America’s cult of guns has a lot of money behind it

Guns are a religion now. And too many of our fellow citizens — including evangelical Christians, of all people — will continue to heedlessly worship at this altar, despite the dead children, the dead teachers, the dead concertgoers and the innocent bystanders who must sacrifice their lives for others’ overriding faith in their weapons. It is safe to say that nobody in the cult of guns listens to Jesus. None of this will stop unless the cult of guns is curbed. This won’t be easy; the cult has a lot of money behind it.

Source: America’s cult of guns (opinion) – CNN

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Falwell’s family legacy and public platform allow him to perpetuate the illusion that he speaks for all evangelicals

Falwell, like many members of the old-guard evangelical right, have made the idea that Christian ethics should permeate government a central element of their lobbying work. While Jesus may have encouraged his followers to pay their taxes, “turn the other cheek” was also a mandate. Falwell is revealing that there’s more nationalism than Christianity in his Christian nationalism. Falwell’s family legacy, as well as his public platform, allows him to perpetuate the illusion that he is speaking for all evangelicals. Jesus was ultimately crucified by Roman authorities as a threat to the state on the understanding that his message was radical, subversive, and, yes, dangerous to the imperial status quo.

Source: Evangelical Jerry Falwell Jr. defends Trump: Jesus “never told Caesar how to run Rome” – Vox

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‘Evangelical’ Isn’t a Dirty Word

Many evangelical Christians today face an identity crisis. Evangelicals have a storied history in American public life. They figured prominently in the movement to end slavery. Evangelicals are now an increasingly familiar presence in American intellectual life, having shed the anti-intellectualism of the early 20th century. I believe that Christianity is self-correcting. And because evangelicalism is a faithful understanding of Christianity’s essence, I believe it is self-correcting, too.

Source: ‘Evangelical’ Isn’t a Dirty Word – WSJ

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For a lot of people “evangelical” is just another cultural signifier, a tribal designation

It turns out that for a lot of people “evangelical” is itself just another cultural signifier, a tribal designation rather than a serious adherence to Christian teachings. They undoubtedly go to church from time to time and think of themselves as Christians [but] are being seduced by Trump’s crude nationalism and nativism, largely as result of religious leaders politicizing religion and turning it into a vehicle for their own secular power.

Source: Not keeping the faith: Donald Trump and the conning of evangelical voters – Salon.com

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Moral character DOES matter: Focus on the Selling Out of James Dobson

What has alarmed me has been the willingness of my fellow citizens to rationalize the President’s behavior. Yes, the rules have changed for the President. Character DOES matter. You can’t run a family, let alone a country, without it. How in the world can 7 out of 10 Americans continue to say that nothing matters except a robust economy? – James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, on the character of the President of the United States (1998)

Source: What James Dobson Said in 1998 About Moral Character and the Presidency | the way of improvement leads home

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Jerushah Armfield, Billy Graham’s granddaughter, on Trump #2

“I think we can look at his life, look at the intolerance that he’s spoken, I think that my Jesus that I follow was really somebody who fought for the outliers, and I think that Trump has actually done the opposite – kind of ostracizing them.” — Jerushah Armfield

Jerushah Armfield is an evangelical writer, the granddaughter of the iconic evangelist Billy Graham, and Franklin Graham’s niece. Follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jerushahruth.

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Trump’s Evangelical support comes from “nominal Christians” woefully ignorant of their own faith

Trump’s evangelical support is strongest from those evangelicals who have dust on their Bibles and who have seen more NFL games on Sunday than sermons. The more a person goes to church and reads their Bible, the less likely they are to support Trump. To say that Trump is God’s chosen one, uncovers less about what Christians believe and more about how little they have engaged the Gospel. Trump unveils how far the culture of America has been dechristified and how those that claim to be evangelicals without actually engaging their faith are woefully ignorant of their own faith.

Source: Trump’s Evangelical support comes from “nominal Christians” – SpokaneFāVS

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The megachurch bubble is about to burst: What will that mean for American culture?

Dominionists aren’t looking to escape the world via rapture; they want to transform the world in all its aspects: religion, family, education, government, media, arts and entertainment and business. Dominionism is evangelical triumphalism run wild. It blossomed in the days of white evangelical expansion and will die the moment the evangelical tide begins to turn.

Source: The megachurch bubble is about to burst: What will that mean for American culture? – Baptist News Global

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Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism in the USA: Ecumenism of hate

Both Evangelical and Catholic Integralists condemn traditional ecumenism and yet promote an ecumenism of conflict that unites them in the nostalgic dream of a theocratic type of state. The word “ecumenism” transforms into a paradox, into an “ecumenism of hate.” The Christian roots of a people are never to be understood in an ethnic way. Triumphalist, arrogant and vindictive ethnicism is actually the opposite of Christianity.

