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NQC & Ashcroft: Dividing An Invisible Line

September 7, 2011

Since I’m probably one of the only bloggers that hasn’t commented on John Ashcroft being at NQC at some point, and I have received a couple of e-mails regarding my opinion (like mine would really matter, but I’m humbled to share…because everyone has an opinion), I’ve decided to comment, albeit briefly.

Politics do matter in southern gospel.  Politics do matter in the church.  However, just because they do matter, doesn’t mean they should matter in every facet.  There are some issues that stretch way beyond the political stratosphere that should matter to Christians, and some we take too far.  That being said, you don’t have to include political affiliations to present the Gospel or to present music.  The Gospel is for those who despise abortion, the innocent who have been aborted, those who have had abortions, and those who perform the abortions.  In ministry, I’d rather have people asking my thoughts on how to study the Word more fully, or “did Judas really repent?” than hearing questions about bailouts, defending our borders, and “don’t ask, don’t tell”. I’d much rather preach Christ from a pulpit than politics.  Even though God put Christ on that cross, and he willingly went, God also used the intermingling of politics and religion to make the way for Christ to be put on that cross.  So the line isn’t always so straight.  American politics aren’t any different than the Roman empire and Pharisees.  They’re both human point of views, depending on failed and flawed humans to be leaders and national saviors.  And it revolves around money and power.  For anyone wondering, I’m not a liberal.  And for anyone else wondering, I do sometimes have to stand up for political objectives in a church setting.  It can be separated to a certain extent.  And then you have to stand.  I have to come to a point where I realize these things may affect my children and their children.  And because I’m not fully glorified, my mind isn’t always on “God’s gonna work out the politics”.  I mean He is…but probably not the way I would.  How much more do I have to endure, LORD?

But to make a profit in southern gospel, political ideals will most times draw more of a crowd than a dynamite preacher (unless said dynamite preacher writes a book about politics), at least to the fans who don’t know any better.  America is obsessed with having political input, whether they know anything about politics or not.  Hire a politician to speak at NQC.  Money in the bank.  It obviously creates attention.  Some will not like it, but the vast majority could care less.  And the board members hear people like us discussing it.  I am.  You have a voice.  If it disturbs you, don’t go.

Regarding Ashcroft, I have no qualms about it.  I don’t see him overtly pushing any political agenda on NQC goers who wouldn’t already agree on most of the things he would probably say.  How big of a risk is it?  The majority of NQC attenders are registered Conservative Republicans.  The Mike Huckabee party seemed to garner a lot of attention.  If it’s making $ in the long run, go for it.  Nothing wrong with making some change to ensure you have a NQC in 2015.  If the board members would have the guts to axe The Dixie Melody Boys from the main-stage, they would probably have a reason to believe that a guy like Ashcroft or a gal like Palin would only help attendance and attention.

I’ll listen to Ashcroft.  I promise you that I will.  But truth be known, I’d rather hear David Phelps sing “He’s Alive” watch Peg kick off a shoe, or Gerald Wolfe sing “O Holy Night” (yeah, I said it).  Only because I don’t think Ashcroft is going to say anything new that I haven’t already heard.  What I actually want is for him to make some controversial statements that we’ll be talking about in September 2012.  That might put a dent in something.  And maybe next year, NQC can bring in a conservative southern democrat.  Or maybe a more neutral, Bill O’Reilly or grassroots politician, Ron Paul that will create a controversy, no matter what political party is around.  That would be a circus…  and I don’t think NQC is going that route, so in the end, it’s not really a big deal.  Ashcroft will not deter the music or the message of the music.  It’s an interesting, conservative politician who happens to like gospel music, whom people will listen to when speaking.  In that vein, it sounds like a pretty good idea to me.

  1. I’ve noticed that when you rearrange the letters in Ron Paul, it spells “wacko.” Sad, but true. The man has an iron skull when it comes to economics, but foreign policy…. hmmmmm. And I’m not just talking “I think the war in Iraq was unjustified.” I’m talking “I’m not so sure 9/11 wasn’t an inside job.”

    • And incidentally, I don’t see that from the perspective of not wanting attention distracted from the music, a “controversial” candidate would be better than Palin or Ashcroft. Wouldn’t that be even more distracting?

      Incidentally, as far as a “conservative democrat” is concerned, quite frankly that label has no cash value. We saw how they voted when push came to shove with Obamacare. The democrats are the party of death, and they simply can’t be trusted.

      • Of course you would beg to differ. Also, those 3 things listed were random. And homosexuality is worth being discussed in the church, but not from a military perspective in “don’t ask, don’t tell”. That’s when I must separate it or else I am wrapping a Jewish Jesus around an American flag. Of course I believe homosexuality is Biblically wrong. But personally, if gay men or women fight and defend our borders better than a heterosexual man or woman (however rare it may be), I’d rather have them there fighting for me. They are ultimately fighting for their right to have “personal freedom”, so if they’re brave enough to join military, they might fight a little harder, and as an American, I’m no less thankful for their sacrifice.

