Sam Rohrer: Just two days ago the U.S. Senate on a nearly partyline vote confirmed the appointment of Brett Cavanaugh to the US Supreme Court. He was quickly sworn in privately and today a more formal public swearing at the East Wing of the White House. Without a doubt the process and the procedure that led up to this final vote was more tumultuous, more angry and witnessed more deception, lies, and conspiracy to destroy the process, destroy innocent lives, and to divide America than any previous event in congressional history.
As a result, the nation has been changed. Now, to what extent? We don’t yet know. Like watching a despondent daytime soap opera, Americans were immersed in this sickening display of raunchy actions and words with most hoping it was pure fiction but sadly, the Cavanaugh experience as I’m calling it, was not fiction. It was real, and what it provided was an opportunity for Americans like a professional medical surgeon to look deep into the heart and the soul of the modern American culture.
Today on this program rather than to speculate as to what the Cavanaugh appointment may mean in regard to Supreme Court rulings, I like to examine and diagnose what we saw the last many weeks. The general theme for today’s program is Beyond Cavanaugh, an endoscopy of the American culture. With that introduction, let me welcome you to a new week of Standing in the gap today, I’m Sam Rohrer, and I’m going to be joined today by Dr. Gary Dull. To help us as we walk through this critical analysis will be Dr. Alex McFarland, who is a speaker and author and advocate for Christian apologetics and a whole lot more.
You’re going to want to stay with us the entire program and I really would encourage you right now to text or email your friends or your family members to join us in this hour. We’re going to discuss such questions as, what did we learn from this experience? Are we more healthy now or more sick as a culture? Is the church in America stronger or weaker put this way more relevant or less relevant as this experience has unfolded? We’re going to conclude with this, can this sickness be healed?
With that I want to welcome Gary and Alex both of you to the program. Thank for being here today. We have a lot of really deep considerations to go over today and I don’t know of two men better qualified to be on here on the subject as both of you, so I thank you for being here. I like to get right into it right now. On this news program, we say that we analyze headline news in light of God’s word and the Constitution. I’m going to use a medical analysis of performing an endoscopy, which for those who don’t know what that is, it’s the medical procedure that allows a doctor to look deep inside an internal organ, like the heart or the liver or bladder. In this segment, I’d like to get on the table, so to speak, what we’ve learned through the hearings and the vote as well on Saturday. This would be the whole concept men from beginning to the end as we now know with the vote on Saturday.
Alex, I want to go to you first. I’m going to make a statement that what we witnessed in the Cavanaugh hearings is in fact not some isolated anomaly but really reflects the broadest measure of the American culture. I say that because the Senate is an elected body, is perhaps the most [august 00:03:41], the smallest body in Congress, but is reflective of the nation as a whole, and in fact descriptive of our culture. I just want to know from you for as you look societally, is it appropriate to take a look at what happened in these unfolding circumstances and say that it would be pretty accurately descriptive of our culture and our people as a whole? Do you agree with that?
Alex McFarland: I think the train wreck that was the Cavanaugh hearings and vetting process is very much indicative of what the American secular education landscape looks like and very much indicative of what the American press largely looks like. But the great divide of accusations versus truth and leftist smear tactics versus conservative moral seeking of truth, I think it really doesn’t at all reflect the vast majority of American citizens.
Sam Rohrer: Okay, all right. I’m just going to hold you right there. Anyways, you would say what we heard was in fact not necessarily reflective of the culture as a whole but a portion of it, and they go here then before I go to Gary. You’re an astute cultural observer, you’re a professor, you’re a Christian apologist, based on that and what we are seeing is our culture sick or is it healthy?
Alex McFarland: I think our culture is sick. It doesn’t have to be terminal, but if we let this minority force call leftist education, pop media celebrities in politics, what we’re going to do, if we don’t stand up against it we’re going to let a highly vocal minority do irreparably detrimental things to a less vocal majority.
Sam Rohrer: Okay, Gary, let me go to you right now. In simple terms, what did the division we saw because clearly there was great division came out of that effort there. What does it tell us about our basic values as a nation or a culture? Are we in broad agreement? Are we more widely opposed to such basic values, say as life and decorum and respect and ethics, God himself? What do you say?
