59 AM

"America has become a morally bankrupt society that embraces intolerance against Christians, including a new push for 'hate crimes' legislation, according to one pastor who believes it's all because church leaders have failed to do their jobs," reports WorldNetDaily. 

"But this Memorial Day weekend he is calling ministers to fight for those freedoms -- from their pulpits." (emphasis added)

More on "Patriot Pastors" at WND . . . 

Related
Admitted: "Hate Crimes" an "Invention"
Clergy in the Crosshairs
Beauty and the Beast: Resisting the Reactionary Extremism of Perez Hilton


Thursday, April 16, 2009

What Religion Is Joel Osteen?

By Rick Pearcey • April 16, 2009, 09:07 AM

It's the kind of question both journalists and Christians might want to ask. With "lukewarm pretenders" on his mind, Joseph Farah writes

Sometimes I get confused watching these mega-church preachers.

Are they reading the same Bible I'm reading?

Do they really have an intimate relationship with the same Jesus I know?

Is the Holy Spirit actually working within them -- providing the kind of discernment He promises believers?

These questions came to mind while watching Joel Osteen and his lovely wife, Victoria, on CNN's "Larry King Live" last week. . . .



Wednesday, April 15, 2009

T-Day -- April 15, 2009: "Americans today storm the beaches . . . "

By Rick Pearcey • April 15, 2009, 09:41 AM

Americans today storm the beaches to liberate a once-free land now under the heel of statist tyranny emanating from a foreign city in a land far, far away.

There will be casualities, ebbs and flows, and setbacks in the struggle against an oppressive empire. But we've seen this before, and, under God -- the living and verifiable Creator who endows every mother's son and daughter with "certain unalienable rights" -- we will win. There is no alternative.

Slavery in exchange for the forbidden fruit of Washington-centric "security" and "fairness" dolled out by a regime of secularist "values," political greed, and unquenchable thirst for power is no option for any self-respecting human being or his neighbor. We are better than this. We are created for higher things. And we will overcome.

Here's an offshore pre-invasion report from WND, noting that a "patriotic rocker, thousands more planning to 'take America back.'"

There goes a rocket even now. See the red glare?



Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Groveling Rick Warren Expresses Lack of Christian Mind

By Rick Pearcey • April 14, 2009, 10:16 AM

David Welch, founder of the U.S. Pastor Council, writes:

Whether it is Warren groveling before the militant sexual diversity power structure, Osteen floundering in whether eternal salvation through Jesus Christ is the only way or Wallis, Campolo and the other mouthpieces of the religious left serving as spiritual advisers to a Marxist president -- the American pulpit is indeed at a critical crossroads.   

See also:
Rick Warren's Holy Week Crisis



Monday, April 13, 2009

Telegraph: U.S. Religious Right Concedes Defeat

By Rick Pearcey • April 13, 2009, 03:13 PM

"Leading evangelicals have admitted that their association with George W. Bush has not only hurt the cause of social conservatives but contributed to the failure of the key objectives of their 30-year struggle," reports the Telegraph.

"James Dobson, 72, who resigned recently as head of Focus on the Family -- one of the largest Christian groups in the country -- and once denounced the Harry Potter books as witchcraft, acknowledged the dramatic reverse for the religious Right in a farewell speech to staff."

Quoting Dobson (here is YouTube audio):

We tried to defend the unborn child, the dignity of the family, but it was a holding action. . . . We are awash in evil and the battle is still to be waged. We are right now in the most discouraging period of that long conflict. Humanly speaking, we can say we have lost all those battles.

One would do well not to accept this kind of reporting without a grain of salt. Having said that, if Christians want success in the culture war, they must drop the methods and practices of Madison Ave. (celebrityism, bigism, pretend authors, fake writers, phony columnists, fundraising-driven ministry, staffs who enable phony "thinking" "leaders") and embrace the methods and principles of the Lord's the the Lord's way, as Francis Schaeffer puts it in his No Little People (Try: real work by real people, for example). 

