Make no mistake, the end game for the “justice” movement on immigration, race, gender, sexuality and progressive politics in the church is driven by & toward faith-based partnerships- the new administration delivers.
HAPPY VALENTINES EVANGELICAL LEADERSHIP
In the last 12 years or so the leadership of organizations like The Gospel Coalition and the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission has held convictional conservative Christians feet to the flames of the age-old denomination and church destroying social gospel repackaged in some slick new narratives. Like a pig’s snout sporting a golden earring, these tired old errors were wrapped in a (usually) neo-reformed theological narrative in the name of “cultural engagement” “Christian” economics, Community development, and “Faith and Work” / “Theology of Vocation”. The packaging comes “inclusive and compassionate” bows on top.
Faith-based Partnerships (FBP) have long been the goal of stealthy progressive organizations like Leadership Network and its operatives like Rick Warren (Purpose Driven) and Tim Keller (The Gospel Coalition). A new administration is ready to reward the successful push of the church toward the political left on key social issues. As the federal funding is poised to flood into the ministry coffers with the Biden administration’s new Valentine’s Day executive order, the real long game goals of the progressive politics and “theology” are clear and undeniable. The church has been primed to be the agent of social change and the hub of community services. The Obama administration created an FBP filled with activism and diversity which included the leaders of LGBTQ activist organizations like the Human Rights Campaign and ARCUS alongside Southern Baptist Executive Committee CEO Frank Page. Few church and ministry leaders have been able to resist. Never mind the historic dangers -past fraud- failures- cost to religious liberty- AND prohibitions to gospel ministry.
FROM THE WHITE HOUSE WEBSITE
FACT SHEET: President Biden Reestablishes the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
FEBRUARY 14, 2021 • STATEMENTS AND RELEASES
“Biden-Harris administration commits to promoting partnerships with faith-based and neighborhood organizations to help people in need; announces Melissa Rogers as Executive Director and Josh Dickson as Deputy Director“
“Today, President Biden is signing an executive order reestablishing the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, which will promote partnerships with religious and secular organizations to better serve people in need. As our country grapples with a global pandemic, a severe economic downturn, the scourge of systemic racism, an escalating climate crisis and profound polarization, President Biden knows that civil society partnerships are essential to meeting such challenges.”
“Twenty years ago, President George W. Bush established the first White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. As President Bush said, government cannot be replaced by the efforts of religious and other community organizations, but government “can and should welcome [such organizations] as partners.” In 2009, the Obama-Biden administration continued this initiative, while also putting its own stamp on its name, practices, and policies. For example, this office helped prevent foreclosure amidst the housing crisis by sharing information with more than 50,000 faith-based and community stakeholders on mortgage refinancing and scam prevention; increase the number of summer meals served to kids for a total of more than 1.2 billion summer meals served; assist communities in responding to and recovering from disasters; and train diverse faith leaders on protecting their houses of worship.”
“At a time of great challenge and opportunity, the Biden-Harris administration is re-launching this bipartisan initiative. The Partnerships Office’s initial work will include collaborating with civil society to: address the COVID-19 pandemic and boost economic recovery; combat systemic racism; increase opportunity and mobility for historically disadvantaged communities; and strengthen pluralism. The office will also support agency partnerships that advance the United States Government’s diplomatic, international development, and humanitarian work around the world. All of this work will be done in ways that respect cherished constitutional guarantees.”
“Leading the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships will be Melissa Rogers, who will serve as the office’s Executive Director and as Senior Director for Faith and Public Policy in the White House Domestic Policy Council. Melissa has been a leader on these issues for decades, including serving from 2013-2017 as Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships in the Obama-Biden Administration.”
