This week has brought amazement at the many examples of human stupidity by people who should know better. I think the correct analysis is that they’re sophomoric — literally wise fools who do not know their ignorance, and so assume they are geniuses when they are speaking of a tiny portion of reality as if it were the whole.
Here’s the latest — the problem:
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. Public leaders will consider us bad for America, bad for education, bad for children, and bad for society.
The evangelical investment in moral, social, and political issues has depleted our resources and exposed our weaknesses. Being against gay marriage and being rhetorically pro-life will not make up for the fact that massive majorities of Evangelicals can’t articulate the Gospel with any coherence. We fell for the trap of believing in a cause more than a faith.
Here’s Doofus, PhD’s solution:
Expect evangelicalism to look more like the pragmatic, therapeutic, church-growth oriented megachurches that have defined success. Emphasis will shift from doctrine to relevance, motivation, and personal success â€“ resulting in churches further compromised and weakened in their ability to pass on the faith.
The emerging church will largely vanish from the evangelical landscape, becoming part of the small segment of progressive mainline Protestants that remain true to the liberal vision.
I am no evangelical, but I’ll tell you this from experience: it always seems like you win by giving in to the crowd, but in the end, all it does is adulterate your message — which makes people even less likely to find you.
What Evangelicals and Christians need is more practical talk about how faith is the basis of a community and they need to agree on some values and establish some communities with those values. Teaching people that fighting abortion or fighting racism is equivalent to “doing right” is like assuming that clipping one blade of grass is mowing a lawn.