Evangelical leaders are meeting this week at Wheaton College to try and figure out post-Trump how to make evangelicalism respectable again. Good luck with that!
You can’t advance Jesus’ vision of liberation by oppressing the conscience of others. That’s all evangelicalism is about.
The problem with white evangelical Trump supporters is that they aren’t Christians but “Bible believers,” in other words mentally ill delusional cult members.
There is no alternative evangelical narrative — a more positive model of social engagement to offset the Trump fiasco. As long as evangelicals believe in the Bible instead of rational thought, science and truth they are doomed.
Evangelicals’ problem isn’t that post-Trump they’re identified with a certain kind of white-grievance populism, which cuts them off from the “best of their history.” Their problem is that they believe in things that are demonstrably lies. Trump is just what lies buy you: a vision of life where everything you disagree with is “fake.”
Trump and the Republicans have reduced white evangelicalism to the status of a political interest group seeking to restore its (deservedly) lost status. To restore evangelical status would take evangelicals admitting that the Bible — when taken literally — is a destructive dumb book.
Evangelicals have lost cultural standing. They think Trump can help them win it back. The evangelical problem isn’t our post-1960s culture wars they’ve lost but the stupidity of their beliefs. Trump is the result — not the cause — of the evangelical addiction to false certainty.
If evangelicalism ever wants to play a more positive role in social and political life after their false god Trump falls, they could begin by admitting that the Bible is full of race-tribe-lie-based mythology, repent of it and call for the abolition of all fundamentalism.
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I am a person that believes the Bible and am firmly on the left. I have just learned to read it in it’s historical context and lean into the grace that the New Testament affords. This blog just pissed me off. You lost me on this one, Frank. I lived through Christian Reconstructionist churches and now am told by you that I am dumb, mentally ill. Sometimes your anger boils over and hurts the very people who are your allies. You need to choose you words with more love, brother.
With all due respect, while you may have “learned” how to read the “Bible” in its so-called historical context and “lean into the grace” of the NT, others have not. For example, “Texas pastor Robert Jeffress, one of President Trump’s evangelical advisers, said that God has given the president “full control” to take out North Korean leader Kim Jong Un” according to his reading of Romans 13 (https://tinyurl.com/Godsaidnukethem)
History is littered with Bible believers fighting and killing one another over what the Bible says about almost everything. So who is right and who is wrong and how can you tell? There is a big difference between knowing something based on empirical evidence (scientific investigation) and knowing or believing something based on divine revelation (e.g., Bible, Korah, etc).
I probably wouldn’t have used some of the words Frank used, but when there’s a five-alarm fire, politely suggesting that folks should leave the building won’t do. Peace.
I would rather that they strive to be “respectful“ than “respectable.“
Because if they would respect my civil rights and keep their shit to themselves, I think they would have a better reputation.
They are creating more atheists everyday.
You sound frustrated, angry, and confused. It is true Franklin Graham and the bunch are more political than evangelical. Let us simply say they represent no one but themselves. You need to make that distinction. That is why you have continued to caricature the gospel. Btw, the bible does not need your or Franklin’s endorsement.
Frankie, I believe in the Bible. I also believe in logic, science, and Truth. You know enough about evangelicalism to know that we are separated from fundamentalism in part because we do not take every part of the Bible literally, but bring scholarship to bear to understand which portions are poetic, or which portions are speaking to a culture in a way that must be understood by understanding the context. This meeting was actually not about Trump, at all. It was about returning evangelicalism to preaching the Good News of Jesus, after it has been turned into a tool for the political right.
Sarah, you said it a lot better than I did!! Thank you for your eloquent reply to Frank.
I’m with Sarah on this one. The problem for Christianity is that those who are called “Evangelicals” are, indeed, using the Christian faith to justify their very un-Christian beliefs and political agenda. Technically, to be an evangelical Christian you should simply be someone who wants to share the good news that God loves us in spite of the stupid and selfish things we do to mess things up. Unfortunately, a lot of dumb things happened to that concept, especially in America.
i was not raised to be a hater. seems like they hate anyone who does not believe the same as them. all religion is sorta cultish but these people trump them all pun intended
” 1Co 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”
He said that when I am gone I shall send my spirit
That spirit will guide one to all truth
He said my kingdom is not of this world
His body is gone as he said only my spirit remains
He said this
when to or more gather in my name
there I shall be
How do we know it’s me
You shall know them by their love
The gospel you see
As a “recovered” evangelical fundamentalist, I’d add that the US move toward eliminating all mind control not just fundamentalism.
As a historian I recommend Cal State – Long Beach professor of history of the early Christian church, and Islam, and expert on the Dear Sea Scrolls —- Robert Eisenman. Frank is correct. We’ve been taught lies. The biblical Jesus is the voice of Rome. The New Testament should never be read outside the historical context which was the Jewish War against Rome. The gospels “Jesus” is actually a metaphor for the messianic movement coopted by Rome. The “poor” and the “meek” mentioned in the Sermon on the Mount are the people/the zealots who fought Rome. That is what they called themselves in the Dead Sea Scrolls. The gospels are actually ridiculing the very people who thought the armies of heaven would help them fight Rome. Evangelical fundamentalism is celebrating human sacrifice….. It teaches us to live in obedience to psychopaths…..like the Roman caesars….. It makes us mentally ill because it teaches us to trust “the word” rather than our own conscience, empathy, guts…..