Why evangelicals should rethink the Trump gospel

The choice is stark, unsettling and serious: between what Christians call the “Great Commission” and President’s Trump’s call to “Make America Great Again” (MAGA). The Great Commission is racially and radically inclusive, while MAGA, as a matter of rhetoric and reality, is racially exclusive and divisive. Jesus praised a foreigner, an ethnic outcast, and religiously unpopular “good Samaritan” as an example of great compassion.—Cornell Brooks

Source: Why evangelicals should rethink the Trump gospel (opinion) – CNN

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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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Nominal Christians are becoming more secular, and that’s creating a startling change for the U.S.

America is undergoing a religious polarization. Today’s America is losing much of the general religious ethos that dominated the U.S. for hundreds of years. Historically, Christians have survived — and thrived — as a passionate and convictional minority. In the first century, Christians didn’t gain influence by protesting the Roman government’s “War on Christmas.” They faithfully followed Christ, at times in the face of persecution, while rescuing discarded infants, comforting the sick left to die alone and sharing the gospel to a not-always-receptive world. Our mission [is] not to moralize the unconverted, but to reach the broken and hurting.

Source: Nominal Christians are becoming more secular, and that’s creating a startling change for the U.S. – The Washington Post

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Over 300 Christian Theologians Challenge The Corruption Of U.S. Christianity

The Christianity Bonhoeffer denounced is the Christianity we denounce today. The Boston Declaration, condemning the abuse of the Christian faith by many conservatives today, was just written, signed and released by over 300 hundred Christian theologians. Many dressed in sackcloth and ashes to call for repentance and change in Christianity in the United States, the presenters were clear that white American Evangelicalism is in a crisis, a crisis of its own making. It has abandoned the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “Love one another.” And we say, “Amen.”

Source: Repent And Believe In The Gospel! Over 300 Christian Theologians Challenge The Corruption Of U.S. Christianity | HuffPost

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Bridging the Christian divide on social justice

“Overlooking systemic injustices prolongs the suffering of our brothers and sisters. Much of the rhetoric that has taken hold in evangelicalism has, purposefully or not, partitioned concepts of social justice from the whole of the gospel. Christians who care about social justice must at times draw ideological lines to preserve the integrity and authenticity of their faith. There are no painless or half-hearted shortcuts to reconciliation.”

Source: The Vacuum Christian Indifference Creates | Christianity Today

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If you didn’t like the Christian right, you’ll really hate the post-Christian right

“The religious leaders who most readily endorsed Trump were representatives of two of the Christian ‘heresies’ overtaking traditional Christianity in America: the Prosperity Gospel and the religion of American nationalism. All over Europe, and increasingly America, we see the post-Christian right turning into a nationalist, or even ethno-nationalist, movement. A secularized America is going to have a much more extreme right wing, but also a much more extreme left wing, and fewer ways for them to interact and talk.” — Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

Source: If you didn’t like the Christian right, you’ll really hate the post-Christian right

Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry is a writer and fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He writes about religion, culture, politics, economics, business and technology. Follow him on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/pegobry.

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In Quick Reversal, Southern Baptists Denounce White Nationalists – The New York Times

“Be it resolved, that the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, June 13–14, 2017, decry every form of racism, including alt-right white supremacy, as antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ; and be it further resolved, that we denounce and repudiate white supremacy and every form of racial and ethnic hatred as a scheme of the devil intended to bring suffering and division to our society; and be it further resolved, that we acknowledge that we still must make progress in rooting out any remaining forms of intentional or unintentional racism in our midst.” — Southern Baptist Convention

Source: In Quick Reversal, Southern Baptists Denounce White Nationalists – The New York Times

See also: On The Anti-Gospel Of Alt-Right White Supremacy

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What ‘The Leftovers’ Can Teach Us About Hope and the Christian Faith

“Think of people you consider fanatical. They’re overbearing, self-righteous, opinionated, insensitive and harsh. Why? It’s not because they are too Christian but because they are not Christian enough. They are fanatically zealous and courageous, but they are not fanatically humble, sensitive, loving, empathetic, forgiving or understanding – as Christ was. Because they think of Christianity as a self-improvement program they emulate the Jesus of the whips in the temple, but not the Jesus who said “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone” (John 8:7). What strikes us as overly fanatical is actually a failure to be fully committed to Christ and his gospel.” — Timothy Keller

