Luke Moon: How have you been?
FRANK SCHAEFFER (former Evangelical Christian): Been well, and you?
LUKE MOON (current Evangelical Christian): Really good. Got to spend a few days chillin and fishin with my family. It was spring break. Celebrated Passover with my Jewish friends and Easter with my fellow Christians.
Frank: Too bad all those “Jewish friends” are going to burn in hell, right?
Luke: As a guy who has spent years as Evangelical and now a whatever you are….what does Easter mean to you?
Frank: What the Creed says… then with a huge question mark…
Luke: Why is there a question mark?
Frank: Thomas minus the open wounds? I have a question for you: Speaking of my evangelical past… When I grew up in the evangelical ghetto, good manners about all things sexual were the gold standard of both my evangelical upbringing and ideas about what it meant to be a conservative. The idea that abuse of women, and sexually predatory antics would be defended by conservatives would have been as unthinkable as imagining Russian Communist leaders extolling the virtues of capitalism. Had a 1950s or 1960s version of Bill O’Reilly or Roger Ailes (the former Fox News chairman) manifested in the news having sexually abused women, the right—and the religious right in particular—would have led the nation in loud angry denunciations.
Not anymore. What’s the “conservative” response been to the rash of Fox News-sexual predators? Silence.
“Fox Breaks Ties With Host Bill O’Reilly” was all the bastion of conservative “values” (rooted mostly in Roman Catholic-style pro-family tradition) the National Review could manage. As for Breitbart they rose to try and make sexual predation all about politics with “Activist Left Gets Monster Scalp.” In other words, Bill O’Reilly’s problem was that he’d been a victim of liberal activists, not sinful and evil. Aren’t conservatives pro-decency anymore?
And by the way, I wasn’t merely quipping with my crack about your Jewish friends burning in hell. Do they know your version of God hates them for not “accepting Jesus”? And if they do why are they still your friends?
Luke: On the contrary. My FB and Twitter is full of denunciations of O’Reilly and Ailes. David French published a scathing piece yesterday called O’Reilly, Ailes, and the Toxic Conservative-Celebrity Culture….sounds like one of your titles. Anyways, there is lots of good outrage coming from solid conservatives.
Frank: What about some solid “outrage” from Fox News? And what about your Jewish friends in hell?
Luke: You know how this works as well as me. There is two things in play here. One is the sexual harassment settlements from Fox News. The second is the political game here. The first issue is obvious and morally repugnant. The second is where the letting the Left “take another scalp.” It’s the second point that drives some conservatives to protect Fox News and O’Reilly in some instances. It’s the scalp-taking frenzy that makes things so much worse.
Frank: Then again with 81 percent of white evangelicals as the most solid Trump-voter bloc (other than KKK members) how can evangelicals lead in a rallying rejection of sexist behavior toward women from conservative media personalities and outlets? Their president is an unrepentant “P—- grabber” who bragged he could do what he wanted to women because of his celebrity status.
A core value of conservatives like my preacher dad and missionary mom used to be their emphasis on personal responsibility and moral culpability. Which is why they said unbelievers like Jews… who chose not to believe would burn, they’d made a choice… speaking of which we seem to be ducking saying how you can have Jewish friends when (if you are really an evangelical) they know you “know” they will burn for eternity… especially since they know you so have no excuse… given you no doubt “share the gospel” with them but they chose not to “accept.”
Luke: We’ve been here before. The choice was between a man who was vulgar in his relationships with women and a woman who protected her husband who was vulgar in his relationships with women. But, hey at least we got our Supreme Court judge. 🙂
If I believe that all who die apart from faith in Jesus Christ will go to hell, and you and my Jewish friends don’t believe in hell, why do you care?
Frank: Okay, got it but our readers want to know if “your” Jews will burn because they have failed to believe you–Luke–when you told them about Jesus?
Luke: All who die apart for faith in Jesus Christ will go to hell and that really sucks.
Frank: I care for the same reason that I understand why gay women and men might not want someone who tells them they are sinners for a pal… to share Easter with. I thought you believed in truth… thus this is serious stuff to you. Who wants a friend who seriously believes that they are destined for eternal holocaust?
And if this “sucks” as you say, why are you loyal to ideas about God that are rooted in an idea of God built on racial and tribal exclusivity? Only “we” will be saved! “They” are lost!
Luke: My friendships are not transactional associations for the purpose of “leading people Jesus.”
Frank: Then you must not love your friends much if the ones who aren’t part of the evangelical tribe are going to burn! Aren’t you wanting to “save” them? …you get the last word…
Luke: I don’t have it figured out. I really want to be able to change my theology so that my friends who do good stuff and believe things in part will merit salvation. I can’t though. I love my friends dearly. I love them enough to be clear about where I stand. If they want to believe as I, great. If they don’t it’s their choice. No one can be forced to believe anything.
Schaeffer & Moon is written on the fly in a real-time chat room format and lightly proofed by Patheos editors.