An Audience of One…maybe two
I was in a board meeting Thursday morning when the caller ID lit up my cell phone. It was Troy Balderson. I quietly slipped out of the meeting to take his call and see what I could do to be a blessing to his campaign. There wasn’t even the slightest hesitation when he asked me if I would give the invocation at the Trump Rally on Saturday. I told him that I would be honored.
Immediately, I began to pray about the prayer, enlisting many of my friends of all denominational and racial backgrounds to ask God to oversee this grand opportunity of giving thanks and beseeching His divine favor on behalf of the thousands who would be present that day. I had three goals:
- To honor the Lord Jesus Christ.
- To encourage the president and future congressman.
- To give inspiration to those present.
The best counsel I received was from my godly mother who reminded me that I was praying to an audience of One. Shortly thereafter, she revised upwards assuring me that she would be listening too. Prayer is simply talking to God and no one else. Corporate prayer is inclusive of others, in that you are praying on behalf of the group. They are not your audience but rather those who join you in prayer to an Almighty God.
The immediate feedback was tremendous. Initially, I could tell that the crowd was responsive while attempting to be respectful during prayer. Yet, as the prayer progressed, the excitement of those present could not be restrained. They joined the prayer in the enthusiastic manner consistent with a Trump rally. They erupted in celebration of a prayer that echoed the sentiments of their hearts. Many thanks for a passionate prayer were offered throughout the night.
CNN Missed the Best Parts
If you happen to suffer under the delusion that liberals are tolerant, or that mainstream media really get the point, just try praying for the President of the United States. It will help your education if you say something kind about Donald Trump and talk to the good Lord about how savage the press can be. If you happen to pray like you mean it rather than just spit out some flowery language, your lesson will be complete.
Before my boys and I could make it to the nearest Taco Bell that night, I started receiving hateful email and voicemail notifications from CNN viewers. After a quick search on my iPhone, we discovered that CNN, feeling hurt that I invoked God’s protection for their number one enemy, played portions of the prayer designed to provoke their loyal followers. I could tell everytime they played a clip by the emails I received. It was hilarious.
Social media began to take on the form of the uncivilized jungle with tons of F-bombs, hateful rhetoric and assured condemnations. I certainly am glad that my soul is in the hands of Jesus rather than the loyal CNN viewers. (Sadly, even churches in our community with similar names were being harassed.) Oh, there were a few genuine souls who kindly disagreed. But unsurprisingly, the general response from CNN viewers was a little looney. Just so you don’t think I’m making it up, take a listen.
It is worth noting that the nearly all of the hate via email, voicemail, and social media not only came from out of town but also out of state. Within the Buckeye state, even those who are not on the same side of the aisle can be civilized. Closer to home, we don’t always agree but we tend to treat each other with respect. We can debate without all the hate.
Comparing Donald and David
“How dare you compare Donald Trump to David!” screeched another angry voice over the phone. You would have thought I compared him to Jesus. “Don’t you know that Donald Trump committed adultery?”
Seriously? Shaking my head, I immediately wondered if this person ever read their Bible, ever heard of Bathsheba or ever learned that God uses imperfect people? I was curious to know if they felt the same way about the Clintons, whose sins weren’t just before but also during their stent in the White House. No believer defends the president’s past but we are living in the present.
Additionally, my comparison of Donald Trump to David was very specific. David had a vision when no one else did. He saw a purpose and refused to be intimidated, no matter how great the threat. When challenged by those who should have shared his vision (sound familiar?) David asked a simple question, “Is there not a cause?” Thousands of people present celebrated with me as we thanked God for these causes. I wish CNN had played this part!
- The Cause of 60,000,000 babies murdered at the hands of Planned Parenthood,
- The Cause of Constitutional judges and justices,
- The Cause of bringing home our deceased soldiers from North Korea,
- The Cause of a healthy economy and putting people to work and a little later,
- The Cause of moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem.
I’m not sure how any Christian or conservative cannot thank God for a president who boldly executes a vision for these causes. President Trump is unintimidated (lion-hearted- another phrase they despised) when it comes to using the office of President to advance these causes. I have never seen him afraid and neither have they.
The Shield of Faith
I don’t know the president’s personal relationship with Christ and neither does anyone else in the general public. During the campaign, there were reports that he had prayed to receive Christ. I would have been skeptical of a campaign conversion. That doesn’t mean that it couldn’t or didn’t happen. But had it been announced, it would certainly have appeared political. I do know that he has surrounded himself with very godly men like Mike Pence, Ben Carson, and several others.
