Thoughts on the Apologia and Steve Camp Interview

 

I am not writing this post to beat a dead horse, as it were. I want to add another perspective to that which has already been said concerning the Apologia Radio/Steve Camp interview. I think there is valuable application we Christians can walk away with for the betterment of Christ’s Church, and since this involved friends and influences of mine, I am going to do a short, hopefully fruitful, critique of the exchange followed by what I managed to take away from it. Yes, edification can indeed come through unfortunate situations such as this one.

The Situation

What happened? you ask. A friend and favorite resource of mine, Apologia Radio, in seeking to edify its listeners, decided to have a gentlemen on by the name of Pastor Steve Camp. This, as far as I can tell, was intended to be an interview which explored Steve’s support of Presidential Candidate, Donald Trump. Pastor Jeff Durbin, the host of the program, seemed to be trying to reach the root of Steve’s support of Trump in order to address it from the perspective of a Biblical worldview by way of asking questions pertaining to Scripture and Trump’s seeming abuse thereof. After all, why would a Pastor, a communicator of God’s infallible Word, support an individual who seems to be pandering the Christian religion for his own personal agenda? The guy [Trump] has switched positions countless times and there doesn’t seem to be much concert reinforcement behind his statements. They are empty words so far as we all know. Furthermore, why would a Christian desire to put a liar in office who blasphemes the Lord of Glory?

Well, I think that the interviewers sought to carefully and charitably explore Steve’s reasons for this support… and I think they got their answer.

Pastor Steve’s Reactionary Responses

Upon questioning, which did not seem to be posed out of arrogance or rhetorical presumption, Steve seemed to devolve into an unreasonable slew of speech. Upon Jeff citing Scripture in reference to Steve’s support of Trump, Steve would begin talking over Jeff, not necessarily using Scripture to justify his position. The problem here was that, since both sides recognized one another’s opposition, the climate turned from interview to debate.

This was very telling…

In exchanges I have had with individuals, I have found that when one takes a position which they do not support with Scripture, they are supporting a position out of personal desire or unguided bias. As Christians, we hopefully know that Scripture is the only objective source (and precondition) of truth, be it ethical, moral, logical, etc. For this reason, I found Steve’s secularized, politicized rebuttals very revealing. He wasn’t looking at the candidacy through a Biblical worldview. That aside, his focus was not the glory of God in his dogmatic support of Trump, rather his motive seemed to be a justification of his position for the sake of being correct. Why is the support of Trump so important to him? Why hold onto that with such dogmatism? Better yet, why disrespect and slander brothers in Christ for the sake of an unsaved, lying politician?

This should never happen and was very tragic to watch.

Apologia’s Side

One could ask the question, “why did Apologia have this guy on in the first place?” Having guests, even guests who you disagree with, on a podcast or radio program is understandable. I believe these types of interactions build up the body of Christ. I also believe that, if not handled correctly, they can do just the opposite. I think the latter applies to said situation. Most people who have followed the political situation (i.e. debates, interviews, polls, etc) know that Trump followers generally follow Trump without question, that is—many Trump followers follow Trump irrationally or dogmatically. It is tremendously troubling how people can support a person like this without question. Just watch my latest interview with Dr. Michael Brown for more insight on this atrocity. (www.dwicast.com) With this in mind, why would Apologia Radio have such a person on and expect a clear, edifying exchange? I love you guys, but we really need to discern who would be the best person to give a platform to, otherwise it becomes argument for the sake of argument, no one benefits, and it becomes a mishmash of verbal confusion.

Having said that, I sense Apologia’s intentions were a pure and genuine desire to reach out to a Pastor who holds to, and propagates, a troubling position. Apologia also has a God-given zeal for preaching against the murder of unborn children, as we all should, and because of this, their concern rightly revolves around Trump’s waffling on the issue and this Pastor’s unquestioning support of him despite the double-mindedness of this particular candidate.

Application

What can we take away from this?

Do you know a professing Christian who hopes in the wrong source for redemption of a nation? Do you seek diligently to communicate the truths of Scripture to them? Do you place your hope, dogmatically, in sinful humanity? Do we apply the Gospel to all aspects of life, or just some aspects of life? Furthermore, are we managing how we spend our time? Are we picking and choosing our battles wisely? Do we enter into hopeless conversation sowing Scriptural seed on thorny ground? Do we discern the right places and times for such interactions? These are all important questions which were brought to mind as a result of this interview, all of which can be applied to every one of us.

Conclusion

We, as Christians, have a responsibility to correct brethren, especially preaching brethren, when their attitude (or support of a politician in this instance) seems anything-but-Biblical. We also ought not divide over politics, that’s ridiculous. We do not correct out of pride or arrogance, but out of love and care for Christ’s Bride. I believe that this is Apologia’s motive, I just don’t know if the context was correct, nor do I think that this discussion was foreseeably fruitful. With respects to pastor Steve, I regard him as a brother, but I think there are some serious problems with his position and I think we ought to express concern for brothers and sisters when they take such a bold, but Biblically unsupported, stance. Finally, brothers, this post has been written out of love for the body of Christ, out of love for a ministry close to my heart, and out of hopes that Pastor Steve will reconsider where he stands within his Christian worldview. Scripture speaks to all aspects of life, brother.

 

Co-founder, editor, and contributor of The Reformed Collective. He is a member and pastoral intern at Word of Life Baptist Church, Kansas City, MO. He has co-coordinated the evangelism ministry at Grace Bible Church in San Diego, CA. At present he is pursuing a B.A. in Biblical Studies as well as an M. Div. He currently resides in Overland Park, KS with his wife, Christina.
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