Like it or not, the evangelical dilemma has implications for the way much of Christianity is viewed throughout American culture. The magazine’s now infamous editorial simply punctuated that reality.
“Sadly, the issue gets caught up in some of our current polarized divides.”
When Christians act out of the pain of unhealed shame, they may lash out in equally shameful ways. The world is seeing a church that names people and groups as enemies to be defeated, rather than seeing it bear witness to God’s love and grace for all.
Following Jesus is incompatible with being a bully. Following Jesus involves using power to do justice, love mercy and live humbly in oneness with God and others. All Christians should condemn and denounce white supremacy and religious nationalism in the name of Jesus, not validate them.
John the Baptist spoke truth to power, refused to pander to politicians and insisted that no earthly kingdom is coterminous with the Kingdom of God. In other words, John got right what many evangelical preachers get wrong.
How can post-evangelical Christians talk about a loving God when the God described in many biblical texts appears to be otherwise? We must explain why, evaluated by the standards of Jesus, God comes off so badly in much of the Bible.
Whatever moral credibility American evangelicals once had, they have lost. They have chosen to die on the 45th hill, and it has been painful and despairing to watch. Our nation desperately needs strong faith communities that are able to articulate a clear moral voice, even if it convicts them, too.
On Tuesday night, I’ll watch election returns to see whether white people who call themselves evangelical followers of Jesus will, again, prove that they prize white supremacy above the inclusive and liberating gospel of divine grace, truth, justice and peace.
Sunday morning is becoming an increasingly divided time in America. “If Sunday morning was the most segregated morning in American life, it may also be one of the most politicized hours in American life, implicitly or explicitly,” said Bill Leonard,…