Monday, October 25, 2021

Washington Post: "Evangelicals Co-opted by Trump and Republicans"

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Friday, the Washington Post featured an article that said, "Emotions ran high at the gathering of about 100 pastors at a church about five miles from Notre Dame [University]. Many hugged. Some shed tears. One pastor confessed she could not pray anymore."

These pastors are part of a growing national group---all, according to WAPO, are part of a larger reckoning among individuals grappling with their faith identity in the wake of Donald Trump.

They are now attempting to separate themselves from Trump and evangelicalism while creating a new and different gospel. 

Why are they still so obsessed with Donald Trump?

Some things we should know.

Be informed, not misled.

A California pastor defined the meeting as "a desire for belonging...for pastors who feel homeless."

The Washington Post article claims, "Many of these leaders were startled to learn that about 8 out of 10 White evangelicals voted for Trump in both of his presidential runs."

I don't believe these people who pastor or have been pastoring a church, is that uninformed. Every leftist radical voice in America has been shouting those numbers for the past year.

The Post says, "As the pastors traded stories, they quickly found shared experiences. They lamented their conservative evangelical parents who watch Fox News, as well as their peers who had re-examined their beliefs so much that they lost their faith entirely."

The Post notes that "Most of the leaders held some belief in Jesus and the idea that people gathering in churches is still a good idea."

The main thrust of the meeting, and others like this one that is convening around the country, is to identify a new theology---a "Post-Evangelical, post-Trump" belief and church culture.

Seeking a different gospel---reconsidering God.

The Post says, "Many want their churches to be affirming, meaning that they would perform gay weddings and include LGBTQ people in leadership and membership."

"They preferred curiosity over certainty, inclusion over exclusion," Jeff Bezos' newspaper tells us.

"They also vocally oppose racial injustice and Trump," we are told.

Amy Mikal was one of the pastors in attendance and is active in the leadership of this "new thought" movement.

She was once a pastor at Chicago-based megachurch Willow Creek, but has left Willow Creek to start a new church called "A Restoration Church."

She says she's avoiding some of the pitfall strategies of other evangelical churches like "taking pictures from the ceiling to count attendance." 

Yes, she actually said that.

As a pastor, she is encouraging her congregants to "reconsider God" with male pronouns.

And she says, "The hardest part is that we were taught to take the Bible literally"..."We want to be a place that asks more questions than provides answers."

About the leaders of this gathering.

The Post described the leaders of this session as leaders who did not have "massive social media followings, podcasts or books to sell." 

The leaders were, "Scott Erickson, an Austin-based artist, and Brit Barron, a Black-Mexican lesbian who worked for a megachurch in California before she began re-examining her beliefs."

As she jumped on the church platform as the group's spiritual guide, she joked about possibly needing a fog machine like the ones used "in many evangelical megachurches."

Barron says her moment of enlightenment came when she, a staff member in the large California megachurch, picked up a book by the late Christian author Rachel Held Evans who came out as a lesbian in 2016. That, she says, caused her to leave the church. That was apparently her moment of restoration.

"Restoration" churches are opening in a number of cities across the country. There are certainly more to come.

The Washington Post crafts its story to undermine evangelicalism, "expose" Trump as the villain, and celebrate the more "inclusive," "tolerant" new gospel of this "restoration" movement.

I wrote about the probable consequences from author Rachel Held Evans' "new Christian beliefs" at the time and discussed it on our daily radio program. Clearly, Barron was one of her casualties. 

In the last letter he would write before he would be executed for the sake of the Gospel, the Apostle Paul wrote to the young pastor, Timothy, instructing him how to carry on the work of the Gospel after he, Paul, was gone.

Billions have read that letter since it was written. We know it as II Timothy in the New Testament.

These folks who are trying to find a new "Christian identity" should take some of their questioning time and read the Bible. Specifically this letter.

Some thoughts from Paul, the Apostle

Paul begins (II Tim. chapter 3:)

Verse 1: "This know that in the last days perilous times shall come." 

Verse 2-4: "Lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, and lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;"

Verse 5 gives identity and instruction to such people: "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof, from such turn away."

Verse 7 defines the kinds of introspective meetings the Washington Post is featuring as "Ever learning, and never able to come to  the knowledge of the truth."

And he warns (verse 13): "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived."


I often mention George Barna, because he is the foremost Christian pollster and survey expert in the country.

He released another installment---the eighth report---last Tuesday regarding some of the ideologies of what some are calling postmodernism.

He notes that 54% of Americans now hold the view that truth is subjective and there are no moral absolutes.

He also found that 39% believe that human life has no intrinsic value, 29%  believe there is no way to determine if God or a supernatural being exists and 34% say they do not know, believe, or care if God exists. 

George Barna says: 

"With only six percent of adults embracing the biblical worldview, the importance of the other six out of ten adults who call themselves Christians, but who do not reflect biblical thinking and living cannot be overstated."

The Pope returned to one of his favorite themes this weekend, calling Christians to "transcend borders and tear down walls."

It's time to ask the question of ourselves who claim to be evangelical Christian, 

"Are we conforming to the secular humanism of the world, or are we transforming the world through the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?" 

Be Informed. Be Engaged. Be Vigilant. Be Prayerful. Be Faithful.