There's much more to be said, and we plan to say it, but for now, consider the following resources:

* "Francis Schaeffer: A Student's Appreciation of a Distinct Approach" -- My view is that much of modern evangelicalism has missed or -- worse -- rejected perhaps the most important aspects of Schaeffer's prophetic, Biblical, profound, and humane insights regarding cultural engagement. 

* "True Spirituality and Christian Worldview," chapter 13 in Total Truth: Liberating Christianity From Its Secular Captivity -- In light of the success, or lack thereof, of Christian cultural engagement, caring people may want to examine how the Lordship of Christ applies to one's methods of ministry. The discontinuity is alarming, to say the least. Frankly, if all I had to go on regarding the truth-claims of the Judeo-Chrisitan worldview is what I've seen of some "big time" Christian ministry up close and personal, I'd join Camus and the girls on the beach immediately.

* "The Church," chapter 13 in Schaeffer's True Spirituality -- I enjoy the Hodder and Stoughton edition. Or perhaps Crossway's Complete Works.



Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Osteens: Obama Doing Great Job, Loves the Lord

By Rick Pearcey • April 8, 2009, 03:08 PM

Joel and Victoria Osteen, interviewed by Larry King.



Saturday, April 4, 2009

Silent Spineless Clergy Alert

By Rick Pearcey • April 4, 2009, 10:36 AM

Dear great spiritual leader of the flock, if a note like this appears nailed to your church door, fear not. Let your light shine.



Thursday, March 19, 2009

Haggard, Wife to Appear on Divorce Show

By Rick Pearcey • March 19, 2009, 06:52 AM

Roll the "Divorce Court" videotape. AP reports:

The Haggards say their marriage and Christian faith are stronger than ever, and they want people to know that divorce is not the answer.

"This is part of Ted's journey," Gayle Haggard said. "It's made him a better man. I see what has happened as a divine rescue."

AP also reports: "The couple will be paid an undisclosed amount for the interview, the latest in a series of public appearances that started in January when Ted Haggard began promoting an HBO documentary about his time in exile. He also has appeared on the 'Oprah Winfrey Show' and 'Larry King Live.'"


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Total Truth Trekkies

By Rick Pearcey • March 10, 2009, 07:16 PM

We appreciate the way pastors and churches continue to find Total Truth a helpful book. Here's a recent recommendation.



Friday, February 27, 2009

Dobson Resigns as Focus Chairman

By Rick Pearcey • February 27, 2009, 01:04 PM

Part of a "succession plan," according to AP.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Robertson "Throws Rush Under the Bus"

By Rick Pearcey • February 17, 2009, 01:35 PM

That's how Jim Foss sees it.

Robertson objects to Limbaugh's having said, "I hope Obama fails."

Here's Pat's analysis, at U.S. News & World Report:

That was a terrible thing to say. I mean, he's the president of all the country. If he succeeds, the country succeeds. And if he doesn't, it hurts us all. Anybody who would pull against our president is not exactly thinking rationally.

But here is Rush, pulling "against our president" -- "I know what his politics are. I know what his plans are, as he has stated them. I don't want them to succeed."  

What's irrational about that?

Based on his rhetoric and action, President Obama is trying to impose a secular socialist regime upon this country, a Washington-centric vision of government that stands in total antithesis to the Founders and in total antithesis to that humanity and freedom rooted in the Creator so boldly acknowledged by our Declaration of Independence. 

On this analysis, to the degree that Obama succeeds, to that degree America courts failure. The rationality of success in liberty seems to require the lack of success in Obama.   

L'Abri Confab: Schaeffer Group Raps in Rochester

By Rick Pearcey • February 17, 2009, 12:25 PM

The Rochester, Minn., branch of L’Abri Fellowship, founded by Francis and Edith Schaeffer, held a conference in town last weekend (February 13-14).

Bob Osburn, Executive Director of the MacLaurin Institute, was there:

"The annual Rochester L’Abri conference, an annual respite from winter’s bitter chill, is a combination family reunion and Chautauqua festival for Christians who have and are cutting their intellectual eye-teeth on Francis Schaeffer.  This year’s conference lived up to its sterling reputation, albeit with a slightly small crowd of 550 as compared with the usual 700.

