Skip to comments.The coming evangelical collapse (Whats up with this?)
Posted on 03/10/2009 4:02:24 AM PDT by dalight
Oneida, Ky. - We are on the verge within 10 years of a major collapse of evangelical Christianity. This breakdown will follow the deterioration of the mainline Protestant world and it will fundamentally alter the religious and cultural environment in the West.
Within two generations, evangelicalism will be a house deserted of half its occupants. (Between 25 and 35 percent of Americans today are Evangelicals.) In the "Protestant" 20th century, Evangelicals flourished. But they will soon be living in a very secular and religiously antagonistic 21st century.
This collapse will herald the arrival of an anti-Christian chapter of the post-Christian West. Intolerance of Christianity will rise to levels many of us have not believed possible in our lifetimes, and public policy will become hostile toward evangelical Christianity, seeing it as the opponent of the common good.
(Excerpt) Read more at csmonitor.com ...
Believe me, I understand why you, or anyone else, would want to use today's vernaculur when describing these people, but we have to stray away from terms like "idiot," "moron," or the types of words that have 4 letters or less. Trust me, I haven't done a very good job myself at times and I've had to repent of such loose usage of verbal insults.
But, we have to maintain a higher standard than those around us as much as we would like to do otherwise. Now, to use terms like Jesus did, or to properly describe a group of people like He did, fire away.
Did I muddy up the waters enough?
I’ll tell you this for sure: the younger believers—in the large, nondenominational, growing, Christian evangelical churches—are growing increasingly liberal.
More interest in trendy things like “green” issues, “social justice,” etc. Kind of like the 1970s “Jesus Movement” Christianity again.
I think he's spot on, actually.
Ardent "evangelicals" (whatever the word actually means) have given themselves a very poor reputation -- not just high-profile hypocrisy of the Jimmy Swaggart/Ted Haggard variety, but also (talk to your standard young person for confirmation) a reputation for smug self-righteousness that makes Christianity look bad. It's not that evangelicals are insincere in their faith (they're typically very sincere); rather, it's that they can lack humility.
Case in point: I'm acquainted with some very good, very sincere evangelical Christians whose outlook on the world is essentially, "I'm so happy to be saved, and so sad to see all those people around me who are going to hell." Well ... that's sure to bring new folks to church on Sunday! I really don't think they understand just how off-putting that attitude is.
(I'm just as prone to such lack of humility... but since this is about evangelicals, I point it out in their case especially.)
The author correctly points out that "Evangelicalism" has become somewhat synonymous with "conservative Republican politics." In so doing, evangelicals have made themselves fair game for secular comparison and opposition. And given that Evangelicals don't have anything close to the media firepower of "secularism," they really stand no chance of successfully broadcasting the true meaning of what they're saying.
Note that he doesn't say that Christianity will necessarily be brought down -- he points out that the more traditional and hierarchical Catholic and Orthodox churches will probably benefit as people "come home" to traditions that are much less dependent on the personalities of their leadership.
IMO, the problem with "evangelicals" is really no different from that with any of the other struggling denominations: they've lost the bead on what "being Christian" is all about.
Some denominations have "gone secular," and forgotten the divine basis for Christianity. Others -- like a lot of evangelicals -- have "gone Pharisee," in the sense of protecting their beliefs at the expense of forgetting that one of the major reasons for that the church exists, is to do God's work in the world.
The author may or may not be correct about a coming "persecution," though I suspect he's more right than wrong. But really, the situation is an opportunity for Christianity to return: both to the fundamental Truths on which it's based; and also to restore the humility for which the early Church was known, and which modern churches (perhaps especially evangelicals) have often forgotten.
My money is on somebody like Rob Bell, whose take on Christianity offers a very refreshing (and yet thoroughly orthodox) change from what "church" generally seems to be about today.
The gates of Hell will not prevail against Christ and His church....flail away CSM..... others have tried to squash the Almighty in Centuries past....He is the hammer and they the anvil! Stick with the Winner folks and ignore the subterfuge drivel!
I will take a look at those writings. I am reading N. T. Wright at the moment. Very good.
It was reported yesterday that the “survey” was done by a group that is dedicated to secularizing the country.
Agreed about Wright -- a very interesting fellow who is not at all afraid of tackling difficult questions.
And (fwiw), Mr. Bell is also a fan of Mr. Wright -- he refers approvingly to Wright's discussion on the authority of Scripture.
The future belongs to God.
It’s the secular Europeans that are rapidly decreasing in population.
It’s the liberal stand for nothing churches that are disappearing in the US.
Key statement: “Evangelicals have identified their movement with the culture war and with political conservatism. This will prove to be a very costly mistake. Evangelicals will increasingly be seen as a threat to cultural progress.”
Translation: Author is a big-time liberal.
Am persistently somewhat torn on the issue.
I have found that some folks pay zip attention when pablum words are used.
Even if they are angered or provoked, at least THEY TEND TO THINK a little more about the issues.
Thought is good about such things, imho.
However, we are all trekking with clay feet. I’m not per se looking DOWN on anyone. Just calling a spade a spade in the hopes that some will think . . . hmmm . . . do I want to keep being a spade?
Well, with the issues as great as they are, and the damage being done to our once proud nation by “O,” I understand how you feel, trust me.
The 60’s/70’s have come back to bite us. Many Priests/Ministers who joined the church then were indoctrinated into a Socialist mantality. We have been seeing the natural outcome of this for awhile.
Thank God the Catholic Church has the ability to fight back as the last 2 Popes have been very conservative. Most Protestant Churches are rudderless as the leadership is wishy washy.
What a bunch of garbage this "article" was. This bozo thinks Christ is going to be defeated?
Sheesh. What arrogance.
Moreover, does he not think God is at work?
When the world shifts....when calamities strike....when the very foundations are shaken - God appears. Those Christ calls by name know His voice.
The new ARIS (American Religious Identification Survey) is out. Check out the numbers for yourself:
ping for your lists (as applicable). Some of the author’s observations should sound very familiar...
Also a ping
MY guess is there isn’t anything much to get.
Yeah, things will happen, some of them will be bad, others not so bad. Christians will be tempted to despair. Some will succumb, others won’t.
All of us parents will wonder if we failed to witness properly to our children. Some of us, most of us, will not have witnessed all that well, but God will move as only God can.
My suggestion: say your prayers, then turn to the funny pages and have a nice laugh.
Thanks for your kind understanding.
This concludes my comment on colorful language.