May 22nd, 2024


Who needs faith advisers?

Cal Thomas

By Cal Thomas

Published November 17, 2020

Who needs faith advisers?

If I am deficient in my knowledge about chemistry, or a medical issue, or what kind of car to buy, I consult people who know more than I do on these subjects.

When it comes to faith, though, I can handle that with a little help from my friends, meaning the writers of the Old and New Testaments, and sermons from trusted pastors who believe in what is written in those books.

I don't need a "faith adviser," or "faith leader," which seems to be a trend among modern presidents.

After observing faith advisers to President Trump, including some kooky ones, like Paula White, who said, "When I walk on White House grounds, God walks on White House grounds," The Washington Post reports Joe Biden is putting together his own list of faith advisers. It should not be surprising that most appear to be anti-Trumpers whose "faith" trends with the secular progressive policies of Biden and Kamala Harris.

Politicians love to use religion and faith to legitimize their policies in order to make themselves and those policies appear "righteous." How can Trump's faith advisers and Biden's incoming ones both be right when their views on faith and policies mostly contradict each other, and in some cases are contrary to a high view of Scripture?

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Abraham Lincoln raised the same question in his second inaugural address when he said of the conflicting advice he was receiving from unsolicited faith advisers of his day: "Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other. ... The prayers of both could not be answered; that of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes."

Tertullian was a prolific early Christian writer from Carthage in what was then the Roman province of Africa. He raised many of the issues that have been debated by succeeding generations about faith, reason and their application to politics and the governing authorities.

In his "Prescription Against Heresies," Tertullian viewed faith "as the submission of our will to the Divine Authority."

Here is where faith advisers often diverge. As with liberal judges who often read into the Constitution their personal biases and interpretations of what is written in that document so, too, do liberal faith advisers appear to align their beliefs with what ruling politicians of the day believe, whether it comports with Scripture and "Divine Authority," or not. Usually not. Conservative faith advisers cannot escape similar scrutiny when they cherry pick the Scriptures.

A real faith adviser would tell a ruler what he needs to hear, not what he wants to hear; what will lead him to a right path and not down the wrong one if, in fact, we are allowed to determine right from wrong in our pluralistic and tolerance-of-everything culture.

Perhaps the ultimate faith adviser is found in the Old Testament. His name was Nathan the Prophet. He confronted the powerful King David of Israel about his affair with Bathsheba and his sending her husband, Uriah the Hittite, to the front lines to be killed so David could have Bathsheba for his own.

Nathan's direct confrontation of David led to David writing one of the great Psalms of genuine repentance and acknowledgment to God that "Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge." (Psalm 51:4 NIV)

That's the kind of faith adviser who should matter to any leader. If reports are true about those Biden may choose, they will be of no more use to him than the ones who have advised President Trump.


Cal Thomas, America's most-syndicated columnist, is the author of 10 books.