"First, there are the L’Abri workers themselves.  Schaeffer was an evangelist with a deep feel for the human being in front of him, and his successors carry on that tradition of Christian humanism. They serve and serve and serve, all with good cheer and unusually sensitive attention to the person in front of them.

"Second, of course, there are the registrants, who vary in age from middle school all the way up to their 80s, with a large slab of Baby Boomers and an increasing contingent of 20-somethings. They are a combination of home-schoolers, thoughtful middle-aged professionals, college-aged students, and assorted others -- all questing for answers to deep questions, and finding them. This is no cult, just a community questing honestly for answers.

"Speaking of the content, over 40 different workshop and plenary sessions on topics ranging from gardening to Pascal to music were led by seasoned L’Abri veterans who are universally alarmed by facile answers and eager to get below surface issues to presuppositions.  

"This year’s thematic focus on creation provided needed compensation for those eager to hear -- but not hearing -- in their churches about the profound implications of the first two and the last two chapters of the Bible. Suffice to say, God loves His creation enough to redeem it, and we should too."

Here’s the website for Rochester L’Abri. More on Edith Schaeffer here.

By the way, Osburn tells Pro-Existence that as of March 31, he’s embarking on a “new venture with the Wilberforce Academy, an educational initiative aimed at training students to be redemptive change agents in their home societies.” We look forward to hearing more about this new work.    

Related: Francis Schaeffer: “The Central Problem of Our Age.”


Monday, February 16, 2009

Paglia Audio: Fascist Roots in Democrat "Fairness" Push to Censor Sean, Rush

By Rick Pearcey • February 16, 2009, 12:17 PM

Camille Paglia blasts Democrats:

* What?! -- "I don't get it . . . . Not for one second should the government be wandering into surveillance of, monitoring of, the ideological content of talk radio."

* Betrayal -- "The Democrats have totally betrayed the soul of the party, OK, to even mention this."

* Try This -- "Every true liberal Democrat should be speaking up in defense of talk radio."

* Roots -- "Stupid theory . . . comes from the 1930s . . . fascism."

The entire interview with Mark Simone, uncut.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Francis Schaeffer -- "The Central Problem of Our Age"

By Rick Pearcey • February 14, 2009, 12:00 PM

If politics is "downstream from culture" (as former Capitol Hill staffer Bill Wichterman has observed) and culture in general is downstream from Christian culture in particular ("You are the salt of the earth," Matt. 5:13), these guys -- Rick Ianniello, Ray Ortlund, Mike of On Coffee -- may be on to something regarding the "central problem of our age."

They quote from Francis Schaeffer:

The central problem of our age is not liberalism or modernism, nor the old Roman Catholicism or the new Roman Catholicism [yes, Schaeffer was a Protestant!], nor the threat of communism, nor even the threat of rationalism and the monolithic consensus which surrounds us. All these are dangerous but not the primary threat. The real problem is this: the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, individually or corporately, tending to do the Lord’s work in the power of the flesh rather than of the Spirit. The central problem is always in the midst of the people of God, not in the circumstances surrounding them. [bold added] 

You can find this quote on page 66 of No Little People, a book of sermons that are absolute must-reading for any person who prefers not to have his life's work "eaten up" by the secularism of our age.

Not just the secularism in society at large, mind you, but also, very sadly, by the "real problem," by the secular "power of the flesh" we sometimes observe in the methods and mentality embraced in certain circles of big-time, hard-charging Christian ministry.

Nancy and I agree with Schaeffer and Scripture that this is not a secondary matter. Fortunately, we have been able to witness some of this first-hand, so that we might post a "warning label" to help protect others from going down splashy but spirit-eroding dead-ends. This is an issue we do well to focus on, simply as a matter of spiritual balance and humane vitality.

You may have seen and experienced something of this "in house" secularism yourself. In fact, it is very likely you have. If so, we know you are hurting. This is true no matter what the PR says, or what a politician might say while handing out an award or medal to the latest and greatest hero of the ga-ga crowd (ever-so-humbly accepted, of course). You can read all about it in next month's machine-cranked fundraising letter on a mission from God.

