What Are Evangelicals Afraid of Losing?

To my beloved brothers and sisters who voted for Trump, and to those who can’t imagine why anyone would, I invite you to read this heart-searching article. In the hopes of enticing you, I offer the following highlights…
  • If an election can cause us to lose everything, what is it exactly that we have in the first place?
  • It’s not when we’re fed to lions that we lose everything; it’s when we preach another gospel.
  • And yet, [in] swinging from triumphalism to seething despair, many pastors are conveying to the wider, watching public a faith in political power that stands in sharp opposition to everything we say we believe in.
  • Jesus predicted the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and a long period afterward that would be marked simultaneously by persecution and expansion of his kingdom. How? Armed with nothing more than his gospel, baptism, and the Supper, fueled by the freedom of grace and love of all people, the low and the high, who need to hear this saving message.
For my brief take, I have long been concerned that many of my brothers and sisters seem to uncritically rejoice over the fact that “we have a man in office” who is going to preserve religious rights, and who is going to install judges that will favor a conservative social agenda, and yet in the process we’ve made concessions that deeply undermines our vision regarding what it is to be truly and fully human, and have compromised our capacity to share the Gospel with integrity. To clarify where I’m coming from with respect to the broad umbrella of Christianity, many of you know that I don’t typically refer to myself as Evangelical, and tend to adopt the label “orthodox,” but that said, I do have many convictions that align with historic Evangelicalism. Regarding politics, I am registered as an Independent, and my voting over the years has reflected this. Moreover, during this past presidential season I didn’t vote for either Trump or Clinton. You can chalk this up to whatever fault you want on my part, but when I got to the voting booth I was overwhelmed with a sense of despair about both candidates, and honestly, the whole of our political system and culture. In many ways this season has made it clear that I am a resident alien in America, for I am quite convinced that Jesus’ Kingdom is not of this world. I am equally convinced, however, that this conviction doesn’t allow me to escape or retreat from the world, for though Christ’s Kingdom is not of the world, it is certainly for the world. In this spirit, one of the ways I try to engage the culture is through conversations in my small sphere of influence, conversations for which this article can be a catalyst.

Read, heed, and be enlightened…

What Are Evangelicals Afraid of Losing?


4 Responses to “What Are Evangelicals Afraid of Losing?”

  1. Liv  

    Thoughtful article. I appreciate the way he approached the heart of the matter. The struggle of living in this world but not of it is incredible, and I wonder how often we forget to actively resist the pull of this world.

  2. WSB  

    In the process of writing a blog entry today, I also performed some blog maintenance, which among other things, included updating the last date of your blog link as being categorized under “Blogs of Shame,” because of the infrequency of posts, i.e., dormancy. It has been so categorized quite some time, and shall remain so until such time as it gets more activity from the procurator, that being you. So I was amazed, and somewhat pleasantly surprised – only nominally – to see this more recent entry.

    Mine is about suicide, and may be found linked here:
    -or, if you prefer a shortened version-


    On the subject at hand, about which you wrote, I concur. That’s the “short” answer. The longer answer is that I initially thought of writing some smarmy remark in retort, such as the author (not you) being from California, considered by some as a “leftist” bastion, but decided against it. Que sera, sera, eh? I love the Golden State, and her people. Need to try that California grass, right? (Thank you Beatles.)

    Yet I will say this about that (“that” being the subject addressed in the linked article to which you refer):
    Increasingly, I consider myself to have developed, grown, matured (take your pick of adjectives) spiritually, and make no bones about having departed from the positions officially espoused by the Church – the Catholic Church, that is, for I have been a convert for some years now. Cammie was prolly still in diapers when I made the switch. She’s toilet trained by now, I trust.

    But as it relates to making a conscious decision to end one’s life, I say this, it must be viewed in context. And I encourage your and others’ readership of the entry lest you misunderstand, and misconstrue my words herein. Point being, that when faced with imminently impending and certain death, and having a choice, which way would you choose to die?

    The Church teaches, and espouses the notion that suicide is a sin, etc., as do many Protestant traditions, however, no one condemned those who jumped to their death from the World Trade Centers towers, versus being torturously burned alive. And if they are not condemned for their choice, why should we similarly enjoin those who consciously decide to end their suffering by ending their life when faced with unbearable suffering?

