By Brannon S. Howse
The Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, headed by Richard Land at the time this book went to press, is a woefully good example of the “useful idiot” strategy in operation. He is being used to push radically unbiblical, politically correct, and anti-American agendas. Land exhibits the characteristics of a New Religious Righter (more about that later). Please note that, as a member of a solid, Bible teaching SBC church, I have a vested interest in Land’s activities, and frankly, I’m worried. But those who are not members of an SBC church should be just as concerned since Land has an exceptionally strong voice on behalf of evangelicals. The Southern Baptist Convention is the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, and Mr. Land’s office, which is funded to the tune of more than $3.2 million dollars, is working largely against the biblical worldview held not only by most SBC church members but by most conservative, Bible-believing Christians as well.
In September 2010, the Anti-Defamation League formed an “interfaith coalition” to help Muslims build mosques in America. Land took the opportunity to involve himself in one more pluralistic, politically correct project. But why would any Christian, much less a Christian leader, help build mosques? Islam is a demonic, antichrist religion. Supporting the spread of that religion is a clear violation of the biblical mandate not to be involved in spiritual enterprises with non-believers. SBC members are not paying Mr. Land to help build Islamic houses of worship.
The names and mission statements of many organizations that make up the interfaith coalition clearly reveal that the League’s ultimate goal is not just building mosques but pushing ecumenicalism. According to its website, members include the “Vicar for Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Affairs.” This means, of course, not just Christian groups but all religions. Dr. Eboo Patel is also on the list. His organization, Interfaith Youth Core, has a goal “to introduce a new relationship, one that is about mutual respect and religious pluralism. Instead of focusing a dialogue on political or theological differences…”
Religious pluralism, you’ll recall, is the belief that all religions are equal in their truth claims. Yet while it is possible that all religions are wrong, they absolutely cannot all be true. Still, the Interfaith Youth Core wants to set aside “theological differences.”
But should Christians set aside biblical theology just to obtain consensus with an amalgamated group of various religions? The answer is “No.” Second John 9-11 says that if someone brings another doctrine other than the essential doctrines of Jesus Christ, then we are not to greet them or invite them into our homes, much less seek common ground with them or support their spiritual goals and objectives.
Richard Land apparently disagrees. He declared in an August 3, 2010 USA Today article that “mosque opponents are misguided.” Land pontificates that by allowing governments to limit mosques, we are setting up the government to limit other religions. What he fails to see is that the issue centers around local and state governments which should have the right to limit the building of mosques. The federal government should never be involved in the approval of churches or mosques, but local governments regulate the construction of church buildings as a matter of local zoning laws all the time. The only reason the federal government should shut down a mosque is in the case of a national security threat. If a local government or a state wants to prohibit the building of a mosque, however, it is within its rights to do so—particulary when experts have revealed that 80 percent of the mosques in America are funded by Saudi Arabia and teach jihad against the United States.
If the FBI learns that a mosque is a training and education center for Wahhabi Islamic Jihadists with money from Saudi Arabia (the country from which most of the 9/11 hijackers came), then the mosque should be closed down. Islam is fighting for a religious theocracy based on Islamic Sharia Law. This faces us with a national security threat of the highest order, and Muslims use “religious liberty” as a weapon against us. Wahhabi Islam is more of a terrorist organization than a religion, but it is based in Muslim teachings. By contrast to its predilection for violence, when was the last time you saw a group of Baptists, Lutherans, or Presbyterians fly planes into skyscrapers?
I, among many who live in the Memphis area, are not misguided in this issue. We do not favor the Islamic Center, with its terrorist ties, being built in Memphis. It is, after all, a center that has hired Sheikh Yasir Qadhi. Foxnews.com reports on the background of this sheikh and one of his former students:
The Memphis Islamic Center is gearing up to create “a multipurpose Islamic Center to serve the needs of Muslims in the Memphis area and beyond,” according to its website. But critics wonder exactly what that means, especially given the center’s newest hire: Sheikh Yasir Qadhi. Qadhi, the dean of academic affairs at the Al Maghrib Institute, a weekend seminary where instructors travel to teach advanced Islamic studies, made headlines in 2001 with a speech in which he referred to the Holocaust as “false propaganda” and pointed to Jewish people’s “crooked nose and blond hair” as evidence that they “are not a Semitic people.” In 2006, Qadhi admitted to being on a terror watch list, saying he had no idea why. His name has since been removed. Three years later, Qadhi was again thrust into the spotlight when it was discovered that his institute’s list of alumni included accused “underwear bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and reportedly includes convicted terrorist Daniel Maldonado, also known as Daniel Aljughaifi.
