10 Things I do not understand about American Evangelicalism and American Evangelical Christians
Below, I list 10 major issues , what I call “evangelical paradoxes” or “evangelical contradictions,” I do not understand about modern American Evangelical Christians. For me, these critical factors not only demonstrate how Evangelicals engage culture, politics, ethical issues, they also represent a major crisis in contemporary American Evangelical churches and leadership.
- They zealously defend the life of the unborn and in the womb, but are reluctant to protect and defend life after birth.
- They claim that abortion and homosexuality are moral issues that all Christians should reject, but undermine major ethical or moral issues such as war, poverty, hunger, racism, the exploitation of workers by big corporations, etc.
- They fervently preach Jesus’ pacifist teachings, but support U.S. military invasion in the world or in Third World countries.
- They despise the cruel empires of the Biblical era that led to the suffering, humiliation, and forced exile of the Israelites—the chosen people of God—and eventually the death and persecution of countless Jewish and Gentile Christians in the Roman Empire, but do not renounce American imperialism and European neocolonialism in the world that contribute to greater suffering, poverty, and countless death in the world.
- They passionately preach the unconditional love of God to all people, but support racist politicians and bigot leaders.
- They believe that it is a Christian duty to care for the poor, feed the homeless, and welcome the immigrant, but vote politically against the poor, the homeless, and the immigrant. Or they become allies with lawmakers and politicians who created (intend to create) policies against the welfare of underprivileged families and the poor.
- They claim that they are not citizens of this world and do not need the world’s power to succeed, but sell their soul and compromise their faith to pursue political power and to have cultural influence.
- They believe that it is a Christian duty to evangelize and win the lost for Christ such as the Muslims, but sees their neighboring Muslims in the United States as a threat to Christianity and an enemy to American democracy.
- They give sacrificially to international missions and even send missionaries on both short and long term missions in foreign and distant lands such as black countries in Africa, Jamaica, or Haiti, but maintain segregated churches and defer the project of racial reconciliation and harmony in contemporary American society and churches.
- They eagerly announce the fatherhood of God to all people, but approve of America’s foreign policy that dehumanizes peoples who have been created equally in the image and likeness of God.