Those who love to point out his failures have failed to demonstrate that any of his infidelity is ongoing or continuous. One of the callers that you listened to told us that the president was irredeemable? Apparently, they haven’t read their Bible or had the same experiences I have. Others want to know a time and place, which if he told them, they would deny. They are simply determined to hate.
Praying for the shield of faith as a defense against the fiery darts of the wicked one is a reference to Ephesians 6:16. Those familiar with the Scriptures would have picked up on that. Why would a Christian not want their president to be blessed with faith? He needs faith now more than ever. This prayer quickly transitioned to the part that hit CNN and a few others right between the eyes!
This phrase has become the most talked about portion of the prayer and has already made its way into the urban dictionary. So let’s talk about it.
Missionary friends in Botswana have shown me pictures of small cars left on the side of the road after being destroyed by angry elephants. They also told stories of villages utterly devastated by these large and angry creatures.
Another friend is a missionary in the bush of Zambia. He travels through the jungle, sometimes sleeping in a tent, to go from one mission to another. He sent me a picture of a deadly Gaboon Viper and asked if I still wanted to visit. I can’t say that it was appealing. This serpent has fangs up to two inches long and has the highest venom yield of any snake.
Bible readers would recognize the allusion I made to poisonous asps who lurk in the political swamp as a reference to Romans 3:13, “Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips.” What a great description of jungle journalism!
A gentleman in my church served as a missionary in Zambia as well. He told me that they would have to be on a crocodile watch while baptizing new converts. He later had to receive treatment for parasites he had acquired while performing baptisms. The jungle is a dangerous place filled with merciless predators, seen and unseen. Jungle journalism is a predatory, brutal, savage, and uncivilized style of journalism. The jungle is a dangerous place.
This is the jungle that everyone keeps asking about or trying to find some secret, hidden, coded message in. It is really not that difficult. The swamp and the jungle…they just go together. Nice bonus, it’s a catchy alliteration. Better bonus….you’re talking about it!
If you want a more contextual explanation, just read/listen to the prayer. It’s not that complicated. Even Homer Simpson could figure that out. It was defined immediately.
Between the term “jungle journalism” and the reference to “poisonous asps” I actually describe what jungle journalism looks like. Jungle journalism “extorts the truth and distorts honesty and integrity every single day, gets in his face with lies and mistruths and innuendos.” Come on folks, it’s not that complicated.
Contrary to the misleading article in Newsweek, I did not launch “a scathing attack against the Fourth Estate.” The term describes a particular style of journalism rather than painting all journalists or media outlets with a broad brush. If it does not apply to you, it should not offend you. I know both conservative and liberal journalists whose bias does not show through in their writing. They should be celebrated. But if you are among those who practice jungle journalism, I make no apologies. To suggest that I attacked the Fourth Estate would be like me claiming that they are attacking all pastors and churches, rather than just those who are politically engaged.
Describing the terms jungle journalism or fake news as an attack on the fourth estate is pitiful self-indulgence by fake news outlets infested with jungle journalism. Doc Rivers gave a great analysis on the Blaze (video below). With the advent of social “media,” everyone is a journalist to some extent. Of course, we see daily how Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets have taken to censoring content. Celebrities and athletes think their elite status qualifies them with significant insight to comment on the news and the media picks up on it if it fits their narrative (Tim Allen not included). That is where we discover the most vicious parts of the jungle.
Don’t you remember when Michelle Wolf was invited to be the featured comedian at the White House Correspondents dinner? She wasn’t funny, she was crude and shameful. After disgusting remarks about Vice President Pence and abortion, she took a bite out of the President’s press secretary with her poisonous lips.
If Kathy Griffin doesn’t reak of jungle journalism with this exploit, then who does? No explanation needed here.