In October 2010, I wrote an article discussing Land’s involvement with the Interfaith Coalition, and I was invited as a guest on several national radio programs to talk about it. After being contacted by several SBC leaders who thanked me for bringing this information to their attention, Land resigned from the Interfaith Coalition. However, he made it known he was not resigning because he had seen the light but because he had felt the flames:
A top leader of the Southern Baptist Convention has resigned from a new interfaith coalition, saying some fellow Southern Baptists felt it was inappropriate for him to support the building of mosques.
Richard Land, who heads the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, told organizers at the Anti-Defamation League that “many Southern Baptists share my deep commitment to religious freedom and the right of Muslims to have places of worship.”
At the same time, “they also feel that a Southern Baptist denominational leader filing suit to allow individual mosques to be built is ‘a bridge too far.’” Land told the ADL in a Jan. 14 letter that he had received a “spirited response” to his support of a disputed mosque project in Murfreesboro, Tenn., and some fellow Baptists viewed it as promotion of Islam.
“I do not agree with that perception, but Southern Baptists have the oft-expressed right to form their own perceptions as well as the right to expect their denominational servant to be cognizant of them and to respect them,” he said.
Land also has been part of the U.S. Muslim Engagement Project and has endorsed a report released by the group. Its goal is for Americans and Muslims to find common ground. Yet common ground is impossible when several Muslims associated with this organization have, according to credible news sources, ties to known terrorist organizations, and at least one has defended Sharia Law. Dalia Mogahed, Barack Obama’s adviser on Muslim affairs, appeared on British television and declared, “Sharia is not well understood and Islam as a faith is not well understood.” As Robert Spencer writes in Human Events magazine, Mogahed:
made her defense of Sharia on a TV show hosted by a member of Hizb-ut-Tahrir. This is an organization that is banned as a terrorist group in many nations, and which is openly dedicated to the worldwide imposition of Sharia and the destruction of all governments that are constituted according to any other political philosophy—including Constitutional republics that do not establish a state religion.
Mogahed appeared on the program with two Hizb-ut-Tahrir members that attacked the “lethal cocktail of liberty and capitalism…Mogahed, for her part offered no contradiction to any of this.”
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who has been pushing to build a mosque mere yards from Ground Zero, also served with Land on the Muslim Engagement Project. Another project member is Ingrid Mattson “whose group was founded in 1981 by the Saudi-funded Muslim Students’ Association.” In 2010, an MSA member bragged of the organization’s “Hitler Youth” week on the University of California San Diego campus.
What common ground does Richard Land possibly think American Christians have with such radicals? Yet he endorses the U.S.-Muslim Engagement report this way:
This initiative is a serious, comprehensive, bipartisan effort that seeks to address a critical and dangerous problem: The world Muslim community misunderstands Americans and Americans misunderstand them. This initiative lays out a detailed and comprehensive plan to vastly decrease that misunderstanding through a multi-faceted approach that will build constructive bridges of mutual understanding between Americans and the Muslim world.
No matter how much we seek to “understand” Islam, radical Muslims (like the Wahhbi sect) are not going to stop being radicals since their approach is the very essence of the Islamic religion.
America was doing nothing to Muslims when on September 11, 2001, Islamic terrorists murdered nearly 3,000 of us. This problem is not with America or American Christians but with Muslims who view America as the “great Satan” and Israel as the “little Satan.” Brainwashing Americans into being more “understanding” of Muslims is not going to stop the extremists. President Reagan was right when he declared that we cannot negotiate with terrorists.
The Richard Land and Barack Obama Amnesty Agendas
Land’s destructive work doesn’t end with Islam-related issues. An article in the New York Times demonstrates his enthusiastic support of Obama’s amnesty for illegals agenda. The article refers to Land and other pro-amnesty evangelicals as “a secret weapon” for Obama, noting that Land has declared:
I’ve had some older conservative leaders say: “Richard, stop this. You’re going to split the conservative coalition,” Dr. Land continued. “I say it might split the old conservative coalition, but it won’t split the new one.”
To support Obama’s amnesty agenda, Land has taken assorted scriptures out of context. For example, he has used Leviticus 19:34—“You must regard the foreigner who lives with you as the native-born among you. You are to love him as yourself, for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt…” (HCSB)—to claim that the pro-amnesty position is biblical. This verse, however, has nothing to do with immigration law. It is part of the ceremonial and civic laws of Israel. It does not support acceptance of law-breaking, illegal immigrants. Rather it addresses the issue of Jews being gracious and fair with non-Jews who are traveling with them or through their land.
The scripture also speaks to church practices. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary describes the meaning this way: “Strangers shall be welcome to God’s grace; we should do what we can to recommend religion to them.”
