A Conversation with Lucas Miles: Has Liberal Thought Hijacked the Church?
April 20, 2022 | Megan West | |
Has liberal thought hijacked the church? Pastor, author, and podcaster Lucas Miles answers that question in this engaging and eye-opening conversation with My Faith Votes CEO, Jason Yates.
You’ll want to listen to every minute of this interview but here are some powerful moments to make sure you catch:
- How the Left knows they can’t win elections without disrupting the church and the family
- Why it is important for Christians to invest resources into colleges and universities
- Lucas’ story about his initial interest in “Christian socialism” and why he thought he’d never vote
- The lack of pastoral guidance on critical issues and his disappointing story as a pastor when he started preaching on these issues
Resources mentioned in this conversation:
►Book: The Christian Left: How Liberal Thought Has Hijacked the Church: https://amzn.to/3gCzMmd
►Connect with Lucas Miles at www.LucasMiles.org
►My Faith Votes College Campus initiative: https://www.myfaithvotes.org/bic
So, the question I think we're really facing is, are we being hijacked? Is the church being hijacked by the culture? And I'm thrilled to be talking to Lucas Miles. You have the Lucas Miles Show, the Church Boys podcast, but you've written a book that's addressing this topic head-on. And it's how liberal thought has hijacked the church.
And so how has it? What's the answer?
You know, look, it's a it's a really sort of a hydra of involvements between progressives and leftists and deconstructionists that we see. And there's really been a movement. You know, I define the Christian Left as this growing constituency of left-leaning Christians and at times Christians in name only who have really been willing to embrace a downgraded view of the Bible in favor of a held belief about socialism, Marxism. You hear statements like “Jesus was a socialist”, you know, trying to correlate Jesus as a Palestinian refugee or something to support, support open borders, or a diminished view of Israel. And you also see with this typically a rise in kind of this embrace of the world's definitions about sexuality, gender.
And so you have Christians that are trying to defend. I mean, if you go on to a social media platform like TikTok and you search the term progressive Christianity, you're going to find thousands of videos of so-called Christians who are using scripture to try to justify all these alternative lifestyles and alternative viewpoints. And really, and oftentimes, you know, immoral practices, it's, it's a major issue. And I think something as Christians, we have to learn about having to figure out how to how to really combat it.
So what's the worldview? What's behind that that they would want to subvert a biblical worldview? Because what they'll say, right, is they have a biblical worldview. And so what's behind that that they would so intentionally support, this progressive view.
You know, I think there's two main things. So first off, from a philosophical standpoint, whenever you see times in history where there are two strong philosophical viewpoints, the world tends to go into an age of skepticism. So Plato and Aristotle were strong figures, but very opposed to each other's worldviews in some ways, and that produced an age of skepticism afterward. Because some people are going, it's Plato and Aristotle's skepticism. You had the same thing with Augustine and then later Thomas Aquinas, who really, you know, countered a lot of the things that Augustine said that produced an age of skepticism in the church.
I think today we have such a divide between sort of red and blue, you know, in America that it has produced this age of skepticism, skepticism in general. But I think especially in the church.
The second factor is I believe that there is a major push to revitalize critical theory and really in that Marxism socialism. We're seeing that through critical race theory, et cetera. And I think the Left knows that they cannot win elections unless they divide the family in the church. So they're spending a lot of money, a lot of marketing dollars, influencing a lot of people in order to try to, you know, really do the same revisionist history that they've tried on the Constitution. Now, with scripture in order to reframe scripture from a leftist lens.
So, is this originating from a political place that is then invading the church or is this originating in the church with people with just messed up theology?
You know, I mean, to some degree, you had the chicken and the egg, you know, with that, you know, to quote, to quote somebody who, you know, a lot of individuals hear the name, but they don't know much about him. George Soros had a theory of reflexivity, and he thought this originally in the area of the economy. But he went on later to say that it also applies to moral issues. And basically, what he meant by reflexivity is that you can send a message that although it's not necessarily true yet, it can influence the market in such a way to make it true. And we see the same thing that you know there is there is a push to message the church in such a way.
I mean, there are groups that are very much working to infiltrate Christian colleges and Christian organizations and non-profits and the church in general. And so they're pushing towards this.
But at the same time, you have people that have bought it and then it's sort of this origination from within as well. So this is a problem both on the outside of the church. And it's also something I think that is entered as I talk about my book sort of as a Trojan horse that now has been unpacked and a lot of that has come through this message of social justice.
The church has become convinced that the Gospel is a social justice Gospel and really social justice in the way it's typically presented is just a ruse for critical theory in various forms. And that has come in, I think, really distracted us from the main. The main message and that is Jesus Christ.
You mentioned colleges and universities. We have a really fantastic program to reach students on Christian colleges and universities to equip them to vote. There's actually quite a void. There's a lot of organizations that are doing incredible work on secular and state-oriented colleges, universities, but not Christian colleges.
But here's what we find is that just like the church, there is great trepidation. There is great apathy towards this idea of involvement in political issues, even civic issues such as voting.
