Is American Evangelical Christianity Sinking On The GOP Ship? by C. Redfern

Is American Evangelical Christianity Sinking On The GOP Ship? by C. Redfern

I am not, nor have I ever, been a left winger, but I am not happy with the right wing at times, and I stare on in horror at what has become of the GOP.

(Just stating that up front in case anyone new comes to my blog and assumes I must be a liberal Democrat because I occasionally post content that is critical of the Republicans. The Democrats don’t thrill me, but I think I may be more disappointed by the GOP, considering I was a Republican since I was a teenager.)

The following editorial contains this comment:

She said Grudem erected an arbitrary “hierarchy of morals” in which traditional family values outrank racism, justice, and poverty.

Yes indeed. What have I been saying on this blog for years now, one thing among a few: some Christians have made any and all things Nuclear Family (including “Family Values”) into a false god. Many Christians kneel at the god of “Family” and “Family Values.” Nothing else matters, not even when it means pushing the divorced, the never married, the childless, or widowed aside.

I’m not saying I necessarily agree with everything in this blog post by this guy, but there are parts of it that do resonate with me:

(Link): Is American Evangelical Christianity Sinking On The GOP Ship? by C. Redfern

Excerpts:

Hear the rumble beneath the great collapse. The pretense of evangelical cohesion in America is disintegrating even as the Republican Party implodes, with rubble surrounding the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump.

Long-hidden fissures have surfaced, making the obvious painfully clear: The term “evangelical” has become so thinned and adulterated it’s worse than meaningless.

A question hovers over “traditional” evangelicals such as me, wistful for the pre-1980 era when the term defined a solid theological position divorced from politics: What to do? Should we hunt for a different label?

Maybe so.

The Jaded Religious Right

The movement’s fractures have emerged in the wake of some high-profile Trump endorsements. James Dobson said this:

“Mr. Trump has been unwavering in his commitment to issues that are important to evangelicals such as myself. In particular, I have been heartened by his pledge to appoint conservative Supreme Court justices, preserve religious liberty, rebuild the military, and defend the sanctity of human life.

On the issue of abortion, I choose not to evaluate him based on his past position but rather on what he says are his current convictions. I believe God can change the hearts and minds of people and I celebrate when they support principles of righteousness.”

This comes on the heels of Jerry Falwell Junior’s approval and Pat Robertson’s compliment: “You inspire us all.”

All of which is tediously predictable. Prying the supposedly pro-family Dobson from the Republican Party would be too much to ask, especially since he holds one of the patents on the anti-Clinton slime machine.

Don’t bother inquiring, “Would you support a philandering, wife-dumping, strip-club owning Democrat whom fact-checkers give a 78-percent falsehood rating?”

As for Robertson, he tipped his hand when he supported Rudy Giuliani’s 2008 presidential bid despite the former New York mayor’s pro-choice and pro-gay marriage stances.

But the real shocker was Wayne Grudem’s July 28th essay, “Why Voting For Donald Trump is a Morally Good Choice.”

Grudem is a professor of theology and biblical studies at Phoenix Seminary and author of the popular and helpful Systematic Theology, which actually describes theological issues in readable English. He made no qualms about his Tea Party conservatism in another book, Politics, but he usually comes across as thoughtful. Not now.

How “Trump” and “morally” can meet in the same sentence defies the imagination.

Apparently, everything hinges on Supreme Court appointees: Grudem believes Trump would fulfill his pledge and appoint conservatives while Clinton would choose left-wingers.

“The nation would no longer be ruled by the people and their elected representatives, but by unelected, unaccountable, activist judges who would dictate from the bench about whatever they were pleased to decree. And there would be nothing in our system of government that anyone could do to stop them. That is why this election is not just about Hillary Clinton. It is about defeating the far left liberal agenda that any Democratic nominee would champion.”

Outraged Moderates

Fortunately, moderate evangelicals had already abandoned their customary election-year silence and voiced opposition to Trump. Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, said in February that he no longer describes himself as an evangelical in everyday conversation because “the word itself is at the moment subverting the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

He marveled at a ballooning double standard: “I have watched as some of these who gave stem-winding speeches about ‘character’ in office during the Clinton administration now minimize the spewing of profanities in campaign speeches, race-baiting and courting white supremacists, boasting of adulterous affairs, debauching public morality and justice through the casino and pornography industries.”

Albert Mohler, the conservative president of Southern Baptist Seminary, also noticed the Clinton irony: “If I were to support, much less endorse, Donald Trump for president, I would actually have to go back and apologize to former President Bill Clinton. I would have to admit that my commentary on his scandals was wrong. I don’t believe I was. I don’t believe evangelicals who stood united that time were wrong.”

Even more significant were the February comments of Max Lucado, the popular evangelical author who intentionally remained a-political in previous campaigns. He listed Trump’s “antics” (ridiculing a war hero, mocking a handicapped reporter, labeling people as losers and dummies), then said, “Such insensitivities wouldn’t be acceptable even for a middle school body election. But for the Oval Office? And to do so while brandishing a Bible and boasting of his Christian faith?”

