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Evangelical Sacred Cows

For the record, I am an evangelical Christian. I am a conservative, both politically and theologically. I fit most of the stereotypes most people associate with words like "evangelical" and "conservative".

Bible inerrancy? Check.

White male? Check.

Small government? Check.

Pro-life? Check.

Bothered by changes in what is considered acceptable, particularly in the area of sexual morals, in my country in recent years? Check.

So trust me when I tell you that the words which follow do not come from some left-leaning, Slate-reading, tree-hugger with an anti-Evangelical agenda. No, this criticism of modern evangelical culture comes from the inside.

With my insider status established, let's go forward:

We on the political and theological Right have a habit of conveying dissatisfaction over Political Correctness in academia, the press, and in our entertainment, with the main gripe being that PC is a way of preventing the expression of certain ideas. And if PC doesn't prevent such expression, it certainly pounds home the message of how wrong those ideas are, and how they could only come from Neanderthals who refuse to acknowledge what the liberal elite recognize to be true. Examples which come to mind are global warming and evolution. To lefties, if you don't wholeheartedly accept "consensus" opinion on these, then you aren't worth talking to.

We have our own sacred cows
While criticism of PC-ness may very well be spot-on, we Evangelicals need to be completely honest and acknowledge that we often engage in the same practices. That is, we have our own list of ideas, organizations, and people who are so above reproach that any criticism of those ideas/people/organizations will not be tolerated.

Perhaps that assertion demands a list of examples. Here is such a list:

Dave Ramsey
Chris Tomlin
"God's Not Dead"--the movie
American exceptionalism
Chick-Fil-A
Kirk Cameron's acting abilities
Ronald Reagan
The phrase "Merry Christmas" being conveyed by sales clerks


I recently went camping with a number of Christian fathers and sons, and the conversations addressed a couple of the topics in the above list. When someone dared to raise an objection to Ramsey's methods, or Tomlin's music, things got awkward, and both conversations were cut short because of the tension. I'm not saying where I stand on any item on the list, but the fact that I feel the need to issue that disclaimer around my Evangelical friends is a problem.

As followers of Christ, we should be lovers of Truth, and if you have Truth on your side, you should have no problem engaging in a conversation with someone about anything. But that's not what I see in the Church today. Just like the Lefties, we do have our sacred cows. Will we admit it?

If we do admit it, and are willing to move past our own PC tendencies, then we open up the possibilities of dialog--or dare I say it: fellowship!-- with people, particularly professing Christians, who see things differently than us.   Then perhaps the unity that Jesus prayed for in John 17 will be more of a reality.



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