        As far as your “democrats are the party of death” comment goes, that is one of the most ridiculous statements I’ve ever heard, and certainly a statement in which history is foreign to you. Living in the south all of my life, I’ve experienced the influences. But in any case, it’s also a statement that backs up my post. And you are exactly who the NQC targets. I’ll send you money via paypal so you can get yourself a popcorn and enjoy the show.

      • You might could give that “party of death” comment to the Whig Party, tho?

      • Well, I won’t spend a lot of time arguing the point since you won’t be convinced, but I would suggest that perhaps it’s you who should study your history, as well as the very culture around you.

        As for “don’t ask don’t tell,” again, another issue where there’s simply little point in arguing, but if you really were fully informed, you’d come to my perspective. As just one point, we already have an issue with sexual temptation since we allowed women in combat. Allowing gays takes that problem to yet another level.

        No love lost though, we’re still friends and we can agree to disagree. 🙂

      • Right, and I am fully convinced that your perspective aims high, but has flaws…at least as history is concerned.

        But I had no doubt that if I were to post this, I’d get comments from you.

      • By the way, just to assure you that I didn’t make up the “party of death” phrase:

      • I don’t care what a book says. I realize the subtitles. Your statement implied was implied to ALL democrats. That’s like saying ALL Lutherans aren’t Christians. The title of that book was chosen to be controversial so people (as you are doing) can claim it as factual among affiliated members. It did it’s job.

      • Out of sheer curiosity though, I’d love to hear your historical arguments for the opposite perspective. If you were going to try for slavery, you won’t get help from the Democrats there. Many Ku Klux Klan members went on to become Democratic congressman. By and large, the Democrats were the ones defending slavery, Jim Crow laws and the like.

      • Bringing up the KKK has merit. Although why I would defend its historical activity as God sees it as sinful? I’m not a democrat anyways. But there are members in my family who were among the KKK. Yet I believe that God sometimes encourages interracial marriage. So I would go to battle against that. The world is not plain vanilla, and sometimes separation is necessary. In the case of the NQC, it doesn’t matter. That was my point.

        But if you want to battle the political parties historically, be my guest. You’d be surprised.

      • Let me try to be very clear: With that phrase, I was referring to a certain cluster of issues directly related to life and death. These include: abortion, assisted suicide, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, and the like.

        For decades, these issues have been front and center in the political arena. (To me, that counts as “history.” I’m not referring to some flash-in-the-pan thing.) And for decades, the Democratic party is the one that has consistently made death a part of its platform on these issues. It has actively, explicitly, and aggressively lent its support to the killing of the innocent on many levels. Now it is true that there are also Republicans who have favored abortion, but they are viewed as atypical of their party as a whole. It would be like looking at Westboro Baptist and saying “Christians believe gay people should have horrible things done to them.” The same is not true of a pro-choice Democrat, or a pro-euthanasia Democrat. By referring to the Democrat party as “a party of death,” I’m looking at decades of political activism devoted to the cause of death. It is a fair and accurate label. When you brought up the idea of a “conservative Democrat,” I challenged you by pointing out that it is a very rare Democrat indeed who will fight all the way for a conservative principle, to the point of voting the opposite of his fellow Democrats on something like Obamacare. Perhaps there is one Democrat out there who really would. If so, I’d be interested in meeting him. But I make no apology for categorizing the party as a whole the way I have.

      • You’re from the north. You went to school in the north. I assume your parents are from the north. That doesn’t mean they or you are not familiar with the culture, but maybe not as familiar with it as say, Sheriff Andy Taylor.

        It’s clear you don’t know a conservative democrat because you’ve never lived in the south. And what’s more true, there are “registered” democrats who are still “registered” democrat because they always have been, and because their grandparents were. That doesn’t mean their views don’t align with a Republicans and it doesn’t mean they wouldn’t vote for a Republican. On a local level of government, a democrat isn’t a bad thing. Perhaps I would argue, it could even be a good thing.

        Familiar influences don’t change much. Regarding your theology even, I would assume you believe everything your own parents do…because they believe it. That’s not a bad thing. That’s a natural thing.

      • In that case, you are describing somebody who’s really almost what you might call an accidental Democrat. That’s not what most people commonly and naturally mean when they refer to the Democratic party. It’s certainly not what I had in mind. My description of the party qua party stands.

        My own parents have some disagreements in theology, so I couldn’t logically believe everything both of them believe in anyway.

      • So you don’t mind the addition of Ashcroft?

      • Well, why don’t you read my blog post about it and leave a comment there? That way maybe we can spread some of this debate around a little. 😉

  2. By the way, I noticed that you grouped together some things like the bailout, border control, and “don’t ask don’t tell” when describing things you don’t want to be asked about or discuss from the pulpit. While I don’t think this was your intention (I know you and your style), it could appear that you were indicating that all of those things were equally irrelevant to church ministry. I would of course beg to differ. The gay agenda has become as much of a threat in its own way as abortion.

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