So how did you spend your Easter day? For many among the Christain faithful, it was a time to attend church services (if you’re local government didn’t have your church locked down) or gather with friends and family to reflect on salvation and the Ressurection of Christ. Others engaged in the more commercial aspects of the holiday, with children biting the ears off of chocolate rabbits or hunting for colored eggs. But for newly minted Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock, it represented an opportunity to remind his social media followers that you don’t need the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to save your soul. You see, we can save ourselves. His ill-considered tweet was quickly removed, but not before some alert Twitter users captured it for posterity.
Warnock deleted his heretical tweet.
He should delete Reverend in front of his name too. pic.twitter.com/6FYNG6LFZ1
— Jenna Ellis (@JennaEllisEsq) April 5, 2021
Warnock is, of course, free to express himself as he wishes. After all, it’s still a free country. (At least at the moment, anyway.) But as the Daily Wire was quick to point out, that’s an odd position to be taken by a man with the title “reverend” in front of his name.
Warnock’s tweet was met with backlash from some Twitter users who accused the minister of heresy and preaching a false gospel.
“This is what the heresy of liberation theology does—reduces the significance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, to self-salvific moralism and thereby making ourselves God,” wrote radio host Darrell B. Harrison, who works at John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church in Los Angeles.
“This is a false gospel and heresy,” wrote attorney Jenna Ellis, who is representing Grace Community Church in its legal battles with Los Angeles County. “We cannot save ourselves. The absolute truth and only meaning of Easter that matters is the literal, physical resurrection of Jesus Christ, and we must accept Him as Lord and Savior. Read Romans, ‘Reverend’ Warnock. You are a false teacher.”
Before we’re too quick to judge the Reverend, perhaps we should consider the possibility that his religious education might not have been fully up to snuff. After all, he’s a graduate of Union Theological Seminary, where students are instructed to kneel before plants and apologize to them.
Today in chapel, we confessed to plants. Together, we held our grief, joy, regret, hope, guilt and sorrow in prayer; offering them to the beings who sustain us but whose gift we too often fail to honor.
What do you confess to the plants in your life? pic.twitter.com/tEs3Vm8oU4
— Union Seminary (@UnionSeminary) September 17, 2019
As part of his role as a United States Senator, Raphael Warnock is under no obligation to exercise his religious freedom and observe his faith in any particular way. After all, the Constitution is very clear in stating that there shall be no religious test as a qualification for holding office. Now that he’s won his race he’s free to join the church of Satan if he wishes and it’s really nobody else’s business except for that of the voters of Georgia six years from now.
But with that said, this does seem to be a glaringly inappropriate message for a man of the cloth, doesn’t it? As the Daily Wire discovered in searching through the responses to Warnock’s preaching, the College Republicans at Georgia State University were quick to remind the Senator about the message found in Ephesians 2:8-10. It directly contradicts what Warnock “preached” through his social media channel.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” https://t.co/ol3Fe33KSm
— College Republicans at Georgia State U. (@CRsatGsu) April 4, 2021
I’m not one to come down too hard on anyone – even a man of the cloth – for forgetting the precise wording of any given bit of scripture. I couldn’t even spell Ephesians without looking it up. But the overarching message of the resurrection is pretty fundamental to the understanding of Christianity. The church does expect us to do good deeds, to extend a hand to the less fortunate, and to generally avoid being terrible people when possible. But that’s not how salvation is achieved. If Raphael Warnock has somehow lost track of that bit of biblical lore, I find myself wondering how seriously he takes his faith.