Sunday, September 27, 2015

Christians Deceived v. Christians on a Mission

Molly Worthen has written an excellent article for The New York Times entitled, "Donald Trump and the Rise of the Moral Minority." My main critique of her analysis is that I do not like being called a member of the "Moral Minority" because I do not consider myself moral. I want to be moral, but find that I need God's forgiveness daily. Still, the bulk of the article is excellent.

In the article, Worthen writes: "In books titled “Radical” and “Counter Culture,” Dr. Platt urges evangelicals to reject Christian nationalism, “cap” their materialistic lifestyles and give more to charity....“We’ve chosen to be passionate about issues that have been the least costly to us,” he told me. “Countering culture” means recognizing the ways American Christians have mistaken both material and social comfort for spiritual rewards."
"Who are the heroes of these countercultural warriors? They have assembled a selective genealogy that omits evangelicals who once used the language of martyrdom and resistance to defend white supremacy. They trace their heritage from Paul and the Apostles (contemporary America reminds Dr. Platt of the fleshpots of first-century Corinth, “a city filled with sexual immorality”) to the Christian reformers of the 18th and 19th centuries, especially William Wilberforce, the evangelical politician who helped end slavery in the British Empire."

My view: Too many Christians are telling themselves stories of how we will "take back" America, as if we had it in the first place. This attitude opens up Christians to being deceived.

For example, I am baffled how so many Evangelical Christians can be so deceived by men such as Donald Trump and others in politics who obviously use them for their own purposes. Then, when I think of how many Evangelical churches see evangelism as a form of marketing and sales, I realize I should not be baffled. Salesmanship Christianity defends the easy life of America, and tells itself stories that all we need is more marketing and sales to bring in converts and win elections. Given this disposition, men like Trump and other in politics use marketing and sales tactics to win their support, and unfortunately often succeed.

Being a Christian is not the result of marketing or sales tactics, and being wealthy is not necessarily a reward for being spiritual. See Revelation 3:14-22. In this passage we see a good description in many ways of so many contemporary Evangelical churches.

You see, God is still in charge, just as He was in the early days of Christianity in a very immoral world. Furthermore, He is also in charge of a person's salvation because in our natural state, we cannot choose Him. He must choose us. See what Jesus told His disciples in John 15:16-17. No marketing or sales tactics can bring a person to Christ. "We love because he first loved us" (I John 4:19 ESV).

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