John Fea calls them “court evangelicals.” I want to go a bit further and use the term: “culturalized Christians.” It’s not a good term, but I start there.
For years I have asked the question, “Are you a Christian who happens to be American, or are you an American who happens to be Christian?” There IS a difference.
In 2016 I preached through a series called “Living in Babylon” because I could see how entrenched we were as evangelicals in the political culture. A shift was happening and it was time to wake up. Well… that didn’t turn out so well.
I didn’t understand the depths of this problem and over the last 2 years, I have been more disturbed than ever at the entrenchment of evangelicals my age and older in American Christianity. We truly could be identified as Americans who happened to be Christian. We have loved political power and we are doing all we can to hold on to that illusion of power.
The depths of this issue just keep getting… well… deeper. I hesitate to say it just couldn’t get possibly any worse than where we are, especially after this week. I would like to identify May 22, 2018, as the marking point for just how low we’ve gone as culturalized Christians. Alas, that is probably not the case. I would like to mark the date, though, because I am absolutely disgusted with just how far some entrenched culturalized Christians have gone.
This is a story within the Southern Baptist Convention, but I will not even hold out hope that “this is it.” This post sums it up best, so I recommend you go there first and read it, along with clicking on the articles referred to, then get back here.
No… really… go read that post and the links to get a grasp on what happened this week. Soak in that vile post by Rick Patrick. Read it again…
What I find interesting is when I shared that post on my social media, the only responses I got were from women.
One friend posted that this was not going to be limited to the SBC, and I agree. The #metoo movement has a reckoning within the evangelical church and this isn’t about a political movement. This is a wind of the Spirit to clean house.
We are in a kairos time where the house of God is being cleaned out again in the American Church. We had an opportunity to learn 30 plus years ago with controversies among televangelists… and we learned nothing. There is a hardening process going on again. Just as God hardened Pharaoh’s heart and there was a process of cleansing to truly free God’s people, this is what is happening now.
Here is the harsh realization that will be ignored: The American Church is Pharaoh. It is our hearts being tested.
That hardening is happening and we are not paying attention. We are doubling down on this last gasp at political power and holding on for dear life. This will not end well.
But God will not have this wretched desire for political power in his house any longer.
We need a wave of repentance sweeping over our churches. It’s not a wave of fake repentance where we say, “I hope I don’t get caught in this…” but a true wave of repentance where we lay out sin before the Lord and only say, “WOE IS ME!”
Most won’t see this. Most will ignore this. But there is a remnant. God always has a remnant. The remnant will see what is going on and repent. Their repentance will pave the way for a fresh wind of the Spirit to blow and the true Body of Christ will keep moving forward.
We are in a kairos moment as the American Church. That window will close soon. Let the Spirit do his work!