Is that an outcome of what we're looking at here of this battle that people are just saying, I'm not going to touch that, it's too toxic.
Yeah, I think that there's a general message that's out there that as Christians, you know, we should be above politics. We shouldn't get involved in politics. You'll hear statements like, you know, Jesus wasn't political. At the same time, you hear other people saying Jesus was a socialist, right? And so there's this confusion around this.
The reality is, Jesus spent a lot of time from what we see in scripture talking to the Pharisees, and Sadducees. You know, Israel really operated assuming they didn't do anything to violate Rome, Rome sort of allowed them to have sort of free reign and a lot of areas during their occupation in the first century.
And so the Pharisees in the Sadducees were really the political figures that were creating a lot of the rules and laws for people to follow. And where do we see Jesus? We see him interacting with them. We see him pushing back against some of these issues and really, you know, involved.
Now, I don't want to make Jesus a lobbyist. I don't want to take this beyond what we see in scripture because I think that's the same mistake that we're seeing on the left. But I do think what is important to realize is that Jesus wasn't he wasn't afraid to engage with conversations that dealt with politics, and he wasn't afraid to express the opinion of his Father. And obviously, you know, Jesus being God in the flesh, there was a uniformity in this message. And so I think as Christians, you know, it's very important that we recognize the influence that we have. And that influence, you know, yes, it should be in the church. Yes, it should be with our family. But if the state gives us and grants us the ability to vote and to put it, to use our voice and to, you know, to be able to make a difference in that way, I believe we're doing a disservice by not stepping up and using that to the best of our ability.
And so, I was the guy growing up who, I almost was a Christian socialist. And so for me to write this book, I'm not writing this as a guy who's got this long-standing history of fundamentalism or something like that. You know, when I was in my early 20s, I was very infatuated with this idea of Christian socialism, and it's really out of that, it's part of my testimony about this book that I saw the error of that. I saw the deception that was there. And I had kind of determined at one point in my life that I was never going to vote.
And you know that that that wasn't the Christian thing to do. And I'll tell you that I become so convinced as a believer that that especially today that my voice matters in this realm and that, you know, you know that my faith, you know, to maybe speak to what you guys are doing, my faith needs to vote, you know, for the sake of this nation and the church.
Yeah, we are salt. We are light, we have that identity and it's from that identity that we need to bring that forward and to influence the arena around us.
I mean, look, it's we have a free church today or at least a mostly free church today in America. We've seen some challenges that the last couple of years with government tyranny. And I tell people all the time that as much as the left talks about the separation of church and state, they don't want the separation of church and state, they want a church that's subservient to the state. And the only way we're going to do well, we can pray. We can stand strong as believers. We can use our testimony in our voice. But the other practical thing that we can do is we can use our vote and these things, I think we don't have to choose either Or it can be a both in mindset and I think that this is something that Christians really need to embrace.
So I have a daughter in sixth grade and I'm a little worried. I mean, you look at some of the agendas that are out there, you know, the gender questions that are out there and the outcomes of policies based on that issue. And yeah, that concerns me.
So we see politicians, if you will, caving to the pressure. Is the church caving to the pressure?
You know, I think that many pastors are afraid to talk about these issues. I'd like to think the great majority of evangelical pastors, if you took a poll of them, would still offer support, you know, at least philosophically on for conservative values, right? And biblical values. But I can tell you that in twenty-sixteen, I lost 40 percent of my church. Because I started teaching about what does the Bible say about abortion? What does the Bible say about gender? What does the Bible say about sexuality in leading up to the election?
I didn't wear a Red Hat. I didn't have a banner on the stage that endorsed a candidate. We didn't even have an American flag on the stage. We just taught what scripture said about some of the most pressing social issues in the nation. I'm in a red state with a supermajority, but I'm in a blue county. Our mayor was Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who went on to run for president in 2020, who I'm sure we've not seen the last of. And we had 40 percent of our church walked out the door almost in one week over talking about these issues.
What I didn't realize was how many people in my congregation were, you know, were really willing to put progressive notions above biblical ideals. And look, that hit us financially. It was tough emotionally. These were people we love. But I would do that again in a heartbeat because it was worth it. And we have seen since then so much fruit in our ministry as a result.
And so I'm just really I just would encourage pastors, you know, wherever they are to stand up and really start speaking about their faith in a powerful way. The country needs it right now.
Well, your book is fascinating, and it's “The Christian Left: How Liberal Thought has Hijacked the Church.” I really recommend people pick up this book and read it, Lucas. You're doing the church, a favor, a service of addressing these issues. You're doing your own church, a service of speaking directly into these because we need to. Pilot said. “What is truth?” That's an important question that we need to be addressing head-on and speaking directly into these issues. Jesus did, we need to as well. Thanks for your time.
Hey, thank you.
My Faith Votes—is a nonpartisan movement that motivates, equips and activates Christians in America to vote in every election, transforming our communities and influencing our nation with biblical truth. By partnering with national faith leaders, My Faith Votes provides resources to help Christians Pray, Think, and Act to create an America where God is honored in the public square.
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