Politics and Evangelicals: In the World or of It?
The New York Times has an exposé on "Evangelicals" that — surprise — misses the mark.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” —Jesus Christ, as recorded in Matthew 7:21
With the white-hot rhetoric in use in every communications medium aiming to move voters, nothing’s unscathed by the scorch of identity politics. The political Left is still in its post-November 2016 shock. That applies to a few conservative Never-Trumpers, too, despite the fact that Trump is leading the implementation of conservative policies. With these folks still stuck in the first two of the five steps of grief and loss — denial and anger — the fixation to defeat this unwelcome intruder to the normalcy of the status-quo swamp has every single aspect of our lives seasoned excessively with politics.
Desperate leftists have moved aggressively to reframe the institutional structures of the family, biological gender, health care, and education while marching toward socialism and away from the very engine revving our economy now, free-market capitalism. Using the weapons of public shame, class warfare, and deception, every institution is being hijacked in the Democrats’ effort. That includes the Christian church.
Last week, The New York Times published excerpted essays from young voters submitted among over 1,500 seeking their approach to politics and faith. The exposé on “Evangelicals” cast the unstated but supported thesis that the Christian faith, as practiced by many, just didn’t fit the assumed omniscience of secularism. The “Editors’ picks” featured a seemingly diverse offering of individuals from across the country, yet, with one exception, they were uniform in supporting the effort to redefine the Christian faith through the lens of social justice and collectivism.
What else should we expect from a paragon of religious fervor like the Times?
It’s funny that Democrats, who voted God out of their Party platform, now have a sudden interest (not really) in the practice of Christianity by Millennials. Using the term “Evangelical,” which is up for debate even among the devout, the Gray Lady focused on aspects of supposed conflict between policies and the president’s party that, in the judgment of these enlightened souls, was anything but Christ-like.
Of the six featured “lightly edited” profiles, one summed up perfectly what the Times wanted to convey: Christianity is due for a reinterpretation and redesign to fit the politics of the Left. A 26-year-old Caucasian-in-appearance female wrote, “There are a lot of old white men in the Republican Party that use Christianity as a weapon to get themselves elected, but I’m here to tell you that we do not fall for them. The Jesus those men depict is not the Jesus that healed the sick and broke down social barriers.”
Evoking white privilege and social justice in one swoop was pitch perfect for the Left.
A second handsome gent whose family had moved to the U.S. from Mexico in 1999 stated, “I am choosing to prioritize my core Christian beliefs over the immigration policies the GOP is pushing right now. That is a point of tension.” Another “bullseye.” The young man didn’t wish that the choice of words would improve as a sovereign nation deals with a difficult issue of legal immigration; instead, he verbalized exactly the editorial opinion of the NYT.
Did Jesus break down social barriers, as the young lady opined? Yes, but Christ taught to be “in this world, but not of it,” serving as the leader of a counterculture at the time as totalitarian forms of government were in place. The miracles of Jesus were to change the hearts of man to reconcile each to God, the righteous and holy Father who demands the penalty of our sin be paid through either eternal punishment or accepting of His Son’s ultimate sacrifice of death and resurrection with a changed life. Jesus Christ impacted the institutions of the day by changing the hearts, minds, and lives of those who occupied those institutions. His Father had clearly defined gender, family, life, and identity for those who believe, instead of the government.
Does the Bible, the sacred text of Christianity, teach the absence of governmental law or the disrespect for immigration policy? No. Addressing an oft-cited example, the twisted perversion that Joseph and Mary, the mother of Christ, were either homeless or illegal immigrants, is purely false, when referencing the birth of the Savior. They, instead, were obedient citizens participating in a governmental census necessitating travel to be counted or documented to be declared “legal.”
Choosing to live a life of faithfulness in Christ is not dining at the biblical buffet, picking and choosing those teachings and tenets that fit into one’s culture. Instead, a Christian’s civic behaviors and choices should be informed by the fullness of Scripture and teachings. If we really want to change politics, we won’t conform our faith to fit into the mold of partisanship. We’ll live lives changed by Christ with the result bringing “His Kingdom come” into our daily existence. And, yes, according to Christ, there is a citizenship requirement in Heaven. Be counted.