Compromising the Gospel for the Sake of Liberty

Compromising the Gospel for the Sake of Liberty

By Brannon S. Howse

On March 31, 2011, I received a letter from a well-known evangelical leader, rebuking me for a stand I had taken in opposition to several other influential Christians. In what I believe was an appropriately loving and Christ-honoring way, I had pointed out that men such as David Barton, Jim Garlow, John Hagee, and James Robison should not be speaking at conferences associated with members of the New Apostolic Reformation. Neither should they be partnering with New Age Mormon Glenn Beck in any spiritual or Body of Christ undertaking. Yet they were doing just that. This is not a gray issue. The Bible is completely clear about partnering with false teachers. We are to have nothing to do with them. 


Despite confirmation that he had received my response to his letter, I never received any further feedback from him although I had requested it. I (as well as some of his friends) believe the reason is that he could not refute the clear scriptural and doctrinal case as to why it violates Scripture to unite with false teachers in a spiritual enterprise. In Acts 20:28-31, for instance, Paul warned elders from the church in Ephesus:


Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears. 

The American Church has entered into what is likely the most dangerous time ever in our nation’s spiritual history, and I will continue to plead with Christians to join me in warning the Church about the great threat we face. Many think they are upholding American values, but Christians who partner with false teachers and think they are defending liberty for the sake of the Gospel are actually doing the opposite. They’re compromising the Gospel for the sake of liberty. The imminent and most serious threat to the Church in America is coming from a religious Trojan horse rather than from the government.


The stakes are high, which makes the issue for which I was “called to task” all the more urgent. I appreciate that fact that the gentleman who sent me the email chose not to blast me publicly. Therefore, it would not be right to name him. Besides, I want to keep the focus of this issue on biblical principles and not on personalities. My goal in sharing my interchange with him is to make you aware of the issues to which the Church in America needs to awaken. Our first calling is to preach the Gospel. 


Bear in mind that I recognize I am not immune to this difficult problem. A few years ago, I had to repent for being guilty of Americanism, for having a greater commitment to liberty and freedom than I did to proclaiming the Gospel and making disciples of Jesus Christ. I pray this book causes you to repent of the same sin, if necessary. So, for the cause of keeping the Church on track in its primary mission, I share below the email challenging my stance, followed by my response. 


Dear Brannon, 


I have watched him [Glenn Beck] carefully for years, and while he doesn’t do things and say things the way you and I would, remember he is not a preacher. But he does say more gospel at times (and a few way out things) that many gospel preachers don’t even say in their churches or on TV or radio. And in my judgment, he is the best thing that has happened to TV in my lifetime. Not because I agree with everything he says, but like others on Fox, right now they are doing more to promote getting America back to the basic Christian values this nation was founded on than anyone in my lifetime. Certainly more than the five prominent secular networks. 


When I heard Dr. Francis Schaffer say part of the reason we were losing our country to the secular socialists was because the church bought into the pietistic philosophy that “politics was a dirty business, we Christian should never get involved in politics but leave that to the nice civic minded people while we preach the gospel.” He condemned that idea and said to save our nation and its unique religious freedom principles we should get heavily involved in educating Christians and others who share our moral values, getting them registered and out to vote on Election Day. That it is no compromise when working with people of other faiths as “cobelligerents” (his term), people we could not work with in the spreading of the Gospel but as fellow citizens we can work with them to save the country. 


…I took this to heart…to save religious freedom for the preaching of the gospel and the freedom to teach our own children by activating Americans who share our concern for returning this country through the ballot box to the traditional values of our basically Christian Founding Fathers and adherence to our U.S. Constitution. I can assure you, when the time comes to oppose a religious union (like the Harlot of Babylon in Revelation) of people regardless what they think about Jesus Christ and His Word, Pastor Jim Garlow and I will be right there with you.


God bless you my friend, 


Here is a portion of my response: 


You know my great respect for you, so I appreciate your emailing me today with your concerns and for the opportunity to explain the biblical reasons for my recent radio programs. 


Today, I play audio clips of Cindy Jacobs speaking of having Jim Garlow and David Barton with her at a conference. Websites report that Jim was actually at her 2009 and 2010 Convergence Conference. Cindy Jacobs is part of the New Apostolic Reformation and sees herself as a prophet. C. Peter Wagner years ago wrote that she is “the U.S. national apostle.” I also play clips of Jim on the platform with Lou Engle. Lou, according to his website, is with the International House of Prayer. The New Apostolic Reformation movement believes in extra- Biblical revelation, prophets, apostles, and a host of other heresies. 


The mixing of evangelicals with false prophets for the sake of the culture war is really an offense to the Gospel. God is not dependent on us to violate biblical principles in order to be successful at restoring righteousness. How can we restore righteousness through an unrighteous manner? How can we hope to restore biblical principles within government when we have willingly violated biblical principles within the Church? The end does not justify the means.