Gary Dull: I think the basic underlying thing is, Sam, we have taken God out of the picture that’s why we have such a division and such a sickness. I go back to the words of Barack Obama in 2006 when he spoke in that conference that was entitled Building a Covenant for a New America, you may remember that. He said this and I quote, “Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation, at least not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation and a Buddhist nation and a Hindu nation and a nation of non-believers”. In that statement, I think that he turned the direction of this nation, at least from that which is being propagated, and consequently he was saying, we have got many gods in this nation and the God of the Bible is not the prime God. It reminds me of the day when Paul was at Athens there in Mars Hill and he spoke to the altar that was given to the unknown God.
What happened is that the Greek culture had forgotten God and were sick spiritually. We are forgetting God in this culture today. We’re spiritually sick and that’s why I believe we see such a divide that manifested itself in this hearing with Judge Cavanaugh.
Sam Rohrer: Alex, just a few seconds here, got to go on to a break, from a societal and cultural perspective then where there is no common view of God as Gary just described, no fear of God, no remorse or shame. Is it possible for a nation to survive in this wandering land of anybody, anything goes?
Alex McFarland: It’s not possible to survive but it is possible that we could recover if this great move of God revival.
Sam Rohrer: Stand in the Gap today, our theme for this program today is Beyond Cavanaugh, an endoscopy of the American culture. That’s really a medical term to look deeply within an internal organ to diagnose what’s up. You see on one hand the Cavanaugh experience was deplorable and it was sickening. Certainly it gave the entire nation an opportunity to witness a literal out of body experience in my estimation that we all got to look in from the outside and see in its really lurid details a very sick patient, that’s the American culture lying out there on the operating table as it was before the entire world.
Brett Cavanaugh obviously was the focus of attention, but it was really the culture that was being manifested. We saw the doctors, the practitioner so to speak, fighting with each other over the surgical tools, the lights, the room and the diagnosis, worse we witnessed some of the practitioners who appeared fully set to kill the patient, both Cavanaugh and his family for sure, but also the entire political process and the American culture. Violating their Hippocratic oath to cause no harm, many of them performed their deathly horrors on the patient as did the ghastly abortion doctor in Philadelphia, Gosnell, who seemed to take great pleasure in tearing and slicing little unborn babies into pieces.
But on other hand, the Cavanaugh experience provided the opportunity to watch the elected Gosnells and their accomplices in the Senate for the American citizen to some degree look in the mirror and to see a dramatic contrast. The question is, is our culture and our people now stronger or have we grown weaker as a result of what we have just witnessed? Gary, let me go to you first here in this segment. In your opinion, are we as a culture, as a nation stronger or more fragile perhaps I put that way, as a result of what we just saw?
Gary Dull: I think that we are more fragile personally. I think that we are weaker, but the thing of it is we have the potential to become stronger in this nation. I say that because there is a remnant of those who believe in the word of God. There’s a remnant of those who believe the word of God in that pulpit as well as in the pew. I’m praying that this trend towards becoming a weaker or a more fragile culture here in the United States of America will be a challenge to those of us who are Bible believing born-again Christians. Because if we want to see a turnaround getting back to a stronger nation, a stronger culture, it’s going to depend upon the church occupying until Jesus Christ comes again.
In short, yes, right now we are going down the road towards a weaker culture, spiritually and morally, but if we can preach and teach and live biblical principles we can see that turned around to the glory of God.
Sam Rohrer: Gary, that’s what you just said in the last segment. Culture is very sick but ladies and gentlemen again put yourself in a position. We watched the patient on the table and we watched some very poor practitioners involved but there is a choice, almost like God allowed this to happen as another opportunity for America to look and say which one do I want. Alex, to you as now from all appearances and based on headline news, while many are very saddened at what we witnessed the Gosnells and the Cavanaugh experience as I’m saying, some other types of means, not everybody is thinking like Gary just said or like you said or what I’m saying. There was here, one I saw a tweet that came up from a writer on the Stephen Colbert show that said, “I’m just glad we were able to ruin this man’s life.” That was referring to Cavanaugh. They were not, never mind that he was innocent, never mind any of the facts or the corroborations or shifting stories. The important thing to this writer and to others was that they ruined his life. Wow!
Alex with a public at nearly 50/50 percent split right now, more or less, are we stronger or more fragile as a culture post Cavanaugh and why? Gary said what he said what he said, what do you say?