Does Land think it is biblical and moral to have millions of illegal immigrants in America when at the time he made these comments, the true unemployment rate for U.S. citizens stood at 22 percent? Most illegals in America painting houses, cutting grass, siding and roofing homes do not pay federal taxes, state income tax, or worker’s compensation insurance. Most do not buy liability insurance, nor do they spend countless hours and thousands of dollars each year complying with government red tape. Illegal aliens can drastically underbid American small business owners precisely because they do comply with all the laws of our land. As a result, American small business owners cannot complete with illegal aliens.
Some Americans have gone out of business and lost their livelihoods because illegal immigrants underbid them by working for cash under the table, without the overhead of American business owners who comply with the law. Is that just and biblical? A serious problem with people like Richard Land is that many pushing Obama’s plan have never actually run a business.
Romans 13 declares the purpose of government is to reward the righteous and punish the wicked. Yet unenforced immigration law is rewarding those who break the law while they steal from law-abiding Americans.
Something is clearly wrong when Richard Land and the Communist Party USA are both pushing for amnesty. The CPUSA wants to turn millions of illegal residents into legal voters for the Communist agenda. As Worldview Weekend columnist Trevor Loudon writes:
From a paper entitled “Special Convention Discussion: Mexican American Equality” submitted by Rosalio Munoz, for discussion before the May 21-23, Communist Party USA National Convention in New York. The pre-convention call for our 29th convention gives the right lead for our party, class and people and the Mexican American people and their struggles for equality and justice. It stresses:
Mexican Americans are strong supporters of the Obama administration’s efforts to move away from the right wing policies of the past and to move for progressive reform… Mexican Americans are a necessary force in the struggle to break through the right wing obstructionism and counteroffensive and win progressive changes in health care, jobs and income, immigration, civil rights, labor rights and a more reasonable foreign policy in ongoing electoral struggles and the coming elections.
Where are the leaders of the SBC? Why are they not stopping Land from using the denomination’s credibility to send out press releases, give interviews, and testify before Congress in support of Obama’s amnesty agenda?
In case I haven’t yet convinced you that Richard Land has allowed the SBC to be co-opted by the Trojan horse, I’ve noted below several more reasons for concern.
Land endorses a book by Radical Jim Walls. In 2008, neo-Marxist Jim Wallis released a book entitled The Great Awakening. This is Richard Land’s endorsement: “Despite our significant public-policy differences, I commend Jim Wallis for advocating religious belief as an invaluable resource in addressing the urgent moral and social crisis of our time.” So Land is more concerned about the public-policy beliefs of Wallis than he is about his religious beliefs? Does Land even know of the religious beliefs that Wallis proclaims?
Land offers credibility to Mormonism. Land enthusiastically endorsed Glenn Beck’s 8-28 rally and literally locked arms with leaders of multiple religions there, including Muslim imams. In a clear violation of 2 Corinthians 6:14, Land added to the pluralistic propaganda and confusion when he declared: “I think perhaps the most charitable way for an evangelical Christian to look at Mormonism is to look at Mormonism as the fourth Abrahamic faith.” Mormonism does not believe in one God but millions of gods. It is a polytheistic religion. The other three religions are monotheistic, meaning they believe in only one god. So how does that make Mormonism a fourth Abrahamic religion?
Land gives credibility to global governance. A few years ago Land joined the anti-Christian, anti-American, globalist organization known as the Council on Foreign Relations. He defends his membership by saying he wants to be salt and light and that the organization invited him because it wants the input of evangelicals. What they really want is to use the credibility of Christians—especially the good name of the Southern Baptist Convention—so as to make people believe they are not anti-Christian even while promoting the CFR’s anti-Christian, anti-American, globalist agenda. Land is clearly one of their useful idiots.
Be a Biblical Berean, not a Useful Idiot
Many Christians have become useful idiots without even knowing it. Far too many give money to organizations and churches that have ceased to proclaim the biblical Gospel but instead proclaim a social gospel. They give to organizations committed to building the kingdom of God on earth instead of building the kingdom of God in the spiritual realm through the proclamation of God’s Word.
This has happened because they lack biblical discernment. Most don’t even know how to defend essential Christian doctrines and theology, and as a result, they cannot tell right from wrong. Hebrews 5:12-14 speaks of those who have been Christians for a long time but still lack the biblical knowledge to teach others correct beliefs. Verse 14 indicates that those who are spiritually mature can discern good from evil. Similarly, Ephesians 4:14 warns that spiritually immature believers are like children who lack discernment, who are blown here and there by every wind of doctrine and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Matthew 7:15 says many will appear to be Christians—some will even be pastors—but they will be wolves in sheep’s clothing.
The Church in America has been greatly weakened—and in some cases completely compromised—by false teaching and a false gospel. Many Christians and churches have been co-opted by neo-evangelicals, the New Religious Right, and change agents. It needs to stop.
Copyright 2012 ©Brannon Howse. This content is for Situation Room members and is not to be duplicated in any form or uploaded to other websites without the express written permission of Brannon Howse or his legally authorized representative.