Friday, July 08, 2005

The Evangelical Culture Divide

Okay, today I decided to blog on something that may not seem in the scope of what this blog is about, but it is bothering me a lot, so I am going to address it. That is what I call the Evangelical Culture Divide.

Recently, as we face the nomination of a new Supreme Court Justice, I heard news reports that evangelicals said they deserve the nominee of their choice because they helped decide the election. I want to say that I have no words for how sick this makes me. I AM AN EVANGELICAL. I VOTED. I am glad to feel my vote counted, but the facts show that most evangelicals had not voted in years. They love to complain about where the culture is going and what the government is doing but they did nothing to exercise their right to have a voice in it. This is like one of the churches criticized in Revelation. They love to complain, but they don't do anything positive about it. Now that they have acted and voted, they want all the power. How does that work? One of the things that Democrats and others offended by the evangelical lobby complain about which is valid (so many are not but really reflect instead the different values they have) is the fact the so many evangelicals mistakenly think they have the duty and obligation to shove their beliefs down other peoples' throats. This has created a huge cultural divide between Evangelicals and everyone else.

Now I should say that there should be a divide based on values and lifestyle. If there was not, there would be something wrong. But the problem is that an attitude of superiority or moral defenders has taken over many evangelical circles and now they label anyone who doesn't agree with them as non-Christian or unsaved, which is very arrogant and unloving, not to mention unbiblical. Who are these people to determine who are saved? And where is the love of Christ in what they are saying? No wonder the world mocks our hipocrisy and misses our witness. It is a shame.

The United States of America was founded on a system of government that changed the world. And it has worked for over 200 years in spite of naysayers because it allows protection for people to speak what they believe, and especially those possessing unpopular opinions. It provides for equal representation for all citizens, and it achieves this as best any system can, I believe. The reality is that our culture is becoming liberal and watered down. If we feel our representation is watered down and liberal, that doesn't mean they are not representing our culture accurately. And while I would like to see this change, it will never change if a small minority demands the power to force their views on everyone else. Evangelicals, unlike some places in the world, are still a minority in the U.S.A. so while we should expect representation from evangelicals in congress like Senator Jim Talent and Senator Rick Santorum, we should neither ask nor expect that we have a right to pick our choice over everyone else's. We have to win fair and square by putting up good candidates who are honorable, decent, and trustworthy, and fight hard to do the right things in spite of the imperfect system in which they work. That is the only way we can effectively hope to impact culture and government. Not by demanding our own way.

I am ashamed that some of those who call themselves evangelicals, some of whom are even influential like James Dobson, have lost the sense of this and are making us all look bad. They are intelligent and successful and richly blessed of God, and yet in their anger and frustration, they have lost their way. We all need to pray for them. And we need to ask God to guard our hearts so that we don't become like them. Then we need to work hard to make sure they don't rule the day and cooler heads prevail. Otherwise, evangelicals will never be taken seriously again.

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