|By Peter Wehner|
The election of the elders of an evangelical church is usually an uncontroversial, even unifying event. But this summer, at an influential megachurch in Northern Virginia, something went badly wrong. A trio of elders didn’t receive 75 percent of the vote, the threshold necessary to be installed.
David Platt, a 43-year-old minister at McLean Bible Church and a best-selling author, charged in a
July 4 sermon:
July 4 sermon:
A small group of people, inside and outside this church, coordinated a divisive effort to use disinformation in order to persuade others to vote these men down as part of a broader effort to take control of this church.
Platt said church members had been misled, having been told, among other things, that the three individuals nominated to be elders would advocate selling the church building to Muslims, who would convert it into a mosque. In a second vote on July 18, all three nominees cleared the threshold. But that hardly resolved the conflict. Members of the church filed a lawsuit, claiming that the conduct of the election violated the church’s constitution.
Continue reading @ The Atlantic.
Very interesting indeed! There is a lot of nuance missing, but it identifies the nature of the problems Evangelicals face in making sense of society and their duty to it.ReplyDelete
Certainly there are a significant number of genuine Evangelicals who identify so closely with their nation that they are blind to its faults. Add to that those who assume the nation must abide by Christian standards, or traditional forms that claimed to be Christian.
I don't think many idolize Trump. Most just looked to him to protect the nation in the ways he promised - enforcing legal immigration, banning or limiting abortion, maintaining religious freedom in the face of LGBTQ+ aggression, protecting the right to bear arms.
Most Evangelicals have a dissident mentality, distrustful of governments and the establishment. They share that with many secular folk in the West.
I'm afraid that sensible suspicion of the powerful can and has run out of control. The Covid Conspiracy nuttery has taken in many good Evangelicals, as well as many suspicious secular folk.
The main issue that has led to the divisions mentioned in the article are concerned with wokeness, specifically Critical Race Theory. Where Evangelical leaders are perceived as buying into it, or even being soft on it, other leaders and many of the ordinary church members are acting to cut out the cancer. I fully agree that CRT is a deceptive means of understanding reality, totally opposed to the Christian one.
But the danger is suspicion mistakingly connecting the dots. That's as bad as ignoring the creep of CRT among some. The truth can only be revealed by requiring a detailed statement on CRT from all concerned. Everyone must give account of all they have said and written on it, and their recanting of anything said amiss.
The lack of nuance in the article is revealed in its implied defence of Beth Moore. Her case seems fairly clear to me, that it puts her outside the parameters of Evangelical beliefs. It is right to expel such; but it is not right to expel those merely subjected to suspicion.
The following gives a further side on the matter. Not open to CRT, but also not blind to the perspective of the Black community as it meets police reactions daily.
interesting comment Wolfie - you have an eye for these things that many of us in the secular world do not.Delete
There was a piece recently on the blog by Jerry Barnett in which he had observations to make about the damaging effect of CRT. It might interest you.
God save us from the faithful!ReplyDelete
I wonder if in the future our descendants will study present day religion with bewilderment, astonishment or outrage?
They will certainly view CRT in this way.