By Hunter Hines
Christian Action League
November 18, 2021
In an op-ed piece published in the Hickory Record, former State Senator Andy Wells, a Republican, excoriated Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson as “no John the Baptist.” Wells was referring to remarks made by Ron Baity, head of Return America, at the Stand Up for America rally on the Halifax Mall in Raleigh three weeks ago.
When introducing Robinson as the keynote speaker, Baity said that Robinson had distinguished himself “as a spiritual John the Baptist, thundering out truth without apology and exposing the chaff of hypocrisy.”
In his editorial, Wells took issue with Baity’s depiction of the Lieutenant Governor and Robinson’s characterization of himself as someone who speaks God’s truth.
Wells wrote, “When you disagree with Mark Robinson, you disagree with God. He [Mark Robinson] goes on: I’m going to protect the Constitution, preach the message of Christ and kick people in the teeth who disagree…When a politician tells you disagreeing with him is the same as disagreeing with God, you may want to take that with a grain of salt. It’s more likely the reason he wants to kick people in the teeth is because they criticize them…Mark Robinson is no John the Baptist.”
Wells also said that as a Christian, he had read the Sermon on the Mount and that people should consider Christ’s warning to beware of false prophets – an inference that Robinson might be a false prophet.
Context adds clarity to Robinson’s remarks at the rally. Robinson had been under severe criticism by the media and political figures for saying the teaching of transgenderism and homosexuality in the schools was “filth.”
For this, many, including state Senators Jeff Jackson and Wiley Nickel, called on Robinson to resign. Even deputy White House press secretary and North Carolina native Andrew Bates weighed in erroneously charging Robinson with spreading “hate.”
However, at the rally, Robinson turned the table on his critics, saying it wasn’t him that was wrong, but his critics.
“What is wrong with you? You are trying to be a star in your political party, but you have forgotten your God-ordained mission to protect the people of this state, and that includes protecting our children from pornography,” said Robinson. “They want me to resign. I am going to resign myself to keep kicking them in the teeth, keep delivering the message of truth to the people of North Carolina, to continue to keep standing up for the constitutional rights of every citizen of this state, regardless of how they identify. And I am going to resign myself to continue to follow the wisdom and teaching of Jesus Christ and preach that message every time I get a chance. I stand for the American people because I love our flag, I love our nation, and I love our way of life.”
Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, said that he thought Wells’ editorial was “an unfortunate mischaracterization of Robinson and what he said.”
“If you consider the whole of what Robinson said, I don’t see how you can honestly conclude that the man was even implying that to disagree with him was to disagree with God. That would be wrong,” said Creech.
Creech further said that as a lawmaker, Andy Wells, generally speaking, was someone on the right side of the issues. “He made a good profession of faith in Christ too,” said Creech. “So, I don’t understand what would possess him to brutally criticize his brother in Christ, Mark Robinson, in the manner he did in his editorial.”
Creech also pointed out that on the IVoterGuide’s Candidate profile, Wells had previously answered the following statements in this way:
- Judeo-Christian values established a framework of morality which is necessary for our system of government. Strongly Agree
- I support adding sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression as protected classes in non-discrimination laws. Strongly Disagree
- I support allowing public high-school students to participate in athletic competitions based on the gender with which they identify instead of biological sex. Strongly Disagree
- Parents should have the right to know what schools are teaching their children about sex and LGBT issues and should have the right to opt their children out of any instruction to which they object. Strongly Agree
“If you look at what Wells has stood for in the past, politically speaking, there really isn’t a hair’s-breadth of difference between him and Robinson. So, I just don’t get it – unless there is some unknown ulterior motive, or Wells is changing,” said Creech. “I have to admit it seems hypocritical.”
Creech’s sentiments echoed similar statements made by Casey Smith in a letter to the editor of the Hickory Record. Smith is a Teaching Elder at Covenant Reformed Baptist Church in Shelby.
After reading Well’s article repudiating Robinson, Smith said he felt as though he was reading a jealous rant.
Wells ran for Lieutenant Governor in 2020, but lost.
Smith added that he thought Wells’ editorial was guilty of “bearing a false witness.”
“Robinson is a friend and brother-in-Christ, and so, I’m sure that Wells did not speak directly with him about the speech. For reasons I can only deduct from such irresponsible claims, he never thought to ask about the context drawn from Psalm 58 where David asks the Lord to ‘break their teeth, O God, in their mouth,’ referring to slanderers who twisted his words and bore false witness against him, for their own selfish motives…I love Mr. Wells, but going forward, I’d counsel him or anyone tempted to bear false witness not to speak ‘in words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual with spiritual’ (I Corinthians 2:13).”
“I think that likening our Lieutenant Governor to ‘John the Baptist’ is not off-base,” said Creech. “Like John the Baptist, he shows great courage in speaking truth to power. In many ways, he stands alone in a vast wilderness of political corruption and wickedness and cries, ‘Thus saith the Lord.’ It’s unusual to see a politician with that kind of backbone. If we only had a hundred preachers like him, we could reclaim this nation for Christ.”
Robinson declared at the rally that he is ninety-five percent certain he will run for Governor in 2024.