Talk show host Glenn Beck regularly provides conservatives with a wealth of useful information. He can be witty, self-deprecating, and endearing on the radio while dead serious and engaging on TV. Sometimes you laugh until you cry. Sometimes you just cry. There is a great deal to commend in his efforts. Dr. Beck (who received an honorary doctorate from the late Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University), diagnoses the Progressive Movement as the disease killing our land, then courageously goes after people in high places, especially the latest menu of Marxist fruits, flakes, and nuts the Barack Obama administration serves us up for breakfast every morning. According to Deseret News, “Beck also doesn’t shy away from religious topics, spending much of another show this week talking about salvation through Jesus Christ.”
Speaking of religion, The Number Three Talker in the Land recently traveled around the country holding “American Revival” meetings in preparation for a huge “Restore Honor” rally in Washington, DC next month, to be held at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial. Tens of thousands will probably attend the August 28th and 29th events, perhaps more. Because showman Beck knows how to generate buzz by only dishing out rally information in small doses, details are sketchy. We do know former Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin is an integral part of the event though Beck denies the emphasis will be on politics. It is almost a certainty there will be a heavy dose of Patriotism and religion. The rallies are set to promote the ethics of Faith, Hope, and Charity, show support for the military, and emphasize putting God back at the forefront of our lives.
Though revival is sorely needed in our land, it is fair to ask what kind of revival Beck would make happen. He recently said “We need another Whitefield”. He was referring to Great Awakening preacher George Whitefield. Though Beck regularly lays it on thick with affection for Whitefield, he grossly misunderstands or greatly misrepresents Whitefield’s preaching by suggesting the thrust of his ministry was “freedom” and “individualism”. It would be good for Beck’s soul to read some of Whitefield’s sermons.
George Whitefield was perhaps the most consistently orthodox gospel preacher the world has seen since the days of the apostles. He preached faith in the one Triune God, Jehovah, Who alone is eternal. Beck, on the other hand, frequently says things like “I don’t care what God it is that you worship or what church you go to.” and calls upon Christians to “put all differences aside on everything”. But the devil’s lie from the beginning was “ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil”. There is only one God. And we don’t get to pick him.
Whitefield preached about the eternity of hell. On the contrary, at an “American Revival” rally in Salt Lake City, Beck said “hell is not an eternal lake of fire” and proceeded to mock God and His Judgment against sinners, calling Him “a giant Octopus”. Thomas Jefferson likewise considered the Trinity a kind of three-headed mythological creature. He promoted instead the god of reason, and a “Unitarian Faith” he predicted would eventually take over the country. Ironically, Jefferson’s god is the seedbed of progressivism. If God’s revelation of Scripture is seen as progressive and unending, it should be no small surprise descendents of Jefferson’s religious philosophy would end up ignoring the Constitution.
Whitefield did not preach morality would lead to freedom. On the contrary, he preached:
“People have been so long misled, they have been taught that they must do so and so, and though they were under a covenant of works, and then for DOING this, they should be saved. Whereas, on the contrary, people should be taught, That the Lord Jesus was the second Adam, with whom the Father entered into covenant for fallen man; That they can now do nothing of or for themselves, and should therefore come to God, beseeching him to give them faith, by which they shall be enabled to lay hold on the righteousness of Christ; and that faith they will then show forth by their works, out of love and gratitude to the ever blessed Jesus, their most glorious Redeemer, for what he has done for their souls.”
Glenn Beck rightly desires to see a respect for God restored to our country. Well and good. But which god? An unknown or generic god cannot save us or revive our nation. The only God who can save us is the One Who has revealed Himself in Scripture. “Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” God was also clear in His Ten Words: No other gods! A simple exploration of the word “gods” in the Bible will prove this true.
Christians should avoid the pluralist god and Beck’s rally like the plague. “God said to Moses “against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD” (Jehovah). We should not put our patriotism and love of country over our service to the True and Living God, and his only Son, Jesus.
The risk for Christians in going to the “revival” in DC is not that they will be converted to Beck’s Mormon faith. It is that they will believe his pluralistic message: it doesn’t really matter which God you serve as long as he is politically not a progressive. Jerry Falwell, Jr. was recently a guest on Glenn’s TV show. He said this: “We can argue about theology later after we save the country.” But Falwell is wrong. We cannot save the country if our theology is wrong. Revival comes when we who were dead in our sins are made alive. When people like Glenn Beck and I believe the gospel Whitefield preached. Beck has asked Christians to pray for him. We do pray that this will be the loving message Falwell and historian David Barton give to Glenn Beck when they are on his program, rather than sit silently by while he mocks our God.
David is currently an adjunct instructor of Composition and Speech at Marshalltown Community College in Iowa. His wife and he have also owned a business selling antique and collectible postcards on eBay since 1999. David was an activist with Operation Rescue in the early 1990s. He is a member of Trinity Presbyterian Reformed Church in Johnston, Iowa.
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