Alex McFarland: I have hope that we have the potential to become stronger because I remember the last 10 days I’ve talked to so many people in several states, many American voters that were somewhat non-committal or maybe just on the fence are incensed and frankly angry about the way that Diane Feinstein and the Democrats were willing to obstruct the constitutional processes of the appointment of a justice that ultimately, while you’re right I like your analogy Sam, that the medical practitioners have been trying to kill the patient as in the legislators and the left and the activists were willing for the patient to be irreparably harmed rather than for a competing political ideology to move forward.
Think about this. Rather than have a constitutionalist on the bench, someone that might dare because of his legal philosophy and his belief in natural law, a Cavanaugh that might dare stand against abortion sometime down the road, they would rather burn down the building, undermine the Constitution and risk letting someone be on the bench that would challenge their core conviction. [inaudible 00:13:35] said this. I give God the glory but having spoken or debated or done Q&A at around 200 American universities, I will tell everyone listening of the secular left their core value that the doctrine for which they would be willing to die is the value of sexual license.
The sad thing is kids that have sat under secular educators, their core value is just plain licensed. The hippie generation, their core value was sexual license and therefore they’re wedded to abortion on demand because very often sexual promiscuity does result in unplanned pregnancies, so they view abortion as a means of birth control. Now Cavanaugh, thank God with his Catholic legal training believes in natural law as our founding fathers did.
One of the reasons the left denigrates our founding fathers is because they believed in, as Jefferson wrote, self-evident truth or natural law. Here’s the thing. The left is malicious. Folks, you’ve got to believe it. This is not just a slight different perspective. The left hates our Constitution and frankly, Diane Feinstein and all of those that would perpetuate from Obama to Hillary to Diane Feinstein, those that are the anti-morality, anti-natural law, Therefore anti-constitutionalists, they ought to be tried for treason.
Sam Rohrer: Alex, that goes right to the heart of the division that we saw and people felt across the country. I know you’ve been interviewed a lot, I’ve been interviewed a lot, we’ve all been reading, the American people witnessed a sharp distinction, you’re describing some of that, God, no God-
Alex McFarland: Do you think the voters are becoming wise to this?
Sam Rohrer: Yeah, God, no God, life, death, respect, lack of respect. Let me go here in this regard, as we wind up this segment. In that setting, there are some that I’m reading right now are saying, All right, well, there was a victory because Cavanaugh was approved by a majority vote be it small. I look and I say, “All right, well, that was one indication, yes, but will that appointment heal our nation?” This is what I want to ask you right here. The healing of wounds and putting us in a medical perspective, patient on the table, the healing of wounds require special treatment. In your opinion, were there any seeds of healing planted in the national psyche during the Cavanaugh experience? In other words, were there things that were actually stated and/or done that you think were planted that you are taking root or could take root from which this divide we’re all describing can be healed of? What was it? Give me an example.
Alex McFarland: I think the gracious way that Cavanaugh and the conservatives were willing to take all this and not respond in kind, that speaks volumes. Like I say, the American voter is getting wise to this, young people are getting wise to this. I was with high schoolers and college students all last week, a nine-day visit to Mississippi, came straight over here to North Carolina, I talked with college students yesterday. Let me tell you, bad news for the left. Millennials and younger are observing and they’re watching the comportment and the behavior of the left versus the right.
I want to say a big time applause to Susan Collins. Her speech reflected on deep, thorough examination that wasn’t just a knee-jerk coming along party lines. She very meticulously, if anybody watched her speech on, I suppose it was Friday. She talked about her thorough meticulous examination of all the facts. Again, the Michael Moore’s of the world and Amy Schumer and the Hollywood fairytale people can talk about the FBI examinations weren’t valid or anything like that.
Seven FBI examinations of all these allegations and Cavanaugh was exonerated and Ford was shown to have no corroboration, no substantiation. People know this. People are getting wise to all of the left.
Sam Rohrer: Welcome back to Stand in the Gap Today. If you’re just joining us, I’m Sam Rohrer. We’re talking about Beyond Cavanaugh. We’re using a medical illustration more or less to examine what took place. I’m calling it an endoscopy like I did out here, of the American culture. What that is is that it’s a medical procedure that allows a doc to go inside and look at an organ, a heart, a liver, or a pancreas or whatever, before there is some kind of major action that’s taking place to help in that patient.
