“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:
In the past two weeks we’ve witnessed yet another key influencer in the evangelical movement “give up” and move on. This one is Joshua Harris of I Kissed Dating Goodby fame (or infamy, as you will). There are two key discussions worth your listen.
“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
Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words. (Mark 12:13, NIV)
We are creating new games of “gotcha” in the evangelical world on almost a weekly basis now. Statements issued by one group are carefully scrutinized by another. Actions of one group are carefully scrutinized for motive by another.
The religious leaders in Jesus’ day were good at this. And for good reason.
You can tweet this. (LOL. I really hate that cue!)
When we don’t have true authority all we can do is try and ‘trap’ the opponent.
Over the past few years, we have watched some massive cultural shifts. These have been shifts I’ve observed, written about, prayed over, and tried to prepare our church for as these “operating systems” have changed. Continue reading “The cultural operating systems”→