…But perhaps the most poignant was Amy Gannett’s “Why Evangelicals Are Losing An Entire Generation.” She writes in behalf of her fellow millennials:

Over the last several months, I have lost respect for the Republican party, and I honestly thought that would be the biggest tragedy of this election. But the disappointing truth is this: I’m losing faith in evangelicals. And this is frightening. I am an evangelical. I hold to evangelical theology. I have attended not one, but two evangelical schools. But I fear that we’re going to lose an entire generation because of the actions, words, and teachings of some evangelicals. Including Wayne Grudem.

She said Grudem erected an arbitrary “hierarchy of morals” in which traditional family values outrank racism, justice, and poverty.

My word to Amy: Welcome to the fold. Many of us baby boomers have lived in this sheep pen for decades and we’ve been crying for a holistic understanding of the Gospel. We’ve seen survey results showing dissatisfaction with political sermons as well as Jerry Falwell’s and Pat Robertson’s unpopularity, but the hair-sprayed television reporters always miss those stats. We’ve been flummoxed and frustrated, especially since self-identified evangelicals seem to be falling behind Grudem despite all the objections.

…As Thomas J. Kidd comments: “In American pop culture parlance, ‘evangelical’ now basically means whites who consider themselves religious and who vote Republican.”

….More Gaps And Fractures

(Link): Things veered into a strange, fissure-fraught land in 1980: Falwell founded the Moral Majority and favored non-evangelical Ronald Reagan over Carter while Robertson and Dobson dominated the airwaves with their unbridled partisanship.

A popular image evolved: A typical evangelical preacher cajoled gullible radio listeners for donations, anointed the GOP as God’s Own Party, and stood for “values” instead of a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

He rarely, if ever, preached on the many passages about social justice even while he accused theological “liberals” of slicing chapters from their Bibles. Meanwhile, some health and wealth pastors promised big houses to believers who could muster enough faith.


Related Posts:

(Link):  White Christians No Longer Majority in U.S.A. (2015 Pew Study)

(Link):  Why Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Aren’t Fighting the Culture Wars by D Linker

(Link):  Evangelism Using Death, Heaven, Hell Talk Don’t Work on ‘Unchurched’ Americans, Survey Finds

(Link): The Bible Does Not Teach Christians to “Focus On The Family” – The Idolization of Family by American Christians (article)
(Link): Misuse of Terms Such As “Traditional Families” by Christians – Re: Kirk Cameron, Homosexual Marriage, and the 2014 Grammys

(Link):  Why “Family Values” Defined Conservative Christianity (and Why “Religious Liberty” has Replaced It) – by E C Miller

(Link): Reviewers of Dobson’s book about parenting girls confirms it – U.S. Christians fixated on 1950s culture

(Link):  Singles Advocate DePaulo Responds to Right Wing, Conservative Critics of Singlehood, Who Blame Singles For Breakdown of The Family

(Link): Neo Calvinists / Neo Reformed Are The New Religious Right

(Link): The Bible Calls Christians to Make Individual Disciples, Not to “Change Culture” Nor to Save, Redeem Culture Nor to Save or Promote Marriage or Manufacture Christianized Entertainment

(Link):  Family Values Republican Politician Hastert in Trouble for Sexual Assault of Kids / On Liberals and Not Having Sexual Standards

(Link):  Family Values, Conservative Christian Bill Gothard Accused Of Rape

(Link):  Focus on the Family Members Practice Infidelity or Homosexuality and Get Divorced and Remarry – links to exposes

(Link): Christian, Family Values Vlogger – Austin Null – Caught Sexting

(Link):   Another Christian Pro-Nuclear Family Marriage Idolator Married Father Caught By Ashley Madison Hack

(Link):  NFL Star Benjamin Watson: America Is Not a Christian Country

(Link):  Republicans Turning Backs on Christians – Social Conservatives – Values Voters 

 

(Link):   Why do evangelicals lose their faith? – Podcast by Unbelievable

(Link):  Time to End ‘Nuclear Family Privilege’ – Let’s Overcome Irrational Nostalgia for a Version of Family Long Since Transformed

(Link):  Christianity Should Be Able To Work Regardless of Culture, Childed or Marital Status / Article: Unlike in the 1950s, there is no ‘typical’ U.S. family today by B. Shulte

(Link): Why People Don’t Go To Church (various links and testimonies March 2014)

(Link): Republicans Ditch Family Values As Strategy (2013 article)

 (Link):  Republicans Turning Backs on Christians – Social Conservatives – Values Voters (2013 article)

 (Link):  The Myth of The Good Old Days (editorial by some guy)

(Link):  The Changing American Family (article)

(Link): Conservative Christianity Stuck in 1950s Leave it To Beaver-ville

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