Thoughts on Representative Klingenschmitt’s Comments about the Judgement of God and the Assault in Longmont

Last week Colorado State Representative Gordon Klingenschmitt from Colorado Springs stated on his YouTube channel that the Bible says that the Longmont woman who was assaulted and had her baby cut from her stomach was the wrath of God coming against America because we have failed to protect unborn children. To make this point, he quoted from Hosea 13:16.

Since then, both conservatives and liberals have distanced themselves from Klingenschmitt and he has been removed from at least one comittee that he was a member of.

I went and checked out the statement he made, because I know how sometimes things can be misconstrued when relayed by media – I was curious if that was the case here.

Here are my thoughts:

  1. The one way that Klingenschmitt might have been misrepresented was that he was not saying that God was judging this woman individually, who was the victim of the assault – rather he said that God is judging our soceity in general, and what happened to this woman was part of that judgment.
  2. He quoted from Hosea 13:16, a verse about how both Israel and Samaria would face God’s judgment (in the form of war) as a result of their rebellion against God. The prophet describes what will happen when war comes: no one will be spared; children will die, and even pregnant women will be killed with the sword (cut open).
    This is, first of all, not even talking about the kind of assault that took place in Longmont. Secondly, the important detail in understanding what is being said by the prophet is that judgment will come in the form of war, and in war, these are the kinds of atrocities that happen.
    In other words, it isn’t God saying that He’s going to judge them by sending people to kill their children and cut open their pregnant women, it’s God saying that he will allow a time of hardship by removing His hand of protection and allowing a foreign nation (the Assyrians in this case) to overrun them. Historically, this is exactly what happened. However, in the context of the Book of Hosea, it is important to note that this is said as a warning of the judgment that will come if the people continue in their wickedness and rebellion, and is followed in the next chapter by the urging of Hosea about the blessings and restoration that repentance would bring to the nation instead.
    In other words: “You have a choice to make. It’s not too late! You can choose to continue rebelling against God, in which case God will not protect you from the impending onslaught of the Assyrians (and just to remind you, here are the kinds of terrible atrocities that happen in war…), or you can repent and turn back to the Lord and he will restore you and heal your nation.”
    Conclusion: Klingenschmitt is clearly taking this verse out of context.
  3. The difficult question this brings up is: when do we consider something to be God’s judgment, and when do we not? In the Bible, it seems that many times things happened that were indeed the judgment of God, which, if they were to happen in our day, we might not see them as such.
    For example, in the Old Testament, in Korah’s rebellion, people got swallowed up by the Earth as God’s judgment upon them. Nowadays, if someone gets sucked up in a sinkhole, calling it the judgment of God is not exactly politically correct. In the Old Testament, wars and attacks from foreign nations were often related to God’s judgment. Do we still consider that to be the case? Or how about Ananias and Saphira – they lied to make themselves look good, and God struck them dead. We don’t often think in our day about heart attacks as being God’s judgment on a person. I’m sure that not all heart attacks are God’s judgment on people – but it would seem that sometimes they might be.
    It is incredibly difficult to discern or to say with any amount of certainty which things are God’s judgment and which are not, apart from divine revelation.

My conclusion is that this man is not evil or heartless, but perhaps a bit misguided and could use some lessons in exegesis, because he is very dogmatic about some things which he doesn’t have proper basis to be so dogmatic about. Furthermore, having a platform like the one he does as a State Congressman, he should be much more careful about what he says.

Much more importantly, my heart goes out to the victim of this terrible crime. We pray for her physical and emotional healing. We pray that she will be able to have more children after this. I have been so impressed by her graciousness in her public statements, and we do pray that she would sense the love of God and presence of God and the hope of the Gospel.

2 thoughts on “Thoughts on Representative Klingenschmitt’s Comments about the Judgement of God and the Assault in Longmont

  1. Well said, Nick. Thanks for putting this in perspective. I agree, prayer for the victim is most important at this point. What the congressman hoped to do, I believe, is to make an important point about the abortion crisis in this nation and in the world. Over 1,200,000 abortions are performed in this country every year – that works out to over 3,300 per day. Statistics show that nearly 75% of those abortions are basically because the baby is deemed to be an inconvenience to the mother/parents at the time. Although the congressman lacked empathy for the victim based on his timing for his statements (he contributed $1,000 to her medical fund which the victim returned to him), his point is well taken – there is undoubtedly a price to be paid for any nation that is heartless towards it’s unborn children. It should also be noted that the congressman is also a pastor, and he made these statements on his Christian radio program and not officially as a congressman. Which, in my opinion, brings up this question: should a pastor be in politics? Pastors often make politically incorrect statements during their sermons which could cause the same type of uproar as in this instance.

    1. Whether pastors should be politicians is an interesting question. I know a pastor in California who felt that the best way for him to influence and bless his culture and society was to become a policy maker and lawmaker. He was elected the the California state assembly. Such people would point to Joseph and Daniel in the Bible as examples of people who became governmental leaders without compromising their faith or integrity, and in those positions they were able to be a greater blessing and have broader influence than they would have been able to if they remained on the margins of society trying to influence in a more subversive way.
      I think another issue this brings up is how “pastors” who are not good at loving, shepherding or exegeting the scriptures, whether liberal or conservative, diminish the credibility of pastors in general in our society.

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