Have Evangelicals Marginalized Themselves? (And Dr. Brown Gets On His Soapbox)

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13 Comments
  1. I am internally conflicted over this topic. I do, however, feel that many evangelicals in fact HAVE marginalized themselves. Not because of what we “speak out against”, but because we, as ambassadors of Christ, fail to show love by offering true, practical, real life solutions. Instead we often just draw up ideological battle lines in a “war” of nothing more than principles…principles we can’t expect others without Christ to abide by! To them we are just middle to upper class hardliner’s trying to implement another form of Sharia Law. Yes, that may be an exageration, but I think the point is valid.

    While I absolutely want to see this country’s hearts and minds turned in repentance to God, I feel the political avenue for social change is often a “cop-out”. Clearly there are those called to rally and speak to encourage believer’s to make a change. I feel, however, gathering as a moral police does far less to accomplish our goals than laying down our lives for change. Let me give an example of how I imagine this might look…

    What if, instead of rallying at abortion centers and knocking on our congressman’s doors(which are usually corrupted by money, power and career oriented mindsets anyway) we were to start a movement of people that were willing to join “forces” and offer a suggestion for the child. Or a suggestion for the mother. Maybe offering the mother a place to stay so she could afford financially to have the baby. It is no mystery that most abortions occur in poverty or near-poverty classes of people. Is that an excuse to kill a baby? Of course not. But instead of arguing principles why not show LOVE and SACRIFICE which will have a far more reaching impact than religious principles. Or offering to adopt the baby. Offer to spend the next 6-8 months with the woman to get to know us. Invite her over for dinner weekly to get to know the family and see the love of God environment the baby will be able to grow up in. What mother would want to send their baby to a foster group home to be raised in a probable abusive and neglected, unloved environment?

    While we can all clearly agree that sex outside of marriage is wrong and abortion is wrong etc, etc, what if we moved on from principles into the realm of love and sacrifice. Then maybe we would start to see this Christ-like love and sacrifice spread.

    Moral choice is exactly that, a choice(I am not referring to pro-choice here, just in a general sense of the freedom to choose right and wrong). While saving a baby is of course extremely noble, the cycle will continue until there is a practical, real life solution to the problem. See, I am an idealist to fault. I would love to see a reformation sweep this country and watch it burn with the tangible, restoring presence of God…and I’m still believing for it! But we need to also have practical, real life solutions. And these only come with love and sacrifice. It’s easy assess the problems and rally people to agree. It’s hard to give of our time, money and emotional commitment to a hurt and dying world.

  2. Another point. Drugs are illegal yet they are rampant in this country because there is demand. Abortion would be the same. The technology is here to easily perform abortions and while the demand is there, especially in impoverished, broken families and communities, the demand will be there. So there will still be abortion!

    Have we ever really considered why these communities(often African American) are ripe for abortion, violence and drugs? Much of the church fought FOR the cause of slavery, and later, FOR segregation. We have, in essence, put a “curse” on the African American community. But possibly even sadder than that is the lack of effort to help restore the generational sins and curses we(the church) help create! There are unaddressed root causes(many inflicted by the church) that have not been dealt with.

    It truly is amazing, the world often has better understanding than we do about this. They often have a better sense of justice and mercy than we. And we wonder why people who aren’t followers of Christ rise up and try and defend the weary and downtrodden even if in “wordly” ways?!?!?!?! Because we haven’t! They point a valid finger to the neglect and, at times, sinful ways we have yet to fully repent of.

    I say none of this to shame the church. I simply say it because it is rarely heard. It is a true rarity(if ever) to hear a true church leader get on Larry King and admit with full responsibility the hypocrisy of our past in this country. The country, however doesn’t forget. But we will happily get on with Larry and point out how the country has fallen!

    I completely agree and understand the reality of persecution. We, the church WILL be persecuted and hated. But how can we stand and call it persecution until our robes are washed clean of the blood we have spilled and the hatred and pain we have inflicted? Could it possibly be a righteous judgement against us that we are mocked and accused of hate? If I am going to be hated and persecuted let it be for the cause of Christ! Not for my unwillingness to ask for forgiveness and make things right for what we, as a church, have done in this nation.