But running over people in an effort to "change the world for Christ" or "engage the culture" does not glorify God or evince love of neighbor. Quite the opposite. It's a practical expression of taking the Lord's name in vain.

In my view, what Schaeffer is helping to awaken us to (I know, it's hard to wake up at times) is central to the real crisis behind the crisis of our age. Moreover, it's an analysis that may help explain much that is retrograde, dehumanizing, undignified, and ineffective as a strategy of cultural engagement.

Look: We have had massive organizations at work for decades. Millions and millions of dollars. Years of blood and sweat and pounds of flesh. No one is saying we have nothing to show for this. And yet things seem to be getting worse on a weekly if not daily basis. Just turn on the TV. You begin to wonder if the current strategy is a cultural and spiritual loser.

Maybe Schaeffer was on to something. Maybe there's a reason the Lord had to get him out of this mess and over into Switzerland just so he could get his head together. Just maybe.

Secularism both cultural and religious is taking huge bites and chunks out of the freedom and dignity of humanity. As a way forward, as a way to begin crafting and living an authentic Biblical alternative, you might want to consider chapter 13 of Schaeffer's True Spirituality together with chapter 13 of Nancy Pearcey's Total Truth. These chapters make the central and humanizing case that the Lordship of Christ applies across the whole of life. Boards of big organizations might be shocked, but this Lordship applies even to the nuts and bolts and nitty gritty of ministries CEOed by really famous people whose big names sell lots of books authored or "co-authored" by other people.

Call me a romantic, but I think we can do better than ape the phonies of this world. It's a lot more fun and humane to be a real person doing real work. True enough -- Your hyped name may not be slapped on the covers of as many books, magazine articles, commentaries, radio broadcasts, Larry King's guest list, or White House appointment calendars. So what?!

As the Leader of this revolution pointedly says, those folks "have their reward" (Matt. 6). You can read about that too in No Little People.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Worldview Tour Update: Our Rome-Florence-Paris Tour Brochure Here

By Rick Pearcey • February 13, 2009, 06:46 PM

Official brochures for our summer 2009 worldview tour of Rome, Florence, and Paris -- titled From Plato to Picasso to You -- are now yours for the viewing.

Included is information on the following: A tour overview, your tour directors, the itinerary, plus details about accommodations, meals, transport (including a night train to Paris), registration, whom to contact for follow-up, and so on.

"We expect this to be a tremendous time of fellowship, on-site examination of significant venues in Western cultural history, and discussion of the relationship of humane and Biblical living across the whole of thought and life."

To see The Pearcey Report on-line version of the brochure, click here. I hope you find the place links and map links of special interest.

Here is a pdf of the official brochure, provided by Philadelphia Biblical University, where Nancy is a professor of worldview studies. We greatly appreciate the university's support for creative worldview initiatives.

As a warm-up, you might brew a cup of coffee and sit down with "Pizza With Michelangelo," in which I discuss a terrific book titled Florence: Art & Architecture.

There's more Pro-Existence tour information here and here.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

"1st Woman to Swim Atlantic" Didn't

By Rick Pearcey • February 12, 2009, 09:07 AM

Days ago AP reported Jennifer Figge swam the ocean blue. "Not quite."

A "few seconds of thought and a pocket calculator" indicate the impossibility of this feat, notes an observer, even though there's a picture of her swimming right there in the ocean (one supposes it's her).

Now there's nothing wrong with marketing, with putting your best foot forward. But why not market truth, and why not market truth truthfully?

It seems we are in abundant supply of pretend authors, fudged data, phony stimuluses, cheating students, market-driven ministry, and activist-driven journalism. Plus assorted groupies and enablers and staff who know what's going on but courageously rock not the boat that pays their bills, establishes their identity, and affirms their vested interests.

Selling souls is big business and requires team players you can trust not to ask questions. As insiders well know, certain CEOs and trusted "spiritual giants" excel at spotting the right kind of person for this kind of sensitive job. My how the "giants" are enraged when regular people grab hold of God and rebel against the con.

Maybe this instead: Real work by real people. Let's tell the truth about that. It'll make the swim all that more enjoyable.

Your thoughts?