    Some might point to Christ’s suffering – and indeed, the very word “excruciating” is derived from the word “crucify” which was a state-sponsored method of torturous execution, particularly infamous for its well-known and deliberate infliction of suffering and pain – to support their position. Some might even quote from the Epistles something like 2Corinthians 1:5, or 2Timothy 2:3 to illustrate their point, or even 1Peter 4:12-19. But I demur.

    As the author wrote in part, “Surely we can be grateful for any public servant who upholds the First Amendment. And we should applaud fellow believers who ply their education and experience as lawyers to defend religious freedom (as long as they don’t seek to privilege Christianity legally above other religions).”
    “This is not to say we should have no concern at all about the state of our nation. Nowhere in the New Testament are Christians called to avoid the responsibilities of our temporary citizenship, even though our ultimate citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:20). However, many of us sound like we’ve staked everything not only on constitutional freedoms but also on social respect, acceptance, and even power. But that comes at the cost of confusing the gospel with Christian nationalism.”

    It is a decidedly humane, even Christian thing to seek the alleviation of suffering and pain. We point to Christ’s parable of the Good Samaritan (who was not a Christian) to illustrate the case in point. So why would one think that oneself capitulating the principle if they ceased suffering? It makes no sense.

    Similarly, it makes no sense that one should force their beliefs upon another. Case in point to illustrate – abortion. State mandated abortion as in China is wrong, but choice ought be allowed. I wasn’t there when conception occurred (was no party to it) and if my (one’s) religious views say a thing is a sin, then simply don’t do it. But don’t force others to abide by your belief system. (I use the personal pronouns in an abstract illustrative sense, and not personal to you, or others.)

    AS REGARDING THE CONCEPT OF “as in Heaven, so on Earth,” aka, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven,” I do not see that as a violation of personal independent rights, but rather, an endorsement of them. One cannot enter into a loving supportive relationship under duress, which is precisely the inculcation that state-sponsored religious ideology is attempting when denying freedom.

    Conversely, however, I look to the greater good when considering matters of well-being and public health, largely social matters, and note that Christ did not address them, and that, as stated earlier, it is a matter of mercy to alleviate suffering. And it is for that reason that I support greater attention being given to matters of social concern, including justice, equality, and personal freedom. I do not see, nor do I perceive that same sex marriage is sinful, per se. In fact, I find it contradictory that if one is “made that way,” i.e., created by Heaven with Same Sex Attraction, it is inconsistent with the broader good (objective) to deny the expression of love, despite what some would say. For I’ve never heard of anyone having “mad, or angry sex.” Indeed, no one that I know of, neither read nor heard of, has ever had such a thing as “mad/angry sex.” Everyone whom exercises their sexuality is engaging in a joyful, pleasurable act. As it regards and pertains to relationship, is not good and positive human relationship elevated by and endorsed by the fact that 6 of the 10 Commandments deal with man’s relationship to man? And for that reason and more, I could hardly imagine that a loving Creator would eternally condemn anyone who sought to express themselves that way. Indeed as well, I know of at least two same sex couples whom are faithful and devout Christians.

    So, you see, in these matters and more, I take positions that are historically outside the Church “norm,” and I do so calculatedly, and with significantly thoughtful consideration.

    This may be more than you or others can take at one sitting, yet while a couple topics have been addressed, I hope that it is evident that a unifying and common thread within this brief narrative is understood as being that which supports the author’s position.

    Now… I’m going to get a snack, and finish watching “The Free State of Jones.”
    By the way, that was not as uncommon as some might imagine, and Winston County, Alabama was also known as “The Free State of Winston” for the very same reason – and is often monikered as much today. And I hasten to add that my Great Grandfather served in the 1st Alabama Cavalry, United States Volunteers as a farrier, having enlisted and mustered in at Corinth, Mississippi 12/6/1862 and 12/22/1862, respectively, and mustered out at Memphis, Tennessee 12/17/1863. Toodles!

  3. Gordon Kamai  

    I’ve always believed that to abstain from voting is to vote for the winner, because you did not exercise your power to bar his/her election.

  4. Roger Green  

    Well, your take makes as much sense as any in not voting for either.