That’s what we’re trying to do today here on this program. Looking back now and all that we now know, because this issue with the positive vote of the Senate by Cavanaugh who is now Supreme Court justice because of all that, this does not end what we saw. As we’ve been saying in the program, a lot of choices before the American people now. Very critical where we go. As we continue with our endoscopy of the Cavanaugh experience here on Stand in the Gap, it is clear that the American culture is very sick. We know that the patient, our nation and our people, are in a literal war for our souls and with the most basic of values necessary for a nation to remain strong, or a family to remain strong such as trust or truth, duty, responsibility, value of life, fear of God, honoring of the constitutional oath for those in office and more.
When it comes to cultural health and healing, the logical question to ask is where is the church? Because we’ve said so many times this is not a political problem that we’re seeing, this is a spiritual problem, so where is the church? Shall I ask, where was the church during these last weeks? In this segment, Beyond Cavanaugh, I want to look at, is the church stronger or weaker now? Is it more vibrant and relevant? Is it more lethargic and irrelevant?
Alex, let me go to you first here now and ask you this. The church and most Christian leaders, in my opinion, were conspicuously absent from this entire Cavanaugh experience. Except for you and us at APN here and on this radio broadcast and a handful of other individuals or organizations across the country, nearly no one even remotely offered biblical counsel in this event, which in my opinion was perhaps the most teachable moments in our nation’s history. I want to ask you from your opinion, why not? why wasn’t there more involvement by church and church leaders?
Alex McFarland: I think the lack of involvement and deafening silence on the part of pastors and church leaders, when you’re right, Sam, you are 100% right. This is a great teachable moment. It’s because pastors are not courageous enough to speak up. Maybe they’re not insightful and discerning enough to connect the dots between the modern culture and our need for revival. I think the previous generations where in colonial America, in that era, clergy from Edwards and Whitfield and others in [inaudible 00:21:46], they were quick to preach on and teach and talk about the struggle between America and Britain with spiritual themes, and in the mid-19th century they were in the mid 20th century they were.
We just really have seemed to have lost her prophetic voice and so many pastors and I, listen. I’ve pastored two churches myself and I know the fine diplomatic line that pastors sometimes feel like they have to walk, but let me say to all the shepherd out there, listen, do not worry which way the winds of popularity blow. Please, don’t draw your theologies from the political correct messaging of the left. Preach the word of God and be willing to take positions even if they’re not at the moment what you think are popular.
Sam, I’ve got to say this. In February of 2016, the fall of 2015, summer, fall of 2015, spring of 2016, when I began to… in places like the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times I begin to say, I think Trump is going to be the nominee. Christians need to vote for him. He’s promised to appoint pro-life, pro-family, pro-Israel, pro-constitutionalist justices, which he has done. By the way, he is fulfilling his promises. Let me tell you the firestorm and some of the closest personal friends I’ve ever had disowned me when I said I think Trump is going to be the nominee and you need to vote for him because look, you either got the high priestess of abortion, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.
He was the nominee and did become the president as everybody knows. If I think about people like Ed Stetzer who has foolishly continued to tweet against the president and even made disparaging tweets during the Cavanaugh vetting process, look. Folks, this is no time to try to be politically correct and I just want to say this, maybe we could unpack this in a future show, hipster Christianity is not helping anybody. Hipster Christianity. You got to be cool, got to be snarky, got to throw stones at whatever God and country. Listen, we’re called to pray for revival, humbly get on our face and ask God to send the move of the Holy Spirit.
When we see things that are morally right and/or making a positive difference, our friendship with Israel. Among minorities. unemployment is at historic lows.
Sam Rohrer: Alex, what you’re saying is that when there are things that are being done right that meet biblical principles we should praise that which is done and we should speak out against those things which are evil. Now Gary, I want to go to you. I want to get your perspective on this. When you look at this national experience which we’re talking about now, and is going to go on for some time because this is not done, as you look at scripture, just talking about that preaching and is being bold, how do you think God would rate the involvement of the church in America at this what we called a most teachable moment?
