Evangelicals, Repent

If it hasn’t been obvious before, it should be by now. Evangelicals need to do some serious soul-searching, humble themselves, and repent.

And no, this isn’t a cheap shot at the president-elect of the country south of Canada. If anything, their POTUS-to-be is a warning, or perhaps a symptom, of a problem that goes back for years. “Bigley Orangelid” is simply the inevitable outcome of sinful decisions made in the past.

In less than two months, a man who has been variously called bully, racist, misogynist, xenophobic, vulgar, crass, manipulative and immoral (plus a few epithets that would make a cockroach blush) will be known by a new nick-name: “Mr. President.”

And white evangelical Christians voted in massive numbers for him, and in all likelihood, may have been the deciding factor in the election. But even if “Crooked Hillary” had won, evangelicals would still need to repent. And no, not because of Clinton’s position on abortion.

Evangelicals need to repent for something far more insidious.

Its not just an American problem. In many countries, evangelicals have long been guilty of pursuing political power in the name of advancing the Kingdom of God. From somewhere came the idea that worldly power is necessary, or at least an advantage, for accomplishing God’s purposes.

In contrast, Jesus told the political powers of His day: “My kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36).

Much has been said regarding the long-reaching negative consequences that befell the Church after Emperor Constantine proclaimed Christianity the official religion as he sought to consolidate his Roman Empire. Many have also noted, throughout church history, the detrimental long-term effects when the church is controlled by the State.

Conversely, what many Christians seem to be pursuing in recent years is a State controlled by the Church. This isn’t surprising, if one has embraced a “Kingdom Now” (Latter Rain/NAR) paradigm, wherein believers think they will usher in the Kingdom and then turn it over to Jesus later. But it’s not just charismatic extremists who need to repent.

The root goes much further back. Remember the “Moral Majority” movement of the early 1980s? When Fundamentalists decided to use political power to force Christianity — or, at minimum, Judeo-Christian morality — on the masses? And then evangelicals jumped on the Moral Majority bandwagon as well, just in case it might succeed?

 (Parenthetical question: Why is it so horrifying to think that Sharia Law might be imposed on the populace, but it’s perfectly acceptable for fundamentalist Christians to do exactly the same thing? Asking for a friend.)

Evangelicals world-wide need to repent of embracing the seductive and idolatrous lie that the Kingdom of God will be advanced through political power. The pursuit of worldly power has resulted in evangelicals supporting worldly politicians, and becoming worldly themselves in the process. As evangelicals, if the shoe fits, it’s time to repent.

All evangelicals, not just white males in America.

“My Kingdom is not of this world,” said Jesus, the One we claim to be following, who calls us to be “in the world, but not of the world (John 17:14-19).

The first disciples had the same problem. We’re faced with the same lessons they had to learn. Check out Acts 1:6-8:

Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” (political power for their people.) He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.(spiritual power for  advancing a different Kingdom.)

Yes, it’s long past time for evangelical Christians to repent. We serve a different King, and we are called to partner with Him to advance a very different Kingdom.

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