The Twilight of American Evangelicals

What about non-white evangelical Christians like me? Looks good for me :slight_smile:.


Keep in mind that there are plenty of us (i.e., Baby Boomer white evangelicals) who were always wary of Christians getting focused on political power. Indeed, many would argue that Christ-followers have generally been at their best—in terms of obedience to the teachings of Jesus Christ—when lacking in both political power and strong economic prosperity. (Great wealth and the Gospel have rarely been consistent allies.) So I for one am not at all missing the days of “evangelical political might” under Jerry Falwell et al. Indeed, I’m very glad that those days are over.

For that matter, I also wince at talk among some of my Christian friends of “the good ol’ days” when America was allegedly “more Christian” and more patriotic, and when peace, good ethics, and common courtesy supposedly prevailed. Was the Dwight Eisenhower era of the 1950’s a paradise of Christian righteousness and morality? Hardly. All one has to do is ask any African-American, Hispanic, or Native American who was trying to raise a family during that era. The evening TV news was only 15 minutes long in those days but that broadcast was plenty long enough to get one potentially depressed about what was happening in America—and I’m not just talking about the Jim Crow South.

This may indeed be a “twilight of American evangelicals” in political terms, but I’ve seen no evidence that we are coming into an era of waning effectiveness for the teachings of Jesus Christ.


How do I quadruple underline this?


Somewhere along the line, conservative talk radio realized that Christians could be (too easily) convinced that holding to a conservative theological position could be sold as also meaning a commitment to conservative political machinations. The long, slow slide downhill from there has only slowly been countered with a more nuanced analysis of the ethics of Jesus.


You want my honest opinion? The moment (most) evangelicals turn away from their politics is the moment they’re gonna be more effective on the teachings of Jesus Christ part. Just my opinion here, though I think you might agree.


Just to clarify, I mean, evangelicals as the entire body, not an individual. Every person is free to choose what party or person they’re going to support.


I think you are onto something. Political Christianity is a problem. Political Christianity is bad for politics and bad for Christianity.

Individual Christians are, of course, entitled to have political views. But Christianity as a body, should avoid political entanglement and should accept a diversity of political views from its members.


I don’t think any nuanced analysis is necessary. Right-wing US politics is in opposition to the most obvious, literal teachings of Jesus Christ.

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True, but I’m honestly not thrilled with the liberal left either.


And likewise with left-wing US politics. They are often in opposition to the most obvious, literal teachings of Jesus Christ. (I’m not going to give examples because that would most likely take this thread off-topic in a very political direction. Enough said.)


We could start with the too-facile practice of using labels to categorize and prejudge people, for example. Buncha Cretans! : )