“Josh Dickson, White House Senior Advisor for Public Engagement, will serve as the office’s Deputy Director. He will be a key interlocutor with faith communities and other stakeholders. Josh previously served as National Faith Engagement Director for Biden for President, and was Director of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of Commerce during the Obama-Biden Administration. Trey Baker, who previously served as the National Director of African American Engagement for Biden for President and is currently a White House Senior Advisor for Public Engagement, will serve as the office’s liaison to Black communities, including Black faith communities. The Partnerships Office will work hand in hand with the wider White House Office of Public Engagement’s constituency outreach initiatives to engage and partner with stakeholders of all backgrounds and beliefs in its efforts to serve individuals and communities in need. The team will also work with closely with staff in agency Centers for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships to execute the objectives outlined in today’s executive order.”
“There are not Democrats or Republicans dying from this pandemic, or losing their jobs, going hungry and facing eviction in this economic crisis, or facing the sting of systemic racism or the brunt of the climate crisis,” said President Biden. “They are fellow human beings. They are fellow Americans. And this is not a nation that can, or will, simply stand by and watch the suffering around us. That is not who we are. That is not what faith calls us to be. That is why I’m reestablishing the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships to work with leaders of different faiths and backgrounds who are the frontlines of their communities in crisis and who can help us heal, unite, and rebuild. We still have many difficult nights to endure. But we will get through them together and with faith guiding us through the darkness and into the light.”
“The White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships will be an essential part of the Biden-Harris administration’s plan to bring people of all backgrounds and beliefs together to meet our challenges, perfect our union, and restore the soul of our country. Specifically, the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships will work with civil society partners to:”
Address the Covid-19 Pandemic and Boost Economic Recovery
“By working with diverse civil society organizations, the Partnerships Office will help more Americans get facts about COVID-19 and vaccinations, and support economic recovery efforts. Faith and community leaders are frequently anchors of their neighborhoods due to the services they provide and the trust and respect they command, enabling them to effectively reach the most vulnerable.”
Combat Systemic Racism
“The Partnerships Office will work closely with organizations and community leaders to tackle systemic racism and other forms of bias. Whether it is health, education, economic opportunity, housing, or the criminal justice system, racial and other disparities abound, and it will take an all-hands-on-deck effort to fix these problems. The Partnerships Office is committed to making equity a top priority and working with stakeholders from all beliefs and backgrounds in pursuit of a more just and equitable society.”
Increase Opportunity and Mobility for Historically Disadvantaged Communities
“The Biden-Harris administration has made a firm commitment to serving vulnerable communities and people in need, and the Partnerships Office will play an important role in this work. From supporting immigrants and welcoming refugees to addressing childhood hunger to helping minority-owned and rural small businesses grow and thrive, the Partnerships Office will focus much of its programmatic efforts on these key administration priorities.”
Advance International Development and Global Humanitarian Work
“U.S. agencies’ partnerships will also serve people around the world. Whether it is promoting child and maternal health or defusing conflicts, these partnerships are vital for the success and effectiveness of the United States’ diplomatic, international development, and global humanitarian work.”
Strengthen Pluralism and Respect Constitutional Guarantees
“A key commitment of the Partnerships Office is embracing pluralism. At its best, the United States is not only a country with remarkable peace across our religious differences, it is a nation where people of diverse faiths and beliefs regularly make common cause. When Methodists and Muslims, Buddhists and Baptists, Sikhs and Secular Humanists serve together, we strengthen one another and we strengthen America. As part of this commitment, the Partnerships Office will work to protect the right to practice faith without fear, implementing promises President-elect Biden made about safeguarding faith communities that are at risk of discrimination, harassment, and hate-based acts of violence and vandalism.”
“Fundamental to these goals is respecting our cherished guarantees of church-state separation and freedom for people of all faiths and none, as the executive order notes. The Partnerships Office, for example, will not prefer one faith over another or favor religious over secular organizations. Instead, it will work with every willing partner to promote the common good, including those who have differences with the Administration. As President Biden has repeatedly said, he will be president for all Americans. In addition to advancing collaborative efforts to serve people in need, the White House Partnerships Office will develop and coordinate the Administration’s policy agenda regarding faith-based and other community organizations.”
