Culturalized Christianity and public witness

David French has a similar journey to mine in his geography. I find this the more I read him. He lived for decades in the Northeast as a conservative Republican. I lived in Minnesota in a very liberal metro area as a conservative white pastor. He moved to TN. I moved to Alabama. He found he was still “homeless” in a way. I have discovered that as well.

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Our civil rights moment

One quote I saw going around on social media went something like this: “If you wondered if you would stand up for civil rights in the 1960s, what you’re doing right now is what you would be doing back then.”

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Rooting out our deep sin

The deep sin of racism is far more embedded in white American Christianity than we are willing to admit. We struggle in our collective sin mainly because evangelical Christianity (and fundamentalism on the right) focuses on the “individual” sin to the detriment of recognizing community sin.

Examples:

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We create our own apocalypse

A few articles over the past few weeks have helped me tamp down my desire to talk about how “bad” things are in America. The book, The End of Hunger, also helped keep perspective.

The reality of our lives is this: gloom and impending doom sells. It motivates us when good news won’t get it done. We create our own apocalypse.

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Being truly “evangelical”

“Evangelical” in American cultural usage right now is a term that is full of landmines. Michael Gerson, an evangelical writer, is a voice that calls out the challenges often. In a current column with the Washington Post, he reminds readers of what true evangelicals used to be like:

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Spiritual formation in the public life

“Evangelicals have often been presented with a false choice about our role in public life. We either completely withdraw from trying to influence things, or we initiate ‘takeover’ programs. There is an alternative pattern, thought, one that I believe is mandated by Scripture: in the present time, where the fullness of Christ’s kingdom is not yet with us, we are called to do what we can in the political realm, given the opportunities and abilities that God has provided for us in the places where the Lord calls us to be faithful.” — Richard Mouw, Restless Faith: Holding Evangelical Beliefs in a World of Contested Labels