“Americans: the shallow, cultic, adrenalin junkies who have redefined evangelical Christianity as the suburban, chic, excessive, Type A religion of success and busy-ness…if it’s not ‘mega’ it’s not theirs.
Life has never been better for me. I’m more at peace with myself and the world around me than I’ve ever been. I’m more at ease with my calling and role in life than I would ever have thought possible. I’ve also never been more concerned with the state of evangelical Christianity in America!
What I have seen happening with the hybridization of fundamentalism with an air-head version of evangelicalism make me ill.
A danger of evangelicalism that I have decried for years is the almost universal lack of a written/stated theology. When you add to that the substitution of dogmas and doctrines for a historical theological perspective, you have a dangerous sect susceptible to cultic hero/celebrity status religious leaders and a Biblically indefensible philosophy of excess that isn’t globally applicable.
‘Mega’ has become the mode of the 21st century cloistered society. If it’s big, it has to be right. There’s an ego stroke and an identity ‘branding’ that occurs, pulling people who are in need of social and personal affirmation into an emotionally self-affirming cloistered society.
This new breed of evangelical Christian is opting out of community service and social activism with substituted feel-good fellowship groups and ‘neighborhood’ Bible studies. These evangelical Christian ‘communities’ are predominantly nationalistic in fervor and Zionist in eschatology. Their approach to “Thy Kingdom come…” is by taking power politically and controlling human behavior through legislation.
Modern evangelicalism tends to expend far more political capital condemning the sinner rather than in offering grace to the fallen. That tends to alienate, and unnecessarily creates adversaries.
They are typically far more oriented toward gaining adherents than they are to meeting the physical and emotional needs of the ‘unwashed’ masses.
While I admire the determination for a sense of community and the need for friendship, I’m saddened by the general lack of actual involvement in the needy world around them.
That involvement takes more than ‘walking’ for a nationwide charity, or attending a gala with a ‘silent auction.’
The fact is this: rarely is the ‘pastor’ of one of these aggressive evangelical churches involved in anything in the community-at-large unless he is invited to be the keynote speaker or the ‘invocator’ of an event where there will be celebrities and/or the news media.
The isolation of church congregations within their own walls is reinforced with nearly 24/7 programming, expanding facilities, and entertainment venues. In many communities these churches have nicer recreational and entertainment facilities than do their local public schools.
God has put us in the world to make the world a better place. Christianity isn’t to be a fortress in which we hide from the dirt and grime of the world. We are to take our Grace into the grime of the world around us to brighten, enlighten and heal the hurts of our society-at-large.
You will remember how Jesus spoke of this in Matthew chapter 5…salt and light. His prayer in John 17 was not for God to take His disciples out of the world, but to leave them in the world…and keep them safe.
Paul wrote to Philemon concerning the runaway slave, Onesimus, and said, “He once was worthless but is now profitable to you and to me.” G. Campbell Morgan spoke of the value of a man to God being determined by that man’s value to his fellow man; and that man’s value to his fellow man is determined by his relationship to God.
God hasn’t called us into a ‘feel-good’ role as His children; but rather a ‘do-good’ role as followers of Jesus, the Christ. If you want more specifics on that, read Paul’s letter to Titus.”