RUSSELL MOORE OF TGC AND ERLC PRESIDENT IS EXCITED ABOUT THE ANNOUNCEMENT
“WASHINGTON (BP) – Southern Baptist ethics and religious freedom leader Russell Moore welcomed news that the latest presidential administration will also include an office to help faith-based organizations serve Americans in cooperation with the government.”
“President Biden established the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships by executive order Sunday (Feb. 14). The new president’s order came 20 years after President George W. Bush launched such a White House office in the second week of his first administration. Each president since then has also authorized a faith-based office in some form.”
“Moore had worked about a year ago with various scholars and leaders in an effort convened by the Brookings Institution “to think through the legacy and future of the work” of a faith-based office in the White House, he said in written comments.”
“Almost all of us agreed that the office is an important point of connection between the government and communities of faith that should exist and that the Faith-Based Office should be reinvigorated and led by those with clout in a presidential administration with credibility to the outside world,” said Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. “I am grateful to see that President Biden is re-establishing this vital office.”
“The office will have the primary responsibility in the administration “for establishing policies, priorities, and objectives for the Federal Government’s comprehensive effort to enlist, equip, enable, empower, and expand the work” of both faith-based and secular organizations that serve their communities, according to Biden’s executive order. It will do so “while preserving our fundamental constitutional commitments guaranteeing the equal protection of the laws and the free exercise of religion and forbidding the establishment of religion,” the order said.”
“Initially, the office will partner with faith-based and other community-serving organizations to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic, economic recovery, systemic racism, historically disadvantaged communities, pluralism and global development and humanitarian work, according to a White House fact sheet.”
BAPTIST PRESS COVERAGE
“The White House also announced Josh Dickson will be deputy director of the faith-based office. Dickson served as national faith engagement director in Biden’s presidential campaign and directed the Department of Commerce’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships during the Obama administration. Trey Baker, who was the Biden campaign’s director of African American engagement, will serve as the faith-based office’s liaison to Black communities, including Black faith communities.”
“Rogers, whom Moore said he has worked with for years, “has more than earned her reputation across the political spectrum for her experience, intelligence, skill and integrity,” he said. “We will be engaging with the Office of Faith-Based Partnerships on a variety of issues where people of faith can serve the vulnerable in our communities.”
“Bush created the first such office in 2001, naming it the White House Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives. He also established faith-based and community centers in five federal departments. The goal of Bush’s office was to remove barriers to religious and other organizations working with government to help the needy by enabling them to compete for federal funds to provide social services.”
In the case with Russell Moore and other TGC / Baptist and conservative denominations leadership, this Valentine hook-up is with one of the most pro-abortion and pro-left, and anti-family administrations in American history. Meanwhile, these same leaders attacked and sought to undermine Christians’ support for and connection to one of (if not the) most pro-life administrations ever in former President Trump.
THINK ON THAT!
The exhausting push for redefining the GOSPEL as “social justice” and the decades-long assault on the social and political convictions of conservative believers have now reached their end game. The payoff will be huge as the Faith-Based Partnerships pick up where the Obama administration left off with Baptist and other leaders seated at the table with radical activist and progressive religious leaders of every flavor. If having the church become the primary partner with government and big business to deliver social services/healthcare/ community services/education/ equity to the public is GREAT in your thinking -then you should be excited. Unless of course, you have a problem with a confirmed track record of fraud and failed programs and the continued impact of /and cost to the church’s ability to minister the Gospel in the midst of programs where it is illegal to do so. Also if you are not bothered by the fact that the funding is adding to the nearly $30 trillion dollars (and growing) national debt ….then it is all rosy. Enjoy your Valentine’s present.
IF you are concerned with the theological and religious liberty impact and the deadly warnings of being unequally yoked with unbelievers, then be assured: these things never end well. They never have and nothing has changed in God’s Word.
Contributed by: Rev. Thomas Littleton