Thursday, March 2, 2017

Who's Got Your Back? Day 8- Not the Christian Establishment

I naturally think of fellow followers of Jesus as people who have my back.  But when I think of who among them I could really count on in hard times, very few possibilities come to mind.  Because of my relative good circumstances to date, I haven't had to really test these possibilities, but seeing a future without Social Security, Medicare, or affordable health insurance, without truth, law, or empathy in our government, I know that the time of need is coming for me as well as for others who will want my help.

It's hard for me to see the 80% of evangelicals who, after the State of the Union Address, probably see Trump as the greatest communicator since Ronald Reagan, as being the kind of people who will have my back.  Their support for Trump has been a devastating blow.  I could easily see them coming up with a thousand reasons to walk on the other side of the street in a Good Samaritan situation. They might view giving me assistance as further enabling whatever I did to get to where I am at.  But I don't want to presume that would be the case.

I feel more certain that the Christian Establishment doesn't have my back with the possible exception of a few churches whose culture and worldview help them to minister the love of Jesus in the world.  It is really difficult to separate the conservative anarchist culture of most Republicans from that of most evangelicals.  It seems that the anarchists have had evangelicals hooked into their misanthropic agenda since Reagan, tossing them a few pro-Christian bones for bait, such as the hope of making abortion illegal.  

The Christian Establishment has done very little to reach out in empathic and missional ways.  Its leaders haven't fostered the community that will have our back.  Even something as basic as small groups is difficult to find.  Attending church gives most people just enough sense of community to keep them from becoming fully aware of their need for a truly loving and gifted missional community.  For those who want to do the things Jesus said we would do and gifted us for, church seems like a dismal retirement home.

What saddens me most about the Christian Establishment is how it has given the strongest witness against the Gospel that anyone in modern history could possibly give.  Its powerful anti-witness has contributed to the word "Christian" having such a bad connotation that I don't like to call myself a Christian anymore.  I don't think most individual Christians realize this, or know how much their justifying their beliefs and practices as supported by God blinds them to the godlessness of their worldview.

Things will have to get worse for the Christian Establishment for it to be redeemed.  I believe things will get worse and some in the Christian Establishment will find redemption in the midst of these hard times and some won't. Overall, the witness of the Gospel will be strengthened.  I am looking forward to playing a role in the spiritual revolution that will happen amidst the collapse of the Christian Establishment. Followers of Jesus will do just fine without the buildings, power, money, prestige, or any of the trappings they depend on now.

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