Gary Dull: Sam, that’s a good question, and let me say this, that there are many good churches and many good pastors and many good Christians that many times we refer to as the remnant in the United States of America. Directly answering your question, how would God rate the involvement of the church in America today, I would use three words. Week, complicit and complacent. I say that based upon scripture. It’s interesting to note that in 1st Timothy 4:1, it tells us that the time will come when many will depart from the faith. I don’t know how many times within the past two or three weeks I’ve heard people say directly to me, “Well, this is the way that it’s going to be so we just may as well watch what’s going to happen.” The problem with that is is that even though in latter times people will depart from the faith, we as Christians are under the order of the Lord Jesus Christ as he spoke in Luke 19, to occupy, to be fully engaged and involved in proclaiming his truth until he comes.
That goes back once again to the pastors. Alex, spoke about the pastors a moment ago in 2nd Timothy 4, pastors are told to preach the word, the instant in-season, out-of-season. Why? Verse three says, “For the time will come when they would not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts shall keep to themselves teachers, having itching ears, and so forth.” Listen, yes, as God looks at the church now, I’m a churchman, I am thankful for that, but I see the church as week, complicit and complacent. Pastors need to preach with a holy boldness and people in the pew need to respond to honor God and to strengthen this nation and to strength each other.
Sam Rohrer: Gary, what you’re saying is that, I know exact, I’ve heard the same thing about, “Well, you know what, this is just the way it’s going to be”, so therefore it’s almost an excuse to continue and be a part of that doing nothing. Ladies and gentleman that is the exact opposite. The point of us knowing by scripture that these times will come, deception will occur, and there will be a departure from the faith, that is to alert us to do just the opposite that’s so that we who know the truth don’t get caught up in the air, don’t get caught up in the weakness and the running from truth but just the opposite.
Alex, in just the last minute here that we have, what should be the recurring message of the church to ourselves and the culture? We’re saying, Gary said preach the word that’s responsive with the church. What should the church be doing and the message that it should be putting out here right now in this time?
Alex McFarland: God bless you. We have an obligation to God, we have an obligation to the world. As Augustine said, there’s the city of God, the city of man and the Christian has one foot in both. Obviously our loyalty is to Christ, our identity as a believer. A lot of Christians, they’ll chide me and they set forth what really is an unnecessary divide. they’ll say, “My home is in heaven. I don’t trust politics to save my soul or fix this world.” I don’t either ultimately, but in a proximate sense Romans 13 says that, yes, government, peacekeepers, righteous leaders are sanctioned by God so it requires a little intellectual heavy lifting, it requires some thought but the church has got to again teach to its people not only discernment but civics, civic involvement. What we’ve said, I think that we have to give this a prophetic voice.
Sam Rohrer: As we swing now into our final segment here of today’s program, which is really, I know it’s been a little heavy to some extent ladies and gentlemen because we’re talking about really significant issues. What happened in the Cavanaugh experience, I’m calling it, the hearings? Everything happened last week and the vote. Americans were all involved in this, perhaps more people watching what took place than anything recent and America was impacted. It’s been the subject matter of nearly all talk shows. It’s been the subject matter of journalist writings. It’s been a discussion because it goes to the heart, but I’m afraid that as we’ve observed this nationally, that if we do not understand that what we’ve actually been seeing is our culture on display on the operating room table, more or less. The patient is our culture, it was Brett Cavanaugh and he was there he was attacked and so as his family, but it was our culture.
Where we got to see inside the lives and attitudes and the actions of our elected officials and those who work with them and make the law and do investigations and American public weighed in. The question is, did we learn anything? We’ve talked about, are we stronger or weaker now as a result? Well, to some extent the verdict is still out. We just talked about it, it was the church involved. Is the church now, as a result, more relevant or less relevant? I’m saying it’s less relevant because the church really didn’t speak up at the exact time perfect opportunity to weigh in, but it brings us to the point of the prognosis.
We’re a sick culture. We’ve walked away from God, we have, but can we be cured? Whether one examines our culture and our nation from a societal perspective, a governmental perspective, an ideological perspective, or a spiritual perspective or whether one looks at the state of the family, the state of the individual, the state of the government, or the state of the church, the Cavanaugh experience highlights the reality that the patient, the culture is sick. Our culture is sick and our nation is divided, we see it. We’re no longer one nation under God. We clearly are not a nation who believes that in God we trust. We’re not even a nation that even rallies around the Constitution and the principles of a representative republic.
