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5 Reasons

01 Jan

The owner of Formerly Fundy has posted 5 reasons why he is done with Evangelicalism and you can read his full opinion at the following link

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/but-heres-5-reasons-why-american-evangelicalism-completely-lost-me/

I must say that he has a point on a couple of items though i think he over-generalizes and distorts what really is happening in the evangelical world.  But let’s look at his 5 reasons for dumping that label.Again my numbers will not match up with his

#1. Today’s Evangelicalism looks more like a political movement than Jesus.

Jesus was someone who avoided getting sucked into secular politics, but today’s Evangelicalism is married to it. In fact, one’s political views are often used as a litmus test for whether or not one is a “true” Evangelical. For those of us who want to give our lives to building God’s other-worldly Kingdom, today’s Evangelicalism isn’t something that is partnering with God and his mission to the world, but something that is a distraction from it.

This is one of the points I would agree with him on if he weren’t so broad in his application of the words ‘political movement’. Yes there are some evangelicals who have made politics part of their faith and I have lost a long-term friendship over this area but only 1. I am apolitical and try to avoid talking politics with anyone. I just do not see how a Christian can support an anti-biblical agenda that comes with secular political parties.

But I think his eyes have been blinded by people like the late Jerry Falwell, and others who have made politics their battleground because they are tired of the failed policies of the secular world.I do not agree with their political work for the most part but good men do need to make a stand somehow so that the nation is not totally destroyed by the sin and corruption permeating secular politicians.

The problem though is that too many supposed christian politicians are as sinful and corrupt as those they want to replace and are far from biblical which in turn harms the cause of Christ and provides a bad reputation to all Christians and not just those few. This is where I can say that that author is blinded by the works of so few people. He does what other people do and paint all Christians with the same brush and then refuse to see the actual difference between believers.

It happens in this country a lot with English teachers, as a few bad apples get the press and we all are thought of as terrible people by the Korean nationals.

#2. Today’s Evangelicalism is obsessed with power.

The invitation of Jesus is to become a “servant of all,” setting aside the need/desire for power so that one can busy themselves taking the lowliest of positions– that of a servant. Since Evangelicalism has become more of a political movement than something that is part of the Jesus movement, its focus has shifted from becoming a servant to gaining and maintaining power.

I do not think this is a separate point from number 1 above.  Power and politics go hand in hand so I see it as a repeat of his original point not a different viable complaint. I do not know if Evangelicals are obsessed with power unless it is within their local church congregations and denominations. Power groups do exist as they want to control the direction of the church  and these groups can make it intolerable for anyone who disagrees with them.

Such groups harm the cause of Christ not enhance it and the pastor and elders need to take care to thwart such attempts to take over their congregations because it is not of Christ and it will ruin a ministry. I have seen some Christians try to get political power through different elections and it is usually a badly veiled attempt to force their views upon others which also hinders and hurts the cause of Christ.

But these bad examples do not mean that people cannot lead their church correctly or enter politics with the right godly frame of mind. It just means that some people hide behind their faith in order to pursue their own selfish desires that benefit them alone or a small group of supporters. Being the light unto the world means to not force one’s views upon others but to show everyone that there is a better way and we do not need t be a dictator to accomplish that objective. We just need to be wise, understanding, knowledgeable, just and so on.

In other words, we need to humbly follow biblical teaching.

#3. Today’s Evangelicalism seems generally unteachable and unwilling to wrestle with theology.

If there’s one thing that’s going to kill modern Evangelicalism, it’s unteachability. When I ultimately left that crowd, the straw that broke the camel’s back was the realization that far too many Evangelicals aren’t interested in learning anything that is new or different from what they think they already know– even if that new knowledge comes straight from the Bible itself.

This is actually a common complaint made by all those who have forsaken the truth to take up alternative ideologies. The true church is ‘unteachable’ because once you have found the truth you do not need to be taught it over and over nor do you need to keep wrestling with doctrine or learn something that is new or different. You have the truth and you stick with it. So yes, in this case true believers need to be ‘unteachable’ for biblical instruction tells us to avoid, reject and resist false teaching which is what that author is referring to in that quote.

Alternative believers want evangelicals and true believers to be ‘teachable’ because that means that they will be able to get their false teaching into the church and steer it away from the truth. Alternative believers refuse to acknowledge that their ideas are false and from evil. They think that they are Christian even though they do not follow or accept true biblical teaching but want something different from what the Bible offers.

