The obsession of two of the leading pastors of the Church of God International with right-wing politics and conspiracy theories is clearly pushing that group into the “Bat Shit Crazy” category (Banned by HWA may soon be forced to add them to their poll). Recent sermons by Adrian Davis and Bill Watson have been literally chocked-full of warnings about folks on the left as socialists, communists, globalists, homosexuals, Jewish elites, Black Lives Matter supporters and pedophiles. In fact, listening to some of their most recent sermons one might conclude that the fall of the United States is imminent if Joe Biden and the Democrats are swept into power in the rapidly approaching U.S. election! Pack, Flurry and Thiel haven’t got anything on these guys!
In his most recent sermon, Pastor Davis declared that no matter who wins the election “America is gone…It’s just a matter of time – It’s just how quickly America will collapse.” He went on to say that America is already gone as an idea, and that the communist takeover is almost complete! He goes on to suggest that anyone who supports those wicked globalists and communists is in reality worshipping Satan! Pastor Davis proceeds to decry the “beautiful rhetoric” of the Left about coming together to solve problems and helping the disadvantaged. He then goes on to attack those who have advocated for a more serious and sober approach to handling the Covid19 pandemic. Pastor Davis believes that those who are advocating for global cooperation in instituting scientific health measures to protect folks are pushing fear. He says the coronavirus is contagious, but not very lethal. He points to Donald Trump’s quick recovery from the virus as proof of his point. Davis then proceeds to denigrate anyone who would deign to find fault with what happened to George Floyd. After that rant, the good pastor returns to his attack on those nasty advocates of social distancing and mask wearing – even injecting a right-wing video to buttress his attack! And, if you think I’m making up stuff about poor Pastor Davis, then just listen to the sermon for yourself (if you have the stomach) at https://www.cgi.org/weeklysermons?sapurl=LytxNWdtL2xiL21pLytoM210Mng4P2F1dG9wbGF5PXRydWUmZW1iZWQ9dHJ1ZQ==
In his most recent sermon, Pastor Watson calls out those “self-proclaimed” socialist Democrats: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Like his preferred president (Trump), the fact that none of these individuals is the current standard bearer of the Democratic Party makes no difference to him! He proceeds to decry just how much America has changed in his lifetime – things like two homosexuals being able to marry each other! Pastor Watson also spends a great deal of time defending his obsession with politics - often pointing to the moral implications of issues like abortion and transgender rights. He says that folks on the left want to replace the U.S. Constitution with a socialist platform. Watson proceeds to decry professional athletes taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem at sporting events. And, if that isn’t bad enough, Mr. Watson is outraged by the fact that Ohio has recently instituted a mask wearing mandate because of Covid19. The gall of these folks to interfere with his rights! For Pastor Watson, masks don’t make sense, and he glories in the fact that the mandate exempts him as a pastor. “America!” he declares, “Freedom to travel…freedom to breathe fresh air!” Mr. Watson is paranoid about the collection of data. He sees dark conspiracies at work everywhere. He decries the fact that we are “quarantining the healthy.” Watson says he has no problem with folks wearing masks, just don’t force him to wear one! Later, he launches into a diatribe about a socialist platform and suggests that these folks are coming for your guns and are going to take away your right to vote. Once again, you don’t have to take my word for it – If you can stomach the message, you can view it in its entirety here: https://www.cgi.org/weeklysermons?sapurl=LytxNWdtL2xiL21pLytydDg5M3lkP2F1dG9wbGF5PXRydWUmZW1iZWQ9dHJ1ZQ==
Now, while I’m confident that these rants will appeal to a great many of the supporters of Donald Trump, I do not think that they have much to do with proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. And, if one is truly trying to reach the broadest possible audience with that message, how do you think an extremely partisan message will accomplish that? I have no idea how much of the leadership and membership of the Church of God International actually subscribes to these extreme views – hopefully not many of them. However, by providing a platform for these views, we are forced to conclude that that organization has clearly gone off the rails!