Do you recall the assault on the Family Research Center where a security officer was slain? What provoked that? The Jungle Journalism of CNN that irresponsibly labeled FRC as a hate group simply because of their conservative policy. This is uncivil and predatory journalism that cost someone their life! Don’t forget how jungle journalism led to a left-wing activist targeting Republicans on the baseball field! #JungleJournalism
Do you remember those “fiery darts” hurled at the Trump administration featuring children in cages? President Trump was touted as the lowest piece of humanity for doing this. But alas, it was discovered that those pictures dated back to Mr. Obama. Of course, we were assured, there must have been a good reason for it if it happened then. Refresh yourself on this story here. Jungle journalism continues to fault Donald Trump for a problem that was raging during the last two administrations, while they get a free pass. #junglejournalismEmbed from Getty Images
How so-called journalists report on the so-called Russian collusion and leave Hillary’s name out of it is beyond me. Where did the Steele Dossier come from? What happened with Uranium One? Nice reset! Oh, and don’t forget Obama’s post-election flexibility. Trump can’t even shake hands with Putin without cries of impeachment but Obama can be more flexible with Vlad, after the election? Jungle journalists are merciless towards those who oppose their left-wing ideology and are determined not to let them survive. They are vicious. But their allies are invincible in their eyes. #junglejournalism
There is a difference between holding politicians accountable or making innocent mistakes and outright predatory, uncivilized, jungle journalism. Conservatives tried to get the press to do its job during the eight years of the Obama administration but biased journalists were too busy gushing over him to do any honest journalism. However, they have made up for lost time with Donald Trump. If there had been any measure of consistency in journalism, the public outrage would not be so evident with chants of fake news and CNN Sucks. If it were not real, the President’s diatribe about it would fall on deaf ears. But ordinary people see it for what it is. The Federalist took time to document several blatant instances which you can read here.
The Free Press
The self-idolatry of certain members of the media, who hold themselves as the so-called saviors of democracy, is ludicrous. Their claim to constitutional supremacy is ridiculous. The first amendment guarantees a free press not a free pass. Neither journalists nor entertainers are any more untouchable and unaccountable than the politicians they cover. They claim that they are necessary to hold the president accountable, but who holds them accountable? They are not immune from accountability and criticism. Yet, in their eyes, any criticism of the press is just unAmerican (unless its Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, or Turning Point).
Consider Whoopi Goldberg, who says she has never seen someone whip up such hate. Has she watched her own show? Isn’t she doing that very thing at the exact moment she spews this nonsense?
Don’t get me wrong. The free press is as important as they say it is in providing accountability. Yet they too are in need of checks and balances. Justified criticism is not an attack on the free press any more than their attacks on me, are an attack on the freedom of religion or free speech. They have the right to make their comments and publicize my prayer out of context. But in doing so, they validate my critique of them. If journalists are so sacred, why did Whoopi attack Judge Jeanine so violently? Doesn’t Jeanine report the news? Isn’t that an attack on the free press? Hmm. Again, they need to remember that the free press does not get a free pass.
They should apply their own standards to themselves. While they celebrate violence against conservatives they cry foul when they receive mild criticism. I’ve been told that blood will be on my hands as though I have incited violence. Sorry folks. Conservatives are civilized people and don’t get worked up like that. But jungle journalism has its way in ramping up violence against conservatives.
Candace Owens hits the nail squarely on the head when talking about the violence propagated by what I labeled as jungle journalism. It is a tribal mob mentality, that is reinforced by predatory journalism and yet refuses to condemn racist acts like these. (For those of you ready to label that as a racist statement, give it a break. This is a white tribe of libs attacking a conservative black woman. The only racism here is on the left.)
While critics are busy taking me to task, let’s not forget that the freedom of religion and the free press share the same article in the Bill of Rights. While they seem to infer that they have greater rights against criticism than I, they are simply mistaken. In fact, when the freedom of the conscience disappears, all other rights will follow. Religious freedom is the most foundational freedom of all. Don’t forget that they are taking me to task on a PRAYER! I wasn’t talking to them. This was my conversation with my heavenly Father and they just got to listen in. Shame on them for their savagery. Jungle journalism is alive and well.
A Biblical Admonition
“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:1-4
For the record, I have prayed privately with Republicans and Democrats alike. In fact, I’ve had some wonderful moments of prayer in Washington, DC with Democrats that I disagree with politically. I prayed for (not with) Obama as president. Those on the Republican State Central Committee have heard me pray for Donald Trump, John Kasich, Mary Taylor, Larry Obhoff and Cliff Rosenberger, Mike DeWine and John Husted in the same breath. These were not campaign prayers but respectful and reverent prayers for those in authority.
With that said, those who do not share my conservatism convictions are highly unlikely to invite me to pray publicly at their events. Furthermore, I would be unlikely to accept an invitation that would imply an endorsement for a candidate that does not share my values. I will tell you, however, that it was among my highest honors to pray at this rally for Donald Trump and Troy Balderson. I am grateful for the opportunity.
As noted above, Doc Thompson gave a cogent analysis on the Blaze. Certainly, more could be said but we will end our conversation here.
Closer to home, The Fremont News Messenger has written a balanced story that can be read here. The Dispatch also treated me fairly in this article which highlights the the Ohio Democratic Party trying to gin up the hate even more. They were not included in the prayer and I have prayed with many Democrats before though we differ on policy. Its just too bad that the only pic they could find is the least flattering. That’s life.