They also reject the idea that they are not following the HS to the truth or that the true believer needs to follow the HS to the truth and must reject their unbiblical alternative, even if the alternative believer can manipulate biblical passages to show that his ideas are biblical.

I want to be part of a Christian tradition that is always willing to re-study the scriptures and willing to change and grow as a result. Unfortunately, I don’t see room for this in Evangelicalism– it doesn’t matter if one points to the historic Church or scripture itself– there’s almost no room for wrestling with theology unless it’s geared toward reenforcing a previously held belief.

This quote provides evidence that the alternative believer is ignoring biblical warnings about false teaching and false teachers. They do not want God’s faith, they want their own version, one that appeals to their sensibilities and helps them become friends with the secular world.

#4. Today’s Evangelicalism doesn’t seem to share Jesus’ heart for outsiders.

Out of all the aspects we see of Jesus in the New Testament, the most compelling to me is that I see an outsider who had a heart for other outsiders. Jesus was among the excluded, and lived a life where he was constantly inviting the others who were excluded to come in and have a seat at the table. It’s a theme I just finished writing a book about, and one that seems to leap off the pages when reading the New Testament with a fresh eye. Jesus was passionate about including people one would never think should be included.

The misconception held by that author here is that he refuses to see that while Jesus may have eaten with sinners, went to their homes, healed them and included them in different activities he performed, he did not include their false teaching as good and from him. Nor did he accept their sin. The sinners, if they wanted to be part of his fellowship and kingdom had to repent from their sins and give up their false ideologies.

Alternative believers, like that author, want to bring sin into Christianity and call it good. That is one area where they go wrong. They do not want to give up their sin or the sins practiced by others to receive Jesus’ offer of eternal life but want their cake and eat it too. They think they know better than God and do not realize that every time they make a change about the Bible, while calling it progressive, they are making God into some type of sinner and removing God from his rightful place.

They also have no historical, textual record to support their desired changes. Their ideas come from their unrepentant hearts under the influence of temptation and deception. Evangelicals and other true believers will have a heart for outsiders but that affection follows God’s rules not the demands of alternative believers.

#5. Today’s Evangelicalism punishes people by withholding of relationships.

Whereas a year and a half ago I had a church family and a circle of friends in my local area, today we are completely isolated– all of the friends we had have now packed their bags and left. My daughter has come to me in tears asking, “why doesn’t ____ love us anymore?” and, “why doesn’t ____ want their kids to play with me anymore?” because punishing me by loss of relationships by default punished her by the loss of relationships. I’ve had to sit back and watch my wife shed those same tears (quite frequently), and ask those same exact questions. And, I’ve felt the pain with them– I may be widely read but in my local area, I have a total of one real-world friend left, and even he has admitted the he gets questioned by others as to why he’s friends with me.

The questions he needs to answer first are found in 2 Cor. 6

14 Do not be [j]bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 Or what harmony has Christ with [k]Belial, or [l]what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? 16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols?

Instead of attacking evangelicals for their lack of friendship, he should be examining his own beliefs, the beliefs of his wife and what they are teaching their children first. Are they being punished or are they being ignored because they refuse to repent from their sinful beliefs? Christians have God’s rules to obey and whether they follow those rules correctly or not is another matter.

Obviously, parents can instruct their children how to play correctly with their childhood friends, teaching them to ignore the beliefs of those who do not believe as they do or to use those times when your own children come back with the question- ‘so and so said this about Jesus or the Bible…’– as teaching moments so your child can learn the difference and know how to proceed correctly with their friendships.

Also the responsibility is on the alternative believer and that they should be taking this exclusion as a warning that they are not headed in the right direction with their faith. or that their thinking has been influenced or tampered with by evil which means that they need to participate in some spiritual warfare to save their souls. They should not just blindly accept the idea that they are still Christian and holding to Christian beliefs when in reality they are being led astray by evil.

The issue with that author is that he wants to place the blame and responsibility solely upon the evangelical instead of shouldering his own for his decisions to follow after unbiblical ideas. He is trying to use guilt and personal views not scriptural ones to force his way into the lives of evangelicals without repenting of his error and that is wrong. He wants others to change to sinful ways instead of he and his family changing from their sinful positions and that is wrong as well.

The rules of God do not change because God does not change and because God does not change Christianity does not change either. If it does, then it is not God’s Christianity anymore. it is some human’s subjective version of what he wants Christianity to be.

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Posted by on January 1, 2015 in academics, Bible, church, education, faith, family, General Life, leadership, theology

 

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