Welcome to G3 Weekly—a summary of this week’s top news stories on Christianity and the public square.
This week, President Joe Biden announced a policy to cancel $10,000 in student loans per borrower. Progressives are expanding their usage of the term “Christian nationalism” into the upcoming midterm elections. Meanwhile, the majority of Protestant ministers in the United States affirmed in a survey that women can serve as pastors.
Biden Unveils Policy to Cancel Student Loans
“The wicked borrows but does not pay back” (Psalm 37:21).
President Joe Biden announced that his administration will attempt to cancel $10,000 in student debt per borrower earning under $125,000 per year, while those who paid for school using Pell Grants are eligible for a $20,000 loan cancellation.
The commander-in-chief asserted that the policies keep with his campaign promises and will “give working and middle class families breathing room.” The pause on federal student loan repayments—which was first established as an emergency response to the 2020 lockdown-induced recession—was likewise extended to January.
Beyond the conservatives who argued that student loan cancellation is unfair to those who already repaid their debts or made decisions to avoid obligations in the first place, many leading Democrats also publicly opposed President Biden’s move. Former Treasury Secretary and National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers warned that eliminating student debt would worsen inflationary pressures.
“Every dollar spent on student loan relief is a dollar that could have gone to support those who don’t get the opportunity to go to college,” Summers explained. “It consumes resources that could be better used helping those who did not, for whatever reason, have the chance to attend college. It will also tend to be inflationary by raising tuitions.”
Many left-leaning purported Christians used biblical arguments to justify the debt cancellation policy—even comparing the move to the vicarious atonement of Jesus Christ. Author and self-proclaimed activist John Pavlovitz, for instance, said that conservative believers are “missing the irony” that their “entire professed religion is based on the idea of a cancelled debt.”
Democrats Use ‘Christian Nationalism’ as a Campaign Slogan
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12).
As the midterm elections quickly approach, Democrats are employing the term “Christian nationalism” to smear their opponents.
The nebulous term is often used to describe political conservatives who hold to some semblance of biblical viewpoints. While some desire Americans to be a people which honors the Triune God and desires laws that conform to His will, others may hold positions generically informed by biblical morality only because of their presence in a society with vestiges of Christian cultural values.
Doug Mastriano, the Republican nominee for Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial race, has frequently been a target of such claims.
“Mastriano in particular has set the standard for Republican candidates this fall, and religion is a centerpiece of his campaign for governor,” argued central Pennsylvanian media outlet WITF. “He’s repeatedly talked about it at appearances and in social media videos. As recently as last weekend, he told voters that in Pennsylvania, anyone can ‘believe whatever they want.’ But his campaign slogan, rooted in a Bible verse, speaks directly to those who share his beliefs.”
Majority of Protestant Ministers Believe Women Can Be Pastors
“Infants are their oppressors, and women rule over them” (Isaiah 3:12).
A majority of Protestant ministers believe that women can serve as pastors, according to a new poll from Lifeway.
While 76% of ministers in mainline denominations responded that women can occupy the role of senior pastor, slightly less than half of ministers in evangelical denominations said the same. Across denominational lines, however, respondents broadly agreed that women can work as ministers to teenagers or lead co-ed adult Bible studies.
Ministers in Lutheran, Baptist, and nondenominational churches were the least likely to say that the role of senior pastor is open to women. The issue of ordaining female ministers was a key facet during this year’s Southern Baptist Convention in Anaheim, California.
Several ministers present at the meeting noted that the Baptist Faith and Message—a statement of faith adopted by the SBC in 2000—clearly states that “the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.” Yet several prominent congregations, including Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, have tapped women to purportedly work as pastors.