Evangelicalism, Politics, Religion

The Evangelical Reckoning

Sunday, 15th November 2020

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/11/andy-stanley-evangelicals-trump/617103/

The reckoning is long overdue. But you know, it won’t really happen. As Trump’s star fades, and it will, these people will find their ways of rewriting history, claiming victim status, saying that this was never “real” evangelicalism, relabel themselves (remember when “creation science” became “intelligent design”?) and otherwise finding ways to distance themselves from any real accountability, or really any discussion at all. It always happens, because it’s baked into this version of Christianity.

Anyway, as I say, I doubt there will be any real accountability for anyone. I think, though, that evangelicals can and should be safely ignored for a generation or two. Since the Moral Majority in the 1980s, and especially in the last decade or so, any claim to moral or religious insight is gone. None of this applies to all religion or even all Christianity. And there might be some evangelicals who can find ways of being authentic. But the headwinds against it are extreme.

Sometimes I feel sorry for them. They got played, over and over again, most masterfully by the outgoing president and (hopefully) future resident of Riker’s Island. Who used who? Well, both used each other. Transactional faith. But no one likes to admit that they got used. So it’s easier to double down. There’s a price though, and this is it – if they thought they were making the world more amenable to evangelical ideas, they were precisely wrong about that. What doth it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose their soul? I guess the honest ones will find out.

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