    Again, I say none of this to shame the church. I say none of this out of a political mindset. I am just trying to accurately assess the situation as a whole and see if there is not more we can do as believers than speak against something. We need to speak and act FOR something. Telling someone they are in the dark is pointless if they can’t see. We need to hold the holy, love-filled light of God to show the way out of their darkness.

    As a pastor I once knew said…”we can be right….right into our grave” What is the benefit of being “right” if we aren’t effecting others in real, tangible Christlike ways.

  3. As related to homosexuality, this country has seen our approach to the true equal rights of race and women, why would they expect all of sudden change of heart? Could it be rooted in the wounds we have inflicted in these areas? WHY IS THE WORLD DISCERNING OUR MORAL/ETHICAL FAILURES BEFORE WE OURSELVES ARE? Is this not cause for an atmosphere of distrust as we approach the homosexuality debate?

    I am not saying their arguments are pure when debating the principles of the issue…I am saying they may just be more accurately aware of our failure to “stand for righteousness” on other issues where we truthfully haven’t.

  4. Dave, I take it you listened to the show before posting these passionate and important comments? If not, I think you should take the time to listen, and then share your further thoughts. Thanks!

  5. I got through about the first 2/3 when the creative juices started flowing so I started to write. I will finish the rest of the broadcast before commenting more.

    I would like to clarify, however, they(comments) were more of a reflection as to today’s political “religious right” as a whole and not in any way an attack of your broadcast. I have heard you numerous times tie in the church’s failures to current conditions in the country, not to mention 2 years with you at BRSM(1999-2000), so I know and very much and appreciate your heart on these matters.

  6. Ah…the wisdom in finishing a Line of Fire broadcast in full…I wouldn’t have had to repeat all you said! I mean really?…word for word in some cases!

    In general, I wish there was as much energy put into resolving our past and current hypocrisies as we put into “Christian political” agendas. Then we could be a true “unfiltered” light for the world.

    On a personal note, I am often embarrassed to associate myself with Christian conservative circles because of it’s blindness to this very hypocrisy…especially how it relates to our semi-recent past. How can we be so blind? It sometimes seems like we(the American Church) are suffering more for our own failures than the all-to-quickly attributed persecution of identifying with Jesus’ message. If we would deal with these things I would think we would be much more effective, and probably more hated…but it would be for a righteous cause and we could honestly attribute it to identifying with Christ sufferings. Could this be the reason for so many Churches going down the “relevant” path? Because they reacted(overreacted) to this country’s valid perception of a compromised church? …another topic for another day, I presume.

    Lastly, are there any thoughts out there on specific and strategic things we can do individually and/or as a group to to provide practical, real life solutions to these issues of abortion and homosexuality? Obviously the first would be how we conduct our own lives to be light to this world. But I am speaking on more of a pro-active, intentional and organized level…any thoughts?

  7. Who would have ever believed that a conservative Midwest State known for it’s corn, hogs and soybeans would have waded into such a radical redefinition of marriage.

    Unfortunately the gay community has become a powerful voting block in todays society, possessing enormous economic power and that is why most of the businesses in the nation are selling out to this political movement catering to their agenda in fear of being boycotted and driven out of business.

    God bless you Dr. Brown for not selling out! You have my respect and prayers

    Shalom

  8. Dave, you seem to be saying that even if abortion were illegal there would still be abortions. That’s true but there would be vastly fewer abortions.

    Also you seem to be saying that rather than trying to change the law, Christians should be helping women with unplanned pregnancies. Well we should do both and pro-life organisations already provide much assistance to women in this situation, but even if there were no assistance whatsoever it would still be right for Christians to work to have abortion outlawed. Abortion is murder and murder should be criminalised, period.

    Dave, if we were to take your arguments and apply them to a hypothetical scenario where the issue was murder of born children rather than pre-born children, you can then see just how inappropriate your arguments are. For example, imagine a scenario where infanticide were legal up until 12 months of age. Who would dare argue that Christians shouldn’t try and outlaw this practice but should rather put their energies into helping the mother who was contemplating killing her 11 month old baby because he/she was too much of an inconvenience?

