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For years now, I have been criticizing the preaching of politics from the pulpit. Why? What's so wrong with talking about issues and can...

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

It’s All About the Presentation!

Why does the leadership of the Church of God International (Vance Stinson, Mike James, and Jeff Reed) continue to lose the battle over messaging with the Bill Watson-Adrian Davis wing of that organization? I believe that the reason is that this contest has reflected some of the same dynamics which have characterized the contest between Biden and Trump for the Presidency of the United States. How so?

Chauncey DeVega recently penned an article for Salon entitled Trump is all dominance, all the time. In the article, we read: “Political scientist M. Steven Fish believes that the Democratic Party’s inability, despite their many policy successes, to conclusively defeat the Republicans and the larger ‘conservative’ movement and American neofascists, is rooted in much bigger and systematic failings.” Continuing: “Fish warns that Donald Trump and the other Republican leaders use a high-dominance approach to politics and communication that allows them to set the agenda, which in turn puts the Democrats, who tend to be more passive and consensus-oriented, in a consistently weak position of reaction and defense.” In other words, it’s Trump’s style which makes him so attractive to white, working class voters.

Like their political hero, Watson and Davis use the same high-dominance approach to their messaging. They confidently assert (without real evidence) that God is on their side, and that the other guys are tools of Satan. Also like their mentor, they claim that things like Marxism, Globalism, abortion, homosexuals, and immigration are not only destroying the nation they claim to love, but that they are all part of a coordinated attack on Christianity. They warn that the other side is actively trying to pervert, deceive, and destroy. They argue in favor of authoritarianism and paternalism without blinking an eye, and their message is well-received in MAGA world and among the traditionalists within CGI.

Never mind that Stinson, James, Reed, and Skelton are absolutely right about mercy, compassion, forgiveness, and carrying a message about Christ and his Kingdom to the world! Like Biden and the Democrats, the impulse of CGI’s leadership to try to build consensus and accommodate other viewpoints is swept away before the aggressive and assertive messaging of the rebels. The leadership of CGI says that overt politics from the pulpit is inappropriate, and the rebels double-down on their endorsement of Trump’s worldview. CGI leadership says that ministers shouldn’t be wading into the debate over public health measures relative to Covid, and the rebels insist that masking, social distancing, and vaccinations are infringing on their freedom and are pure evil! In short, CGI’s leadership is trying to hold things together and keep from offending those who hold different opinions - while Waston and his allies are busy flame-throwing. Watson and company are convinced that they are right, and they are determined to prevail.

I recall the old axiom: “Might makes right!” Although there is overwhelming evidence that authoritarianism and paternalism have failed to produce good results, and cooperation and compromise have an equally good track record of actually producing good results, my hunch is that yet another old axiom comes into play: To the victor goes the spoils. In other words, I’m fairly certain that, at least in the short term, the “good guys” are NOT going to win this one! Indeed, the “good guys” in this instance, are actively providing a platform for their enemies! (Check out CGI’s website sometime) What do you think?


  1. After quoting from an article by leftist lunatic Chauncey DeVega (and apparently taking the nutcase seriously), Lonnie summarizes, "In other words, it’s Trump’s style which makes him so attractive to white, working class voters."

    That's utter nonsense! Is that what's also attracting a growing number of non-whites, including many immigrants (and, no, Trump is not and never has been against immigration)? If anything, the reverse of what DeVega (who cites Fish) claims is true. The party of the pathological liar who currently occupies the white house controls the mainstream media and has weaponized the justice system and even our intelligence agencies against their political enemies. And we're to believe that Democrats "tend to be more passive and consensus-oriented"??? Good grief! Should I laugh or smash something? If Lonnie believes that garbage, he really needs to pull his head out of the sand.

    The claim about why working-class whites support Trump is false, so it's not a very good premise for making a comparison. In any case (and for the record), I don't like being stuck in the "Democrat" category.

    Lonnie writes, "Check out CGI's website sometime." Yes, by all means, check it out. And then tell me if you see the "war" Lonnie thinks he sees. Does it look like there are different "sides," and that one side is losing? Or does it simply look like there's plenty of room for different approaches and even some room for different views and opinions? What you won't find is a lot of yellow pencils.
    ---Vance Stinson

  2. My reaction will be posted shortly - I've already submitted it for review by the interested parties.

  3. https://armstrongismlibrary.blogspot.com/2024/05/church-of-god-international-vance.html