Source: Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism in the USA: A surprising ecumenism | La Civiltà Cattolica

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Trump-supporting evangelist Franklin Graham is worried about refugees — as long as they’re Christian

“That [Franklin] Graham apparently isn’t similarly disturbed by the plight of non-Christians targeted by Trump’s crackdown on immigrants and refugees might not be surprising, though. The evangelical leader has a history of expressing openly Islamophobic sentiments, and in 2015, called a ban on all Muslim immigration to the U.S.”

Source: Trump-supporting evangelist Franklin Graham is worried about refugees — as long as they’re Christian

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Democrats need to become more religiously literate and faith-friendly

“Democrats need to become more religiously literate and faith-friendly. We religious progressives often feel ignored and abandoned by a Democratic Party that seems indifferent to our religious traditions. As an evangelical advocate for social justice, I have fought right-wing religious fundamentalism my whole life. But the secular fundamentalism of the left is not much better — and it certainly does not help garner votes at election time. The utmost respect for ‘the other’ is required now, especially with a strong commitment to defend each other’s faith and to protect others’ lives that are now under attack in the United States — partly inspired by the rhetoric of President Trump.” — Jim Wallis

Source: Bernie Sanders got Christian theology wrong | TheRecord.com

Jim Wallis is a Christian writer and political activist. He is best known as the founder and editor of Sojourners magazine and as the founder of the Washington, D.C.-based Christian community of the same name.

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Alt-Right white supremacist ideologies are anti-Christ and satanic to the core

The so-called Alt-Right white supremacist ideologies are anti-Christ and satanic to the core. We should say so.” — Russell D. Moore

Russell D. Moore is an American evangelical theologian, ethicist, and preacher. He is currently president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the public-policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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“Legislating morality” was not a platform for Jesus or the apostles

“The far right of the evangelical movement in the United States has a highly organized campaign to impose biblical law on every aspect of American society. As the church becomes more aggressive and militant in its political cause, this may precipitate a seizing of religious freedom. Jesus had very little to say about the political power of His day. “Legislating morality” was not a platform for Jesus or the apostles in their ministry in the good news of Christ.” — Paul Vieira

See: Jesus Has Left the Building

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Following Jesus is not “family safe”

“We’re never going to be “family safe” – especially if you’re committed to sharing God’s message of hope with the world. Just ask the house church pastors in China, or Christian leaders in Darfur. Following Jesus is costly and involves a risk.” — Phil Cooke

See: The Sin of Living in the Bubble

Phil Cooke is a writer, television producer, and media consultant based in Burbank, California, as well as a critic of some aspects of contemporary American and American-influenced Christian culture. He is an evangelical Christian and, as Scott McClellan of Collide Magazine wrote, “At times, Cooke may appear to be Christian media’s biggest critic but, as he is quick to point out, he criticizes because he loves.” Follow him on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/PhilCooke

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Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission defends Russell Moore

“Dr. Moore is the man to whom it has been entrusted to lead this entity—speaking prophetically both to our culture and to our Convention.” — The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission Executive Committee

See: Seeking unity in the Southern Baptist Convention

Russell D. Moore is an American evangelical theologian, ethicist, and preacher. He is currently president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the public-policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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How poorly we fail to meet the goal of Christian unity

“Unity—visible unity—is the golden standard for Christianity; how poorly we fail to meet this goal. Instead of starting a soup kitchen—an admirably Christian goal—right down the street from St. Mary and Martha’s why not find out what already exists there, and pitch in to build it up and augment their work.” — K. Albert Little

K. Albert Little is an evangelical convert to Catholicism. Follow him on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/cordialcatholic

See: Please Stop Planting Churches

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American Evangelicalism enmeshed with religious right

“American Evangelicalism is enmeshed with the religious right psychologically, institutionally, and in terms of reputation in ways the Catholic bishops, the Mormon apostles, and Orthodox rabbis just aren’t.” – Russell Moore

See: Can the Religious Right be Saved?

Russell D. Moore is an American evangelical theologian, ethicist, and preacher. He is currently president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the public-policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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When Christianity is seen as a political project

“When Christianity is seen as a political project in search of a gospel useful enough to advance its worldly agenda, it will end up pleasing those who make politics primary, while losing those who believe the Gospel.” – Russell Moore

See: Can the Religious Right be Saved?

Russell D. Moore is an American evangelical theologian, ethicist, and preacher. He is currently president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the public-policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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