  9. Shalom fratello Mike – thank you for being a voice of reason and sound biblical dialegomai! I thought you did a great job presenting the topic/argument and couldn’t believe when Rabbi S. began to try his diversion tactics and box you in a corner of ‘marginalized reputation’. Also, it boggles my bind to see such an intellectual as Rabbi S. to categorize and diminish the severity of sexual iniquity (whether it be incest or homosexuality) – the Temple of God is Holy why descrate it with immorality? Sii forte nel nome di Gesu! and continue blowing your trumpet until the Day! Love you and God bless you!

  10. Hey Ewan…I’ll answer each statement your name above made(in quotes) with my answer underneath.

    EWAN
    “Dave, you seem to be saying that even if abortion were illegal there would still be abortions. That’s true but there would be vastly fewer abortions.”

    DAVE
    Yes, I agree and I am in no way advocating abandoning pursuing the outlaw of abortion. Did you read the totality of my 3 posts? I am just not in agreement with how many believers will get worked up about a law they disagree with and all that will happen is they will complain and criticize. This world is fallen and we can’t expect them to just go along with our moral convictions. What do you think the ratio is from those who just take issue with abortion compared to those who are actively engaged in practical, real life ways to solve the issue….25:1? 50:1, 1000:1? Higher?

    EWAN
    “Also you seem to be saying that rather than trying to change the law, Christians should be helping women with unplanned pregnancies. Well we should do both and pro-life organisations already provide much assistance to women in this situation,”

    DAVE-
    I am not saying “rather than trying to change the law” at all! You are right, pro-life organizations do offer much good. Again, I just think the ratio is far from appropriate comparing the verbal outrage and things being done to practically solve the issue. Did you read my comments on the church’s treatment of African Americans in this country? Or our demeaning of women? Can you really not understand how our hypocrisy as a church has made our point of view largely invalid due to our extreme moral and ethical failures that have helped fuel the abortion problem at hand?

    EWAN
    “but even if there were no assistance whatsoever it would still be right for Christians to work to have abortion outlawed. Abortion is murder and murder should be criminalised, period.”

    DAVE
    Of course, but I think you are being very idealistic here. Why is it viewed as a compromise on our moral stance to put more energy into solving the problem in more pro-active ways beyond politically implementing law? Do you expect the country to just all of a sudden agree with you because you are right? How will soley standing for your convictions be of any benefit in effecting change or resolution of the matter?

    EWAN-
    “Dave, if we were to take your arguments and apply them to a hypothetical scenario where the issue was murder of born children rather than pre-born children, you can then see just how inappropriate your arguments are. For example, imagine a scenario where infanticide were legal up until 12 months of age. Who would dare argue that Christians shouldn’t try and outlaw this practice but should rather put their energies into helping the mother who was contemplating killing her 11 month old baby because he/she was too much of an inconvenience?

    DAVE-
    Very good point, Ewan. I completely agree! I’m afraid I either wasn’t clear on my points or you didn’t read the whole of my posts….either way, to re-itterate…I am NOT in advocation of abortion. I do believe it’s murder and I do believe that laws need to be changed.

    I do believe, however, if we were more proactive in advancing His kingdom through love and sacrifice there would be a much further impact on this country to INDIVIDUALS, resulting in change as a whole. This is theme of my post.

    You mentioned pro-life centers. They are wonderful….but often the church won’t get involved personally with these time and money consuming needs. Why are we so “organization” minded? I just wish, as a church, we were more personally open and giving of ourselves rather than relegating these duties to the far few pro life “centers”.

    I guess I am guilty of idealism myself at times. In my personal opinion, I don’t see political activism for the church going much anywhere in and of itself. And remember, these comments I posted were specifically on the topic have “Evangelicals marginalized themselves?” The answer, I believe, is yes. And the reasons why are those I posted above.

  11. Ewan,

    I forgot to make one last point. Jesus came saying “repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand” but he also was SERVING and “washing the feet” of those in need. So it is clearly BOTH that are needed…but as far as changing laws is concerned, we are doomed as a country if the heart and minds of this nation aren’t reached individually. The end of the age is the culmination of both God’s and Satan’s kingdoms. If this is truly a democracy(which is debatable) then it will take the changing of the PEOPLE itself to effect lasting changes in our laws.

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