An comprehensive report follows a pastor who assumed he’d be leading his local church for the rest of his life, until he began to doubt the role of the Baptist church in American politics.
Arkansas Pastor Kevin Thompson revealed that his life has altered dramatically in the last several years.
“Across the country, theologically conservative white evangelical churches that were once comfortably united have found themselves at odds over many of the same issues dividing the Republican Party and other institutions,” said the report. “The disruption, fear and physical separation of the pandemic have exacerbated every rift.”
Thompson reflected on Christ’s teachings, allowing them to guide him as he pondered Christianity’s turn.
“Jesus talks about how he is the truth, how central truth is,” Thompson stated. “The moment you lose the concept of truth you’ve lost everything.”
According to the narrative, many inside churches are arguing over the church’s role in politics. It wasn’t all started by Donald Trump. According to historian Elizabeth Flowers, the Southern Baptist church has fought against women’s development since 1918. It dates back to the exclusion of women from the clergy, teaching positions, and even deacons.
“When Southern Baptist women formed a national organization to support missionary work in 1888, they had to hold their first meeting in a Methodist church down the street from the Baptist church where the Southern Baptist Convention was meeting,” wrote Susan M. Shaw in The Conversation. “Until the 20th century, only men gave the organization’s report to the Southern Baptist Convention.”
According to the research, churches were already suffering from low attendance before to the epidemic. It gets much worse after that. The percentage of Americans who identify as Christians is declining.
Forty-two percent of Protestant pastors indicated they had seriously considered leaving full-time ministry within the last year, according to the article, which cited a recent Barna poll. It’s up 13 points since January 2021.
The evangelical community is going to see a “seismic upheaval,” according to University of Illinois sociology professor Michael Emerson. He said that there are two camps: those who support Trump’s ideas in the church and believe in conspiracy theories, and others who wish the church was less political.
A Knoxville, Tennessee-based preacher who is one of the organizers of the Patriot Church movement cautioned that adherents of the more militant interpretation of Christianity are losing patience because Donald Trump has not been reinstalled in the White House in an interview with Vice’s David Gilbert.
Pastor Ken Peters claimed in the interview that while his followers do not want to resort to violence, they will if it is necessary to regain the White House.
The “Patriot Church” movement, according to Gilbert, is inspired by the narrative of the “Black-Robed Regiment,” a group of preachers who “arose and led their congregations into the war for freedom” during the Revolutionary War.
According to the journalist, “claims made by those who ascribe to the Black-Robed Regiment today have been widely debunked, and even the name itself is a misquotation.”
Nonetheless, Peters believes the country should return to the Bible and become a Christian nation, and he sees Donald Trump as the guy who can kickstart the great revival.
“Fictitious or not, Peters and a growing number of pastors like him are now using the myth of the Black-Robed Regiment as a rallying cry, spreading the lie about stolen elections to inflame and incite their congregations to be prepared for a coming civil war, a battle of good versus evil where they fight back against what they see as the tyranny of the left,” Gilbert wrote.
“If the truth is suppressed and covered up, then that ultimately will lead to violence,” Peters said in an interview. “It could end up bad, you know, a lot of things end up rough and violent. We hope it doesn’t, but we can’t be so afraid of a violent outcome that we allow the left to cheat their way to destroying this country.”
“I don’t want a civil war, but we’ve got to stand up for what we believe in,” the fifth-generation pastor confessed.
The preacher claims that people like him with pulpits are the only way for Americans to hear the truth because the media only spreads lies.
“If we don’t speak, then the other side, the left, controls the narrative. I mean, they are the mainstream media: They own Facebook, they own Twitter, they own so many things, and they control the narrative. And if the preachers don’t speak, my goodness, that’s all we got.” He went on to say that Trump has proven how to reach out to the public and that he is the inspiration for the Patriot Church movement in many ways.
“I think Trump exposed some of the silent culture war that was going on. When he came into the presidency, I think he exposed what was happening underneath. And so, I think President Trump was a part of me establishing this movement called Patriot Church,” he confessed.
It’s worth noting that Peters is the head of “The Church At Planned Parenthood,” whose website says, “…a worship service at the gates of Hell. The Church at Planned Parenthood is a gathering of Christians for the worship of God and the corporate prayer for repentance for this nation, repentance for the apathetic church, and repentance of our blood-guiltiness in this abortion holocaust,” and holds services outside of Planned Parenthood facilities.”