Problems With Evangelicism
I am currently reading Gregory A. Boyd’s book The Myth of a Christian Nation. The dust jacket of this book says this book calls evangelical Christians to look carefully at our priorities and choices. This book asks, is alliance with a political cause worth it if it undermines God’s purpose for us on Earth? The author challenges readers to return to the love of Calvary and the way of the cross—setting the “power-over” politics of worldly government aside.
A good book that I have read it before, this time I would like to post my responses and reflections on this book. As always, this is only my thoughts and understandings, part of a conversation. If you would like to add to the conversation, please feel free to leave your comments and questions.
On page 11 of the book Boyd writes, “For some evangelicals, the kingdom of God is largely about, if not centered on, “taking America back for God,” voting for the Christian candidate, outlawing abortion, outlawing gay marriage, winning the culture war, defending political freedom at and abroad, keeping the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, fighting for prayer in public schools and at public events, and fighting to display the Ten Commandments in government buildings.”
Ok. Let me take this one-step at a time.
Taking America back for God—If Jesus didn’t use violence to recover Israel why would God want the followers of Jesus to use force or coercion to take America or any other earthly nation for God or the church. Jesus is not in the business of nation building, but saving people from themselves and reconciling all of creation to God.
Voting for the Christian candidate—I don’t think our nation is served by merely electing Christians. I don’t want all our elected officials to think as I do. I think our city, state, and national leaders should be made up of all kinds of people, the best kinds of people. I would like to think that I would vote for the best candidate.
Outlawing abortion—I have not completely formulated my thoughts on this subject. Is it murder? Maybe. As such, it should be restricted if not outlawed. Yet, if we are going to outlaw this then we need to protect women and prevent rape and incest as much as we can. More than we now do. We also need to take much better care of the children we do have. We need to care for the children without parents or parents who are ill equipped to parent or are over-worked and do more about the rampant bullying in our schools. Outlawing abortion cannot just be about saving the unborn, but also caring about the living children among us.
Outlawing gay marriage—I am not going to argue about the biblical verses on this subject. I am currently studying this and may post my thoughts in the future. All I am going to say is that in a free country to restrict or limit the rights of any group or person to do what the majority can easily do is wrong, very wrong. As a nation, we should give full rights to everyone of our citizens. Just because our nation grants rights to everyone no matter what doesn’t mean we sanction their lifestyle. I don’t agree with the thoughts and ideas of certain groups, but I would never seek to limit or restrict their rights. As Christians, I think we should be more concerned with the rising divorce rates than with people who are in love and simply want to build a life together.
Winning the culture war—is this all that important. Aren’t Christians supposed to be in the world, but not of it? Why should we fret over winning a war centered on this world? Didn’t Paul, the apostles, and theologians of the church use the dominant culture to make the gospel intelligible to the people?
Defending political freedom at and abroad—just like taking America back for God this not something we need to do. Just like this past year, showed freedom wins out. As Christians, we should speak out against injustice and seek to do justice, but should not force it on anyone.
Keeping the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance—once again is that all that important? United Sates is not a Christian nation. It’s not. If you disagree, pick up a copy of the Jefferson bible. USA is a secular nation just like all the nations of the world. Shouldn’t Christians be more concerned that our communities be “under God” than the wording of some national creed? We should live so that our lives display the idea behind “under God.”
Fighting for prayer in public schools and at public events—Prayer is an important practice, something I suppose we should all do more of and not just in public. We should pray at home before we go to school, work, or anywhere else. We can also say silent prayers as others around murmur around us. I do this before class begins and before I take tests. We shouldn’t make a big deal about prayer. Just pray.
Fighting to display the Ten Commandments in government buildings— on this one, I simply ask why we fuss about displaying this section of the bible and not the Sermon on the Mount.
These are my reflections. If you have anything to add, I would be glad to hear from you.
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