The culture war is really the byproduct of a spiritual battle and the spiritual condition of America. The Church cannot confront the cultural and spiritual problems by compromising on biblical and spiritual issues. 


God is watching, and I contend that our efforts are being thwarted by God as Divine judgment for setting aside Scriptural warnings and uniting with false teachers in spiritual enterprises intertwined with our Christian activism. If biblically sound Christians stand together for righteousness in the public square and yet we lose, we still win because we were able to lift up the Gospel in our Godly efforts. However, if Christians compromise the Gospel and unite with false teachers in spiritual and political enterprises, regardless of the political outcome, we will have lost because we gave credibility to false teachers and their false gospel. I believe this is Satan’s strategy. Satan has moved his false teachers into our camp as a religious Trojan horse, and Christian leaders have embraced the Trojan horse of false teachers. 


Our willingness to lose our liberty and freedom—and to even be enslaved before we compromise the Gospel—is how we can win, and win for eternity. Such reckless abandonment for Christ is what God can choose to bless. I guarantee you that God is not going to bless with greater freedom and liberty an American Church and its leaders that are embracing religious syncretism, compromise, and apostasy. 


Christians uniting with the NAR crowd and false teachers not only keeps God from blessing our efforts, but it damages our testimony to the unsaved world that is watching. I have been reading numerous secular websites over the past few days, and many of the unsaved are openly writing that they cannot believe that evangelicals are uniting with what even they know are false teachers. How sad that the unsaved world is stunned by our compromise. 


You speak of being co-belligerents with unbelievers on social issues. However, this is not working with unbelievers on fighting abortion, same-sex marriage, or even defending marriage between one man and one woman. Christian leaders joining Glenn Beck in what Beck referred to as uniting all faiths and looking to one God is not being a co-belligerent on political or civic issues. This is deliberately joining in spiritual enterprises with unbelievers and false teachers. 


Liberty University through Awakening 2010 had Cindy Jacobs and Rick Joyner with them. This is becoming a real problem, and we are watching evangelicals give credibility to what I believe is the formation of the false church. Can you imagine what Vance Havner, Walter Martin, Donald Barnhouse, J. Vernon McGee would say to this? They would be on my program shouting “Amen.” 

2 John 9-11 speaks of not greeting or inviting into your house one that does not bring the essential Christian doctrines lest you partake in their evil deeds. The NAR crowd is all about pushing a false Jesus, a false gospel and an unclean spirit. This issue is also addressed in 2 Corinthians 6:14, where we are told not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. I believe the fruit of the doctrine of some of the NAR leaders reveals they are false converts, false prophets, and thus false brethren. This is so black and white. I am stunned that I must make this case to you. 


The late Vance Havner was correct when he declared: “The devil is not fighting religion; he is too smart for that. He is producing a counterfeit Christianity so much like the real one that good Christians are afraid to speak out against it.”

I pray that America’s Christians and pastors will understand that there is an unbiblical and dangerous spiritual convergence taking place throughout the nation and the world, and today is the day to choose whether you will uncompromisingly stand for the living God or give creditability to pagan spirituality.


 In 1 Kings 18:20-21 Elijah declared to the Children of Israel, who were seeking to follow God while also mixing their worship of God with pagan spirituality, that they must choose to whom they would pledge their allegiance. Elijah asked the Israelites “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” 


Yes, I would like to see the progressives/socialists, collectivists/Fabians/communists defeated and the original intent of America’s founding fathers restored, but that certainly will not happen if the true Bride of Christ compromises on biblical truth. This is no time to be committed to pragmatism, because the end does not justify the means. The means simply declare our priorities—and reveal in whom (or what) we really trust and serve. 


Now we see the Religious Right, the GOP, Glenn Beck, the NAR, the Tea Party, and the dominion theology crowd converging for the sake of political spoils. 

Christians that partner with false teachers in spiritual enterprises and think they are defending liberty for the sake of the Gospel are actually compromising the Gospel for the sake of liberty.


America needs men like William Tyndale and John Wycliffe that have the courage to speak the truth even if it is not popular with the religious leaders of the day. Spurgeon said “to pursue unity at the expense of truth is treason to Jesus.”


The prophecy “expert” confirmed by email that he received my return letter but otherwise never replied. As one of his friends said to me, “How could he respond when you laid it out from the Scritpures as you did?” 


An Amazon search also reveals that Jim Garlow wrote a chapter in The Reformers Pledge. The book’s contributors include New Apostolic Reformation proponents Bill Johnson, Lance Wallnau, Chuck Pierce, C. Peter Wagner, John Arnott, Cindy Jacobs, James W. Goll, and Lou Engle. 


Because of this historic realignment among some evangelical leaders to lock arms with “all faiths” for political gain, I am going to use the rest of this chapter to detail chronologically how this seismic shift occurred and how my warnings and those of other talk show hosts and columnists have gone unheeded. 

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.