Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Twilight Of Evangelicalism

We have a new President. I pray God influences President Trump to be honest, wise, and humble; to be a true servant-leader.

I pray and I think.

I reflect on the deleterious effects the election of 2016 had—and continues to have—on evangelicalism within the United States and perhaps beyond.

For far too many, following Donald trumped following Jesus.

Now don’t get me wrong.

The overwhelming majority of evangelicals, in my personal acquaintance, voted for President Trump simply because they—rightly or wrongly—believed him to be the “lesser of two evils.” 

Nevertheless, vote for him they did. And so, they’re understandably perceived and portrayed by the world as being aligned with President Trump: his ways, his views.  

Is it any wonder that some are longing for a new Christian movement altogether, one not married to the Republican Party or sullied with identity politics?  

Evangelicalism was closely associated with the campaign of Donald J. Trump . . . As a result, much of the good that went by the name “evangelicalism” has been clouded over; now a new movement is needed to replace it. . . . Jesus-centered faith needs a new name. . . . Perhaps we need a new reformation — one that invites Christians to return to the teachings of Jesus and offers our neighbors a truer vision of how He lived and moved in the world.

In other words, “cultural-Christianity” isn’t working.

As Keith Giles observes: "You can't convert a culture that has already converted you."

But as the sun sets on some, it rises upon others...

Thus, just as I pray for President Trump and hope for the best, I also pray for Christianity in the USA and hope for the best; that lessons are being learned and allegiances to Christ and His kingdom are being clarified and strengthened—yes, a new reformation, a brighter tomorrow.

Make no mistake. I’m not talking about "America first."

"America first" isn't the message of Jesus. He calls us to an entirely different Way. 
Jesus tells His followers to "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness" (Matthew 6:33). 

What if evangelicals were actually committed to doing what Jesus says to do in the way He says to do it? 

Asked another way: What if we were more Christian than American? 

Can we show a better Way to disoriented cultures? Can we model for them a more Jesus-looking God?

They’re watching, dear reader. So is the Lord.

For you who fear My name,
the Sun of Righteousness will rise
with healing in His wings.
~Malachi 4:2

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For a follow-up piece, see here.

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