This story has nothing to do with Neil Young. That said, the title of this piece is a lyric, or variation thereof, from his 2006 album, “Living with War”—which was a fairly scathing indictment of the Bush administration. This story isn’t about the Bush administration either. Here’s what the story is about.
I saw Young perform, back East, in 2007. And the words in the title are the words I heard him sing out—or perhaps better, shout or spit out—during the song, “Let’s Impeach the President.” This story is about the Good News of the Gospel that I am, and every preacher is, called to preach. And it’s about the emotion of Young’s lyric. And, it’s about impeachment of a sort.
To quote a Republican president predating both George Bushes, when it comes to Christianity as preached in the public square, “Here we go again.” This story is currently making the rounds. I take it from “The Christian Post” website:
John MacArthur, author and pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California recently equated churches that declare support for gay marriage are "Satan's church."
"They have no allegiance to the Bible," said MacArthur, in comments reported by The Blaze earlier this week.
Hmm. Where to begin? First, MacArthur has lots of power. And money. The two often go together. And like lots of people with power and money, he wants to control. And he doesn’t much care about facts. Or compassion. Or humanity. Though all three have a whole lot to do with the Gospel he purports to preach.
As for the first charge—“Satan’s church." I trust you’ll take me at my word that neither I, nor anybody in my congregation, nor anybody in the many Christian denominations that are open to, and supportive of, gay marriage, are Satan worshipers.
Now, to the second charge—“no allegiance to the Bible.” Here’s a question: Does Jesus say anything, anything at all, about homosexuality or related topics? No. Here’s another question: Does anything anywhere in the Bible say anything about gay marriage or, more broadly, homosexual relationships as understood today—two consenting individuals of consenting age living in committed relationship? No.
Here’s another question: What does the Bible spend A LOT of time talking about, describing, and commending and commanding from the earliest books of the Law through the Prophets and Psalms and into the Gospels and beyond? Concern for the poor and outcast, just treatment of all, and welcoming the stranger. You would be hard pressed to read at any length in those core books without reading time and again and again about socio-economic concerns for all citizens and aliens. And, interestingly and without exception to my knowledge, those churches and denominations which are open to and supportive of gay marriage are also keen to champion justice for and provide support and assistance to widows, orphans, and folks who are variously marginalized. In other words, they are Bible churches. To the core.
Can preachers be impeached? In many ways, I wish it were so. I wish John MacArthur and his ilk could be called to justice in such a manner as impeachment. What he teaches and promotes is hateful. It is self-serving. It is wrong. It is inhuman. And it is not divine. It has nothing to do with the Good News of the Bible.
That’s my perspective.