By Tristan Emmanuel

This week [February 1, 2007] I spent three days in Houston, Texas, with a group of Southern Baptist preachers and Christian activists. I was there by the invitation of Dr. Rick Scarborough, a faithful Southern Baptist preacher and the president of Vision America ( He wanted to gather a group with the aim of seeking spiritual revival and moral reformation in both America and Canada.

While in Texas my schedule included preaching in two Baptist churches. I preached from Romans ch. 1, vs. 18-31.

There I was, a Presbyterian Canadian, speaking to about 1100 Southern Baptists about the apocalyptic degeneracy that has enslaved Canada.

I was there to warn them:

“You are the last bastion of Christian freedom in the world,” I said. “If you follow Canada into radical secularism, it’s over for North America.”

I described for them that Canada’s great sin is not the scourge of nearly one million murdered unborn children every year; not the unparallel perversion of “gay marriage”; not the radicalization of the family; and not the cradle-to-the-grave slavish socialism that eradicates the personal responsibility of millions of Canadians and elevates the state to a god-like status.

“These are all symptoms,” I told them.

The real problem:

“Canada is a nation given over to idolatry – and it can be described by one word: secularism!”

By rejecting God, the God of the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of the nations, the God referred to in Canada’s Charter (the “Supremacy of God” clause), Canada has sealed its providential fate (unless we have a Nineveh experience).

“If you follow the lead of ten northern tribes (and three territories) you can expect the same judgment that befell the southern Kingdom of Judah. Secularism will seal your fate.”

That was my warning to the Southern Baptists. …………………………………

Ironically, back in Canada, around the same time that I was in Texas, an American Baptist was visiting a group of Canadians in our heartland. Tony Campolo, renowned evangelical speaker, came to warn a group of about 1100 Lutherans in Edmonton, Alberta.

A very serous danger is ravaging the quality of American spirituality, he intimated. “The religious right,” he declared “has created the image that evangelicalism is by definition anti-gay, anti-women, anti-environment, pro-war, pro-capital punishment.”

This image is “dangerous” and sends the “wrong message” to Canada. (I guess Canadian secularism feels threatened?) Canadian Christians need to stand up and challenge the “monolithic and doctrinaire” zeal of the “religious right,” he stressed.

Campolo’s fundamental contention is that the “religious right” has hijacked evangelicalism by making way too much of peripheral issues like abortion and homosexuality.

“You won’t find Jesus explicitly condemning any of these issues,” says Campolo. “That’s gotta say something.” Of course, Jesus never explicitly condemned vehicular manslaughter or drunk driving either – but I suppose I’m just nit-picking.

Campolo calls himself a “red letter” Christian, by which he means that he is devoted to the teachings of Christ. To be precise, he is devoted to the explicit words of Christ as identified in “red letter” Bibles, and nothing else. The more “radical” and peripheral elements of Paul’s epistles are…well…BLACKlisted!

Campolo is simply recycling an old heresy: the canon within the canon heresy. This teaches, for one, that only the explicit “red letter” words of Jesus are infallible, inerrant and authoritative – or, at the very least, that they take precedence over the rest of Scripture.

But Campolo’s unorthodoxy really isn’t the point.

The point, in this tale of two “prophets,” has to do with the prophetic contrast.

Campolo traveled to Canada to warn 1100 Lutherans about the so-called dangers of the “religious right.” I traveled to America to warn 1100 Southern Baptists about the spiritual and moral dangers of secularism.

He’s calling evangelicals to focus on more important “issues” like poverty, while warning them about misplaced political agendas like the genocide of abortion. I’m not – because it’s an unbiblical distinction.

He’s calling evangelicals to pick and choose what is inspired, relevant and authoritative – to decide what is a “red letter” priority. I’m not – Christianity is a package deal.

He’s concerned about the future “image” of evangelicals. I’m not – especially if that means becoming politically correct.

He’s talking social justice, tolerance and love, while dissing other Christians. I’m talking revival and moral reformation – while challenging the cultural goliaths.

The contrast couldn’t be starker.

But I wonder…

Will Evangelicals figure out who the real “prophet” is.

Yours for the culture,

Tristan Emmanuel
ECP Centre, President

Reprinted by permission