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A video has surfaced from April 2011 featuring Democratic Georgia Senate candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock saying that people can’t serve in the U.S. military and serve God at the same time.
“America, nobody can serve God and the military,” Warnock in the video. “You can’t serve God and money. You cannot serve God and mammon at the same time. America, choose ye this day who you will serve. Choose ye this day.”
The controversial comments were unearthed as Warnock heads towards a Jan. 5 run-off election against incumbent GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler, one of two in the state that will decide control of the upper chamber.
The comments are not liable to sit well with scores of Georgians, 80 percent of whom identify as Christians in a state heavily populated with 14 military installations.
The video was posted online by Sen. Marco Rubio, who noted he is “not shocked” by Warnock’s comments.
Not shocked #Georgia Democrat Senate candidate Raphael Warnock said “You cannot serve God and the military” at the same time. These & even crazier things is what the radicals who control the Democratic party’s activist & small dollar donor base believepic.twitter.com/bQyBuKLwjb
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) November 18, 2020
“These and even crazier things is what the radicals who control the Democratic party’s activist and small dollar donor base believe,” Rubio, who has already traveled to Georgia to campaign on behalf of Loeffler and her GOP counterpart, Sen. David Perdue.
“Video of the remarks surfaced as Warnock is facing criticism for other controversial statements, including his claim that ‘America needs to repent for its worship of whiteness,’” The Washington Free Beacon reported.
“He has also come under scrutiny for his support for his religious mentor James Hal Cone, who said that white Christians practice the ‘theology of the Antichrist’ and described white people as ‘satanic,’” the outlet added.
Warnock’s campaign pushed back and said he was merely referring to Bible verses.
“This sermon is based on a biblical verse that reads ‘No man can serve two masters… Ye cannot serve God and mammon,’ a biblical term for wealth,” Terrence Clark, communications director for the Warnock campaign, said, The Daily Wire reported.
“Reverend Warnock was speaking about the need to commit to moral life before pursuing other priorities. As the video of the congregation’s response makes clear, this is another blatant effort by Kelly Loeffler to take Reverend Warnock’s words completely out of context. Given her own decision to spend her first days in the U.S. Senate profiting off the pandemic, perhaps she should watch the sermon more closely.”
The Daily Caller said that Warnock appears to be referencing Matthew 6:24, which pertains to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. But that passage does not make any references to military service.
Dan McLaughlin, a senior writer for National Review, pointed to Luke 3:14, which told tells soldiers to “be content with your pay.” He noted that is “the opposite of telling them not to serve.”
The Gospel literally tells soldiers to "be content with your pay" – the opposite of telling them not to serve. https://t.co/nggLDEwzXh
— Dan McLaughlin (@baseballcrank) November 18, 2020
The ‘two masters’ comments are not the first controversial things to surface from Warnock’s past sermons.
In 2018, he was critical of President Donald Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, as several presidents before him pledged to do but never followed through.
“It’s been a tough week. The administration opened up the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. Standing there [were] the president’s family and a few mealy-mouthed evangelical preachers who are responsible for the mess that we found ourselves in, both there and here — misquoting and misinterpreting the Scripture, talking about peace,” Warnock said in a video that surfaced last week.
“Meanwhile, young Palestinian sisters and brothers, who are struggling for their very lives, struggling for water and struggling for their human dignity, stood up in a non-violent protest, saying, ‘If we’re going to die, we’re going to die struggling,’” Warnock continued.
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