Welcome to G3 Weekly—a summary of this week’s top news stories on Christianity and the public square.
This week, Southern Baptists scratched their heads when the firm examining sexual abuse within the denomination posted a celebration of “Pride Month.” As Congress launched hearings to examine the infamous January 6 protests, progressive media outlets are doubling down on condemning “Christian nationalism” as a threat to democracy. Meanwhile, a report shows that Iranian proxy militias are playing a key role in persecuting Middle Eastern believers.
Firm Leading SBC Sexual Abuse Probe Endorses LGBTQ Ideology
“If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit” (Matthew 15:14).
Last month, investigative firm Guidepost Solutions concluded that victims of sexual abuse within the Southern Baptist Convention were “met, time and time again, with resistance, stonewalling, and even outright hostility.” Yet when Guidepost joined in the progressive chorus celebrating “Pride Month,” many Baptist leaders wondered whether the entity was equipped to help the SBC promote biblical justice for the victims.
“Guidepost is committed to strengthening diversity, equity and inclusion and strives to be an organization where our team can bring their authentic selves to work,” the firm’s post read. “We celebrate our collective progress toward equality for all and are proud to be an ally to our LGBTQ+ community.”
Members of the SBC’s abuse task force—many of whom doubled down on their support of Guidepost—recommended that Send Relief, a joint partnership between the International Mission Board and North American Mission Board focused on compassion ministry, should contribute over $4 million toward abuse reforms.
“This is who we gave our tithe dollars to?” asked Florida pastor and SBC presidential candidate Tom Ascol. “Is there no fear of God?”
“Maybe the SBC should not be taking its marching orders from the world,” added evangelical Christian and former Trump administration official Russ Vought.
Media Advance ‘Christian Nationalism’ Boogeyman As January 6 Hearings Begin
“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21).
Democrats in the House of Representatives established a committee to examine the protests of January 6, 2021, in which dozens of individuals flooded the United States Capitol building amid unease surrounding the 2020 election. As hearings began—and were streamed on major news stations during prime time hours—many progressive outlets revamped their concern over “Christian nationalism.”
The nebulous term is often leveraged to describe political conservatives who hold to some semblance of biblical viewpoints—even if passion for those viewpoints is driven by Christianized culture rather than personal love and fear of Christ.
In an opinion piece for The Daily Beast, columnist Wajahat Ali encouraged readers to “name and shame” Christian nationalism. Complete with a graphic of closed fists holding crosses that shapeshift into machine guns and American flags, the author contended that many on the political right believe that “America can only be made ‘great’ again if we return to its previous natural order, in which white Christian patriarchy reigned supreme.”
In another strawman argument, George Washington University professor Quadricos Driskell wrote for The Hill that Christian nationalism extends beyond January 6 and produces opposition to Roe v. Wade, as well as support for the right to bear arms. He calls for a so-called “religious left” to rise up and oppose Christian nationalism.
Iran Proxies Persecute Middle Eastern Christians
“Remember my chains” (Colossians 4:18).
Iranian proxy militias in countries like Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen are behind a massive persecution of Christianity across the Middle East.
Iran—a Shia Muslim power that the United States government considers a state sponsor of terrorism—backs several militias in a regional cold war against Saudi Arabia. According to a report from the Philos Project, many of these militias are actively involved in murdering, robbing, and sexually harassing those who claim the name of Jesus in their nations.
In Lebanon, for example, the militia Hezbollah grew nervous about the millions of Syrian refugees pouring into the nation eventually converting to Christianity. Hezbollah therefore created a task force meant to forcefully impose an Islamic public lifestyle in direct opposition to the constitution of Lebanon. Beyond strict public dress codes, Hezbollah banned the interaction of the opposite sexes in public places and greenlighted the arrest of noncompliant Christians.
Meanwhile, in Iraq, militias like the Mahdi Army are seeking to prevent a repopulation of the Nineveh Plains, which were once home to ancient Christian communities. The terrorists pressured believers to vacate their properties, burned down many houses, and transferred property deeds to Muslim families. From 1987 to the present day, the number of Iraqi Christians has dwindled from 1.5 million to 140,000.