Whereas William Penn said would swing on the hinges of citizens and those in office voluntarily submitting themselves to the 10 Commandments of God. Like the doctor in the operating room who just performed the endoscopy into the vital organs of the sick patient and is forced to state the facts as they are, we’ve tried to do that today. The patient is sick. Evaluation of the great physician, Jesus Christ, though, is the most critical.
We’re going to conclude today’s program and answer that question, can our sick nation and culture be healed? Gary, let me go to you just for a quick answer. We’re sick, we already talked about that, can our nation be healed? Gary, yes or no.
Gary Dull: Yes.
Sam Rohrer: Okay, all right. I’m right there with you. Yes, we are. Now, go here. What must be done? If national and cultural healing is to occur, Gary, and I think that’s, anybody listening to this program, that’s what they want. People are praying about it but can it be done without a revitalized church? In that, wrap around that what must be done if we are to hope for or expect in any way that there’ll be national and cultural healing of this very, very deep divide that by everybody’s admissions, they know now is occurred.
Gary Dull: Sam, I think that the Cavanaugh fiasco really shows us a serious situation that our nation is in. Keep in mind that many have put God out of the picture. The Democrats did that in their convention several years ago. I think that what we have seen in this Cavanaugh situation is the result of that. God was put out a picture and when you put God out of the picture you can lie, you can deceive, and that’s really what we have been watching in this Cavanaugh situation. I shared with you during the break a statement that I think we ought to keep before us. It’s a twofold statement. Number one, bad government hurts the work of God but good government helps the work of God.
Listen to that friends. Write it down. Bad government hurts the work of God. Good government helps the word of God. If we are going to see better government come into fruition, it’s up to the church. It’s up to the people and the pew. It’s up to the people in the pulpit. There are three words I shared. Number one, we must pray, we must pray earnestly that we will have good government based upon biblical truth. Number two, we must preach and we must preach seriously the whole counsel of God, so they do have an effect in the lives of believers as well as in the culture. Then number three, we must participate. What does that mean? It means that in four weeks, we go to the voting booth and we vote and we need to vote biblically. We need to vote righteously. Pray, preach and participate. I think God would use that. That’s laying the foundation for good government to develop that will help the work of God. That’s what we need in America today, Sam.
Sam Rohrer: Gary, I agree with you. You were straight up on that. Ladies and gentlemen, can I make a comment to what Gary just said? Understand, the political process is not the answer to spiritual problems. We’ve been saying along, what did we see in Washington? Many have said a dysfunctional political process, in-fighting, backbiting, all that thing. To that extent, you’d be correct. But the point, what you’re saying, Gary, and what we want to say here ladies and gentlemen is that, that’s not the problem, that’s a symptom.
That’s a symptom of what Gary just said. When we walk away from God individually, when we say, “We don’t need you, God, we can do it on our own”, the church says we don’t need to talk about matters of civil government or culture because it’s different than the gospel neglecting the fact that the whole word of God is all about affecting the culture as salt and light, and God’s put us here to be representatives of a heavenly kingdom.
Yes, that’s where citizenship is but we’re also citizens here. To be involved in civil government, to vote, to be a part of a process that most peoples of the world only ever hoped that maybe one day they would see, but never saw, we have. We’ve been given it. The question is, are we willingly going to give it up?
Gary, I think of Deuteronomy 30. We’ve talked about here but God said to his people, “I’ve set before you today life and good, death and evil, obey the commands of the Lord and I will bless you effectively, keep my statutes and my words,” he said, “then I will bless your nation. I will bless all those things that you want your family, your children, all of those things,” he said, “But if you turn away from me, you will perish as a nation.” That, ladies and gentlemen, is really where it comes down to. Do we need God anymore?
Well, I’m telling you, there is no one else who has the capacity to solve spiritual heart problems and out of that then you can fix the political system. We need to vote. We need to be involved but we got to go heart right with God first. That’s where it starts and then the other will reflect it but we can’t stay neutral or walk away.
Gary, I know our time is about up, we’ve talked about a lot of things here in the program but I would really like you to take and close our time in prayer and give a challenge to the pulpits and everyone listening as well.