See: What ‘The Leftovers’ Can Teach Us About Hope and the Christian Faith

Timothy Keller is an American pastor, theologian and Christian apologist. He is best known as the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, New York, and the author of The New York Times bestselling books The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith, and Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God. Follow him on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/timkellernyc

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Christian professors sign statement recognizing ‘sins of racism, misogyny, nativism’

“The current political climate reveals longstanding national sins of racism, misogyny, nativism, and great economic disparity. Regardless of where Christians stand politically, the gospel demands we recognize vulnerable populations among us.” — Christian faculty members from a variety of academic institutions

See: https://confessingfaculty.org/

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We must disrupt the way a distorted gospel fuels imperialism

“It isn’t enough to simply offer an alternative Christianity; we must disrupt the way a distorted gospel fuels imperialism. It is time that we don the prophetic mantle within our churches and engage tactics of disruption so that Christians no longer feel comfortable going about business as usual. So that the vast and moderate middle is forced to contend with the issues and no longer remain complicit with the ways that Christianity has been used to justify oppression.” — Mark Van Steenwyk

Mark Van Steenwyk is the Executive Director of the Center for Prophetic Imagination and the founder, along with his wife Amy, of the Mennonite Worker of Minneapolis. For nearly 15 years, Mark has sowed seeds of subversive spirituality throughout North America. Follow him on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/markvans

See: Take the Politics of Disruption to Church

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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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Trump and prosperity preachers

“Trump and prosperity preachers don’t see money as something you don’t have to be afraid of. Everyone makes fun of Trump for being garish. But both have theologies that justify and baptize the wealth they accrue. This is the culmination of several decades of building political capital within the prosperity gospel movement.” — Kate Bowler

Kate Bowler is an expert on the prosperity gospel and author of Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel. Read the full story: An Ultra-Capitalist Christian Sect Is Taking Center Stage At The RNC, Thanks To Donald Trump

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Evangelical Dominionist Christianity with the heavy taint of prosperity gospel

“Donald Trump’s reign — there’s no other way to describe the term of a dictator — ushers in an era of evangelical bullying and enforced conformism hitherto unseen. He surrounds himself with apostles of cruelty, who will gleefully inflict it on those marginalized and less fortunate than they, all in the name of the twisted, hateful, Dominionist version of the Christian god. The flavor of religious fervor being promoted is clear: evangelical Dominionist Christianity with the heavy taint of prosperity gospel. ” — Michael Weinstein

See: Bigots, racists and Dominionist Christians rejoice in Trump presidency

Michael Weinstein, Esq., is founder and president of the seven-time Nobel Peace Prize-nominated Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF).

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An Invitation to Justice from The Justice Conference

Esteemed Old Testament scholar, Dr. Walter Brueggemann gives insight into the nature of justice and offers you an invitation to participate.

One of the misfortunes in the long history of the church is that we have mistakenly separated love of God from love of neighbor, and always they are held together in prophetic poetry.  Covenant members who practice justice and righteousness are to be active advocates for the vulnerable and the marginal and the people without resources, and that then becomes the way to act out and exhibit one’s love of God.  So, love of God gets translated into love of vulnerable neighbor.  The doing of justice is the prophetic invitation to do what needs to be done to enable the poor and the disadvantaged and the neglected to participate in the wealth and resources of the community.  Injustice is the outcome of having skewed neighborly processes so that some are put at an unbearable disadvantage.  And the Gospel invitation is that people intervene in that to correct those mistaken arrangements. — Walter Brueggemann

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Grasping for power is perpetrated through violence

“Grasping for power, as Brueggemann notes, ‘is never innocent or disinterested; it is always, to some important extent, a front for self-interest perpetrated through violence.’

The evangelical church detours from its true mission by seeking alignment with the rich and powerful instead of calling them to account and speaking for those whose voices have been silenced. Self-interest and self-protection run counter to the gospel. So does silence in the face of injustice.” — Evangelical—When a Good Word Goes Bad

Carolyn Custis James is a popular speaker for women’s conferences, churches, colleges, seminaries, and other Christian organizations.

Walter Brueggemann is an American Protestant Old Testament scholar and theologian who is widely considered one of the most influential Old Testament scholars of the last several decades.

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