December 22, 2008

The Demise of Evangelical Distinctiveness?

I feel like I'm living in a historic time, not simply because our next president is mixed-race or because Illinois political corruption is finally revealed for the rest of the nation to appreciate, but because I think evangelicalism is caving to societal pressure to look like anything other than its former self. My concern is that evangelicalism in the public arena no longer includes a passionate defense for the unborn (because that would simply be too politically divisive). Instead, it seems we are focusing our greatest energies on other issues-- not for the sake of those other issues, but rather to gain some political common ground. Don't get me wrong, I know there are many evangelical individuals and organizations still in the fight for the rights of the unborn. But as some older generations are beginning to fade away, I wonder who will be interested in continuing to support this and related causes. As I watch the news and trends in the church, I wonder if there is a generation of evangelicals even interested in taking up the cause for life. Feminism is succeeding in indoctrinating several generations of women on their platform of equality and corresponding reproductive rights while the church fidgets to understand how to develop a culture of God-fearing women who can love both their families and careers, or at least appreciate that our society simply demands that women be able to work because men have failed to responsibly lead. But I digress. Will Christianity be able to survive this politization of faith? Where it appears that the left is capitulating to evangelicalism, such as by inviting Rick Warren to do the Inauguration, do you think it might really be about blurring the lines and causing confusion? The ability for any party to cross party lines is usually indicative of moderate-ism. Is this what we should expect of our faith-based discourse? The church is being silenced internally and externally on life issues someone needs to speak to; it's never taken up the cause for women in a real practical way that avoids the extremes of secular feminism but still appreciates the giftings of women in whatever sphere she participates in; and the evangelical church is losing its distinctive voice by the manipulation of the smooth-talking left who are out to gain the loyalties of the pragmatic and uninformed. Can the evangelical church survive the next decade?

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