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Posts Tagged ‘Jan Markell’

Is The New Evangelicalism Any Worse Than The Old?

Posted by Job on December 3, 2007

The New Evangelicalism By Jan Markell www.olivetreeviews.org

When I first filtered into an evangelical church at the age of 14, defining the term “evangelical” was simple, even for a kid my age. Without having to be told, I concluded evangelicals preached a solid gospel, emphasized evangelism and missions, majored in soul-winning and minored in social issues, abstained from some worldly values, were faithful in church attendance, Bible reading, and generally had a biblical worldview. I was never ashamed of the old definition of “evangelicalism.”

 

Those churches are still around, but something has happened in the last twenty years. New leaders are rising and some do NOT preach a solid gospel yet are called evangelicals. (Did your movement preach a solid gospel?) To me, this says today no one is really sure what “evangelicalism” means. (That is because when your folks were in control of the movement, you never defined it by your own example as it was never an attempt to practice the New Testament faith. Instead, the movement was desired to be a “third way” between the the liberal mainline denominationals and the “conservative” fundamentalists, some of whom you were more disdainful and ashamed of than not only the liberal mainline denominationals but even people who were not Christians at all.) When those leaning left such as Tony Campolo and Jim Wallis are called evangelicals, I can tell we have a new day. (So we were much better off with the evangelical movement being led by conservatives like Mike Huckabee, Jimmy Swaggart, Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, Ted Haggard, Ralph Reed, Bill Bennett, and Pat Robertson.) When “Emergent Church” leaders such as Brian McClaren, Rob Bell, and Erwin McManus are called evangelicals, something is a-miss. This is just blatant false labeling. (No, it is appropriation of a label that was false to begin with.)

 

“The New York Times” states, “A tug of war is unfolding behind the scenes over theology –should evangelicalism be a big tent open to divergent views, or a smaller movement with more pure theology?” (I prefer the unstated option #3, which is first trying to make an honest attempt to discern what the Bible is saying to us, and then making an honest attempt at doing it. Is there any evidence that this was ever the primary purpose of the movement popularized by the universalist populist Billy Graham?)

Theology isn’t the only issue. Some of today’s so-called evangelicals are into global warming, immigration issues, anti-war movements, and other causes that were once found only in churches a part of the World and National Council of Churches. (So … churches are not supposed to oppose unjust wars and illegal immigration?) They are involved in ridding the world of AIDS, which is an impossibility but a noble cause, but is it the cause of evangelicals? (This is dishonest. Virtually no one is trying to rid the world of a disease for which there is no vaccine or cure. They are merely trying to prevent the spread of the disease and treat people that have it. The fact that she is hostile to the church doing something about AIDS makes me wonder if she has a cultural bias against the people that disproportionately have it. Well, the lepers faced cultural bias in the time of Jesus Christ too, and Christ healed them.) Or is it just the old social gospel from which evangelicals fled in the 1940s so a few denominations could focus almost exclusively on soul-winning and Bible teaching? (Fleeing the social gospel? Yes. But founding your church based on a selfish hard – hearted partial gospel that ignores people’s human needs and is harsh towards sinners? That is not what Jesus Christ and His apostles preached or practiced, but quite the opposite: they condemned it. Read the book of James: faith without works is dead.)

Now the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) has a new leader and he hails from my hometown, Minneapolis, MN. (That people did not leave the NAE when the truth was found out about some of its leaders like Ted Haggard and James Dobson, and so many of its leaders are members of the Council on Foreign Relations and take money from Sun Myung Moon … well that is your own fault.) He states that issues to be addressed by the NAE include human rights, creation care, justice and compassion for the poor, torture, and seeking peace in the world. Isn’t this the organization that should be reminding the world that it is racing towards judgment and there may not be a lot of time to repent? It sounds like making the world a better place to live is the new “great commission.”
(No, we should be doing what Jesus Christ and His apostles told us to do in the New Testament. If certain people are erroring by wanting to do more, your error is worse because you want to do less.)

 

I am very uneasy when “evangelicals” remind me of social gospel leftists and when sound theology is replaced by feelings and experience. (So what, you were feeling “easy” before? You were in your little comfort zone before? Well, when I read the New Testament, what I see is that the gospel is supposed to make you uneasy, to take you out of your comfort zone, to cause you to do things that you would not ordinarily do. The rich young ruler was made uneasy by the gospel too. Herod was made uneasy by the preaching of John. I really am not seeing much of a difference between erring on the right side or erring on the left.) Or when once-sound theologians applaud the new “Christian mysticism” and rally around “unity.” (And who are these once – sound theologians? Billy Graham? Robert Schuller? A lot of these guys have ALWAYS had problems. The only thing that is going on now is that they have crossed some little cultural line in our minds that have forced us to confront it. Like all the Christians who abandoned Ted Haggard for being homosexual when he had so many other problems.) When church-growth methods take center stage and a church has to have a “marketing approach.” I thought God was the “Marketer-in-Chief” of all churches and ministries. (Sorry, that is the Reformed/Calvinist/fundamentalist predestination/election Christianity that the free will evangelical movement has made a point of rejecting in order to curry a measure of favor with the world as being “moderate”, “reasonable”, and “more compassionate. Even when I was free will evangelical, I couldn’t stand how we were so quick to sell out our more theologically conservative brethren for the respect of the God – haters.) He causes or hinders growth and the spiritual maturity of the body matters far more than growth in numbers.

Old fashioned evangelicalism is on life-support and has been snatched in what the Bible calls an “end-time falling away” (II Thess. 2). I see a new “slippery slope” and enormous compromise, and I will not remain silent. Yet the Lord loves His church. He has not forsaken it. (Again, if this woman’s comments are representative of old – fashioned evangelicalism mindset, then its adherents may not be as bad as Rick Warren or the emergents in a doctrinal,.worship, or personal behavior sense, but it is still not the full gospel that was once given to the saints. And if your spirit does not burn for the teachings that was given in the New Testament, should you examine yourself to be in the faith? How many of you have visited a person in prison, for instance? Or encouraged and prayed for an AIDS or cancer patient? I admit … I have never done such a thing, and that I need to. But quite frankly, people who claim to be in love with that old time religion while exhibiting no desire to do these things or pretending that they are mere side issues scare me. What is the point of taking such pride in believing that the Bible is inspired, inerrant, and the final authority if you are not out there doing what the Bible says?)

Distributed by http://www.ChristianWorldviewNetwork.com

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Posted in AIDS, Center for National Policy, christian conservative, Christian hypocrisy, christian left, christian liberalism, christian worldliness, Christianity, church hypocrisy, church state, church worldliness, Council on Foreign Relations, emergent church, evangelical christian, false doctrine, false preacher, false preachers, false religion, false teachers, false teaching, illegal immigration, immigration, James Dobson, Mike Huckabee, New Age, Pat Robertson, social gospel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

 
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