Saturday, February 7, 2009

"Fireproof" Ablaze at Amazon

By Rick Pearcey • February 7, 2009, 08:47 AM

The Fireproof DVD was released January 27 on Amazon and ranks no. 3 today in the category of "Movies and TV."

No Sundance hype, no Academy Award nominations, and yet -- "none of that really mattered," notes the Houston Chronicle.

What's going on? Perhaps something like this: Reel Rebel Upsets Tinseltown Stereotypes.

Here's a link to Fireproof via Amazon's video on demand.


Friday, February 6, 2009

Band of Bloggers 2009

By Rick Pearcey • February 6, 2009, 11:34 AM

Meeting in Chicago at the Gospel Coalition Conference.

Hat tip: Challies


Monday, February 2, 2009

Televangelism Empire in Chaos

By Rick Pearcey • February 2, 2009, 09:55 AM

"Once one of the nation's most popular televangelists, the Rev. Robert H. Schuller is watching his life's work crumble," reports AP.

Assuming for the sake of discussion the basic accuracy of this report, let us ask: Is this kind of "crumbling" merely a personal matter internal to and limited to the Schuller organization?

Or might there be structural elements and methods of ministry that need to be examined?

And what lessons might be learned and applied in a culture increasingly dark and secularized, not just in its politics, etc., but also in its religion?


Saturday, January 31, 2009

Birthday Candles for Francis Schaeffer

By Rick Pearcey • January 31, 2009, 09:04 AM

A pastor celebrates a man from whom we can still learn much, and whose distinct approach to people, ideas, and methods of ministry continues to challenge the cultural and religious secularism of the day.

Various kinds of machines chew up people today in the name of God, the state, and sometimes even ministry (especially sadly), but Schaeffer's life helps open a door to a better, far more humane alternative. He was born Jan. 30, 1912.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Dembski Questions Famed Healing Ministry

By Rick Pearcey • July 14, 2008, 08:57 AM

William Dembski of Intelligent Design fame questions the healing ministry of Todd Bentley down in Lakeland, Fla.

Such questioning is legitimate, Biblical, humane, and necessary. Humaness, worldview, and discipleship are cut from the single cloth of truth.

We await a reply to Dembski's question: "Faith and Healing -- Where's the Evidence?"

Meanwhile, one way to test the validity of an organization is to examine its methods. Not just the PR methods evidenced on websites with glossy pictures, wondrous bios, and a Herculean list of accomplishments and books, columns, etc., "by" the latest version of "renegade-turned-modern-day-St. Paul."

No, sadly, not the methods on display for public view, but the ones kept "in the basement," as it were. That's where, so often, in the dark, the real work is done.

In this regard, and in liberating contrast, the Lord's work is meant to be done the Lord's way, across the board, and with application to the nuts and bolts of organizations put forward as "Christian ministries."

This was a central concern of Francis Schaeffer, as seen in chapter 13 of the beloved True Spirituality. It is also the concern of chapter 13 of Nancy Pearcey's book Total Truth. The Lord's work is meant to be done in the light.

To follow truth is to embrace beauty. To fake it, "nuance" it, and spin it for "the sake of the Gospel" (i.e., fundraising, etc.) is to demean people and take the Lord's name in vain.

Dances with deception set forth in the service of Celebriantity and its hard-charging gods are a disaster, no matter how much noise is made about "worldview" or "reforming manners," no matter how much access to Big Media or the White House is gained, and so on.

You know the song and dance. It's underlined in hundreds of thousands of "Dear Friend" appeal letters strategically underlined in blue and signed by machines. One might be tempted to conclude that some evangelical marketers think Christians are idiots waiting to be led around by their noses.

"Test everything," says the real Apostle Paul (1 Thess. 5:21). "Testing everything" is key to embracing love and avoiding the cruelty and ugliness of a truncated Christianity and inhumane "ministry."

One more thing: If this isn't fixed, it matters little who wins the election. Politics follows culture. Methods matter. It's a warning and a promise.

* Update: See discussion at Dembski's site, here. "Dembski Questions Famed Healing Ministry" is referenced at response No. 44.